Thursday, July 9, 2020

Covid is like an onion...

I am reading a lot about Covid now from a whole new perspective. Of course, there was a reason why Andy got tested in the first place -he felt lousy, and then one morning he had a temperature. In the days following I have been checking off the symptoms as they have arrived.

We both started off with temperatures and that has remained steady for all of Andy's 7 days. We check it in the morning and again at night. 100.5 is pretty average. It goes up and down a little. I suspected that it wouldn't stick around. We've done cold showers, Tylenol. 

The burning chest. Ah! That's been hard for me but Andy hasn't had any of that. He describes it as a "heavy chest" but it didn't last long. I feel like a human water heater. I need that part to stop. Why won't that stop? Feels like I'm having heart attack all day long. 

The next symptom is a sore throat, ears and glands. Painful. Andy has pushed through most of that and I'm a few days behind. I sound better today. You know when you swallow and stretch to try to pop your ears to relieve pressure? I try to do that all day. 

Andy lost his sense of smell and taste on day 3. Still gone. 

The exhaustion is hard for Andy. I've been able to move except for yesterday. I even did the dishes a few days ago. The joint pain is weirdly specific to areas that I already have arthritis like my hands and ankles and it's strange to have painful elbows! So weird!

Yesterday's big symptom was/is the confusion. The brain fog is...foggy. Thank goodness for spell check.
Today the nausea came in. The fire has moved lower in my torso and I connect this with how I feel when I get migraines and I throw up. It feels like that today. Surprise! My temperature is 100.1 right now.

Everyone suggests that you sleep on your stomach to take the weight off your chest - but I have tried to do this and I just can't breathe. My sinuses are so impacted that I have to sleep half sitting up. Just seems like something new every day. I don't think there is anything else on the list, though. Tomorrow will be a better day. I feel like we have been through the worst of it. We didn't get a bad case (we aren't hospitalized), nor a mild case - we just got it. And it isn't one-bit fun because it's a new symptom every day.


Speaking of pain...I have been reading about going back to school. I want to know if once we go through this we are immune. Some of the things I've read say "yes," and some say "yes for a couple of weeks" and some say "You will need to be tested for antibodies periodically." I'm hoping for 100% immunity, baby! I would love to have that freedom. But I also get a flu shot every year for the traditional flu "just in case." So as soon as they have a vaccine, I'm also willing to be vaccinated as many times as I need to be. Hahaha... I worry that there are those in society that aren't willing to be vaccinated for anything...ever. Hmmmm. Freedom has many layers. 

I know that with any new disease our scientists are doing their best to figure it out as quickly as they can. The traditional deadline for school to start again is coming. I don't feel like teaching theatre online is optimal. Haha. The things we teach - teamwork, listening, focus, courage, problem-solving, critical thinking, etc... isn't done from a computer screen. We need to perform. We need characters to develop - stories to build and tell. 

And if I'm immune - I'm lucky, right? We've paid the price to have some kind of sense of safety. But are we? My classroom is big. Really big. I can scrub my tables down after each class period. I can be careful. But I was SOOOOO careful NOT to get Covid. I was the poster child for mask-wearing and hand washing. And what about my colleagues that teach in half my space? 

If I decide to do a traditional performance assessment (a play) and my audiences come with their homemade masks on, how can I be certain they will keep those masks on for two hours? Is that a new job I want to take on, "mask police?" How will I sustain my program? Can I live with the chance that Covid could get to one of our beloved sets of grandparents or someone that is compromised in any way? Is that their fault, or mine? much to think about. are we going to do this?

Last we know for sure that if a teacher got sick during the school year they would be out for about 2 weeks. First, you have to get enough symptoms to be able to be tested, then you go through it, then you have to test negative to get back to work. This is a great time for any of you that would like to try substitute teaching to give it a try. I think we will need a lot of subs this year and it won't be just for just a day or two. 

BUT - if you take a drama class at Salem or Spanish Fork - you can be assured that you won't get Covid from your teacher. Hahahahaha.... at least that's what they're telling 

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Covid 19 - Day 4, Exhaustion and Brain Fog

When I had the very first sign of Covid, I thought "come and get me - let's get this over with." 

The first few days were uncomfortable, heavy chest, sore throat, but I didn't have a fever. 

The fever is everything. 

I haven't had a fever in my adult life that I remember. And it's not a high fever -just a steady 100. But three days of it is wearing me down and now I'm having a hard time finding a full sentence and spelling simple words, just typing this...taking unbelievable concentration.

