[HEALTHY LIVING] My COVID-19 Experience: What I Learned and the Good I Failed to See

by Evalyne

“COVID” – The most known and feared word, event, life-ruiner of 2020. Whether you feel it’s a hoax, political, temporary, or just the flu, people are still getting sick, suffering, and some are dying from this.

For me, it started out with an allergy cough, maybe a slight headache. The next day it was a mild-to-moderate headache. The third day, July 21st, I was cold/shivering, annoyed that I had to go into work that night, while I wasn’t feeling great. But here’s the thing, although it may look like I was neglecting my symptoms, here are my excuses: My husband and I just moved into our brand-new house four days prior. The entire process of even getting this beautiful house was nightmare-ish and stressful. I had picked up more shifts to work and had worked overtime in both my jobs the last two months to get ready for this house, and then there was the 6-hour long moving day. I really thought it was just a lack-of-quality-sleep, stress-induced, symptomatic “I need sleep syndrome”. And now I had to do an overnight 12-hour shift in the ER.

I was about 5-hours into my shift, when I decided I should check my temperature … 101-something F. I asked a co-worker if they could nasal swab me real quick for a rapid COVID-19 test just to stay on the safe side, (fully KNOWING that it would be negative). Fifteen-minutes later she came up to me, “Umm, hun, you have the ‘Rona, you need to go home!” I was completely overwhelmed with panic, as I was just with my elderly mother the day before, my children had been all over me giving me kisses hugs, stealing my drinks and food, and my husband. The typical motherly thoughts of “what ifs” and guilt of why I couldn’t recognize this and quarantine sooner. I got home around 2 AM in the morning, I was so out-of-it on the way home I took a bunch of wrong turns. I decided to quarantine and camp out in the empty upstairs guest room and slept on the floor since we hadn’t bought furniture yet.

The next few days consisted of:

  • excruciating headaches,
  • chills/fever,
  • body aches,
  • severe fatigue,
  • loss-of-smell,
  • loss-of-appetite,
  • sensitivity to light and sound,
  • nausea, vomiting, and admittingly other GI symptoms.

By day six, my husband began to experience sneezing fits, then the fever, body aches, and more respiratory-like symptoms. My husband was also positive for Coronavirus with fever and body aches. No one in their right minds, understandably, would want to expose themselves even for the children. What are we going to do with the children now? So, I had to suck it up and take over the kids, while my husband climbed up the stairs, all sorry-like, into our “COVID room”.

The short version: The next two weeks were a blur, managing the children, and my husband having to go in-patient for bilateral infiltrate pneumonia. I was so full of worry, helplessness, and honestly as I sit here writing this … still recovering … still scared of relapse or reinfection, I still sometimes feel that way. One month later, I still feel the fogginess, sometimes fatigue, cough, and sensitivity to light and sound. Doctor’s say it may be an inflammatory response, due to our amazing God-given bodies fighting off that devilish virus. My husband thankfully recovered and was sent home, and the other day we both tested negative. Hallelujah! We made it through Coronavirus!

There’s my story. Actually, not quite …

I associated the COVID-19 pandemic with: Fear, mental and physical pain, and panic. So much that I forgot what truly mattered during those two weeks.

How did I survive with entertaining and feeding two children, while now taking care of my sick husband, and recovering myself?

  1. Church and Community. I messaged my church’s preacher asking him for prayers, as I knew this would be rough. The preacher of my church informed our church’s members of what was going on and I received an overwhelming amount of support. Whether it be meals at my doorstep for my family and I, hand-written cards, calls/messages, prayers, and so much more. The love was amazing. I had been going to this church for about four years, ever since my husband (then boyfriend) introduced me to real Christianity. I mostly kept to myself. I never developed any deep relationships and barely knew anyone’s names. Yet, during my time of need they came to my family’s aid. It lifted my spirits, and made me think “Hey, I had a church family all along and they’re going to help me get through this”.
  2. Family. I was also reminded of how great my family had been growing up. With my beautiful mother making soups and hardly leaving my side; my dad, a physician, monitoring me; and just having the company of my siblings. My wonderful parents and family would leave supplies, meals, new toys and activities for my children to entertain them during a time when us as their parents were practically unavailable. We would have family Facetime calls, that kept me company during times when the “COVID room” felt constricting and old, and my father following up with me daily to check on my progress. It made me think, “Wow, what raw and authentic beauty the bonds of family can truly be”.
  3. The Bonds of Husband and Wife. My husband and I bonded over this sickness and suffering, it pained us to see the other suffer, while we were falling apart ourselves. But hey, we were reminded of our love and willingness to serve and be there for each other in times when our bodies were telling us to focus on our own health.
  4. Prayer and Faith. Lastly, and the most important was having faith and talking to God in prayer for physical, mental, and spiritual strength.

How do I describe COVID-19 now?

  • A terrible illness creating hardships around the world, but it is a terrible illness that provides God’s people the power to exercise selflessness, giving, and pure love, towards a brother and/or a sister in need of it.
  • A terrible illness that is causing chaos, insecurity, and fear, but an opportunity for God’s children to look to Him as a child looks to his Father for help or advice.

Our bodies are wonderfully made, and His plans for us are flawlessly and strategically outlined. Your life is truly based on perspective, even in your darkest most trying times, God will be there and so will our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are living in a world that is tainted by fear, 6-ft apart, masked, quarantined. But there are still opportunities to come together as a community, safely.

How to support someone or a family suffering from Coronavirus:

  • Prayers/Messages/Texts/Calls – Honestly, just being thought of was already so uplifting.
    • Keep in mind there are a lot of fears and unknowns associated with Coronavirus, there is a mental health aspect to it that isn’t as widely talked about. Just a phone call and text can go a long way. I know one of the most thoughtful things that I received was my friend’s kids hand-writing and drawing a Get Well Soon card.
  • Meal Trains, Doordash is very helpful.
  • Any cheap toy or book for the kids to be excited about.
  • If you can’t easily purchase or have your groceries sent to your home, offer to do some groceries and leave it on the porch.

Those are just a few that I experienced and helped me. Please feel free to add on and comment if you can think of more.

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