It was the moment I had been dreading since the news hit that Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson had come down with Covid. I woke up feeling a bit off. My stomach was just not right, but we had sushi the night before and I figured there must have been a piece that was bad. I took the kids to a park to play with friends since we had been gone all summer and the guilt trip about how I was ruining their social lives was heavy and effective. God I regret doing this.
When we got home I needed to lay down. Something wasn’t right. It was a wave of exhaustion that I could not fight. I should have started to get suspicious. But I have three kids, a dog and a brand new puppy that barked all night. Obviously I’m exhausted. Anyways, I was vaccinated, and we were always so careful. Covid didn’t even seem like it was in the realm of possibility.
I let the kids play Roblux, and I went to lay down. I hate Roblux but wow does it keep them entertained. I was now starting to shake. I took my temperature and it was 100.7. Low grade. Shit. I started to think it could be Covid. Bobby was out of town, and I was alone with the kids. I somehow pushed through the rest of the day trying to keep my distance from them. If I did have Covid maybe there was a chance I could spare them. We watched a movie and I sent them to bed. I could not even get up to tuck them in. Oh my god what do I do if I have it?! Bobby got home that night. He had been traveling all day and was dealing with cancelled and delayed fights. I hadn’t even told him I felt sick. By some weird luck, he stayed on the couch that night, because he didn’t want to wake me.
When I woke up Sunday the fever was still low but the chills were shaking me to the core. I knew it, in my bones, this was it. I took a rapid test that my mom had at her house and it turned positive right away. Suddenly every interaction I had throughout the last week flashed before my eyes. It was bad enough that I had COVID and I was feeling really sick, but the idea that I had given this to my kids or anyone else was making my already bad tummy even worse.
I had to start making calls. My Abuelo had died this week. I hadn’t seen my family in so long, but now I had just seen all my uncles and aunts at a dinner on Wednesday, and the last thing anyone needed was COVID- I had to call them. I was at the park play date the day before, and I had to call them. Luckily that was really the extent of my interactions. But I would not rest easy until I knew that everyone was OK. Now I had to go home and tell my kids.
I underestimated just how anxious and scared my kids have become throughout the last year and a half. My kids were worried about me, as if I was going to die. That’s what they hear on the news. I had to suck it up and put my best face on, and look at them to reassure them that it was going to be ok. In reality, I was nervous that they would get it and god forbid become a statistic. I wasn’t nervous, I was terrified.
Bobby and I decided that I would go to the bedroom and we would try the best we could to keep him and the kids from getting sick. Yes, there was already exposure. Yes, they likely already had it. But I just couldn’t imagine not trying. One of my kids had a history of lung complications, and if I could keep them from getting this monster of a virus- I was going to try.
Once I was in the room, I didn’t have to put a brave face for anyone, and I collapsed. I guess I also didn’t realize the fear and anxiety I was holding back. I was not feeling well. Why wasn’t I feeling well? I was vaccinated. Shouldn’t this be like a walk in the park? I was shivering and then sweating. I felt so tired that I could not physically keep my eyes open and it hurt me to even pick up my cup to drink water. I had sinus pressure that made my eyes feel like they would pop out of my head, and the headache was overwhelming. I fell asleep.
The next day my husband took the kids out for a walk avoiding all humans. I was suddenly jolted awake because my heart felt like it would burst out of my chest. I had to get myself up to get water. My apple watch showed my heart rate was at 157 bpm and I began to panic. I called my doctor, and he asked me to come to the office, COVID and all, because I have high blood pressure and am on medicine that should prevent my heart rate from getting so out of hand. I was scared. I had to drive myself because we were trying to prevent the spread in our home.
I was told to stay in bed, and watch my heart rate. Thankfully, by the end of the day it had started to settle. I cried. I felt so alone. It had only been two days, but the isolation was killing me. My kids wanted to see me, and all I wanted was to be with them. The irony is not lost on me, considering all I had been asking for was some alone time. I washed my face, and went out to my balcony. We figured they could meet on our other balcony and it felt safe for a hello and a catchup. I also felt relieved that we were far enough away that they couldn’t see how sick I was or that I had been crying.
Tuesday morning, we found out our oldest had now tested positive. I was devastated. I had infected them. How would she respond? What if she had a bad response? We decided to continue to keep the family separated because Bobby and the other two kids were still testing negative, and while I was probably being naive, I had hope.
Eventually the other two kids did get it. At this point, we stopped keeping everyone separated as it was now kind of pointless. It seemed to be doing more harm than good. Bobby was still testing negative, but he tried his best to keep distance and take care of himself. Grateful to report, the kids each had mild symptoms and recovered perfectly. When you read the news, and see how other people and families do not get out so lucky you really hug your kids a little tighter. I don’t know why this virus affects everyone so differently, but I’m sending love to anyone out there who has lost someone they love or is dealing with long haul symptoms.
