My experience with Covid – a timeline

Monday May 2nd – Anna tested positive for Covid, I felt pretty good and okay for a few days. Anna slept in the spare room to minimise my chances of catching it, so she wouldn’t be coughing and breathing all over me all night. During the day we kept the doors open for ventilation and sat separately, I did all the cooking.

Thursday 5th (the last day I did a workout) – started to get a sore throat, and post-nasal drip which I attributed to hayfever. Being in isolation all week clicked my brain into shutdown mode, which wasn’t great for my mood all round. 

Friday 6th RAT negative

Finished the audiobook of The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams 

Saturday 7th – definitely had a cold. Stuffed up nose, gunky throat and night sweats. RAT negative 

Sunday 8th, had a very miserable night, temperature up and down, sniffles and night sweat. RAT in the morning said I had Covid. The red test line turned up before the control line, and was so dark it looked black. Felt dopey and sniffly all day, two naps. Resolved to be the best covid patient ever and ditched my goals for the week/month and made my new goals: rest, hydrate and take the meds 

Monday 9th. The Covid moved into my chest officially. I was stuffed up in my nose, and my chest was tight and crackly. I coughed and I could feel the wheezing, so I started to use the respirin (ventolin equivalent) every couple of hours, napped, felt sorry for myself. 

Finished the ebook Natural Twenty by Charlie Novak 

Tuesday the 10th one of the GPs from the medical center I go to called up to check on me. He asked lots of good questions, and when he heard how often I was using the respirin he said that was more than he liked, and that he’d prescribe me a better inhaler. “Also, take more puffs of respirin if you need it. Let’s give your lungs a break”. Anna picked up the turbuhaler, cough medicine and some other meds. I was already in bed when Anna came home with them, the combination of two inhalers absolutely cleared my head. Otrivin cleared the nasal passages which also helped.

Wednesday 11th, I realised just how bad my breathing and coughing had been for the last two days because suddenly I could breathe and my head cleared up a bit. Bit scary in retrospect. I couldn’t really nap because as soon as I lay down I started coughing. 

Read Cats of the Louvre by Taiyo Matsumoto and Michael Arias

“So it turns out I have Covid worse than Anna. After a pretty okay first couple of days of feeling like I had a bad cold, it moved to my chest and made it pretty damn hard to breathe. I had a call from my GP to check in on me yesterday and when he heard how much I was using the respirin inhaler he said “Oh. You’re *quite* poorly, let’s get you something better.”

Anna picked me up the something better – a turbuhaler, and the difference I’ve noticed in the two times I’ve used it since then made me realise just how bad my breathing had been.

So that’s good! I didn’t sleep as much as I’d have liked last night because side sleeping is a NO or I cough, and it’s harder to fall asleep on my back. Plus, Mochi woke me up a couple of times to ask me to check her food bowl with her and she’s very face slappy if I don’t comply. BUT after a rough couple of days my head is clearer and I am feeling like I’m improving.

I’m at the downloading apps stage of illness, which is where the new profile photo came from. I also downloaded Klept2cats and two cute aesthetic games (Tsuki and Adorable Home). I’ve had naps every day since Saturday and I am very conscious of my fluids and the warmth of my chest. I’ve also finished reading a couple of books, which is great, even if the books weren’t that great.”

12th: I felt better enough that I didn’t need a nap in the afternoon. I did the washing (through the dryer not hanging things out) and even had the energy to clean the kitchen a bit after dinner.

Rested almost all day and went to bed early but there have been definite improvements. Still sniffly and a gross throat, but using the reliever inhaler a lot less and barely needed other meds today. Technically my last day of isolation but didn’t feel well enough to go out. 

Finished Recipe for a Kinder Life by Annie Smithers 

13th, 14th: Bad sleep. A lot of the time I was sick I had trouble sleeping, maybe due to the use of the steroid inhalers messing with heart rates, or just because my temperature was all up and down. Did a couple more chores. Focused on eating regularly, using meds when needed and staying hydrated. 

Read the Manga Classic version of Sense and Sensibility by Stacy King, Po Tse and Jane Austen and the first volume of Alice in Borderland by Haro Aso

15th: my first time out of the house in two weeks. Symptoms minimal except for sleepiness/brain fog. I did my normal Sunday morning streaming on youtube, filmed some tiktoks, tidied up a little, and then Anna drove us out to the mall and the Warehouse and I did some shopping at Kmart and Daiso. It was very empowering, to feel like part of the world again, but also surreal. I didn’t feel like I should be “allowed” out. I guess I thought a lot about how if I’d got sick in 2020 or 2021 I’d have been shut up in a hotel for at least two weeks, with Anna, and both of us worrying about Mochi because she’d not have been able to come with us. 

I did a bit more tidying and my head started to throb, and my heart pounded, so I stopped, and went to bed early, and focused on slow even breathing. 

Monday 16th: my cough came back, with a chest rattle/wheeze, brain fog and some dizziness, so I took all the meds and sat still under my warm blanket and watched movies for the whole day, in between naps.

