Corona Virus Diary

    This little “Blogette” is taken from my FaceBook timeline and just copied and pasted into a Word Document so I could send a copy to my parents (who don’t use FB) so they could read about my little journey.

    It starts on “Day 2” although this is not strictly true. I’d been feeling a little “off” for a couple of days, a little bit of an upset tummy and slightly bloodshot eye (just one!) and just a niggle that something was wrong. What would have been Day 1 was the first time that I really knew that I was in trouble for sure.

    It seems that this Bug effects different people in different ways. Some people don’t even notice it, some people die in a short space of time. Some people get a few mild symptoms, some people end up on a ventilator fighting for their lives – it is a very strange Bug and seems to personalise itself to individual people.

    To be honest I can’t even say that my Bug was Covid-19. At no point was I tested (only those admitted to hospital get tested – and only critical cases get admitted to hospital) but the nice chappie I spoke to at NHS 111 seemed pretty sure that what I have was “98% likely to be Covid-19”.

    Although I have my suspicions of how I caught it I can’t be 100% sure so I’m not going to speculate or point fingers. What I will say is that I was quite meticulous about trying not to catch it. Because I work with animals I always have a good supply of hand sanitisers, wipes and clinical anti-viral, bacterial, fungal sprays – we use these things as a matter of course through work. Quite literally everything that comes into the home is sanitised before it gets touched and outside of the home I tried to be as meticulous as possible.

    I still caught it …

    What did I do once I had it? As a result of this little daily blog I was inundated with all sorts of advice ranging from “going for a fast “power walk” to “make your lungs work harder” to drinking an infusion of Ginger, Tumeric, and Star Anise. I have to say that that the infusion of spices actually tasted quite nice, especially with a bit of cinnamon, some lemon juice and a little honey. Does it help? I have no idea, but I liked it and it was hot and soothing on a sore throat! The “power walk” idea would have simply killed me when the disease was at it’s worst … it was hard enough just staggering to the kitchen for another cup of Ginger infusion never mind power walking.

    So – other things I did:

    Paracetamol as per the NHS advice. I used Tesco hot blackcurrant drink which contains paracetamol and was soothing on a very sore throat.

    Vitamin C – lots of Vit C … apparently it might help and it certainly didn’t hinder so why not. I ended up buying a kilo of pure Vit C and just adding some to my Ginger drinks.

    Breathing exercises – what we call “556” breathing. A deep breath in, hold for 5 seconds and exhale. Repeat 5 times. On the 6th breath instead of holding it in for 5 seconds use it to cough. Try to get rid of any gunk in your lungs. Repeat the sequence again a few times and then go and “prone” (lie on your front for at least half an hour – more is better). It does seem to help!

    For food – hmm, my appetite was all over the place, but I ended up eating a lot of porridge and rice/meat porridge (congee) as sometimes the sore throat was quite painful and porridgy stuff is easy on a sore throat. At one point my taste buds went a little haywire and everything tasted very metallic – except for pepperoni pizza … pepperoni pizza became a bit of a go to food! ☹

    Sleep – lots of sleep … when ever you get exhausted just go to sleep. Forget the power walking theory – the sleep actually seemed to help.


    So – what follows is just the ramblings of someone who wasn’t feeling very well when most of them were written!

     

    Corana Virus Lock Down Diary:

     

    Day 2 (28th March) – Yesterday lunchtime I started feeling a little … strange, like something is wrong but you can’t quite put your finger on it. By evening I had a sore throat, dry cough, a temperature and breathing was becoming weird with a slight burning sensation. Phoned up 111 and was told to take paracetamol, drink plenty of fluids and stay indoors for 2 weeks – and don’t phone then again unless I’m in severe respiratory distress. Do I have Covid-19 ? I have no idea because there are not enough test kits to test everyone. All I know is that I may or may not have a life threatening condition that has been caused by the greed and lack of basic hygiene of someone on the other side of the world who fancied a bit of snake/pangolin/bat/yeti for dinner. Another part of me finds it fascinating that 1 man in China has managed to singlehandedly bring the entire world to a standstill! Just imagine, all the money spent on armies and weapons and all you needed to do was have a bloody snake for dinner!

    Day 3 … Firstly thank you to everyone who took the time to leave me a message. It means a lot and I feel truly humbled by the number of messages that I have received, so thank you all. Not a lot has changed otherwise. My temperature is up and down like a hyperactive squirrel from 36 to 38, paracetamol seems to help bring it down when it spikes. I’m exhausted a lot of the time and have decided to just let my body do what ever it wants when it wants … so sleep when I want to, wake when I want to regardless of time. So far I spend more time asleep! I have a raging head ache, a short dry cough, and my throat feels like I swallowed a hedgehog backwards. I also have the attention span of a three year old … but that might just be me! Hope that you guys are all being safe and are well …

    Day 4 – bit of a rougher night last night, temperature all over the place again and just couldn’t get comfortable. Throat is a bit worse too. Anyway I did sleep and have now woken up looking like a panda with big dark rings around my eyes and as always I still feel exhausted. Have to do a few chores this morning then I might just go back to sleep!

