I had an impromptu meeting with the elders of our congregation; we canceled church. Well, we decided to not meet in person and only meet online. Several of our key volunteers were feeling sick and a few others had tested positive for COVID-19. This was Wednesday (2/10). It was a tough decision, but it was the right decision.
I started feeling sick on that same Wednesday. It didn’t seem like much, a slight headache. I didn’t have much contact with anyone who I knew tested positive for COVID-19; therefore, I didn’t think it was the virus.
I was able to record the sermon for our online worship service on 2/13. However, my symptoms started getting worse over the weekend. I was having chills, body aches, and significant fatigue. And slight headache was now a major headache. I thought it would be wise to get tested and scheduled a COVID-19 test (2/14).
My symptoms were continuing to get worse over the next few days. I never experienced breathing issues or a loss of smell or taste. I was sleeping a lot. On Tuesday (2/16) I started feeling a little better. On Wednesday (2/17) I was feeling great comparatively.
I never received the results from the COVID-19 test I took on Sunday. At this point we were confident it was the virus. We wanted to be sure because of the impact it would have on the rest of the family. Jamie, Noah, and I were tested that afternoon. Their tests came back as negative. Unsurprising, my test came back positive.
Sometimes my asthma gives me trouble. Knowing this virus causes lung damage we were monitoring my blood oxygen levels. Unfortunately, as I was feeling better on that Wednesday, I was starting to have trouble breathing and started coughing. My blood oxygen levels were dipping slightly. Not much, down to 92 or 90; however, it was concerning with my asthma. We knew we didn’t want to get behind in this fight.
On Friday (2/19) I went to Urgent Care. I felt my symptoms were mild enough that they would tell me to go home. The virus would need to run its course and to come back if my blood oxygen levels dropped down around 85. However, the doctor who saw me decided to to give me an x-ray. The x-ray showed that I was starting to develop pneumonia. He couldn’t tell me if the pneumonia was caused by the virus or bacterial. He prescribed a steroid and antibiotics.
On Monday (2/22) I started feeling like myself again. Although I was technically out of quarantine, I worked from home. I felt incredibly week and continued to sleep quite a bit. We did decide to cancel in person church for one more week out of an abundance of caution.
Obviously, I had not been running. The dogs were getting restless, and I have some running goals to accomplish this year. I decided that after another week I would get a fresh start on Monday (3/1). When Monday rolled around, I hit the snooze button. I just didn’t have the energy to go.
For reference, I usually run a 5 mile loop Mondays through Saturdays. This last Monday (3/8) I hooked up the dogs and went for my first run. It has been 28 days since I first experienced symptoms. My legs just would not go. They felt like I had already been on a long run, sat down, and was now getting up to run again. I pushed through at about 2 minutes per mile slower than my normal pace. I didn’t experience any breathing issues.
I have continued to run each day this week. I am not getting much faster; however, I have noticed improvement each day.
A Few Things to Note:
I am not confident where I picked up the virus.
We did shut down the church for a few weeks because we had a handful of people test positive for COVID-19. However, it doesn’t seem like any of the people who tested positive were around each other. The timing of symptoms and positive test results lead me to believe that people contracted the virus elsewhere. It seems like it was coincidental we had it at the same time.
This is not the flu.
I feel as though I had an average experience with COVID-19. I know people who contracted the virus and never experience any symptoms. I also know people who have contracted the virus and are still dealing with breathing issues, fatigue, or loss of taste or smell. I know others who have become known as “long haulers.” These are people who had the virus and it attacked their bodies in such a way they will never be the same.
The stress on families is real.
When you have a family member contract the virus life is turned on its side. Naturally, you try to understand the virus; however, the horror stories online cause fear. Quarantining family members from each other is frustrating. Trying to navigate CDC guidelines is confusing. There is real stress.
Jamie, my wife, was incredible. She was a champion for our family, taking care of me, taking care of the kids, and leading us through that season.
We are still learning about the virus. There are people who claim they have it all figured out, they don’t. They are discovering new information all the time.
This is a great opportunity to demonstrate grace.
40 Days and I can confidently say I feel normal again. That was my COVID-19 experience.
(Eventually I did get the results of my first COVID-19 test, 14 Days later, ha!)
This is part one in My COVID-19 Experience. Click here for part 2.