If I were asked to sum up the after-effects of having coronavirus (COVID-19) in three words, they would be ‘breathless’, ‘fatigued’ and ‘sore’.
But we’re alive and that’s what matters most.
It’s been over two months since my husband, Rhys, and I began to suffer typical symptoms of COVID-19. Having many pre-existing conditions, Rhys had it worse than me and battled covid ‘pneumonia’ at home, gasping for air and coughing up blood. Somehow, through antibiotics and sheer will power, Rhys recovered, strenuously resisting my offers to call 999 because he was afraid that a ventilator might do more harm than good.
Maybe he was right.
Looking back, he ate his way out of COVID-19. The man who usually picks at large meals or grazes through the day, suddenly had a hearty appetite for three big meals and maybe a midnight snack every day. He took to heart the old adage that if you don’t feed a virus, it will feed off of you. I credit a lot of Rhys’ survival to him eating like a horse and taking massive doses of Vitamin C.
While I was cooking for Rhys, I was also fighting my own battle against the virus. For several days I had the chills, malaise and was housebound, fearing I was bleeding out with massive menstrual clots. If your stories are anything to go by, I was hardly alone. In fact, Chinese doctors who did post-mortems on victims of COVID-19 noted that the deceased were riddled with blood clots.
Two months later, Rhys and I are feeling better, we’re certainly not fully recovered yet.
My post-COVID-19 symptoms are milder than Rhys’. I just can’t seem to catch my breath. The least exertion, brings on a fit of breathlessness and panting. My joints and muscles complain after any physical labour. Even strolling to the shops leaves me stiff and sore for days afterward.
Rhys is suffering more in recovery than me. Like me, he still has no energy. He may have a sudden ten second burst of energy but by the time he walks to his study, he’s exhausted and returns to the telly, frustrated and discouraged.
The worst part is that his existing chronic pain has been severely exacerbated by the virus. Opioids don’t touch it. To see the man you love wracked with pain, tears silently rolling down his cheeks is shattering. He says it feels like someone swung a spanner and shattered his femurs and feet.
While our story sounds dire, we’re alive! The best part is that we no longer dread and fear the virus.
My heart goes out to everyone still living in fear of contracting COVID-19. Even for those of you who, like Rhys, who have every pre-existing condition in the book, it is possible to survive coronavirus.