    As always, thank you all for your messages of support and kind words. I’ve not spent much time on here over the last few days but I would like to say that you are all very appreciated in my strange twilight world.

    Day 5 – no change, so no worse and maybe a teensy bit better as my temperature has been a bit more stable last night. I even slept well and feel a lot better for it at the moment. It’s still hard work just going to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee – I get exhausted doing the simplest tasks – but at this moment in time it’s good just to sit here and watch the sun rise through the lounge windows whilst sipping my coffee no matter how much I’m panting!

    As always, thank you for all the comments and messages.

    Later the same day: Managed to actually do something today in between sleeping! My head is pounding and I’m exhausted (and still have to clear up a milky messy table 😞) but it’s a huge milestone to have even picked up a camera today! So … dropping strawberries into milk!

    Day 6 – Temperature has remained stable now for more than 24 hours but still coughing, still got a sore throat, still burn when I inhale, and still have a blinding head ache. Didn’t sleep as well last night and perhaps not a buoyant as yesterday in my mood … but … baby steps … and at least I haven’t got worse either. I think today I might take it easier than I did yesterday … no weightlifting strawberries (mainly because I ate them all yesterday!). Strawberries are full of Vitamin C – or so I told myself as their numbers fell.

    Anyway, as always thank you all so much for your messages of support, comments and the smiles that you have given me. Stay safe!

    Day 7 – Not sure what happened but suffered a bit of a blip yesterday with temperature back up to the high 37’s and much coughing as well as restricted breathing. Spent most of the day dozing on the sofa. Woke up this morning still feeling rough and exhausted, but temp has gone down a bit. Also have woken up without a thumping head ache for the first time in a week!

    Who would have thought just a couple of months ago that you could regard a trip to Tesco as a Big Day Out! My Shopping Squirrels (you know who you are!) have been fantastic with their delivery services to both myself and my Mum and Dad (except for the fizzy water incident!) – so a big and public “Thank You” to them from myself and of course Cliff who needs his fresh greens.

    A photo of Cliff the Lemming with his Kale to brighten the day.

    Day 8 – Don’t really know what to say today. Yesterday I nose-dived back into the land of high temperature and a shortage of air to breathe. Headache is back, sore throat is back – it’s like back to square one! Slept ok’ish last night but having been awake for an hour I’m exhausted already. I’m getting “a little fed up” with this now … and the whole isolation thing is starting to wear a bit thin. I may have to extract Cliff from his box later to have a bit of a cuddle! At least I will then have something to do bandaging my fingers up afterwards!


    Day 9 – Woke up this morning feeling a lot better than I have over the last few days – still coughing and still have the remnants of a sore throat but temperature seems to be back to normal. Still have a slight headache too, but nothing compared to the what was happening to me yesterday. After what happened last time I felt a little better I think I will wait and see before getting all excited! This bug is a nasty little bas****.

    Watched a beautiful sunrise through the windows this morning whilst drinking a huge mug of Costa coffee and debating what to do with me day. Today’s big decision is whether to curl up on the sofa in the lounge or curl up on the bed with my Chonky Seal for company. Chonky Seal courtesy of Shopping Squirrel #1 who decided that my Lemming obsession was unhealthy for all involved and that a squishy seal would be more appropriate.

    Day 10 – no real change from yesterday, so that’s maybe a good thing – better than crashing again. No temperature, still rumblings of a sore throat and still a bit wheezy breathing but compared to just two days ago I can put up with it. I want to say that “I’m starting to feel more hopeful” but feel that I might be tempting fate by saying that. I can feel the bug is still there, weaker maybe, but still there hovering just behind that thin veneer of feeling ok’ish. I just have to be patient and carry on not doing anything!

    But oh boy is it hard to do nothing! So – today’s agenda is more Sofa Safari this morning by the window – looking out for any fur or feathered wildlife before the human wildlife gets up to roam around out there! I do feel sorry for the local kids, it must be awful for a family to be cooped up in one of these flats where as for just one person (and a Chonky Seal) I have plenty of space as well as no responsibilities.

    oh ffs — crashed again —  (Later that day)

    Day 11 – The nightmare goes on! Having spent a whole day and a half feeling almost okay, yesterday lunchtime my friendly bug decided to try to kill me again. I suddenly, in the space of about an hour, went downhill really fast and was once again having breathing problems, high temperature, sore throat, sweating, freezing etc etc … all the usual suspects.
    I’m starting to feel like this is personal now and is a test of who is more stubborn, me or the bug … every time I see a light at the end of the tunnel it gets snuffed out again and for the first time I was actually quite scared. You never think it will be you – it’s always someone else that gets “it” and you read about it in the local news. The thought of choking to death on my sofa whilst a psychotic Lemming cheers me on is kind of sobering to say the least – and to be brutally honest I have never felt so alone. 111 assure me that the NHS is doing everything it can and that there are lots of people like me (although not many have a Lemming to cheer them on) and that I should isolate, drink plenty of fluids and take paracetamol – If it gets to the stage where I can’t breathe then maybe I can call them back?

