Life after the virus has been a daily re-introduction to my new self. Most days, I do not feel like interacting with people. I tire easily. I also find myself not being able to maintain my steady disposition. Although I am not ill anymore, the residue and brain fog is a whole ‘notha set of issues that people need to be prepared for.
Let’s go back. I had no clue that I was sick, at first. All I was was a momma bear that worried about her sick child. Some of this may be tmi, but I will risk that possibility in an effort to open a window for someone who may need the information. Remember, I am a life coach, not a doctor. If you are sick, go to your doctor and follow the instructions that YOU are given. My goal is to share how my life was interrupted.
All of the symptoms that I have identified were done so in hindsight. To be clear, I knew that something was off, but I didn’t look at the symptoms as parts to a whole but regretfully minor inconveniences. The first symptom that I can remember is intense emotional responses to normal life. I am a pretty even tempered person (my kiddo’s friends used to tease them about how calm I was). Seldom do I allow the things in life to rock me, but that week I was “on a permanent 10!” I had anger bouts and crying spells. To be transparent it was the week of my daughter’s death, but I had long surpassed the emotional train wreck that used to follow it. However, this year, the 15th anniversary of her death was pushing me to inconsolable tears. I reasoned that I was being “extra” because of the pandemic and the protests and left the moment unnoticed.
The strange thing was back pain and diarrhea (here comes the tmi). I made constant treks back and forth to the bathroom passing only my son during the trips. My back sometimes hurts when I am having a flare up, so I paid it no attention. However the bathroom adventures seemed to just be a consequence to the fruit haul that I do in the summer. I should mention that it has never happened before, but that is what I decided it was.
Then a more noticeable discomfort appeared. My left arm became inflamed and I was in excruciating pain—so much so that I was unable to use it. The pain couldn’t be subsided with pain meds or muscle rubs or tears. I could not sleep and wanted very much for someone to rip my arm off. But I kept teaching and coaching (from a distance) and I reasoned that I must’ve had had gluten.
As if that was not enough, there came additional symptoms that I quite frankly, blew off. I ended up with a tooth infection. That pain consumed my whole being. It was almost enough to make me to forget my arm. My poor family didn’t know what to do. I am a strong person and I handle pain very well, so when the saw me crying and screaming, they knew something wasn’t right.
At this point, we are about three weeks in. This is when all things changed. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t stay awake. I had chills and I was burning up—-so much so that you would have assumed that someone had poured water on my bed. I showered, vixed, took flu medicine, and nothing helped. The fever kept rising. I started missing days.
Then something strange happened.
I started craving watermelon. Like desperately craving it. My sons and husband couldn’t get enough for me to eat before I started begging for more. It seemed to me that I was getting better with each bite (I know that that is not true). The only thing that troubled me was that I couldn’t taste any of it. Perhaps that is why I wanted it so bad. It was mentally troubling to see yourself eat something, know that you put it in your mouth but you can place the joy in your memory.
Now that the fog has lifted, the fog has settled. The week following, I couldn’t complete a full sentence. I shied away from phone conversations with people because I sounded like a blundering idiot. No disrespect; it was just an intense time to not be able to do that which you are lauded for doing so well—wielding words. It was torment, but I survived.
And, even though I survived, I would not wish this affliction on any soul living or transcended. It lingers. It reduces and yes, it belittles, but we are stronger together when we stay apart.