17th: Felt a bit better again, head cleared of fog, but was still very sleepy. Started to feel really antsy, like I should be able to do more, be more productive, be well again by now. It was really scary to have a relapse like that. Rested most of the day. 

18th: had a really good 8+ hours of sleep and initially felt good when I got up but realised my breathing was laboured after making breakfast and my head felt stuffed. So rested all morning. I was determined to go to TimeOut books and pick up something they’d ordered in for me, so out I went. Had an appointment and came home for a chill evening. 

19 – 24th – rested, did just one or two things a day and generally felt okay 

Finished Rolling in the Deep by Mira Grant and My Secret Admirer by Carol Ellis

24th: another resurgence of laboured breathing, and took a puff of reliever inhaler for the first time in a while. 

25th: evening out at the movies with Ellen! Saw the Princess Bride! Ensured we could use the lift out of the Academy cinema for my covid lungs and Ellen’s pregnant body. Survived! 

26th – 27th – doing one thing a day, resting most of the time, being very gentle with self. Battle with self : wanting to do all the things, write all the books, clean entire house, etc but knowing I can’t. Trying to tell myself to do just a little less than I’m capable of each day. But then I feel like I’m not doing enough, helping enough, house getting messier, etc etc. Frustrating. 

Finished the Waitress by Sinclair Smith

28th: woke up with a scratchy throat, but did my youtube streams, tidied house some, swept up leaves in front yard, and then had 11 people over for Eurovision. I didn’t drink alcohol, but it was an energetic evening of shouting and laughing and exclaiming over yellow wolves. It wasn’t a late night but it did drain me more than I’d ever had before from a Eurovision viewing party. 

29th: restful day except streams, and laundry, and a trip out to the mall and supermarket. Getting a lot colder as Winter comes on. When it came time to sleep, I started coughing and really had trouble stopping. I could hear my chest rattling, took all the meds, and had a little breakdown over “what if this is just my life now and I never have my energy levels back again?” Huge props to Anna for comforting me and talking me through this, and assuring me that whatever happens, we’ll get through it together. Decision made to go see my Dr and ask for the second covid booster. 

30th: bad night’s sleep. Official ‘sick day’ with coughing, laboured breathing and head fuzz, stayed in PJs, lots of naps and feeling sorry for myself. 

31st May: a better sleep, breathing much improved, not coughing as much but felt absolutely exhausted. Big achievement of the day was to make a Hello Fresh dinner, and I was absolutely shattered after that. Had a bath and went to bed early. Anna and I decided that I should basically go into isolation and stay at home doing nothing until Armageddon weekend. 

Read Good Talk by Mira Jacob 

1 June: restful day, although I started coughing when I went for a nap, which just feels so freaking unfair, so I just read in bed instead of sleeping. Concentration was really lacking, so tired.

2nd: made Anna drive me to chemist warehouse for Codral nighttime so I could start getting better night’s sleep. Also picked up books from the library (woops, was meant to be on house arrest welp). Nap.

3rd: did a couple of errands for Anna while they were at school working. Started watching Gilmore Girls. We went to the mall in the evening for a couple of things, had a fantastic sleep thanks to codral night time. 

4th – 6th: pretty okay, managed to rest a lot, get some stuff done and made progress on a few products. Although on the 6th I had a meltdown over making dinner because the brain fog took over and I couldn’t understand the instructions. I could tell I wasn’t processing things the way I used to, I can feel the lack. Terrifying. I get frightened and then I stress myself out over being frightened, which I feel guilty about because I should be resting and staying as calm as possible. Vicious circle, that one. 

Finished In Deeper Waters by FT Lukens

7th June – helped out with Anna packing up Grandma’s apartment (she’s moved to a rest home). Picked up some supplies for armageddon at Warehouse Stationery and Daiso, got bubble tea. Felt okay but very sleepy. 

8th – epic 9 hour sleep! Spent day sorting things for Armageddon, had message from author we were sharing the table with that their house was in iso, so some stressful hours finding cover, organising times for picking up books, when people could come and cover, getting them passes, etc etc. Had people over for writing club in the evening. 

9th: chill TV day and nap, absolutely nothing else

10th: slept badly, felt wiped, but had Things To Do. Picked up books from other author, printed stuff at Warehouse Stationery, hit the chemist warehouse, packed up my car with all our stuff, nap, then out to ASB showgrounds where the drop off point was unclear and we were confused about things (stressful), but managed to get the booth set up in time. Met helpful friends, brought them to our booth and gave them the run down of all the things, had a lovely 3 hours of Armageddon with friendly people and some sales. 

11th and 12th = Armageddon weekend. BIG. Talked to lots and lots of people, sold books, soaps, Snail Mail Paper Tales. Came home for a nap Sat afternoon then went back in for Sat night. Absolutely shattered by Sunday evening, crashed out with KFC with helpful friends at our place, went to bed early. 