    That is the state of play today … Now would someone turn that light in the tunnel back on and gag that bloody Lemming …

    Day 12 – Didn’t sleep too well last night and was very restless, so have woken up feeling washed out and drained of energy. I have decided to call this thing “Bug” as I can’t claim that it’s CV as I can’t get tested – so it’s Bug from now on. Bug is still there. I can feel him lurking in my throat making it sore and a little constricted. Bug obviously gets up later than me as he appears to be resting – probably getting ready for the next round in this roller coaster ride.

    Another day and another cup of coffee enjoying the peace and quiet of “no essential travel” UK in the early morning. What do I have planned for today? Well – at some stage I fully intend to hike from my computer to the Sofa, a distance of around 10 feet which should leave me tired and a little breathless. Having completed the hike my guess is that some gentle relaxation exercises are in order leading me to lie down and fall asleep. My phone will ring at around 10 AM causing me to do an abdominal workout as I struggle to sit up and answer it. After assuring Mum and Dad that I am still at least vaguely alive I shall need to rest to prepare myself for the hike to the Kitchen – that’s a major distance of around 40 feet so I will have to maybe make a rest stop at the Living Room Door where I should be able to lean for a moment and catch my breath.

    In the Kitchen I will make myself a Vit C drink which will be gulped down fast, and a coffee which will be carefully transported back to the Sofa. Once safely sat on the Sofa I shall slowly drink it whilst contemplating my next move. All that contemplating will leave me exhausted so another nap will probably be required to get over it.

    Then it will be lunch time – now this is a major challenge! Do I bother eating lunch at lunch time or do I wait until later and have a kind of all in one breakfast/lunch/dinner meal in the late afternoon. Decisions decisions … all that deciding makes me tired and I will fall asleep instead.

    When I wake up the decision will have been made for me … Winner winner chicken dinner … or at least cold chicken and maybe some coleslaw as that’s what is in the fridge right now. After the trek to the kitchen and back I I shall need to replenish my energy from the exercise of getting my dinner out … and will slowly pick at dinner whilst convincing myself that it’s very nice. With all that renewed energy I might watch a bit of TV … which will inevitably end up with me falling asleep again.

    And so it goes on … hope you all have a lovely day and keep safe out there

    Day 13 – There is a faint glimmer of light in the tunnel again … although it could just be the Lemming sneaking a crafty smoke. My little friend Bug is quiet today as well at the moment. I can still feel him there in my throat but at the moment he is leaving me alone. Bug is not a morning virus … he is a bit of a Diva, so he gets up much later than I do. By the early evening Bug will be stirring again – or at least that’s what he did yesterday. Still, I have a very small and very cautious feeling that Bug is getting weaker … ask me again in a couple of days.

    I can tell I’m feeling a bit better … I am starting to suffer from some awful side effects of “feeling a bit better” such as noticing that the flat is really untidy. This truly awful feeling makes me WANT to do housework. Try to imagine that!!! WANTING to do housework! I keep having to remind myself that I’m ill and the sensible thing to do (as always) is to ignore the overflowing bin, work your way around the washing pile and simply not see the bits on the carpet. You should see my desk … honestly … Strepsil packets, Tunes packets, inhalers, empty paracetamol packets scattered all over it as well as more important things like rechargeable batteries, a watch that I haven’t worn for 2 weeks and a wallet that actually still contains cash! Remember cash?

    My aim today is to avoid these vile terrible side effects and do something more productive along the lines of rest and recuperation.

    Day 14 – The glimmer inside the tunnel is getting (touch wood) brighter and the Lemming swears it wasn’t him lighting fires again. Yesterday … yesterday was a bit weird. I felt a bit better … and despite that feeling better I was utterly wiped out and ended up sleeping most of the day. Bug was quiet most of the day but popped out in the evening to say hello to me. I guess this social isolation bothers him as well but around about 6 PM he came to visit me with some minor breathing problems and a bit of chest pain just to remind me he’s still there.

