Friday, Jan. 27: Late afternoon, the coughing starts. Nothing major. Just small coughs. A bit of a headache, too.
Saturday - 6:15am: I try to get out of bed. Fail. Try to move several more times. Fail each time. I come to realize Barb is pulling both my arms but I can't get from a horizontal plane (in bed) to a vertical one (standing). She keeps trying.
Finally, both my feet on the floor and I do a Wicked Witch of the East. "I'm melting - Fly, my Pretties - I'm melting." I fall in a heap like Monday's dirty laundry. Reason: temperature of 105.5 taken digitally. THREE times! Our brains aren't built for 105.5! I have no idea who I am, where I am or why I should care.
Later, after what must have been a heroic effort by Barb, I find myself in my recliner, Orange juice at the ready. I'm really"out of it." Don't know how - or when - I got back to bed. Saturday just disappeared and me with it.
Sunday - 6:30am: Everything - and I mean EVERYTHING - hurts! It hurts in places it's not supposed to hurt. Ever! Temp 102. No strength. No energy. No sense of taste or smell. No sense of humor. Don't give a damn!
Sunday spent - and I mean s-p-e-n-t in the recliner with OJ - tasteless OJ - at the ready. It all hurts. Especially lower back. Barb is, again, doing yeoman's duty with a disorderly patient. No appetite. And, the body HURTS!
Monday - 9:00pm: Diarrhea. MAJOR! Less time in the recliner. Way more time in a sitting position in the bathroom. Interior drained right down to the baseboards. Temp at 102. Voice is raspy and hoarse. Everything still hurts.
Tuesday - 7:00am: More diarrhea but no idea from what. No appetite. Body aches and pains lessening. Temp seems about normal. Starting to feel more like a regular case of flu. But, I'm noticing having a little trouble with speech. Sort of fading off mid-sentence. Trying to keep to a single thought not easily done.
Wednesday - 6:30am: For the first time, the body feels like mine, though there are still many aches. And, I feel more "in control." Diarrhea continues unabated. Voice returning to normal. Still not quite mentally "ready-to-go." In four days, lost 12 pounds. Damned hard way to do it. I don't recommend it.
The worst passed. Five days. Still some body pain and that feeling I'm not sure of my speech or continuous thoughts. Federal COVID guidelines indicate some chance of contagion until about the 10th day. I may go a day or two beyond just to be safe.
Possibly the most irritating, lingering side-effect of COVID is the lack of taste and smell, which, I'm told, may not return for awhile. Some early sufferers say it took many months to get things back to normal with food and fragrances.
Please realize all the foregoing is just for me. All the symptoms named are just mine. Others who've had COVID have experienced their own set of maladies. There's no "one-size-fits-all."
As for strains of the disease for which we can be vaccinated, no one even seems to how many variants there are. And, new ones seem to be reported almost daily.
One personal recommendation from someone in COVID recovery is to find yourself a top-quality, live-in care-giver. And, NO, you can't have mine. Without Barb putting up with my continuous - and very vocal - curmudgeon personality, I wouldn't be on the path to better days. She has put up with a lot! And has kept smiling. Even when changing soiled sheets.
This COVID is not a "one person" flu. Without her running errands, trying to keep me upright and taking nourishment, making grocery trips, picking up the mail and keeping (cat and dog) Clementine and Skeezix taken care of, none of us would have gotten through those first five days. She kept it together and going in the right direction.
Oh, by the by, she tells me now she failed a morning COVID test and has a fever of 102. Well, isn't that just ducky! My turn to be Nurse Ratched.
Our COVID love story. To be continued...