What happens when the nurse becomes the covid patient?

I’m kicking myself everyone… absolutely livid actually. I’ve gone through the whole of this pandemic, been so careful, worn full PPE, hand washing is on point, stayed clear of big crowds and not been mingling or partying. I’ve managed to escape covid all this time and I’ve had both my vaccines.

Until 2am on Sunday 15th August. When I woke with a raging temperature of 38.5, sweating, goosebumps, shivering, feeling sick to my stomach, muscle aches and a headache. I did a lateral flow test (I know they aren’t for symptomatic people but it was there and I wanted to check it out) – it was surprisingly negative. So I arranged a proper PCR test at the local drive through centre

“Your recent covid test has come back positive” fan blinking tastic! Not…

My whole world came crushing down around me. The first thing I thought was “I’ve ruined my friends wedding day!’ Because she had been around the day before collecting some printing I’d done for her. I panicked that she was going to have to self isolate now. I sat there and sobbed about it and then called her to let her know (after I called my manager of course!)

The guidelines changed on Monday 16th august 2021 in the UK – Anyone who’s been double vaccinated and are key workers don’t have to self isolate if they are a contact. They can carry on as normal (I won’t tell you what I think about this ridiculous rule…) but you can read them here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/self-isolation-removed-for-double-jabbed-close-contacts-from-16-august

Luckily, my friend was ok, and today she got married yay! I sat and I watched from the comfort of my own home today. They had shared it as a Facebook live event so people who couldn’t attend could see it. Thank you for technology!

My next thought was, where and how have I got this? I ran through my mind, where had I been, what had I touched, had I washed my hands enough? Which patients had I seen? Have I passed this on to anyone vulnerable?! The truth is, I could sit there all day trying to work it all out but the fact is, you can’t possibly know for sure.

At work we wear full PPE still, everything gets washed down between patients, I’m washing my hands plus gelling my hands all the time. We’ve all done amazing to keep COVID safe, but here I am sadly.

The first 3 days were absolute hell, I’m not going to lie. I couldn’t control the fever, it shot up and down continuously making me feel sick, shivering, just rotten. I never realised how poorly a fever actually makes you feel when it’s as high as 38.5! Now I know… Then the second day, it went into all my sinuses, my sinuses blocked, my eyes burned and hurt all behind them. My muscles were on fire, my skin was so painful and sensitive – a horrible feeling. Then by day 3 I was coughing up thick green mucous and had this strange pain between my shoulder blades! I think I hit every symptom possible all at once, or it felt like it!

And now, as I’m on day 5 of symptoms, I’m feeling much better! My fever has vanished, which is the one I couldn’t handle to be honest. Personally my worst symptom of them all. However, my sinuses are still blocked and I have green mucous still as well as this weird back pain. I did an econsult this morning just in case it was turning into a secondary chest infection. My GP was very fast at calling me, and has set me up with antibiotics as a precaution if I need them. I won’t collect them unless absolutely necessary though.

During the time I had my fever and couldn’t sleep at night, there were a few moments were I thought ‘this is it’ (it was very dramatic!) But all I could think was, my time was up, I thought about how my funeral would look, I then worried about who would tell everyone and how they would do that? Like all of my amazing followers on social media. How would people know I wouldn’t be blogging anymore? Tweeting? How sad is that?! Such awful thoughts actually, but thoughts I was just lying there thinking about. Because it suddenly dawned on me that I had Covid and Covid kills, along with that and my family curse of dying young, I don’t stand a chance really. It’s a very scary feeling! And if I do survive this, will I have long covid? How is it going to affect me long term? What if I catch it again? The questions were endless.

But like I said, I’m day 5 and feel like a survivor right now. So I thought I’d share my tips on what I’ve done that’s helped me get well *disclaimer* Everyone is different and Covid affects everyone differently, so find what works for you.

  • Paracetamol to reduce fever and aches – take every 4 hours but NO MORE than 4 times in a 24 hour period
  • Luke warm bath or shower to reduce fever
  • Ice packs! I had some ice packs already which I wrapped in a tea towel and placed on the back of my neck and forehead. Just get some ice and put inside a small towel or pillow case and place where you want them
  • Vitamins! Keep your immune system strong: Vitamin C, Vitamin D, magnesium, Zinc, and B Vitamins
  • Eat well: I upped my fruit and veg intake every single day. Each morning I have an orange and a kiwi and then loads of veg with meals
  • Fluids: drink more than you need if you’ve been sweating a lot to replace the fluids you’ve lost. Don’t dehydrated!
  • Masala tea – my fave! It’s full of goodness. I added extra ginger, honey and a pinch of turmeric to mine. Natural and good for you
  • Keep your glucose stores up too! I have lucazade – beware if your diabetic tho. Maybe have something lower to avoid a hyperglycaemic episode.
  • Rest and sleep when you can to rest your body

These are all the things I’ve been doing every day to stay as well as I can. I hope some of them help you too. I really hope that this is coming to the end of my Covid now 🙁 it’s been absolutely horrendous and I wouldn’t wish it on my enemy. I dread to think how I would feel if I wasn’t vaccinated! And for the anti-vaxxers out there, no the vaccine doesn’t stop you from getting Covid, it lessens the symptoms and prevents death. Which is scientifically proven… I’ve had both my vaccines back in February 2021, so if I hadn’t of had them, I may of been hospitalised by now for all I know!

To everyone out there, please get vaccinated, wear your PPE, and stay safe and sensible. Don’t risk getting this and suffering.

And lastly, I may of been delirious at some point and decided I’m going to start making some cool student nurse / nursing related clothing!! I bought some vinyl and a big vinyl printing / cutting machine to set up at home! It arrived today! On my blog site, there’s a tab that says ‘online store’ – watch this space! When I’m fully well again, and past isolation, I’m going to start designing some stuff for you all! I hope it’s as awesome as I imagine it to be haha. Thank you all so much for your love and support throughout my journey 🙂

About

37 years old and I have finally achieved my dream of becoming a nurse. I had around 10 years healthcare experience before I started my nursing degree and then when I qualified I went straight into GP Nursing. I have a passion for sexual health, transgender health, LGBTQ+ health and all things shiny.

3 Comments

  • Anonymous August 21, 2021 at 7:09 pm Reply

    Stay strong Claire. Sending love and prayers to you.

  • Joe Wilson August 21, 2021 at 12:25 am Reply

    Get well soon and stay strong. I cannot believe you have found the strength and determination to write this whilst battling COVID-19! Massive hugs from the Scottish Highlands. You are a bit of an inspirational legend it has to be said, JW.

    • Anonymous August 21, 2021 at 2:46 pm Reply

      Thank you 🙏🏻 I was starting to feel a bit better so sat and did some writing 🙂 I hope you’re doing ok? Claire x

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