Grand Forks County
I am happy I got the vaccine and hope that if I were to get COVID again, it would be more mild.
I have always considered myself healthy and hearty. When I heard about COVID, I figured if I got it, I would be asymptomatic and unaffected. I was 38 when I tested positive for COVID in early November 2020, and I was wrong about how it would go.
It started with muscle aches. I couldn’t get enough icy hot and Tylenol. I hadn’t been overly active recently, so I was a little concerned. Then, I developed this weird smell in my nose that smelled musty, like a stale, wet washcloth. I had never had this issue before, but it would, in time, turn into the loss of my sense of smell (never lost my sense of taste). Since random weird symptoms were happening to me, I started worrying it was COVID.
I was home alone with my kids that weekend. My husband was hunting in the western part of the state, and I texted him that I was concerned I had COVID and encouraged him to get home as soon as possible. I started wearing a mask in the house, terrified my kids would get it from me. My 3-year-old son was already quarantining from an exposure at daycare but had tested negative.
I tested that Monday at a rapid testing center. I remember being in line and this one woman’s cough sounded like she needed to be in the ER instead of at the testing center. Yet there I was, quietly waiting, while unknowingly positive with COVID.
When they called me and told me I tested positive, I hung my head as if I was given a death sentence. I wondered if I would be dead in two weeks.
I have suffered from anxiety for most of my life, and COVID would be the ultimate test of it. I suffered from so many panic attacks during it. I isolated myself while coloring in a lot of adult coloring book pages to try to focus my mind on anything else.
While I would feel okay with mostly minor symptoms – some hot flashes, occasional dizziness, nasal congestion, extreme fatigue, I couldn’t erase the fear that I could just “go downhill” at any point.
My husband eventually tested positive also, so then I had both of us to worry about. By some miracle, neither of our children tested positive. We tested them multiple times. Because they never got infected, they were quarantined to the house for over a month.
In time, my husband and I both recovered. I had lingering rib pain, and a month or so after recovering, I ended up being diagnosed with costochondritis, an inflammation of joints in your ribs that causes chest pain. It commonly happens after viruses, so it is likely the COVID caused it. Steroids took the pain away until I stopped taking them. Then, it came back, but not as severe.
I still occasionally get rib pain, but it’s gotten much better since I got the vaccine. I wonder if it helped.
I am happy I got the vaccine and hope that if I were to get COVID again, it would be more mild. To me, not getting vaccinated means being okay with getting COVID and giving it to others. I don’t want either of those scenarios, especially after having had it.