It’s the end of January 2022 and my husband was getting ready for a trip to Canada. This was a guys’ ski trip he rescheduled from the year before due to COVID-19. It’s less than a week from his scheduled flight. He reviewed his packing list, coordinated last-minute details with his friends, double-checked flight times, and ensured his COVID-19 tests were scheduled. Then we get a call in the middle of our work day, “This is the school nurse calling…”
Our 7-year old daughter had a persistent cough and she needed to be picked up (uh-oh). My husband had a COVID-19 test scheduled for that afternoon in preparation for his trip so I asked him to schedule a test for her as well. He started to question whether he should go on the trip and looked at alternatives for postponing since we wouldn’t get the test results for a few days and it may be too late to cancel his trip at that point. Meanwhile, I started to feel a tickle in my throat (uh-oh, again).
Later that evening, after we picked up our 4-year old son from school, I noticed his head felt warm. He had a fever. We had a few home COVID-19 tests so we used them on both kiddos and the results came back positive. I scheduled official COVID-19 tests for my son and myself the following morning, but we were 99% positive that COVID-19 had finally hit our household after almost two years of staying healthy. At this point, my husband was scrambling to reschedule or cancel his trip (flights, lodging, rental car, schedule conflicts with friends, etc.). Even though he didn’t have his official results back yet, he didn’t want to risk it.
Over the next couple of days, my symptoms got worse, while the kids seemed to stay healthy. My son’s fever went down within 12 hours and my daughter was no longer coughing. Even my husband had very mild cold-like symptoms. Meanwhile, I was getting more and more exhausted and my throat was throbbing. We all tested positive except my husband (he tested again a couple of days later and it came back positive). I did my best to keep the kiddos entertained while we were in quarantine, but it became more difficult the closer we got to the weekend and the worse my symptoms became.
By the time I woke up Friday morning, I couldn’t talk and I had the most painful sore throat. I had a fever and all my muscles ached. I stayed in bed the next couple of days while my husband tried to wrangle in the two kids (who seemed to have more energy than ever!), coordinate logistics to reschedule his trip, work, and fix the garage door that had just broken. The kids would periodically jump on me while I tried to nap and then run away screaming and laughing.
“Mom, can we have candy?” Sure!
“Can we play video games?” Go for it!
“Can we watch a movie?” Be my guest!
“Can we climb on the roof?” Now, that’s where I draw the line…
I think you get the picture. We were in survival mode and the kids knew it and took advantage of whatever they could get away with for 48 hours. But they were healthy and I am so grateful for that. I emerged from the bedroom on Sunday and started to feel human again. I slowly started to put the house back together and get the kids into a more normal routine of playtime, brushing teeth, and eating fruits and veggies again.
My husband and I both got vaccinated in spring/summer of 2021 with a booster shot in December. My daughter also got vaccinated in fall/winter 2021. Our son was too young to get vaccinated at the time. I’m very thankful that we had access to vaccinations. I imagine our symptoms may have been much worse if we didn’t have that (especially mine). We plan on getting vaccines and boosters in the future as they become available.
A couple of days after I started my path to recovery, both kids went back to school. My family has no lingering effects and had little to no symptoms or issues during our quarantine. I’m very grateful for that. On the other hand, I experienced some challenges for several weeks after I recovered. At the time we got sick, I was training for a half marathon. It took me a couple of months to reach the same running speed and lung capacity that I had pre-COVID-19. It was a slow and frustrating process. Other than that, I don’t have any lingering symptoms and my family is very healthy. Certainly not an experience I wish on anyone else, but if I had to quarantine with anyone my family would be my number one choice.
And my husband did get to go on his rescheduled ski trip in March. While he was gone, though, our son got the flu (uh-oh).