Tag Archives: omicron

I Don’t Have Covid [Any More]

I have now largely recovered from having the Omicron version of Covid. It wasn’t a mild experience for me. I’m 52 and have no underlying health problems but my symptoms were unpleasant and lasted a full two weeks. It was a proper flu. I don’t know why I had it so strongly when plenty of people much older than I had it more mildly. But that’s how Covid-19 works – it kills some, and others don’t even know they have it because their symptoms are so mild.

I feel that having Covid has made my migraines worse. I’ve had more than usual lately, four or five since becoming ill. That was horrible. So much pain. Also, the anxiety was always there: will it get worse? How bad will it get? When will it end? The Alpha and Delta versions of Covid were known to seem to get better after about a week to ten days and then suddenly get a lot worse, leading to those poor souls having to go into intensive care. This doesn’t generally happen with the Omicron version but I was still worried that I might prove the exception. I didn’t though.

I’m now coughing up the last bits from my chest, it’s my only remaining symptom two-and-a-half weeks after first becoming infected. I strain to clear my throat but I’m on the up. It’s slowly leaving my system and I feel relieved that I will now have natural immunity (on top of my waned and largely ineffective three vaccinations). I believe my natural immunity will be more fulsome, more multifaceted, than vaccine induced immunity and will last much longer.

Here’s to a brighter future?

I Have Covid [Day 8]

So I have had exactly eight days of Covid symptoms. It began on Day 1 Wednesday 16th February when I woke up with a sore throat. Jack, my young son, had Covid at that time – it was his Day 6 – so I know exactly where I got it from. It seems schools are an absolute caldron of infection with the children passing infections around like sweets. And those sweets always end up with the parents of course. If ever there’s a more deadly version of Covid I’m taking my kids out of school immediately. It’s where all our illnesses come from.

Yesterday I had a raging, awful migraine. It was so frightening because of how rapidly it hit. I’d say it was about half an hour from feeling okay to feeling in a lot of pain. They don’t normally come on so quickly. A few weeks ago I had a private consultation with headache specialist Dr. Shazia Afridi, after a disappointing and very unpleasant NHS appointment with my (male) GP who sneered and shouted at me for daring to ask questions about migraine treatment. During the course of our excellent 45 minute discussion Dr. Afridi told me that Covid makes migraine worse. I was so glad to have had that talk with her and to know this about Covid because I’ve had two migraines in six days, which is frequent even for me. Six days prior to testing positive for Covid I had also had a migraine so in total that’s three migraines in two weeks, which has been truly awful. It’s difficult to distinguish a real proper migraine from the normal Covid headache at first because pain is everywhere in your body, but when it starts to morph into agony just above the eyebrow you suddenly realise what it is and rush to swallow a triptan. Sadly by then it’s a bit too late and the stomach is already in gastrostasis meaning the tablet won’t get absorbed quickly because the stomach’s not digesting effectively any more. It means longer in agony and longer to battle the rising panic before pain relief slowly ebbs in.

After taking the triptan yesterday, getting to bed early and sleeping long and well, today my Covid symptoms have dramatically lessened! I can say that right now, 9:30am, I only have mild tinnitus, congestion and a cough. The congestion is all in my head stuck solid, but there is loose congestion in my chest which I cough up regularly. But that’s it for now. No other symptoms. In the old days I’d easily go to work or the gym with just congestion, but I’m still in self-isolation. I tested positive on my LFT this morning and it’s my legal duty – until tomorrow!

Yes that’s right, self-isolation laws for Covid come to an end tomorrow, my Day 9. I will still be coughing and will almost certainly still test positive. Today’s test was strong and immediate so I doubt it will suddenly be completely gone tomorrow, but legally speaking I can go out and mingle again – get my shopping, go to hospital, visit my parents… But of course I won’t be doing any of that. Just because there’s no law against it doesn’t mean to say I’m doing it. I wouldn’t dream of going near my elderly parents and I’m going to continue to stay at home, go nowhere, do nothing. It’s boring now, after eight days, but my infection was so strong that I would be very concerned about giving it to someone else if I treated tomorrow as my ‘Freedom Day.’

