There are few people who have not been affected in some shape or form by the pandemic. It seems a long time ago since the first outbreak in Wuhan, China with the first confirmed cases in the UK of COVID-19 at the end of January 2020. I for one didn’t think that in February 2021 we would be in our third lockdown. This is a more personal blog than I normally write, but I feel I have to as my daughter and me recently tested positive for COVID-19. I have collaborated with Annie Dixon from Writing and Blogging who set me a few questions. From the outset, I do not want to cast any doubt on the gravity of the situation that we find ourselves in, but I am trying to just give some hope and take away some of the fear or worry you may have if you find yourself testing positive. If I can help at least one person, it will have been worth writing it down.
We tested positive for COVID-19 on 4 January 2021. This article outlines how I got through it and how I was able to use my skills as a qualified and experienced Emotional Healing & Wellbeing Practitioner.
1. How did you feel when you heard the news?
I kind of knew it would be positive because my daughter had come into contact with somebody who had tested positive and she was showing symptoms. I was also experiencing a loss of taste and smell and so I was expecting it. But there was that initial moment of fear and worry of what is this going to do to us because of all the negative stories on the news and in the press. I knew the best thing to do was release the fear before it had a chance to kick in. It only took me a short time to work through, but it made a big difference to my emotional wellbeing.
1. What symptoms did you have initially, and how did you feel going through it?
My first symptom was extreme fatigue, which I put down to being really busy with working and Christmas and not having had a proper holiday during the year, as I normally would. Next came a pathetic sounding cough and when my taste and smell went I knew I needed to get tested. Over the next couple of days the fatigue intensified and the cough got worse. I also suffered with the occasional headache. My chest was sore at times and my kidneys ached a little. The next step was to clear my diary and spend the next week in bed. I kept reminding myself how lucky I was as I was still doing a lot better than some others.
2. What are your top tips for recovery?
· The thing I concentrated on first was releasing the fear and worry as it takes a lot of energy to be stuck in such a heightened state of emotion and I needed the little bit of energy I had to recover. In doing that I had trust in my body that I would get through it and be OK.
· I was also aware that my daughter would be looking to me for reassurance, so it was important for me to be at peace with our experience so it would help her emotionally too. Experience has shown that the calmer I am, the easier it is for her to feel calm.
· I thoroughly recommend doing breathing exercises. An app on my watch helps me to do this as I spend a minute at a time focussing on my breathing. That made a big difference to the depth of my breath and helped with the cough.
· Take time out. Don’t beat yourself up about what you feel you should be doing or what isn’t getting done. Getting back to a healthy state and looking after my daughter was my main priority and concentrating on that took a lot of the pressure away. I gave myself permission to have a messy house - I have a 13 year old, what did I expect!!
· Just focus on doing something that will keep you still. I love reading but I didn’t even have the energy to read a book so I watched a box set - all 69 episodes and had movie nights with my daughter and that got us through. I also kept in contact with my immediate family as it can feel quite isolating realising that you can’t leave the house even if you want to. Knowing they were there was a big bonus.
· I resigned myself to the fact we were eating ready meals for a week. It’s not how we would normally live but it was necessary as they take minimal strength to prepare. As the only adult in the house it was still my job to provide dinner. Doing it this way certainly made meal times quick and easy.
· Keep a positive attitude and trust you will be OK in the end. We can’t change what’s going to happen but by changing how we feel about it, we can change our experience. We did everything we could to keep our spirits up.
3. How are you feeling now? Have you tested negative?
You are not tested again to see if you’re negative. However, I was called 3 times by the NHS Test and Trace during the 10 days I had to isolate. They were very helpful and supportive and on the final day of isolation, they let me know that I could go out from the next day. Unfortunately, I still wasn’t feeling quite right so we ended up staying inside for around 16 days. I also wanted to guard against anyone catching it from us. As far as I am aware, we didn’t pass it on to anybody and for that I am truly grateful. I would say I’m about 80% back to my normal self now. I usually exercise in some way every day Monday to Friday but I haven’t gone back to that yet. I’m hoping to start again soon. My taste and smell are finally trying to come back after 5 weeks.
4. Can you sum up how to look after yourself?
· Be patient with yourself – you won’t be able to do what you normally do
· Do breathing exercises
· Relax as much as you can – you may feel very tired
· Develop a positive mindset
Comments from Karen Hoad
I was suddenly plunged into a scenario involving the ‘fear of the unknown’. I did know however that the majority of people do make a full recovery form COVID-19, but I also know of people who have not been so lucky. My aim is to encourage people who do test positive to help them get through it. Being in fear takes a lot of energy and you will need to save your energy to recover. It’s best to put that energy to a positive use.
If you find yourself in a similar situation and you feel I can help you emotionally, please do get in touch by calling 07766 427966 or email firstname.lastname@example.org