Well, the inevitable happened. The one thing I have been working hard to avoid since March 2019 has eventually caught up to me. I tested positive for COVID-19. Before you ask, let me put your mind to ease. Yes, I am double vaccinated. Yes, I wear my mask at all times. Yes, I take my precautions as much as I can. I have turned down social gatherings to avoid getting exposed. I stopped traveling on planes to err on the safe side. I spent most of my pregnancy months indoors. But despite all my efforts, I still somehow caught the virus. Now, I am not here to debate whether the vaccine really works or not. I chose to get vaccinated and do my part in protecting myself and my family.
In today’s blog post, I will share with you my experience with COVID-19 especially as a new mom to a 6 month old to hopefully shed some light on the unspoken side of this virus. Monday, my symptoms started and they were mild. I felt an itch in my throat and a bit of congestion. Nothing out of the ordinary for me especially around winter time. I am known to get really bad colds during the change of seasons. So, I started taking DayQuil and NyQuil in hopes to tackle this “cold” head on. Fast forward to Wednesday night, my symptoms started getting a bit more aggressive so I decided to take a PCR test. And, for the safety of my students and my colleagues I decided to take Thursday off. Next morning, I received my results which were NEGATIVE. Sigh of relief. I thought to myself, “this is in fact a bad cold” and I just had to proceed with caution to keep my 6 month old baby safe.
By Thursday night, my symptoms were not relieved despite taking NyQuil. I woke up Friday morning feeling even worse. So, I decided to take off from work and schedule another Rapid test just to be extra sure. I drove 30 minutes from home to a testing site where I took my test. On my way back, I picked up baby and headed home.
The Wave of Emotions
I remember my husband calling me asking about my test results. I was driving at the time so I couldn’t check my results when I received the text message that they were ready. So, I forwarded the text to my husband to check for me. He called me back and said, “Bab, you’re positive!”.
I was in complete shock. I actually thought he was joking because I was so adamant that this was just a cold. How could I be positive! My PCR tests were negative. Which one is accurate? Wait, what about the baby?! He’s with me in the car as we speak. I have been taking care of him. Could I have given him the virus too? Where did I even pick it up? Work? the grocery store? day care? Where can we get the baby tested? My mind was racing with ifs, buts and thousands of thoughts. I just couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that I was carrying this virus in such close proximity to my baby.
The waves of emotions only got stronger. I was in disbelief. Worried sick about the well-being of my baby and husband. I was angry that I got sick despite being vaccinated and wearing a mask. I was worried about work. I had just returned back from my maternity leave. I was frustrated and scared with the situation I found myself in.
Quarantined and Isolated
By some great miracle, my husband and baby’s tests came back negative for COVID-19. I was so relieved that they were safe and healthy. I isolated from them in a separate part of the house with access to a bedroom and bathroom. My health deteriorated for the first few days of the virus. The pain was excruciating. The discomfort was unbearable at times. But you know what hurt the most? what was the hardest part of all of this? It’s being SEPARATED FROM MY BABY. I would hear his cries and wailing and my heart would ache because I was not able to comfort him or respond to his needs. All of the sudden, this virus I was carrying made me a threat to the well being of my baby. Staying away from him was better for his safety and well-being. If you are a mom, then I know you can understand my pain and how gut wrenching this is.
This virus does not only take a toll on your physical health but also on your mental health. I am here to tell you, if you know anyone who is currently quarantined, please stop and pick up the phone and reach out to them. Being isolated from society and your loved ones is not an easy pill to swallow. Being locked up in a room with no human contact, with no where to go, while battling this vicious virus on your own is not an easy feat. You begin to feel lonely, sad, bored, defeated and sluggish.
If you’re currently quarantined and reading this, I know how you feel. There is only so much TV you can watch. You’ll find yourself scrolling Instagram mindlessly with no real interest. Here is what I did to keep myself sane and occupied: I read/listened to books, watched TV, listened to music, worked on my blog, Face-time my family and friends, organized my phone and emails and went for a car drive. Just know that time will pass and this is not forever. Use this alone, quiet time to catch up on all the things you wanted to do. Read. Write. Play music. Paint. Sketch. Catch up with an old friend. Pray. Meditate. Reflect on your life and plans for 2022.
What I Learned From This Experience
Despite the hard weeks I endured while in quarantine, I have to say I am very grateful that my family was healthy and safe and didn’t pick up the virus. I am thankful that I recovered in the comfort of my home unlike the many who have to battle this virus alone, in hospitals. I am thankful for my health; for every breath I am able to breathe on my own. I am thankful for the time I got to spend alone to remind me of what’s important in this life. I am especially thankful for my husband who so graciously carried me through this difficult time. I am also thankful for him for selflessly taking care of me, the baby, the dog and the household.
Tips for Treatment
For anyone who is going through this virus or knows of someone who is going through this, I wanted to share with you some tips that my doctor shared with me that have helped in my recovery.
**Disclaimer: Please always consult with your doctor before using any of the product(s) listed. This blog post represents a personal experience and by no means is meant to convince or promote a specific product**
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Saline Nasal Spray
- Lots of Fluids; water, juice, soup, electrolyte water