It is with trepidation that I am putting my experiences to paper and posting this in my blog. This is because unscrupulous persons are already trying their best to sell me things ‘that will cure me of Covid19’. This is really annoying. I do not care for scams or people who want to make money from this terrible virus! Good friends requested for me to share my experiences so that it might help others and they might find it useful.
My son was taken ill on the 26th December and was in bed literally curled up like a foetus for 48 hours refusing food, most unlike him and saying he had never felt so badly in his life. On the third day he woke up and wanted to order a burger for breakfast! However he was nursing a lingering cough for a week after. He is perfectly fine now and has gone straight back to work. A colleague of his, asymptomatic (carrier of virus but do not show symptoms) passed the virus to the whole precinct. The entire police station was closed for 10 days! Now they have started Covid19 testing daily, 30 minutes before going home.
My daughter is also asymptomatic. She just had a mild flu like symptom for two days. She did not suffer any of the symptoms we had nor lose her appetite. Luckily for her and luckily for me too as she helped boiled congee, cooked tin soup, cleaned house, fetched and carried for her mummy.
The hubby and I fell sick two days later on the night of 28th December.
- How it started – Hubby started with shivering, muscles twitching and spasm. He felt faint and immediately went to lie in bed. It would not have been good for a big chap like him to fall down. I was spared that. As for me it started with fever, shivering and funny head spinning that come on suddenly. I have to sit down or fall down. For the next five days or so we were like walking zombies. It was just a matter of taking paracetomel (panadol) and ibuprofen. Sleep and more sleep (if possible) and woke up more tired again. We both suffered from extreme fatigue. We had light fever and I just wanted to cry and kept thinking of the few classmates I have already lost to Covid19. It was a horrible last week of December for me. My lips were all dry and my tongue looked like crocodile skin even though I did not stop drinking.
- Week 2 – Next came the coughing. It is unlike any flu or cold coughs. I normally do not have flu or cold often so it is very hard for me to deal with this. The cough came in fits and happened at least once every hour. It tired me out and created pain in my already enlarged heart and tender back left shoulder and left elbow. I could not sleep at night, no matter how I arranged my pillows, how high or low, sleeping on the left, right or on my belly. It just did not work. I could only rest sitting up. Every time I attempted to lie down I coughed badly. The Covid19 support doctor recommended a cough suppressant medication. The hubby could take it but I could not. This is because it has opioid and that makes me hug my toilet bowl with much love, throwing up. The breathlessness is extremely difficult and scary too. Going upstairs is like climbing up a mountain. My Fitbit don’t even registered me going upstairs because I have to go up painstakingly; slowly, as I am catching my breath with each laboriously step I took, both hands holding onto the railings. There was actually a point when I thought I have to open my laptop and put my Will where my family could easily find it!
- Week 3 – The coughing seems to be worse for me but the hubby was healing as he has no underlying health problems. He could sleep at night and his coughing got better and better and he could eat more. He was doing very good breathing exercises but it was still very difficult for me. I was very jealous of him. I did not realised I was just breathing shallowly until my classmate, who is a GP here asked me if I have done my breathing exercises. She sent me a link, (Google Covid19 breathing exercises NHS). I read it and I have been doing it ever since. It was very difficult going for me at first. Every deep breath means coughing my guts out. This in turn made me wet myself! The best time to do this is in the hot shower, the hot humid atmosphere helps a ton! Just sit under the hot jets of water and do deep breathing. I have taken to hot showering twice a day even in winter! I coughed a lot and wet myself a lot but it is freedom to be able to do it in the hot shower! As for the daytime I find myself feeling much more secure and less stressful after investing in incontinence lady pants! The rush to get to the toilet in time when I suddenly have a coughing fit was elimated!
- Week 4 – Onwards I begin to feel a bit better. Breathing is not so difficult and the acute tiredness is getting better too. I really REALLY credit this to the breathing exercises. One of my biggest fears was if I had more breathing difficulties I would have to go into hospital. I have been surviving mostly on tin soup; rice congee and friends have been ‘Ding-Donging’ my doorbell and bringing me food and herbal soups. (Deepest gratitude to those great friends, you know who you are) I really do not have much appetite but I knew I have to eat.
- Week 5 – The month of January 2021 has passed me by. I last remembered vividly cooking Christmas lunch and posting in my blog and missing my classmates who got taken by this virus. Suddenly it’s February! I started to try getting back to some sense of normality. Trying to boil soup and cook simple food but have accidentally cut myself twice with my knife and burn myself a few times as my hands seems to have no energy and is shaky. This might seem weird but breaking an egg is not now an easy task! I make a mess! The egg shells seem to be tougher or it might be just me!
