The start of this story is Friday the 13th March - now I am not superstitious about Friday 13th so I wasn't expecting any unfortunate events to happen.
Maegan (age 8) seemed a little unwell, just a cold - typical runny nose and a little bit of a cough.
We had heard her with a croupy sounding cough once or twice in the night, it's a pattern we have noticed with Meg since she was a toddler, a croupy cough before an illness.
She wasn't particularly unwell, the sort of snuffle that under normal circumstances wasn't enough to not go into school but we kept her at home for the day as a precaution.
Meg said she was coughing up "spicy stuff" which we assumed meant a "wet" mucus cough.
At this time, the advice from school was to carry on as normal unless she had a temperature or a continuous dry cough - at the moment she didn't have either of these so her big brother Blake went into school.
My husband's office advised for him (and all staff with a family member with any illness at all) to stay at home for the next 7 days.
I popped to the shops to try and get some basics for the week, it was easier said than done - the shops were already crazy and out of stock for lots of things and I didn't even get half a normal weekly shop. I didn't panic as I thought I'd get an online order... little did I know that this was going to be virtually impossible!
On Monday afternoon I had a few tickly coughs but nothing else - not what you would describe as continuous and it was very sporadic, I didn't feel unwell at all - although I did have a bad headache - nothing unusual as the last few weeks of stress have given me quite a few headaches!
By Tuesday, Meg was pretty much over her cold, her runny nose had calmed and her cough was just lingering a bit. In the afternoon my cough seemed to become more consistent and definitely a dry one - it didn't hurt and it wasn't particularly annoying - more like clearing your throat, in all honesty it sounded a bit like a pathetic put on cough.
Blake came home from school and had a bit of an asthma cough, not uncommon for this time of the year, he said there was a lot off from his class today.
The advice started to change to self isolating for 2 weeks and although at this time I just felt that Meg was getting over a regular cold and I might be starting with a cold - I didn't really feel that it was, or even could be COVID 19.
From Tuesday 17th March evening we took the decision to self isolate as a family just as a precaution.
Wednesday morning I woke up at about 3am and felt really ill, I woke up feeling like someone was sat on my chest, my ears hurt and my throat was on fire - comparable to tonsillitis pain. I drifted and snoozed until 11am which isn't like me at all. I'm sticking to our bedroom as much as I can and trying to avoid the children and Rich - its hard because you don't want to panic the children!
I still had a dry cough but it was usually a single pathetic one with a really bad burst of dry coughing every few hours - the bad bursts were enough to hurt a lot and leave me feeling a bit dizzy for a few moments. I was also quite sneezy.
My eyeballs ached, I tried to chill out and watch a bit of TV or read but my eyes hurt too much. I've lost my sense of smell and taste and off food.
I spent most of the day nodding off and I had 3 doses of paracetamol in 24 hours - I don't like taking pain relief and this is more than I'd usually take in 6months!
I kept having moments where I felt normal and I'd go to get out of bed to move about but I'd feel dizzy and short of breath really quickly.
I don't have a fever at all and the symptoms don't seem to fall into any category - all over the press are charts showing you symptoms and the difference between a cold, a flu and covid19 - the problem is I have some symptoms from all of them and symptoms that are not mentioned at all and my symptoms don't seem to fall into other similar illnesses either such as chest infection or pneumonia.
Both my GP website and 111 don't seem to offer much advice and both say to self isolate at home unless I develop a fever, there seems to be absolutely no way of getting a test or finding out what it is I've got.
In our household we have 2 Asthmatics, 1 suspected Asthmatic and then there's me with only 1 kidney (I had childhood kidney disease) so I'm a bit worried about either having covid19 or if being poorly has weekend my immune defences. I'm drinking lots of cranberry juice to help support my one kidney.
I felt mostly alright but had random brutal moments where I felt like I couldn't breath easily, if it wasn't for my husband looking out for me, I would have skipped a lot of meals, I just didn't feel hungry ... until I started eating and then I was a piggy!
I tried to do my best to support my immune system with Matcha Lattes, multi vits and anti-inflammatory goodness such as ginger. I also drank pineapple juice because there's an enzyme in it which really helps to calm coughs and cranberry juice to help my kidney as I experienced a few kidney aches and pains.
The next 3 weeks were a blur of sleeping, some days I'd sleep for over 12 hours, wake for a bit and then drift off for a nap. The dry cough started to hurt a lot, my rib cage felt bruised and sometimes the coughing was so bad I felt like I couldn't breath and went into a panic - If it wasn't for my 10 year old son realising I couldn't breath and running to get my husband who then used asthma attack techniques to get my breathing to return - well, I'm sure I at the very least narrowly avoided a hospital trip if not something much worse. There were at least two occasions where I thought I might die.
I'd find myself getting confused sometimes, I'd go to get something from the cupboard and forget what I was doing, or I'd lose track of the day or even what part of the day it was. I struggled to focus, It's not like I could sit and watch the TV or read a book because either my eyes hurt too much or I just couldn't concentrate.
It took about 5 weeks for me to start to feel more normal again and I can't recall much from when I was poorly at all - its like there's a big blank.
Once I was better, I had these really sporadic stabbing pains in my left lung - They would be a burst of 3 or 4 stabs every couple of days and that was it but then about 2 months after I started with covid19 symptoms, I started getting a pain in my left lung every single time I took a deep breath, or if I sneezed, it was very worrying and I also had a mild achy in my heart area but both calmed after about a week - It might just be my imagination but it felt like a final bit of a fight between my body and covid19.
Just to put things into prospective of just how brutal things got and how long it took me to recover from what might or might not have been covid19 ... I'm not good at being poorly, I don't like to sit still and I can't just rest or nap in the daytime. When I had my kidney removed, I was out of hospital within 5 days and started a Saturday job still with stitches. I've recovered from abdominal surgery following childbirth complications quicker than whatever it was that I had and even with full blown flu I've never slept as much as this.
I know that I just have to accept that I might never know if I had "it" but its very frustrating as I feel that if it wasn't, then I'm terrified that we might get something even worse than I experienced especially with the thought that I might have to send my 10 year old (year 6) back to school on the 1st June.