    This morning I feel quite good. My sore throat is definitely a bit better; I haven’t coughed as much and my temperature is low. I can still feel Bug though – he’s still there but maybe not as strong as yesterday. There is still a little bit of a burn in my chest and a little pinch around my larynx but not nearly as bad as a few days ago. Again, I am cautiously optimistic … but the thing about Bug is that you just do not know what he’s going to do. I only know one thing … I’m fed up with the little bastard!

    Today – today is a very exciting day. I broke my “proper” thermometer a few days ago when I dropped it – and I got quite excited to see that Argos had some “In Stock And Available For Same Day Delivery” — oooh, same day delivery! — I’ll order one! “Same Day Delivery” turned out to be 4 days later, which is today! Since Monday I have been using a little LCD strip thermometer that is more that 25 years old (so it’s quite possible my temp has been up and down like a squirrel in a blender – I’m just blissfully unaware!). My plan for the day is to stay awake long enough to get my new thermometer safely through the front door. The excitement is almost un-containable!

    As always, thank you for all the comments and advice that so many people have given. It has been a truly humbling experience to find out how many people care – and for that I thank you. Stay safe and stay away from Bug!

     

    Later That Day: Normal – the excitement of being able to accurately measure your temperature. High point of my week so far!

    Day 15 – When I started this I never thought I’d be still writing this semi-blog thing on Day 15 – but here I am with my Bug, another morning and another cup of coffee with Wave 105 on in the background.

    Yesterday was a little easier throughout the day until about 6 PM. Bug seems to like 6 PM as his time to come and visit me. First I start to cough a bit more, get a horrible metallic taste and my chest hurts – like a burning ache right in the middle of my chest making breathing a little shallower and I feel like there is less air in the air! Usually the pain passes by around 9.30 PM and Bug goes off to sulk again. It’s weird how the last few days have been so consistent like this. Still – I’m happier suffering for 3 hours rather than having it all day like before. No temperature spike though – now I can measure it accurately!

    I completely forgot that it was Easter Weekend this weekend until Shopping Squirrel 2 reminded me of it. Luckily both the Shopping Squirrels were available for essential shopping duties so I have plenty of crickets for the frogs to eat and plenty of toilet roll for the mice to hoard – as well as less important stuff like bread and milk. I’m not going to starve over the holiday weekend.

    It was fascinating watching the communal self isolation that was going on in the Park yesterday. I have never seen so many responsible people self isolating together like that before – it gave me a warm feeling in my heart … or maybe that was Bug …

    Have a nice day

    Day 16 – I have discovered that Bug follows me on Facebook! Having stated yesterday that he comes out to play at 6 PM he decided to get up early yesterday and came to see me in the late morning instead in protest against what I’d written. By 10 AM I was back on the bed coughing, head pounding, chest tight and burning (but not as bad as it has been!) and generally feeling like a wilted lettuce leaf in the rain. By about 4 PM he’d had enough and left me alone for the rest of the day. It is really weird how he comes and goes – and it does get me down as just when you think that you have him beaten he tries to bounce back and crawl in to your lungs … This is really unlike anything else that I have ever experienced.

    This morning I have woken up with almost no sore throat, almost no tightness in my chest, almost no cough other than the normal and feeling quite alert. By now I have come to realise that this doesn’t actually mean that Bug has gone, just that he’s not here right now and may pop back round later. I feel that the trend is upwards, his visits are getting shorter and less severe as time goes by so as always I am cautiously optimistic.

    Whilst all this has been going on things have been busy with the animals.. Team Mousie have approached this period of social isolation in their customary manner and have managed to isolate into about a dozen or more extra mouselets – with more on the way! I miss working with them … to be fair I miss working full stop!

    Anyway, I’ve rambled on for long enough – it’s now time to make THAT decision … which room shall I go and sit in now!


    Day 17 – Happy Easter! I have just herded the biggest sheep leg that I have ever seen into the oven where it will slowly roast for the next 7 hours in it’s bed of herbs, red wine, onions and garlic. I think I will be eating lamb for the next 3 weeks – but thank you to my Shopping Squirrel 1 for rounding it up and shepherding it to my door.

    Right, back to my friendly little virus. Bug was quite quiet yesterday although he put in a brief appearance around 7 PM just to remind me that he’s still around. Managed to stay awake all day yesterday – sort of anyway … fell asleep on the sofa but that was around 8 PM’ish which is almost night time so not too bad. He is definitely getting weaker and I am getting stronger – but he’s not finished yet!

    This morning I feel okay except for a slight sore throat so it will be interesting to see how far I get today before I fall asleep! I might even glare hatefully at some of the housework for a while if I feel up to it!

    Hope that you all have a lovely Easter where ever you are isolating

    Day 18 – I feel good (I knew that I would) – who would have known that to shift CV you need to eat half a sheep and dose yourself with your own body weight in Chocolate! As a result of taking my huge dose of medicinal cocoa solids and herbivore I had no visitation from Bug yesterday. Nothing!

