Living with Rona
May 18, 2020 07:00AM
by Vonnie Woodrick
Living with Rona hasn’t been easy. She has taken away the normalcy of spending time with family, holding girls’ nights out with friends, and taking care of basic healthcare needs, such as going to the dentist or an eye appointment.
Rona has invaded my space, my health, and my everyday basic living. Rona has not been my friend. Rona has caused increased anxiety and has led me to discover my fears of the unknown. What is going to happen? Will I lose my job? Will there be a cure?
Spending time in LA visiting a friend in the sunny, warm mountains of California was just what this girl needed in late February. The walks, the talks, the mountain air, along with alone time reflecting on the need to get away, was revitalizing. I realized during this time that you don’t really know how much you need time away and time to yourself until you experience it. It was a beautiful discovery.
Feeling rejuvenated and connecting with an inspiring friend who has a daily routine of walking, admiring the beauty around her, appreciating the gifts she has been given, and expressing this through her art was refreshing. She is living her best life, recognizing her needs and, perhaps for the first time, fulfilling them. A beautiful sight to see.
I was renewed.
I was ready to get back on track, set new goals for my nonprofit – i understand, an organization I began after my husband’s death by suicide, a side effect of depression – and acknowledge the “me time” I need. I set forth to do so.
Rona had a different plan.
I flew back to Grand Rapids on February 29. Flying home was much different than flying into Burbank. Flying in, COVID19 was beginning to surface, as there were whispers of cases in the United States. There were many people with masks throughout the airport. The fear was beginning to rise.
On March 9, my family gathered at a local restaurant to celebrate my daughter’s birthday. Everything was pretty normal that day: we laughed, we cheered, we ate and she blew out her candles. Little did we know, things would change in a very short time.
On March 11, I was struck with the flu, with a bout of stomach pain followed by many trips to the bathroom. It’s a nightmare, as those know who have experienced the “coming out of both ends at the same time” for hours. It did pass, and I felt better, but better didn’t last.
For days, I felt as if I was on the verge of something, maybe a cold? I messaged my doc, and I was told to call the coronavirus screening line. I did. I first chatted with someone who asked a series of questions. I was then given a scheduled time to talk to someone who would “screen” me to see if I needed a test. Tests were very hard to come by and extremely limited at that time.
Since I did not have a fever, I was told to wait it out but if a fever or shortness of breath occurred, to call my doc. I never really felt that bad, and my thermometer was broken. Or perhaps I just didn’t know how to operate it correctly? I experienced chills, which can be a sign of a fever.
Symptoms didn’t change. Another screening, and once again denied a test.
After twelve days of staying at home and feeling pretty normal, I went to the grocery store and visited a friend, social distancing as best as I could. I didn’t believe I had COVID-19 the day I went out, especially as the professionals didn’t think I needed a test. I stayed in for those twelve days, keeping my distance, and following the guidelines. I was good to go. Right?
The next day, I was hit hard. A sore throat, chest pressure, and headache came on like a thunderbolt out of nowhere. This lasted for days, and a fever came in the form of sweating profusely, drenched with wetness that became somewhat worrisome, as thoughts raced through my mind: "Do I have coronavirus? Does my daughter have it? Will my aging parents get it? I wonder if I’ll die?"
Another phone call to the doctor. The doctor expressed that I had “typical” coronavirus symptoms. It was time to self-quarantine for 14 days and rest. If a fever or shorten of breath persists, I was to call her back.
Currently, I have exceeded my fourteen-day quarantine. Do I feel better? Not really. My sore throat has become more of a dry throat, my chest pain is still present and my headache persists. I have times of feeling OK, and I sleep very well, probably due to the DayQuil and NyQuil. My doctor has said that this is a very long virus that will take time to work through. It could be weeks before I finally am able to kick Rona out of the house.
My anxiety continues to increase, as each day goes by with no answers, no solutions, and no end in sight for the dreaded houseguest that has invaded me and my home.
Rona, it’s time to go. I continue to fight against her by following the doctors’ advice and taking care of me the best I can through this time of uncertainty. I will fight Rona, and I will win.
Every day brings hope for answers, vaccines, and treatment. Please, do your part to keep coronavirus from being a part of your life. Follow the guidelines. Stay home and wash your hands. Together, we will get through.Living with Rona hasn’t been easy. She has taken away the normalcy of spending time with family, holding girls’ nights out with friends, and taking care of basic healthcare needs, such as going to the dentist or an eye appointment.