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My COVID Journey: Dec 30-Jan 8

January 31, 2022

I recently recovered from COVID. Based on the numbers chances are you did too. As of today, two of my daughters’ families have COVID.

I’m fully recovered. I do have a lingering cough, but Jolly Rancher candies make pretty good cough drops.

This is a day by day recounting of my COVID journey.

I was vaccinated (J&J vaccine back in May.) But, was not boosted. (I am now. Again with J&J)

My case would be described as mild. Parts of it certainly didn’t feel mild. I went to the doctor, but didn’t end up in the hospital and didn’t require anything more than rest and chicken soup. I credit being vaccinated with preventing me from getting more severe symptoms.

Below is my 10 day COVID journey.

December 30, 2021 (Day 1)

Spike Milligan was a comedian whose headstone reads, “I told you I was ill.” I’m not dying, I don’t think. But, I am COVID positive. My son was diagnosed a few days ago. We’ve been in the mandatory 5 day quarantine. And then, I started feeling poorly. I threw up on December 23. It wasn’t terrible. I sneezed and then threw up in my garbage can at work. I went home. Because that’s what you do, but I was feeling fine. . .well, maybe not fine, but not terribly sick. And then, I kind of got better. Christmas was good. And I decided I’d work from home due to my son’s positive test.

I took a home COVID test just to be sure. I sent my family a group text: I’m NOT pregnant. The test came back negative.

I thought I was clever.

And then, I got worse. My throat was scratchy. (That’s a COVID symptom.) And then, last night, it got worse. A LOT worse. My throat and also my kidneys. I was in a lot of discomfort all night. I went out to the living room to avoid disturbing my lovely wife. Finally around 8:00am this morning I couldn’t take it anymore. My throat was on fire and my back ached. And I was alternating cold and hot. I finally woke my lovey wife and told her I needed to go to the doctor.

A call to the on-call nurse and WAY too many minutes later they basically said, “You can go to the Instacare, the ER or stay home.” Those were the options we had BEFORE we called. We opted for Instacare. Again, way too long of a wait when every swallow felt like a fork stabbing the back of my throat.

They did a urinalysis. Ruled out a UTI.

They did X-Rays. Ruled out pneumonia.

And, of course, they did a COVID test because it’s 2021 and that’s what you do. “We’ll, call you with the results.” This did nothing for my aching back and sore throat.

I missed the first call, but my phone started blowing up with text messages telling me to quarantine and not be around people, oh and would you tell us who you’ve been around for the past week?

December 31, 2021 (Day 2)

Last night was worse than the night before. I finally was able to sleep by kneeling next to the couch and laying my head on the couch. Even then, I only made it a couple hours at a time. And my throat was still killing me. Well, not ACTUALLY killing me, but certainly making it painful. I tried to drink. I would take a mouthful of ginger ale and then slowly let it trickle down the back of my throat. Applesauce seemed to help. And bananas. The yellow fruit didn’t bother me at all. My lovely wife fixed some kind of lentil and ham soup. I was able to eat most of it.

Orange juice, honey, ginger. Is this really the 21st century response to a world wide pandemic?

I tried to work, but a certain amount of brain fog and fatigue is setting in too. I went off caffeine completely when I started getting sick. But, at least one report on the internet suggested

Caffeine has been proven to be an effective anti-inflammatory and immunomodulator. In airway smooth muscle, it has bronchodilator effects mainly due to its activity as a phosphodiesterase inhibitor and adenosine receptor antagonist.

I have NO idea what that means. But I think it means it can help.

And it did. I drank a powered energy drink and finally after two days I could swallow without pain.

Thank God for small miracles. It’s not until you are in extreme discomfort that you realize the small things are answers to prayers.

January 1, 2022 (Day 3)

What a difference a day makes. The problem with treating COVID with caffeine is that it makes the sleeping part harder. Despite my lack of interest, I managed to stay up until midnight last night and “ring” in the New Year.

But, the caffeine really seemed to knock down the COVID sore throat symptoms. I could eat. I could drink. I still couldn’t really talk. But, once I managed to get to sleep, I did pretty good. I kept waking up to use the bathroom. (Stay hydrated they said!) Around 2:00am I finally took a couple of Benadryl. Sure, it’s a antihistamine. Good for allergies and such. But, it also has the same ingredients as sleeping pills. (As way too many parents of young babies probably won’t ever admit.)

I wake up later in the morning. . .a lot later. It was 11:30. My throat was a little sore, but nothing like what it had been.

Today, was sitting in my office, writing and watching football.

When I first found out I was COVID+ I send the following text to my family.

Looks like I really am pregnant after all. Went to teh doctor today and tested positive for COVID.

Not feeling too bad. Last night was a little rough. Ten day quarantine.

My lovely wife thinks I undersold my condition. Maybe. But, how do you know how bad YOUR pain is versus someone else’s? I don’t. During the doctor visit the nurse asked,

What is your pain level on a scale of 0 is totally fine and 10 is the worst pain you’ve ever felt?

Probably about a 7.

Again, my lovely wife wasn’t buying it. She offered,

He actually has a really high pain threshold, so I’m not sure I would believe the 7.

I suppose I do. But, honestly, I don’t know YOUR pain threshold, so how do I know if mine is higher?

And today, of course, I feel mostly fine. So, was I actually a 7? Or should it have maybe even been lower?

January 2, 2022 (Day 4)

Scratchy throat? achy body? Elevated fever?


Not me.

My lovely wife who had COVID last year and was being a trooper taking care of me now has COVID. I handed over the pulse oximeter. And we all quit wearing masks in the house. My daughter also has it.

