Despite All My Efforts to Protect Myself, I Got COVID-19
It finally happened. COVID-19 found me. After two and a half years of following the guidelines, I couldn’t outwit the virus.
I had two vaccines and a booster on time, and I declined invitations. I wore a mask in Publix and Walgreens even when nobody else was doing it. Dr. Anthony Fauci could’ve made me a poster child for COVID-19 safety and given me an A+ for following protocols.
I live with my immunocompromised mother. She’s supposed to be “living in a bubble,” but over two years in a bubble is a long time. She was bored and lonely, so I took her to bingo and didn’t say anything when she took off her mask. I live in Florida, where very few people wear masks. People were coughing all around us.
We were big losers that night. We never got to yell “bingo.” Instead, I believe, we took home the virus.
Bingo was Sunday night. By Tuesday I had a sore tongue, malaise, and a scratchy throat, but I tested negative when I broke open my home COVID-19 test stockpile. I was relieved, but I knew I was sick. Did I have the flu?
By Wednesday my fever soared to over 103 degrees F, and I felt horrible. I took some Tylenol to lower my fever, but it didn’t work. A repeat home test revealed the dreaded positive double lines that showed I was positive. I tried to mask and stay away from my mother, but on Thursday, she tested positive, too.
I sent an email to my doctor. He prescribed molnupiravir (known by the brand name Lagevrio), a new pill for COVID-19 treatment. After the first two doses, I no longer thought I would wind up in the emergency room.
Over the next few days, I had a laundry list of symptoms: rashes, headache, fever, muscle aches, fatigue, coughing, and a sore throat. At one point, I wondered if I had a throat bleed from coughing. I googled “throat bleed hemophilia” and prepared to infuse for my hemophilia and von Willebrand disease.
My mom had a bit of pneumonia before she caught COVID-19, so her treatment has been steroids and antibiotics. Because she is immune-deficient, I need to isolate from her even though we both have the virus.
Questions and confusion
This situation still leaves me with many questions and much confusion. My doctor said I could leave quarantine after five days, but only if I didn’t have a fever for the 24 hours before. He told me to wear a mask in public for 10 days. I still have a fever, headache, and cough, so my quarantine continues. My doctor didn’t suggest a repeat COVID-19 test, but wouldn’t it be helpful to know if one is still contagious? My mom’s doctor said I needed to wear a mask and isolate myself from her, but for how long?
My first test was negative. How many people don’t bother to repeat the test and go about their business relying on a negative result? I shudder to think that we may be vastly undercounting COVID-19 cases, especially with so many folks testing themselves at home, and no one counting those results.
Spared the worst
I never expected to become sick from the virus, as I know plenty of people who tested positive and had an asymptomatic case. I thought the vaccines would protect me from getting sick. After taking the time to feel sorry for myself, I now feel lucky. I’ve been spared the worst of COVID-19’s misery, as has my mom. I know it could be much worse.
We’re all tired of COVID-19. I don’t know that having the virus changes anything for us, except I’m nervous about getting COVID-19 again. I feel vulnerable, and I wonder if the virus is outsmarting our vaccines.
Nonetheless, I realize the vaccine and molnupiravir probably kept me out of the hospital. We’ll keep wearing our masks and doing our best from now on. That’s all we can ask of ourselves.
Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.