13th slept pretty deeply but Mochi was disruptive. Rest day. Napped, journaled, read my book 

14th: woke up feeling great, which I DIDN’T expect at all. Was energetic so I packed up some things to sell, and went out to Mt Eden to post them and pick up some more books at Timeout. Celebrating my success of the weekend is my excuse. Stomach issues – possibly a covid symptom flaring up, possibly just from various foods, or the stress of the weekend making itself known. Nap, did some cleaning up. 

15th: went into an office for the first time in forever, took a RAT and was relieved it was negative, and spent the day coordinating my old team in a Big Room Planning meeting. Noticed that I was having trouble processing stuff, it was taking me longer than usual to do things or to understand, and it was stuff I knew I used to know, which was quite distressing. I got very aggressively tired mid afternoon, so was happy when the team got to a place where we could leave it off and I could drive home and sleep. Bath and early to bed. 

16th: second day of BRP but remote working this time which was a lot more manageable for me, still very tired at the end of it though.

Finished reading I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston 

17th – 18th:  some little jobs, lots of rest, then decided that my whole office needs a clear out so started moving all the random boxes, etc out into the lounge to sort through and reorganise. 

Finished reading Nick and Charlie by Alice Oseman

19th: woke full of energy and feeling GREAT, did a bunch of sorting out, tidying, cleaning, had a good breakfast, did my writing stream and made some good progress on WIP. Friends dropped by, had chats, catch ups, Mario Kart and watched Speed Racer 

20th: another day waking up full of energy! I did a little sewing, first time in a long time, and made mask holder strings for Anna and myself. Then we drove down to Manaukau to get things to organise my office: new shelves, a three tier trolley, collapsible plastic crates for storing my books, then we took lunch to Anna’s mum at Grandma’s old flat and helped out there for a bit. Brief bit of rest before going out and catching up with a visiting Wellington friend at Tanuki’s Cave. 

21st: pretty chill, sorting office, etc 

22nd: did washing, felt okay, it hadn’t rained for a while so I mowed the lawn. It was overdue, the grass was very long indeed. Mindful of my energy, I did the front part of the lawn, and then came in for a break and launch, before doing the rest of the mowing.  After this I got very sleepy and fell asleep on the couch. I went to bed early and slept almost 9 hours, although it was hard to fall asleep. Had a meltdown over being overtired.  

23rd: took it very easy indeed. Sleeping 9 hours and needing to take it easy was my first hint that mowing the lawn might have been Too Much. Chill day of rest and TV. 

24th and our first public holiday for Matariki. Slept in, took it easy with TV and friend dropping by for a cup of tea. Had a nap, felt tired out. 

Finished reading You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan. 

25th: did my sprints, felt good about that. Headed out to the Sylvia Park mall on some errands, it was very busy, and draining. Had a nap. Friends came around and we watched the new Dr Strange movie which was lovely. 

26th: overslept, which wouldn’t have been a problem for a Sunday except we were meeting Anna’s family for brunch. I had the deep, intense sleep of being sick again. We did get to brunch just about on time, which was fine, but it was weirdly taxing. The covid exhaustion, from doing too much was well and truly back. We managed to hit SaveMart after. When we got home I managed to weed a little of the vege patch to make some space for my beetroot seedlings. Mochi came and meowed at me, led me inside and to bed. I took her advice, finished off my wedding and had a rest in bed. I had started to feel ill, as in nauseous and not wanting food. Decision to refocus on the basics: rest, hydration and eating regularly, taking meds when needed. 

27th: restarted my old job, on a temporary basis and for 16 hours a week remotely.  Felt alright enough after to go do some shopping and errands with Anna. Was quite wiped out after all that so rested for the rest of the day. 

Finished reading the second volume of the Fangirl manga by Rainbow Rowell

28th: Full rest day, aside from one thing: put my beetroot seedlings into the vegetable patch. It was pretty straight forward and the rest of the day was napping, reading and watching Gilmore Girls. 

29th: some work time, rested, then went out for a counselling appointment and got the advice to slow down and be careful with myself. Which I knew I should be doing but sometimes it’s nice to hear from someone else as well. Had writing club in the evening, which was very nice, but I was firm about kicking people out at 9 so I could get to bed. 

30th: Mochi was very noisy and disruptive to my sleep so I didn’t rest well and got another stomach upset. Had a good day remotely working. After that I was exhausted again, so I had a sleep before dinner. 

1st July: I had to get up early to go to the root canal specialist and get the first stage of my root canal completed. It went alright although I had to go and get a full jaw scan after in case there’s more complicated things going on. Came home and had a big nap to sleep off the local anaesthetic and felt better afterwards. Chill out afternoon but got some writing done in front of the TV. 

2nd July: changed some things around to make Mochi happy at night and as a result had the best sleep ever. Had a very good writing day, writing a short story first long hand and then typing it up during my morning writing streams. Feeling a bit better, mind fogginess of the last few days definitely had cleared up.

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