I contracted Omicron in December of 2021 while visiting our son in Kenya. I had a pretty easy time of it and recovered from the initial virus, but 2 weeks later, I was struggling to breathe.
My husband took me to the ER where they ran a profusion of tests. I didn’t have blood clots, I hadn’t had a stroke or a heart attack, it wasn’t pneumonia. I did not understand what was happening
Prior to this, I enjoyed a full and active life. I worked full time and was fortunate to indulge my love of travel, visiting family in exotic locations: South Africa, Hawaii, Slovakia and, this recent trip to Kenya.
Now I couldn’t breathe.
And I was so tired! It was much more than mere fatigue, it felt like an existential exhaustion.
Food became an issue, I lost 20 lbs. in 6 weeks. I’d always been slim, but now my clothes were falling off me. I didn’t want to eat. Except oatmeal. I ate a lot of oatmeal. Nothing smelled good, nothing tasted good.
I spent so much time sleeping, 12 hours at night and a long nap during the day. I knew this was helping me to recover but it was a strange sleep. Not like fever dreams, but as though I entered a cocoon. I felt part of me was aware of myself sleeping and I flitted back and forth between realities, willing myself to heal.
Joy, my little fluff-ball dog, stayed right by my side. At times, she would wake me up by lying on my face. I thought this was a little odd, until someone suggested she might be trying to wake me because my breathing had changed.
I took a medical leave from work. I could not stay awake or maintain cohesive thought. I started having some “good” days when I could accomplish at least one thing. On good days I thought I might be getting better - on bad days I wondered if I’d ever recover.
I wasn’t in pain, and I really wasn’t unhappy. I was just…languishing.