With the Covid-19 pandemic now spanning over two years, it’s not surprising when you find out that someone close to you has been affected. That’s how me and my family found ourselves when both myself and my sisters became infected. I’m still unsure as to where I picked up the virus but my sister tested positive on the exact day of her 16th birthday due to a breakout at her school.
The three of us went through very different experiences. For one, Covid was simply like a common cold; runny nose, a slight cough and a sore throat. For me and my youngest sister, it hit us badly. For me it began as a terrible sore throat. Initially I thought it may have been tonsillitis and tried my hardest to get rid of it with Ibuprofen and Strepsils but obviously this was to no avail.
Scarily, my lateral flow test came back negative and so no one was any wiser. It wasn’t until I travelled back home for my sisters birthday that things turned from bad to worse. My sister had been sick for a few weeks with flu symptoms but all five of her tests came back negative also. When we sent off for a PCR test, that’s when things became clearer. Her test results came back positive on her 16th birthday and so of course myself and the rest of my family had to take PCR tests too; happy birthday little sis!
A couple days passed and then the results were in! Luckily the rest of the family tested negative however, I received that dreaded text confirming that I was positive for Covid-19. Over the following two weeks, my symptoms worsened greatly and jumped from one to another like parkour! I started with the typical flu symptoms like a fever. The changes from overheating to freezing cold made nights difficult to sleep and the pain in my head only added to this. After a few days, these symptoms passed and new ones started. My whole body was overcome with pain. The feeling of my muscles aching made it hard to move and after trying to fight it, I eventually had to accept my fate and remain in bed. I couldn’t move properly or eat much for a few days more and my sister was just the same.
Amongst this mix, I woke up and completely lost my sense of taste and smell. My brain seemed to trick itself into thinking I could taste my cup of tea but I realise now that was the familiarity of routine. When I brushed my teeth and washed up soon after, it was at that point that I knew my senses were gone. My mum made apple crumble that evening and I couldn’t even enjoy it because of Covid. What was once a sweet experience that made my mouth salivate, turned into consuming warm mush and disappointment. Just as quickly as my sense of taste and smell disappeared, it came back. Three days passed and when I woke up, this time I was able to taste my hot beverage and enjoy the simple things like dunking a biscuit in my tea.
All the while this was happening, I did further experience the expected coughing symptoms but as the week progressed, so did this. For me, it wasn’t just a cough, it was tight pain in my chest, constant headaches from the pressure, and my body struggling to breathe. It began to feel as though my lungs were burning and even just the simple action of breathing became full of pain and discomfort. Being bedbound without actually being able to sleep was driving me insane but what else could I do when my whole body was in so much pain.
Slowly but surely as week two progressed, I began to show signs of recovering and everything was healing. The fever and coughing subsided and I was finally able to leave my bed and move around. My energy levels were still incredibly low but I was grateful to be able to breathe normally again and function as a human. My biggest fear during the whole experience was the fact that I already have an underlying health condition. Being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) a few years ago, my weakened immune system was fighting for its life trying to battle off Covid but I’m incredibly glad it did.
For those who are doubtful about the existence of Covid-19, I can tell you that this was entirely different to any flu or virus I’ve ever caught. Everyone’s symptoms and experiences are different but its so important that we try our best to protect not only ourselves but the people around us. It’s incredibly unfortunate that we’ve lost so many people over the past two years due to the virus and the nightmare only continues as we head into 2022. Please continue to wear your masks and distance yourselves as much as you can. We still have a way to go in getting over this but hopefully there is change on the horizon and the new year will bring good news.