Updated: Apr 24, 2022
Hey, you! 😷
Unless you've been living under a rock, you know how the world has changed since two years ago because of this damn pandemic.
It has especially been painful for us because my father-in-law passed away from the Covid almost 2 years ago (click here for the post) and I don't think we have fully recovered from that yet.
I had my first panic attack during the first lockdown and I've been having anxiety attacks since.
I'm not blaming anyone or any government because I believe they did what they thought was best for the country and its people. But I can't help but wonder how many people like me have developed panic attacks hearing all day long about the lockdown, vaccine obligation, health pass, clusters, flattening the curve, outbreak, PCR test, antigenic test, home test, symptoms and being a person-at-risk.
Being a person-at risk myself (asthma + obesity), I obviously was super worried for myself, but as well as for the future of my family. What would happen to them if something happened to me?
The fear of the unknown.
Seeing that Covid was so different for each person, I used to stay awake at night wondering what it would do to me. Would I be asymptomatic? Would I have a serious form despite getting vaccinated 3 times already? Would my symptoms be mild? These thoughts kept me awake at night more than several times with sweaty palms, chest pains, and the sensation of not being able to breathe.
Then it happened. I got Covid.
Luckily, I found out when I think the worst was behind already. I'm thankful for that because I honestly think if I had found out on the first day my anxiety would have taken over.
Mind over Matter.
My symptoms started on Monday, April 11. It was weird because it felt very mild. A bit of a scratchy throat, runny nose, sneezing. I also had itchy, red eyes which is why I thought I had spring allergies. The next day, I started coughing which did not alarm me . Again, I was thinking allergies or maybe a cold. Oh and yeah, I did take a home test which was negative.
Then on Friday, my daughter, S, woke up with a major headache which lasted all day as well as a stomachache. We had run out of home tests so we agreed she would get tested at the pharmacy on Saturday. Lo and behold, her rapid test came back positive, which made us decide to go to the laboratory to get tested. I knew then and there that I probably had Covid too.
But ... surprise, surprise - results came back positive for me and negative for S and the Husband. I can't say I was completely surprised for me, in fact at this point I was hoping that I did have Covid. My symptoms were very mild and I was feeling much better already.
But that's when things got complicated.
I went to bed that night thinking that everything was going to be alright. But at 1am, as I was sleeping on my stomach, I woke up brutally gasping for air feeling like water was coming up my throat and up my nose. The same water sound I heard from my late father-in-law as he was taking his final breaths.
My head started spinning. My chest was burning. My palms were sweating. I felt myself starting to go to a dark place. A place I didn't want to go to. It was a shitshow.
I quickly got out of bed, went to the bathroom, sat on the toilet seat, and took 3 long deep breaths. Sensing something was wrong, the Husband joined me in the bathroom, asking how he could help. But I knew I had to do this myself.
Control my mind to control my body. But how?
I can still remember those waves of panic trying to find its way from inside me. Each time I looked for information on the internet. Each chest pain I felt. Each time the oximeter dropped to 96 from my usual 99. And each time I took a deep breath, held on my rosary, rubbed Holy Water from Lourdes on my pressure points, said a prayer, and repeated to myself that "everything was going to be alright".
I thought I was doing ok, until I read that people who experienced serious symptoms usually start with mild symptoms at first which get better before getting real bad! But I told myself that this was not going to happen to me. I was not going to the hospital.
I didn't fall back asleep until like 7am and decided to stay in bed all day. Each time I felt a bit restless, I went to the bathroom, took deep breaths, then went back to bed to rest some more.
It's been a week since I found out I had Covid. Fortunately, I didn't have to go to the hospital and I feel much better. Taking one step at a time has led me here.
I don't know if I'm negative yet as I will still get tested on Monday alongside S (who ended up getting a positive result on her second PCR-test). But I'm thankful for feeling better. Thankful to God, my family, friends, work contacts, and anyone who reached out to me. It's amazing how kindness and positivity can go a long way.
"Your body can withstand almost anything. It's your mind you need to convince."