At least the most awful suffering part of the illness has passed and my appetite has returned. I’m convalescing. It’s curious that I never got the fatigue that a lot of people complain of. That wasn’t part of my experience – just the predictable tiredness from lack of sleep.

So that’s my dispatch for today. I may wait a few days and file my last report about my Covid when I feel my symptoms are over so that there’s a record of exactly how long it went on for and how long I continued to test positive. If there’s any relapse or anything bad happens I’ll write about it when it happens. In the meantime, I’ll go back to my ironing and watching ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race Versus The World’ – the ideal antidote to dreary Covid isolation days.

I Have Covid [Day 5]

Every day of having Omicron so far has been suffering, pain, exhaustion, anxiety and discomfort… until now, Day 5. I haven’t needed to take any pain killers today for the first time in a while and I feel brighter inside, less trembly and weak. I’m not weighed down with pain. I feel optimistic. I’m still coughing all the time and have a sore throat and a headache, but the intensity has gone – the disease doesn’t dominate me any more.

Since getting Covid I haven’t been able to sleep at night, whether through discomfort, anxiety, or some mechanism the disease has on the brain keeping the mind alert and bouncing around the ceiling as the body languishes exhausted on the bed.

The night before last, I’d gone to bed at 9:00pm, slept between 12:00am and 2:00am then stayed awake struggling and exasperated in the dark until 7:00am when I finally got to sleep in broad daylight until 10:30am. That was following several nights of only getting a few hours sleep and I really couldn’t take it any more. So yesterday I asked someone to buy me a bottle of Night Nurse and I took a swig before bed which enabled me to finally sleep (in two halves) for a combined total of eight hours, and that has made a big difference.

Today, Day 5 I have a sore ear, constant tinnitus, a headache, a sore throat, coughing and fatigue – with the sore ear being the worst discomfort. In order to get a good sleep tonight, which I think is essential for the body to heal, I will take another swig of Night Nurse and with any luck will be able to report on yet more improvement next time.

I do feel sorry for the Queen who, at age 95, has now tested positive for Covid too. I truly hope she doesn’t have it as badly as I did, but if she does at least she’s lucky enough to have on-tap top medical advice (something that’s impossible for us regular citizens). Doubtless she will not have the same level of suffering and anxiety as those of us left dealing with the illness alone.

Here’s to everyone’s GOOD HEALTH!

I Have Covid [Day 3]

Well this is horrible. Worse than I expected. For me, it’s not been a question of simply having a couple of days in bed and then slowly getting better. On Day 3 I feel I am still getting worse. I now have a stomach ache which I didn’t have yesterday or the day before, and a feeling of slightly constricted breathing. I have diarrhoea. My right ear is blocked and I have tinnitus. I have a headache, a sore throat and a cough. I’m completely congested in the nose, and blowing my nose often and sneezing too. I haven’t had worse colds. This really is the flu. I can’t sleep much. Back ache woke me at 4:30am (this is my usual back ache from prolapsed discs) then the Covid discomfort was too great for me to fall back to sleep despite swallowing paracetamol. I feel delicate, kind of jittery and too hot. My chest is heavy, my throat sore. It’s scary. I’m anxious about it all. I’ve had three jabs but they don’t seem to be making it mild for me! At least I know for sure it’s Covid Omicron because I had a positive PCR result today as well as my two positive lateral flow tests.

Today, on this wild day of Storm Eunice, I feel worried, alone and pretty unwell.

I Have Covid [Day 1]

I got a faint positive lateral flow test today. It finally happened. Intellectually, I know it’s extremely unlikely anything bad will happen to me especially since I have had three vaccination jabs, but I’m still anxious. My symptoms include the feeling that a small fire is burning in my chest, I have a runny nose, migraine, sore throat, sneezing, and a cough. The migraine and tight chest are the worst symptoms at the moment and I’ve had to take a triptan for the pain, but most people who’ve had Omicron say it wipes you out for a couple of days and then you start to feel better and are left with a lingering cough and sometimes fatigue (although fatigue isn’t currently one of my symptoms). This is the case with my son. He was pretty ill for two days and then spent the remaining days with a cough that’s slowly getting better. Ho hum. Illness here we come. I’m already up to the hilt with paracetamol, ibuprofen and my triptan. I don’t want to get any worse.