Since making it public that my family was in COVID quarantine, I have received so many questions. What that told me, is that it isn’t just me and it isn’t just my kids but we all have some pretty heavy anxiety and desperation when it comes to this virus. I wanted to do my best to answer some of the questions that I have received, in hopes to help even just one of you with any anxiety or fear you have around your family possibly getting it. I also wanted to share my story, because I felt isolated and confused while I had COVID. I hadn’t really heard or read too many stories. I hope that it helps someone feel less alone as they go through it. If you have any questions I didn’t answer below, just let me know.
- Were you vaccinated? Yes I was vaccinated. My doctor told me the vaccine helped keep COVID from being far worse- and I can’t even imagine what that would have been like.
- What vaccine and when? Pfizer and I received my second shot on April 4
- Were you being safe? I have to be honest I do not like this question and it’s actually the most common. I know you don’t mean to be, but it is kind of judge-y. Let’s be more gentle with our words here. This question is also relative and in my opinion, hard to answer. We believe that because our kids are too young for vaccines, that we should do what we can to minimize risks. We were very good about wearing masks. We only ate at restaurants outside. My husband works from home and had not been in an office since we got back from our RV. The kids were not in camp. But again, what is safe to me – is not safe to you. We all have a different idea of what is risky behavior. No one is out here just trying to get COVID, I mean I hope not.
- Where do you think you got it? I believe I got it at Publix or in my building. The Publix on Miami Beach that I went to was full of people without masks, and is a hot spot for tourists. My building is small and we are all for the most part vaccinated, but there have been some break through infections and if I’m honest I did get in the elevator from time to time without a mask since I was walking Otis, our new puppy, about 100 times each day. Probably should have just taken that extra 30 seconds to grab the mask at the entrance table.
- What made you think you had COVID? It started as just a bad stomach. Then I got the sinus pressure and then the low grade fever set in. The fever was what made me think I should get tested. In hind sight I think the other two symptoms should have been just as alarming and would say that if you are feeling off you should just go get tested to be sure.
- What were your symptoms? It started with the tummy ache, then I had sinus pressure that was so horrible I could feel my eyes popping out each time I bent down. Anyone who has kids or dogs knows this is often. Then the fever started to come in and the chills were really my worst symptom. They made me cry. Then the sinus subsided but I started to cough a lot and a bad headache set in. My heart also began to have palpitations and would go from beating very fast to very slow, and this for me was the scariest symptom and had me the most worried. I was also just extremely extremely tired. Just walking to the bathroom would send me into an hour nap.
- How long were you feeling sick for? Each symptom seemed to have about a 24 hour life span. I started to feel better around day 6, and I only just started to get my energy back recently which would be around Day 16. All any mom needs around the start of school is to feel extra tired.
- How did you know the kids had it? We were testing the kids with PCR or rapid tests every other day. However each child would complain of a headache the day before they tested positive.
- What did the kids feel? Each child handled it differently. I will say each of them were feeling symptoms for no more than 2 days. The symptoms were a loss of appetite, tired, headache and there were sniffles. One of them had a low grade fever on and off for a day. No cough. After about two days each of them slowly returned back to normal and it was as if nothing had happened.
- Bobby asked me, Would I have just let the whole family be together from the start? I have to say no. For me, I had to try. I had to try to keep my kids from getting this virus. I was vaccinated. I was vaccinated and I felt like I got hit by a bus. I had to at least try to keep it from them.
- Did Bobby get it? No. Bobby has been testing with the kids each time they go, and he is still testing negative. This may or may not validate my idea for us to stay away from each other.
- What was the worst part? Besides feeling very sick, I would say the isolation. Being isolated from everyone when you’re feeling sick really sucks (for lack of a better word). I would also say the fear and anxiety over thinking you may have gotten your kids or someone else sick.
- How long were you quarantined for? As of right now you are recommended to quarantine for 7-10 says from the onset of symptoms. We quarantined each person for the full 10 days in our home, and made sure there were 2 negative PCR tests before allowing anyone to return back to the world. This left my middle daughter, Dylan stuck in the house for 20 days. The reason being, her quarantine started at my exposure, but she did not turn positive until 10 days in. This left her having to stay home a little longer than the other two. Bobby as well because we did not know if he would end up testing positive.
- What rapid test did I use? My sister works for an amazing company called eMed and I was able to order a couple of 6 packs. I love to have them and they are very accurate. When I was positive it lit up like a Christmas tree. You can order yours HERE I would definitely recommend having some on hand. I think the rapid tests are a great tool for you to have at home to help alleviate the “do I have it” anxiety and also convenient for when you hear you have an exposure or someone is sniffly.
- Did the kids we played with at the park get COVID? I am happy to report they are COVID free as is their mom, and hope that it means that if we keep it outdoors it may be a safe way to allow our kids to keep being kids.
- What can you do to help someone who has COVID? I am so blessed with an amazing family and some wonderful friends. Sending a big thank you to them here for taking such good care of me and my family. The number one thing you can do is check in. Even if that person doesn’t get back to you right away. Just a friendly “thinking of you” text can go along way. If you want to do more see if you can handle a meal for the family, or drop off some gatorade or other liquids. Liquids are important with this monster virus. I would say though that just the check in would do more than you know.
If you have any questions that I didn’t answer, feel free to message me.
If you feel you may have COVID, go get tested and call your doctor