    If yesterday I felt 95% better today I am up to 99% – just the barest trace of a sore throat – which I will treat with another dose of chocolate later. Better to be safe than sorry …

    Hopefully, that is it for me … Bug can go and do one … he’s not my friend and he has not been a good guest in my home. In fact he’s quite rude and doesn’t notice when you have had enough of his company and just want him to leave. No amount of yawning or looking at your watch seemed to get through to him and he just wouldn’t go … until now!

    Now I feel that he has gone, and hopefully he hasn’t forgotten anything here and won’t need to come back to pick it up …

    … although that would mean another healthy (and massive) dose of medicinal chocolate.

    (Disclaimer – Please note that I am not a health professional and that the application of chocolate and lamb is not a recognised treatment for CV-19 and should not be regarded as such. Lamb Legs and Easter Eggs have no proven medicinal benefits in cases of CV-19 and any inference to the contrary are purely in the experience of the author and have no scientific backing. Please do not try to see your GP for a prescription for Lamb Legs and Chocolate Easter Eggs are not currently available on the NHS).

    Day 19 – Can you hear the dark Satanic laughter? That is Bug … laughing at me. It seems that he broke the no-travel rules over the Easter Weekend and went for a little holiday before coming back home to me. He arrived home around lunchtime yesterday which saw my throat suddenly flaring (almost literally!) and once again I just collapsed in an exhausted heap. It only lasted a few hours, so his hold on me is definitely weakening, but it was still an annoying reminder of his persistent nature and his stubborn unwillingness to leave me alone.
    From what I have seen I can expect that kind of thing from him for a while. Apparently, it can take a long time to shake this thing completely for some of us.

    Feeling back to the “new normal” again today – slight sore throat and a slight cough. Nothing too bad but a step down from yesterday morning. Really getting fed up with this up and down roller coaster ride, although I have been a lot luckier than some in some ways.

    Thank you for all the positive messages and comments – you must be getting bored with this lack of wellness on my part by now!

    I’m gutted that the chocolate theory turned out to be a red herring … I was looking forward to another dose of it.

    Day 20 – and Bug has gone quiet again, just the merest hint of a sore throat and no other symptoms. How many times have I said that now? Stubborn, persistent, ill-mannered little bastard (not sure if I mean Bug or myself)! Anyway, at the moment he’s not bothering me, so I’ll be happy with that and enjoy my cup of coffee.

    So yesterday was an easy day in the end … plenty of fluids and plenty of rest and nothing to talk about. I did go and start up the car (which took a few tries!) as it hasn’t been started for around a month now. I even moved it from one parking space to another and back again – probably the high point of my day although I’m not sure that it was strictly essential travel. In my defence I took the bin out at the same time so that should cover it.

    Today I have been a hive of industry – yes – I cleaned the bath! It took a lot of effort. The advert says “Bang” – and the dirt is gone” – but the advertisers have obviously never had Corona Virus. It was more like “Bang” and my breath is gone. Just wiping down the bath left me panting like a dog in the sun. Not sure if this is a left over from possible lung damage caused by CV or simply just a side effect to all that medicinal chocolate combined with intense training for the Sofa Sleeping Olympics. Either way I was left puffed out and I need a rest before I make a start on The Sink!

    I know I know … I can hear you all saying “don’t over do it” and “you need to rest” but if you actually saw the bath and sink you would probably immediately hit the Unfriend And Block buttons – maybe even suspend your accounts! Yes, they were that bad and today I’m feeling bored!

    Bored! It’s so good to feel bored. Seriously, the last 3 weeks or so I have felt ill, very ill, slightly ill, moderately ill, highly ill, painfully ill, seriously ill, a bit ill and every variation of ill that you could think of below the level of critically ill (thank you NHS111 for clarifying that). Being bored means that I am getting better and I want to be doing something other than feeling some kind of ill. I’m bored of being ill !

    If I have enough puff left in my after battling with The Sink I might even look lovingly at my camera for a while … or maybe by then it will be time for my Sofa Sleeping training session … who knows!

    Have a great day everyone – and don’t forget people … stay safe!

    Day 21 – 3 weeks! Bug has been with me for 3 whole weeks! I’ve had entire deep meaningful relationships that never lasted THAT long! Maybe I should bake a cake and throw a party — Oh — isolation — so it will be a party for just Bug and me 🙁

    Bug popped in briefly to see me yesterday afternoon just to make sure I wasn’t feeling too well and I hadn’t made myself too comfortable. Even playing with a camera (and a frog!) left me a bit breathless and raised my temperature a little so I stopped and got back to some serious Sofa Training. Bug stayed for a couple of hours then got bored and left me to it.