I Believe I Have Omicron

Yes. I do. My daughter, who breathes and coughs in my face on an hourly basis(!) tested positive for Covid with a PCR test yesterday despite doing two lateral flow tests which were both negative. She tested in the morning (LFT) – negative. She tested in the afternoon (PCR) – positive, and tested again in the evening (LFT) – negative.

Are lateral flow tests a danger to society? Should they be used at all? They don’t seem to be reliable. I suppose they’re better than nothing when there aren’t enough labs and staff for everyone to have a PCR test but they’re often slow to catch up with reality and therefore give incorrect results and a false sense of security. People’s behaviour is based on the results of these erroneous tests.

I don’t believe that I haven’t caught this highly infectious variant while sharing drinks and oxygen in close contact with someone who definitely has it. I have all the symptoms – sore throat, headache, slightly aching body, runny nose, tiredness, tight chest, sneezing – so how and why do my twice-daily lateral flow tests tell me I’m negative?

My son, who obviously lives in close contact with both of us has gone into school every day because the rules say you have to go in if you receive a negative result on a lateral flow test, which, like me, he does every time. I’m convinced if we both did a PCR test it would come up positive for us. It’s a very frustrating situation.

Omicron

It is the short o in the Greek alphabet, the 15th letter. It’s also the name of the latest new variant of the novel coronavirus that causes the respiratory disease Covid19. It’s official classification is B.1.1.529, and it emerged in South Africa last Wednesday (it’s now Saturday) so we’ve had three days of being frightened by grim and disappointing news:

* it’s apparently more transmissible
* people who’ve been double vaccinated can catch it again
* it can evade some (or most?) of the power of the current vaccination jabs

It’s not yet known whether it’s more deadly.

It’s as clear as day now that the coronavirus is not something humanity is going defeat and eliminate, but something we’re going to have to live with (and die with). I believe it won’t be long before a variant will arrive that will be more deadly and, like The Plague in the middle ages, people will die in their millions. It’s a terrifying thought. But how can it not happen? I hope I’m wrong.

It’s been almost two years since the virus first emerged in Whuhan in China in December 2019. Have we lived with this virus for two years already? It seems impossible that that much time has gone by. Two years of Covid. It’s true though, because I am 52 years old and the virus emerged during my 50th year, the year I wrote ’50: Diary of a Middle-Aged Woman.’ I just have to think of how many years I am beyond my 50th birthday to know how long the virus has been in existence.

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has today announced that face masks are mandatory again on public transport and in shops. Meanwhile, I’ve ordered a pack of ten FFP3 face masks and a box of 100 disposable gloves. If I feel that this new variation is dangerous and killing more people I’m taking the kids out of school and locking us down in our own isolation bubble until a new vaccine emerges; and I’ll be extremely careful about touching things and breathing near other people if I go outside, for example to the supermarket. As you may know from reading the diary, I tend to make my own judgements about things, and although I’m guided by the Government and other entities I make my final decision based on my personal assessment and research of the available science and news.

In 2020 I took the children out of school two weeks before the Government ordered the very first lockdown and closed the schools. I saw the chaos in Italy and felt we were in real danger and that the Government was being slow to react. At the time there was the theory of ‘herd immunity.’ I talk about this at the time in the book. But the kids’ school was even worse! They were still planning all trips and activities right up until 20th March. When I told them I was removing the twins from school due to fear of the virus they didn’t support me and I was told they would inform the council (which would fine me for unauthorised absence). How small-minded and unintelligent they were back then (you can read all about this in the diary).

So I’ve learned my lesson. I’ll make up my own mind. I’m quite a good future forecaster.

As it stands now, on Saturday 27th November 2021, I’m keeping my ear to the ground and reading the news every day. I’m poised to act if there is any indication that the virus is more deadly and transmissible. Although I’m doubly vaccinated and had the booster four weeks ago, my children are unvaccinated. I need to be careful.