I have had a hard time sleeping the past few days but I have been asleep 17 hours today. Andy said my mom called. Don't remember it. Sorry mom. A nurse from the state called us both to remind us to stay inside. That's nice. I can barely climb the stairs. I don't think she asked us how we were. She didn't gather any information Andy said. 

That's the funny thing about something new, the only instructions we have gotten are "take Tylentol and stay home. If it gets bad, you can go into an ER" What does bad mean? 

I would not wish this on anyone - except Trump. I don't want him to die - just to know. 

We are watching "Alone" on Hulu. It's pretty good. I'm in and out. But when I'm actually awake I just keep wishing I could stand up and shower. I stink.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Day Two of Covid 19 - It's Confirmed

Just got the test results back. That was just a 36-hour turnover. They told me it would be 3 - 5 days and it was much sooner. So that's good. I'm so grateful for those people on the front lines. We are so lucky that we have a way to find out if we really have this stupid prickly virus 

Seeing the test result "SARS-COV2 POSITIVE" really takes your breath away. Too soon?

I mean, I saw Andy's result and I felt wiped out but seeing my own is conflicting because I want to take care of Andy. It's so shocking even though I sort of knew. I kept saying, all night, "maybe it's a false positive for Andy and we just have bad colds." Then 2 for 2. Whaaat?!

Let's talk about the quick evolution:

Andy - Andy is only 41 so maybe his reaction so far, when he got tested on July 2 haven't been too scary (except for seeing the initial test results! Ha!) His biggest complaint is that he can't move. He also can't smell anything. His insides are imbalanced. He is dizzy. His eyes hurt. That's interesting. I have that too. He has a dry cough but it isn't too bad yet. We are actors and vocal teachers and we tell our kids all the time - "don't cough if you can help it!" So that is our habit - but there is a point where you just have to let it out - however, with Covid, nothing happens and the pay-off is that it BURNS like a son-of-a b***h. 

I am 55. I am in good health, and Andy and I have been running around the junior high track every day. I feel stronger than I have ever been in my life. However, the little stoker's in my chest are just like "you should have taken care of yourself BEFORE you hit 50, you idiot." 30 years of teaching, never going to the doctor. My lungs are shot. This is day two or three - I think - my chest feels like an inferno and I sound like a 75-year-old lady who sits on the porch of her single-wide and smokes cigars all day. 

One thing is that has been just incredible in the last 24 hours is the ARMY of support that our neighborhood, friends and co-workers have assembled. We were given a list of neighbors that are taking over dinner and yesterday we had incredible teriyaki chicken and tonight we had hot homemade rolls and chicken noodle soup that melted in our mouths. So if you want to eat well - just get the virus! (I'm not serious here) I should videotape the opening of the front door after the doorbell ditch. It's like Christmas. Just minutes ago another beautiful neighbor doorbell ditched a pulse oximeter AND warm brownies. S.T.I.L.L. W.A.R.M. Shut. the. front. door. (Quickly.)

Because we feel oxygen deprived it was great to know, through the pulse oximeter, that we are not. When I first got tested it was 87% - "a solid B+" Andy said. I went as low as 82% but then figured out that if I took a deep breath I could get it to 95. SOOOOO... I will do the breathing exercises that several friends have sent me. I need to keep moving. It makes me take deeper breaths. There has been so much incredible advice. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.

We have also been able to Venmo our friends and send them to the store for us. THANK YOU FRIENDS and THANK YOU VENMO, we didn't have to touch a single thing. The texts and outpouring of assistance you have all offered is humbling. We will take care of our debts when this is all over. Be sure of it.

More reasons to wear a mask, wash your hands, stay at home, don't touch anything:

     1. I really want to get things done around the house - but don't have the energy. My summer is wasting away while I cough. I tried to cut out a sewing project today and I gave up after five minutes. 
     2. With Covid - I can't sleep - it's like there are bugs in your brain. I have had the world's strangest dreams. Andy too. There just isn't good sleeping or good napping and even our Ambien is standing there with its hands up in surrender. If only I could rest.
     3.  Guilt. Who did I give it to while I didn't know I had it? Gah! This is the worst part. Don't live with that. STAY HOME. Invent fun stuff to do at home. We need to say "I might be a walking weapon of disease." COVID IS REAL. 

Things I have googled today:

"If you have Covid-19, what does your oxygen level have to be at before you go to the hospital"

"What over the counter drugs will help people with Covid-19" (So many different answers - we tried Dayquil - didn't touch it. We're popping cough drops, Tylenol and Vitamin C) 

"Best of Netflix July"