    Reading other people’s experiences with their friendly Bugs it looks as though the whole Roller Coaster ride thing is fairly common and recovery can be a slow business for some. It’s quite noticeable that a lot of people have said how they felt better, only to crash again a few days later, usually around a week after they thought they were done with it. I had pneumonia last Christmas which means that my recovery will probably be slower than most 🙁

    So today my intentions are to carry on what I started yesterday with a camera and a frog … but do it very gently and hopefully minimise the whole sweaty gasping for air thing. If it all gets too much then it’s back to Sofa Training with my Chonky Seal pillow and a book.

    It’s not like there is a whole lot else to do!

    Day 22 – Just another day with me and my Bug isolating together. He’s still here sulking somewhere in my respiratory system – my breathing is still not quite right and my throat still has a slight soreness. This whole “recovery” thing is hard work and is proving to be slower than I hoped for – but I feel much the same as yesterday morning so that is a good thing.

    Yesterday really showed me how weak I am right now. In the morning I felt okay so I carried on where I left off with the SplashArt water drop timer and a frog. Everything was still set up so all I had to do was operate the frog, the shutter button and the SplashArt button. The frog was very co-operative and lets face it, pressing a shutter button then pressing the timer button isn’t quite rocket science and no one could accuse it of being hard work. So, place the frog, sit down, position the tripod, focus, press one button, press another button … repeat as needed.

    3 minutes later I’m getting breathless. I’m sat down! I’m not even holding the camera! … All I’m doing is pressing 2 buttons!!! 2 buttons, that’s it … press … press … and that left me panting like a hot dog on a day trip to China. My temperature has gone up, I feel hot and sweaty and the air is short of oxygen again.

    I guess Bug is a closet photographer and gets excited about it!

    After half an hour of strenuous double button pushing and I have to take a rest, as well as some paracetamol, and sit in front of a fan to cool down and get my breath back.

    Today I think I’m going to (giggle) take it even easier … maybe find something to do that only involves pressing just one button!

    That’ll be the TV remote …

    Have fun out there in Lock-Down Land 🙂

    Day 23 – Today is the first day where I can’t feel Bug! At the moment he appears to be … gone … completely gone! Of course he may just be hiding and may yet jump out from behind my oesophagus yelling “Surprise” … but I can’t feel him there for the first time in weeks. Last night was a milestone as well … I couldn’t get to sleep! I actually wasn’t exhausted and tired out enough to sleep having grabbed a couple of hours in the afternoon yesterday. It was … normal!

    I’m still weak, my immune system is shot to pieces and I still get out of breath if I even think of doing anything but that burning is gone from my throat and my chest so life looks a whole lot rosier today … I really hope that he is gone and not just hiding!

    I have celebrated by wearing … trousers and socks! Yes, today is the first day in a month that I’m not in jogging bottoms and a t-shirt! I might push the boat out later and put on a pair of shoes!

    Or I might just ditch the trousers and socks and revert back to those nice comfortable jogging bottoms again!

    Day 24 (19th April) – I think this will be my final day for writing about Bug – who is no-where to be seen or rather felt. Maybe I should say “Hopefully this will be my final day writing about Bug”. Bug has not been a nice experience and hopefully I will never have to see him again.

    What can I say – WOW – what a roller coaster ride with so many twists, turns, dips and dives. It is quite sobering to find yourself in a situation where you might actually die, alone and scared locked up in your home with only a Lemming watching over you (with great interest from his exercise wheel).

    But ….

    It’s also been totally humbling to find out that so many people care about me. I have had so many offers of help from people, so many kind words, and so much encouragement when it was most needed. I always regarded Social Media “friendship” with a certain amount of scepticism – and I have been proved totally wrong. So, to everyone who helped me out over this period of time a HUGE “thank you” to all of you.

    I need to build myself back up now, 2 major illnesses in just a few months have hammered me. So – from tomorrow (Monday is always a good day to start “new beginnings!”) I will have to start the whole process of regaining my strength and to try to work on the whole health thing.

    Today of course is a different matter … Is Chocolate considered to be an essential item???

     


    Relapse – 25th April

    Anyone know how to spell “relapse”? Sore throat …check … cough … check … temperature … check … head ache … check … exhaustion … check … breathing difficulties … check.

    Well … I had nearly 7 good days! But it seems that Bug is back!

    Run Forest run …

    Later the same day: 

    I have to say that a lot has changed with 111 in the last few weeks. Helpful, concerned and interested now – where as 4 weeks ago it was just fluids, paracetamol and Netflix. Speaking to 2 doctors in one day!!!! 2 !!!!

    What a weird day … so … I filled in the NHS111 form this morning and was told that a nurse would need to talk to me in the next 6 hours. 4 Hours later a doctor phones up, runs through my symptoms etc, agrees that it’s probably CV again, but is worried as some of my symptoms point to an immune system that’s on its knees. She says that I should take antibiotics as a precaution. Unfortunately she can’t prescribe for me but will get someone in this area to call me back to make the prescription … in the next 6 hours.

