I can officially say that Day 1 of COVID was absolutely miserable. The uncertainty of whether or not it was going to get progressively worse contributed to the misery. That fear of feeling even more sick, of deepening brain fog, of continued weakness, pushed me to finish a freelance article. It was a challenge. I’m used to words flowing pretty easily, but with COVID, I’d lose my train of thought mid-sentence, and it took me twice as long to complete the assignment. But it’s done and dusted, thank goodness.
I was also constantly cold and dizzy. I’d feel as though my body were just drifting instead of walking, floating instead of standing. Like I wasn’t distinct from the space around me, but rather part of it. It felt like my physical presence was diminished. And I was just tired. So terribly, terribly tired.
Waking up this morning was challenging. I was coughing and still cold. My throat was still scratchy. But already there’s noticeable improvement. I’m no longer dizzy, and I’m no longer cold to the point of distraction. It’s easier to focus. And even though I’m still tired, it feels more like the “tired at the end of a long day” as opposed to the “exhaustion of the first month of motherhood.”
I’m on my third dose of Paxlovid, and am pretty confident that this medication prevented my symptoms from getting worse. There are so many reports of side effects: metallic taste in mouth, gastrointestinal challenges, etc. But there was enough research done to show that it does stop COVID from progressing to the point of hospitalization. The magic ingredient is nirmatrelvir, which inhibits a key enzyme that COVID needs to make functional virus particles. So it stops the spread to healthy cells, which stops the infection. The nirmatrelvir are the two orange pills in the picture below. The third pill is ritonavir, which prevents the nirmatrelvir from getting broken down by the liver. So far, I’ve been lucky, very minimal side effects. Just a weird aftertaste in my mouth that is easily masked by Gatorade. I saw anecdotal evidence that limiting dairy also minimized the side effects, and so I cut dairy out completely. Not hard when you’ve got no appetite in the first place. There’s also some talk of COVID recurrence, but given my body’s response so far, I’m hopeful to have this beat the first time around.
I had four Zoom meetings this morning, none of which could be avoided. I was able to think cohesively, but holy crap, talking is a challenge. My voice is weak, and I was prone to coughing. If I’m not talking, the coughing is minimized.
My appetite is off as well. I love food. I love everything about it. I love the ingredients, the cooking, the presentation, the consumption. My biggest fear was losing my sense of taste. Yesterday, I didn’t really want to eat anything, but knew that my body needed fuel. Jeff and Kenzie were making pita pizzas, but that didn’t appeal to me. The most efficient fuel for my Chinese tummy, is Chinese food. So I ordered delivery. I only ended up having a little wonton soup and the chicken wings, but it was enough. I saved the rest for lunch.
(The next paragraph contains two affiliate links, which means if you purchase through those links, I’ll get a couple pennies for more wontons. Thanks!)
Food that has helped the most: Gatorade. My body is craving water and Gatorade. It used to be challenging to hit my water consumption goal, but not now! I don’t even normally like Gatorade, but it feels like a palate cleanser. So weird. Also, konjac jelly packs. I had a bunch of these in the fridge for Kenzie, but these have been really appealing as well. They fill me up, and feel good on my throat. If you know someone going through COVID, toss some of those in a get well basket.
The smartest thing I did though, was anticipating how the illness would progress. I’m so glad that I quarantined when I did, because if I had waited even just a few hours, I would have been too weak to set anything up.
It’s also Kenzie’s half birthday today. I had grand plans to make a pop-it pinata, and to go see a movie in the park, but a Prime delivered Stitch blanket will just have to do.