After nearly two years of doing everything possible to avoid Covid, it entered our lives/home.
Let me start with the punchline – the anticipation of the virus was much worse (for us) than the actual experience of having it. Again, this was our experience, but I know it varies for everyone.
And just for the record – Vishnu and I are both double vaccinated and boosted. Kaiden and Mila are not yet vaccinated.
How it started…Vishnu…
Vishnu came home from work on a Friday and said he didn’t feel too good*. All the flags went up. Since he was a little symptomatic, he took a rapid test but it came back negative. He still didn’t feel good the next day, so we scheduled a PCR test. The results came back on Monday morning…negative.
Given these results and the fact that the rest of us felt ok, we assumed Vishnu had a bad cold.
*Body aches, headache which then progressed to a mild cough, cold, etc.
Vishnu didn’t test positive (on an at home rapid) until Thursday.
And then there was Kaiden…
And then on Wednesday, when I picked Kaiden up from school, he told his brain hurts (headache?). Again, all the flags went up, but seemed ok otherwise, so I wasn’t too worried.
That night, Kaiden woke up crying and super warm. I took his temperature – 101.2. I gave him some Tylenol and put him back to bed.
The next morning, I had Kaiden taken a rapid test, and it came back positive before the control line even showed up. Oy vey!
I took Kaiden’s temperature regularly on Thursday and Friday, and it peaked at 99.8, so Wednesday night was the worst of it for him. No cold, no cough…nothing!
Although he was ok physically during the day, Kaiden did start waking up in the middle of the night after testing positive. Some nights he’d cry a little and fall back asleep, and other nights he’d be inconsolable for like 10 minutes. I really think this has some thing to do with Covid because 1. it definitely wasn’t happening before and 2. after asking about this on IG, a few people said they experienced something similar with their kids. He still occasionally wakes up, so we’re keeping an eye on him for now. I may bring this up with his pediatrician if it continues for longer than a month or so.
And then there was me…
My experience was also mild but a little strange. I took two rapid tests at home after we learned that Kaiden tested positive. The last one I took was on Saturday, and it came back negative. So I assumed I was superhuman and avoided the virus altogether.
But something told me these were false negatives because while I didn’t have any crazy symptoms, I did have a slightly runny nose and a tickle in my throat (that later led to me losing my voice a little).
So, I signed up for a PCR test at CVS that Monday. The results came back the next day…POSITIVE. I knew it!
My symptoms didn’t get any worse/prominent until I lost my sense of taste and smell that Saturday (over two weeks after being exposed to Vishnu). I’ll get to that in a minute.
And then there was Mila…
The biggest silver lining in this whole ordeal was that Mila (and Kaiden) didn’t show a single symptom at all. In fact, she was her smiley happy self the whole time.
After talking to her pediatrician and my sister (who’s a pediatrician), we decided not to get her tested, as the assumption was she probably had it and was asymptomatic.
As you can imagine, taking any sort of precautions with a 4.5 and 3 month old was hard. We did the best we could, especially up until learning I was positive too. We wore masks at all times, I tried to disinfect major areas/surfaces, and most importantly, we kept Kaiden away from Mila (the hardest part).
The first few days were the toughest, but Kaiden mostly understood. All I can say is thank goodness for PBS! My boy watched a ton of TV those 10 days, but we got through it. We survived!
Loss of taste and smell
So like I said, I lost my sense of taste and smell almost a week after testing positive via a PCR test. It was the strangest experience, and I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to do it justice. But it really felt like it was there one minute and gone the next. In fact, my best friend and her family came over on Saturday, and we had Thai food for dinner. I could definitely taste what I ate.
However, that night before bed as I was going through my skincare routine, I noticed that I couldn’t smell my face serum (which has a very strong scent). I took the bottle over to Vishnu and asked him to smell. He said he could definitely smell it. I then tried to smell different things in the bathroom and nothing. It was completely gone!
The next morning, I tried a spoonful of PB to check my sense of taste and again nothing. It literally felt like creamy goo in my mouth. I even went as far as putting sriracha on my tongue. I definitely got a hint of spice but nothing that I needed a glass of water for or anything like that.
Later that night (Sunday), I talked to my friend who’s an ENT, and she suggested starting a high dose zinc supplement (which I got from Sprouts) and trying smell therapy.
What is smell therapy you ask? My friend told me to deeply inhale/smell either vinegar or coffee beans (not ground coffee) for 1-2 minutes 1-2 times a day. She said to really imagine what I know vinegar to smell like for the entire 1-2 minutes.
I started the zinc on Sunday and the smell therapy on Monday, and by Wednesday evening, I had my senses back, except for PB, which still tasted like crap until Thursday evening.
I was really nervous I was to lose these sense for the long haul, especially after reading about some people’s experiences online. I count my lucky stars for smart doctor friends and the fact that my experience was less than a week long.
How we’re doing now
I’m happy to report that everyone’s back on track!
Kaiden even went back to school for three days before we got a phone call that another kid in his class tested positive. For us, that means he can’t go back for five days, which puts us at Tuesday.
While we physically fared ok this time around, the mental games this virus plays with you is something else. I was so scared for Mila and even Kaiden. It was also stressful being at home with two kids who needed me in different ways. Thankfully, Vishnu was either off or working from home most of that time.
While this is definitely a nerve wracking time for parents, please don’t freak out until you have to. Don’t put yourself through the virus twice – once in your head and then when it happens IRL. Kids really are faring well with this variant, and while a positive outcome can’t be guaranteed, know that it’s largely out of your control at this point. This is the advice I would’ve gave myself a few weeks ago if I could’ve!