    3 Hours later … call from a very bored sounding lad from NHS111 asking if my problem had been resolved. Told him about phone call with doctor and was told to drink lots of fluids, take paracetamol and isolate myself …

    2 Hours later – lovely call from a paramedic to let me know they were on the way to take me to hospital. All they have is my name, address and DOB. Ummm … why??? Explained to her that all I was after was a prescription for antibiotics to take as a preventative whilst immune system was down, not a trip to hospital. Told to drink plenty of fluids, take paracetamol and isolate myself … she would make sure a doctor called me in the next 2 hours …

    1 hour and 59 minutes later got a phone call from Dr Angry … his opening words were “What do you want” – I kid you not, no introduction, no “I’m phoning from NHS” … just “what do you want”! Again, he has no notes of previous conversations, just my name, address and DOB. I start to run through everything again but he cuts me off and repeats “what do you want” … I settle for a course of antibiotics as per first doctor, he agrees … he then gets very annoyed because I can’t get to Tesco in the next 10 minutes to pick it up before they close. Can he make it out for the pharmacy across the road for Monday AM? No – it has to be now or in the morning at the latest … we decide on a different Tesco for the morning and I hope my Shopping Squirrel is able to pick it up … I try to ask him what she needs to pick it up but he has already gone …

    I wonder if said prescription will actually be waiting at Tesco tomorrow … wait and see!

     

    26th April:

    Pleasantly surprised that Dr Angry might have been rude but at least he was competent and there was a box of Amoxicillin with my name on it at the Chemist this morning. Well done Dr Angry!

    That just leaves the problem of my little friend Bug to deal with – now where did I leave my morning cup of Dettol.

    (Disclaimer – unless you are the President of the United States drinking disinfectants, bleach or similar cleaning products is bad for you. Very bad for you. Do NOT do it … Just don’t … Okay? No, Bad, No No No … Don’t ever drink cleaning products – Never never never – not even just once).

     

    27th April:

    Today … where do I start about today? Today has been total meltdown day. Today I melted my inner snowflake and spent most of the day asleep or feeling sorry for myself. Bug has been a little B*astard today so I’ve spent most of the day panting on the sofa. It’s a very strange feeling when you aren’t all bunged up with snot and goo, you feel you should be able to breathe just fine … but there isn’t enough air in the air that you are breathing which means you end up panting.

    Yes … I did speak to 111 again … and no, hospital is not an option yet!

    On top of that I managed to trip over a Really Useful Box yesterday which has resulted in a badly sprained ankle. I can hardly walk … and I can hardly breathe.

    Humour is in short supply tonight …

     

    28th April

    I’ve decided that yesterday is officially cancelled and that my wobble was the product of too much pain and too much pain medication. Mix that with a warm fluffy dose of Bug, a psychotic Lemming and the fact that I have to do all this all by myself and really you have the perfect mixture for an emotional meltdown.

    Today is a different day … a new day … and it’s raining outside just for a change after all that blue sky and sunshine we’ve had. At the moment Bug is quiet, which is a good thing, but my sprained ankle is not quite so quiet … which is not such a good thing. To be honest the ankle is (at the moment) more unpleasant than Bug!

    My Mum and Dad (bless them) sent me over a Zimmer frame to help me get around. They mean well … but … a Zimmer frame! Luckily the flat is kind of small and there are lots of things in the way for said Zimmer frame so I have installed it by the front door where it’s out of the way. It’s actually holding up some empty boxes that I need to recycle as soon as I can go out there (without a Zimmer frame)!

    One thing that came out of yesterday was a chat with another doctor who phoned me up to talk about my symptoms. They know so little about this Bug and how it works. it also seems to be changing as time goes by so every little bit of information helps them understand more. My 3 weeks to shake it then relapse a week later is becoming quite common. Also my up and down temperature spikes seem to be getting more common rather than the (more serious) constant high temperature.

    For me the most “interesting” symptom is how stupid I become when Bug is playing up. I can be sat there reading a book, turn the page and forget what the book was about … just like that … gone … instantly. Yesterday it took me 3 goes to get a drink from the kitchen to take my tablets. 3 o’clock – time to take a tablet – I’ll just go and get a drink … stagger to the fridge and open the fridge … ooooh … strawberries … take a strawberry and go back to the lounge where I find my tablets on the table … oh yes … I need a drink … stagger to the fridge … ooooh … a piece of chocolate … stagger back to the lounge to find tablets on table … oh yeah … drink. Nailed it … finally!

    So today I’m not going to let it get to me … except for the Zimmer frame!