Fortunately, my son and I seem to be coming out of it. We are both. . .mostly back to normal. But, now the girls are sick. We don’t know for sure if it’s Omicron or not, but last year we had two people sick and everyone else quarantined and we managed to avoid it. Not this time.

I still have a runny nose. My sore throat, the throat that had the stabbing fork symptoms is fine. My son said he also had trouble swallowing.

My niece in California also announced she and her two young children have it. She asked me for advice,

It really sounds like advice from the 19th century:
Drink plenty of liquids
Get plenty of rest

I did share my caffeine insights.

And my cousin in Washington posted that she and her young son also have it.

Fortunately all the adults involved were vaccinated. The kids are too young.

At least I’m able to go back to work tomorrow. . .remotely, of course.

January 3, 2022 (Day 5)

It’s clear to me that despite the negative results from the OTC home tests, I had COVID prior to when I was officially diagnosed on Dec 30, 2021. The 4th and 5th day are often the worst. And while it’s clear I’m still sick, at this point I’ve had colds that were debilitating.

I’m writing this COVID journal in real-time. Given how I feel today it’s hard to remember how terrible I felt just four days ago. My throat is fine. I have a sniffly nose. My appetite has returned. I’m back (almost) full time at work today. My household is also feeling like they are on the other side of the worst of it.

My niece is pretty miserable, but she really is in day 4. Here’s what should NOT happen from reading this story: It would be absolutely wrong to minimize COVID, or masks or vaccines based on my experience.

See? It’s not that bad. My friend Rodney got it and four days later was munching popcorn while updating his blog!

My household and myself were all vaccinated. (As was my niece and cousin.) Without the vaccine I’m convinced my symptoms would have been much worse.

How can you say that, Rodney? You don’t know what your experiences would have been if you weren’t vaccinated. You can’t know that.

I don’t know for me, but there are millions of people sick with COVID. Our hospitals are fuller than they have ever been. Of those needing hospitalization, 99% were NOT vaccinated. And people are still dying. Of those dying, ALSO 99% were the unvaccinated.

Do SOME people survive COVID without vaccines? Of course. My lovely wife got COVID last year before the vaccines were available. She nearly died.

It’s a pandemic. We look at patterns, trends and statistics. And those say that without a vaccine, you are 99x more likely to go to the hospital or die without a vaccine.

I’m grateful for my relatively quick recovery. But, not everyone in accident dies either. But, those wearing seatbelts have a better chance of surviving.

January 4, 2022 (Day 6)

Did I say quick recovery in yesterday’s update? Yes,I’m sure I did. It’s right there in the line above this one.

I guess this is why they call it a journey. Today was rough day. My cough, dry and infrequent yesterday is now hacking and at times constant. This morning was especially bad. And after feeling “pretty good” yesterday, I realize I did too much.

Fortunately I’m still able to work. Unfortunately, I had a lot of deliverables today. No chance to lay around all day recovering.

I added Jolly Ranchers to my list of “medicines” today. They are much easier on the linings of my mouth than the medicated cough drops. Thanks to my Masonic brother Tanner Zaugg for following through on the oft-heard promise, “Let me know if I can get you anything.”

Another busy day tomorrow after a late night development meeting with my team tonight. I really am grateful. This could be so much worse. And it is for many people.

January 5, 2022 (Day 7)

Rodney, how are you feeling?

Well, I’m not dead.

It got a laugh. Every time. Multiple time today.

Of course, when I got COVID, I made sure to let people know. Contact tracing, if nothing else, dictates that someone who tests COVID+ let the people in their life know that they too might have been exposed. And, I didn’t know how it would affect my ability to work, so of course I had to tell my boss. And the client.

I guess 7 days is the “Time to ask how he feels,” time. I’m not complaining. Not even a little. I honestly believe that people ask because they care. WHY they care is another story. I gave several updates today.

I’m not dead. And I don’t feel particularly close to death.

My sore throat is much better.

I have a lingering cough, severe at times.

I still have general fatigue.

I never lost my sense of taste or smell. The sore throat is unique to Omicron variant. I also found out today that night sweats are a symptom of Omicron. I’m mostly over them, but I certainly had those too.

January 6, 2022 (Day 8)

The COVID cough is a real thing. I must have sucked down two dozen Jolly Rangers. Waking up is the worst. Feel like I’m hacking up a lung. A bowl of plain applesauce seems to work. Then, it’s a full-time diet of sugar rocks.

The fatigue is a thing, too. But, fortunately I’m able to work. Overall, life is good. Annie is doing better. Ammon is doing better. Sabine is doing better. My niece is doing better.

I’m a statistic. One of the hundreds of thousands who got COVID and recovered. Will Omicron be the end of the pandemic? Will everyone eventually get it and that will end it?

I hope so.

January 7, 2022 (Day 9)

Two words: cough and fatigue.

That’s pretty much what I’m left with. The Jolly Ranchers take care of the first. Although my tongue is starting to get a little raw. Today was my last day of work for the week. While I spent the week at home, I really am ready for the weekend. I’ll try to go back to work next week.

January 8, 2022 (Day 10)

And now it’s ten. Finally get out quarantine. First trip was taking my lovely wife to Instacare. She has a sinus infection. The Physician’s Assistant was named Nathan Bliss. Coincidence. He prescribed a Neti pot. And a humidifier. I had a lot of errands that had stacked up. I did them today. About half way through I really ran out of gas. The car had plenty. But, personally I was worn out.

I’m calling today the end, but I think the recovery will be long.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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