- Week 6 – I am still coughing well. There seems to be a lump inside my throat, not itchy, just now and again it wants me to cough my heart out. I have taken a bit of interest in life again with my trusty incontinence pants and dare even to venture out to the shops to buy some Chinese New Year goodies. It seems to be a long but hopefully steady road to recovery.
- Week 7 – Today I started my 7th week post Covid19. I am still having shaking hands though a lot better, I am still coughing and wetting myself in the process when it happens (Thank goodness for incontinence pants), needing painkillers to sleep is happening less and less, my head no longer spins and make me faint. I can actually string a few sentences together without coughing my guts out. I am no longer sick or suffer from diarrhoea. I can breathe better and I am still here on earth! I talked to an old friend today on the phone and she was so happy to hear there is ‘strength’ in my voice she said. Life is slowly getting back to some sort of the new ‘normal’ for me. The family commented the house is noisy again.
For the first couple of weeks I had Milo and dunked a few crackers for brunch. No breakfast was needed as not being able to sleep well at nights means I only make it downstairs at around 10 am. I have a lot of tin soups, chicken or mushrooms soups whenever I feel I can eat without being sick or diarrhoea. I did not have much appetite or wanted anything else. Then slowly on the 3rd week I started to have white bread with butter and a teaspoon of condense milk. Reminiscience of childhood days food when I was sick. Sometimes I have soft boiled eggs and a slice of bread. Friends and daughter made me congee and even lean Chinese BBQ pork for me to eat with some rice. I try to eat at least one meal a day even if it’s 2 tablespoon of rice. In between I drink a lot, sipping hot water with a bit of lemon juice and Manuka honey all day making sure I drink my daily ration of water.
I have been advised to take tons of ginger, lemons, herbal (Chinese), steamed orange, pears, and others but in the end you just have to eat whatever you want. Nothing and not one particular advice is a sure help as this virus effect different people differently. It is just an experiment to find out what you can eat, want to eat and keep it down.
At one point I was overdosed in everything ginger, fresh ginger, ginger cordial, crystallized ginger, preserved ginger, ginger drops, ginger yogurt, but I was still coughing very badly and my tonsils and tongue were ‘raw’ from taking them. There was that time when I tried drinking some white ginseng roots with hot water and 15 minutes later my head was spinning and I wanted to pass out! So I drank a pint glass of water immediately to dilute it and sat down. That was really scary. Then another time I have this bright idea to boil light herbal soup and drink like water all day because I want to get rid of this fatigue but after that, I suffered 2 days of terrible coughing. Since then I dare not boil any herbal soup till now. Maybe later on.
I only wanted to drink and eat everything really hot. The heat burns my throat and it feels wonderful. I zapped my drink in the microwave all day long before drinking whenever it gets cold. I have tried everything recommended, but in the end I find I prefer drinking a quarter lemon + a teaspoon of Manuka honey; I make a big mug about 500ml each time. (Hubby declared I drank hundreds of £ of Manuka honey)
When my coughing fits is really bad I suck on a quarter of the very strong Hall’s menthol eucalyptus sweet. When someone phone, I quickly take one so I can talk without coughing too much. Hubby cut each sweet into 4 quarters for me and I just take a quarter whenever needed. Every night for the past few weeks I need a quarter to help me sleep. The cough sweet really helps to soothe my throat. So blissful but it does kills your appetite a bit.
I have also started eating natural plain bio yogurts, honey and ginger and drink organic kefir. Depending on my mood I add fresh lemon juice, Manuka honey or chopped crystallized ginger to it myself. The yogurt also sooth my throat and I enjoyed them. I never used to eat much yogurt before.
Yesterday I noted 6 coughing fits for the whole day, (fantastic news)! I managed to cook simple meals by taking my time preparing some, rest and then continuing. Cooking is simple nowadays not only because I am scared of cutting myself but becuase our appetites is still not back to normal and we found not eating too much for dinner gives us better night sleeps. I have even managed to bake 2 simple Victoria Sponge cakes yesterday as my son requested one for another colleague’s retirement and hubby requested one for us.
My family are all well except for hubby having a rare coughing fit now and again but it took longer for me for I am a diabetic with an enlarged heart trying to recover still from a painful left neck, frozen shoulder and bursitis, facing menopause and now covid19. The last year has been horrible for me but I am extremely grateful to still be here and pray for a better year for us all in 2021!
A heartfelt thanks to the friends who have done shopping for me, cooked for me and care so much for me. I am very touched and words just could not express my gratefulness.
Here are some of the food I have eaten in the past 6 weeks. They have steadilly been improving.