    29th April:
    It got to me … no entry made on this day … emotional codeine induced melt-down day.

    30th April:

    Without looking on my computer I wouldn’t have any idea what day or date it is. Feeling constantly exhausted and taking codeine based prescription medication make this whole Lock-Down thing a breeze … I have programmed my faithful friend Alexa to remind me when to take various meds so she does all the worrying and I …, well, … I get “plenty of rest” … which actually means I’m snoozing quietly blissfully unaware of time in a warm fluffy cloud of codeine

    Even bug has gone reasonably quiet. He comes to visit me every now and then but his visits are different. Last night, or yesterday afternoon … or when ever it was ( I was talking to Mum and Dad so I assume it was evening) he came to say hello and my temperature suddenly went from 37 to 38.4 – then bounced around a little for around 3 hours before settling back down. I think we’ve gone back to evening visits which happened last time for a few days before he b*ggered off.

    I have started my healing process and am trying to start being a bit more health conscious … Shopping Squirrel 2 baked some rather delicious Blueberry Muffins yesterday and I vaguely remember that Blueberries are very good for you (possibly even a new cure for Covid-19 – so well worth a try just like Chocolate)! I felt that dosing myself with Blueberry Muffins was a jolly good idea … So I did … Thank you Shopping Squirrel 2 – they were very nice – I have a strong feeling that a second dose might be beneficial for your poor suffering father …

    So that’s me … CV-19 has turned me from a clean cut pillar of society, business owner, professional person into a unemployed stoner with the lung capacity of a fish …

     

    1st May:

    Yesterday was a Bug free day! I actually managed a whole day without any temperature spikes, chest pain or general bug induced weirdness.

    I wonder where Bug could have got to???

     

    2nd May

    Another early morning cup of coffee enjoying the peace and quiet as the sun rises. It’s been 2 whole days since I have had a visit from my Bug … 2 days!!! Does this mean I have survived? Is Bug still lurking somewhere inside my body waiting to break out and try to kill me again? A lot of people have had the 7 day relapse – often worse than the first attack – but I’ve not heard of anyone having a 3rd attack of Bugginess … so … fingers crossed.

    And … I can walk (okay – “hobble” is more accurate) again. So, no more heavy duty pain killers! I will have to face doing my lock-down time fully aware and “with it” … not something I’m looking forward to. Being spaced out and exhausted made time pass so much quicker!

    So – once again I’m going to knock this on-line attention seeking blog thing on the head – unless Bug does come back to say hello! As always thank you to everyone who has helped me, tried to help me, laughed with me (or at me!) and generally carried me through all this – you are all amazing!

     

    8th May

    Just a little update from Bug! Today I am officially allowed out to essentially play in the real world again! I am now allowed to essentially travel, queue up for essential supermarket items and buy essential food myself rather than using a Shopping Squirrel. It’s quite scary as I haven’t seen the inside of a shop since entry queues and 2 metre squares on the floor were introduced. If I get it wrong and go back to get that essential punnet of strawberries do I get shouted at? Luckily I managed to get another on-line shopping slot for Monday so I can save that pleasure for another day.

    Bug … Bug is … I think … gone (but not forgotten). He has left me a legacy to ensure that he is remembered though. Apparently, according to the nice Doctor on the phone, I have been quite lucky and just missed out on a full blown “Cytokine Storm” (Yes, I had to look up how to spell it!) where your immune system basically goes berserk and ends up, in severe cases, killing you.

    My throat glands are still a bit swollen and sore – and will probably be like that for “a few weeks” after such a severe infection – but they will go down eventually as I recuperate.

    I still have a slight rash on my legs – again apparently an indicator of a severe viral infection.

    Would you believe that after spending so much time lying on either the bed or sofa quietly gasping for air my muscles have “wasted” – so walking is a bit unsteady sometimes and a bit slow … lol … “Baby Steps” seems an appropriate way to put it! Maybe I should keep the Zimmer Frame after all!

    My lung capacity has been reduced … no-one seems to know if this is a permanent thing or not with CV-19. Hopefully not as being unstable on your feet and out of breath is getting tiresome.

    My ankle is nearly better – and I managed not to get addicted to warm fuzzy codeine induced lazy days, tempting though it is!

    The “Shopping Squirrels” have been renamed “Baking Squirrels” – Baking Squirrel 2 has proved herself to be a very competent provider of fine wholesome and healthy baked goods! Flapjacks are healthy right? All those yummy wholesome oats?? …

    The Lemming … the Lemming has become very anti-social as it would appear that I have survived. He sulks a lot now and that look of disappointment, because I failed to go “over the edge”, on his little furry face is quite distracting. Of course it may also be because I cleaned out his tank and threw out all his carefully hoarded food stashes.

    So … time to rebuild now … or at least point the Lemming away from me!