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During these times of COVID-19, when things seem so surreal, you may wonder “what does COVID feel like?” I wondered about it along with everything else like death, life, love, and hatred. I wondered about heaven, and how many of us will go to the world beyond imagination.
I am coming to you today to talk about what it feels like to have COVID. The physical and mental aspects of this horrible virus.
At the time of writing this, I have had COVID for 16 days now. I was exposed nine days before that.
It is a silent demon that clings to many animate and inanimate beings. You never really know where it lurks or when it may attach itself to you or, in this case, to me.
We think we can’t get the virus, but it can all change with the blink of an eye. One second I couldn’t believe it would find me, and the next, I was waiting in fear of intubation for respiratory distress and the horrible death it could cause.
We hear all of the stories of how bad it is and how within 4 hours, we won’t be able to breathe. And how if we have to go to the hospital, we will be all alone because no one can come in with us.
Because I am a retired ER nurse, those images conjured up horrible loneliness. I remember people coming to the ER without anyone to support them. Maybe they came from a nursing home, and their families were far away, or perhaps they were homeless. I could feel their fear and loneliness. These are the thoughts that went through my mind when I saw myself in the ER or ICU alone.
What Does COVID Feel Like?
But that’s not how it happened. I woke up one morning, oh so very tired. I contributed it to my thyroid levels being off-kilter again. I blame everything on my thyroid. Each day, it became more challenging to complete daily tasks until one day, all I could do was sit.
I was numb, and my mind didn’t work, my eyes were blurry, my body ached from head to toe, I shook and shivered with back and chest pain constantly.
Each moment of each day, I knew I had to make it 4 hours because when I got past 4 hours and could still breathe, I was still alive.
I was exhausted when I lifted my hand and putting one foot in front of the other was a challenge. I wobbled when I walked and couldn’t feel the skin on my body.
My one thought was, “I have to stay up” because if I lay down in bed, my lungs will fill with fluid. I have to stay sitting at all times during the day and make myself get up every 30 minutes, so my lungs will take deep breaths.
I Didn’t Want To Die!
I have a portable finger oxygen probe, and one morning my saturations were 84% while I was sitting. When I got up, they went up to 93%. These levels should be 99-100% all the time. The drop just solidified my fears that if I didn’t keep moving, I would die.
But please don’t get me wrong; I am not afraid to die. I was so sick that the peace of God washed over me, and all fear of death departed. Does this mean I want to die? Not. I want to live, but when it is my time to go home, I will not fear to step from this earth into the heavenly realm.
I want to clarify that I was very sick, but I had a mild case of COVID. A severe case would have put me in my grave.
The whole time I went through these horrible feelings, I thought about what I was feeling emotional.
Just One Emotion
I felt the one emotion, I believe all people in the same situation would feel:
I want someone to acknowledge that I am sick and that I am fighting strong to stay alive. I didn’t think I was struggling to breathe. I was taking one minute at a time and making it last. Once I recovered, I realized I had difficulty breathing, but I was so numb I didn’t notice.
The news puts fear in everyone and attempts to take away your will to live. According to the stories, if you are in a high-risk age group with medical conditions, you will die. Hands down, no exceptions. But those who fight it at home at my age are not mentioned often. So we tend to think it can’t happen.
People who were good friends or family would say things like, “well, you must have a bad case of the flu,” or it has to be something else.” They would tell me I wasn’t sick enough! I believe they care and wanted to make me feel better, but the media has led those to think that if I was not dying, then I was not that sick.
I have never been this sick in all of my life. I have had surgeries with pain that most could not endure. I have faced death before. But nothing was like this virus. I knew how sick I was, but because I didn’t die, it couldn’t be COVID.
Yet even in words, there is no way to fully explain the horrible feeling. Not only did I think I had COVID-19, but I had to keep my mind positive and away from the negative news and spoken words of those who love me and care about me.
Our mind plays a huge roll in the recovery of any illness. If we believe we will die, no matter what the Lord’s plan is, we will die.
There was a period of maybe six days that I didn’t feel like I was a part of this earth. I was so numb to the days that passed, and many moments were lost forever.
When I began to turn around and improve, it all became real to me. I am to quarantine, and I can’t go out when I get better; everyone is in denial, I am facing this all alone.
I can only talk to those close to me because someone with COVID is like typhoid Mary with the plague. And you know that even though all of those people were in denial, they still gave the impression that if they text me or talk on the phone or acknowledge me in any way other than close and physical, they would catch the virus.
My beautiful friends and family are not at fault. It is, however, a result of media and fear. If I feared death when I was so sick, why wouldn’t others also fear for their life?
Now I am improving. I have the energy for more extended periods per day. I still fear that my body will turn on me and regress, but I do not allow that fear to take a foothold over me for very long.
Many prayed for me, and one day amid this virus attacking my body, I felt the hand of God on me. I felt his healing presence. But not for long because I gave way to my fear of COVID.
I let the virus once again rule my body, and it returned with a vengeance. I am human, and even though I know the power of God, I let the ways of the world overtake me.
When the numbness faded, depression set in. These bouts didn’t last for long, and they only took hold for a couple of days. It was the realization that I had lost time and still couldn’t go out into the world.
I felt strong for a few hours, and I let my mind grab hold of self-pity. Why me? Why can’t anyone understand? Then I woke up one morning and realized I was wasting precious time given to me by God himself. I was able to pull myself out of the pit and grasp gratefulness again.
It has been 21 days now. I am no longer contagious. I have ventured out for short periods, but the weakness and the chest pain do return. Each day is a tremendous improvement over the past 21 days. The sunrise and sunset are more brilliant than before, and my will to live is as strong as ever.
How can I help you?
I am here to give you hope. Not everyone dies from COVID. Even those who are older and have compromising medical conditions can live and stay out of the hospital.
Keep your mind in a positive place. Keep praying and take each moment as it comes. And most of all, do not blame those around you. They love you and only want the best, but they also have to run the fear through their own paradigm of life.
I wrote this article in July of 2020 but am just now publishing it in September of 2020. Why did I wait so long? Because I had to come to terms with a Negative COVID test in the light of a true belief that I did have the horrible hard-shelled demon.
I did have a COVID test 21 days after onset. It was negative. I still believe I had COVID because I have never been this sick. Some may believe the test results, and some may not. I believe we do not know enough about the illness or the situation of our world.
So take this post as you will. It may help some and not others. But the purpose of “Inspiration For Life” is to help others overcome and look at life from a different perspective.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this article, COVID, and the state of our world. Please do try to keep it positive. I prefer not to argue politics.