A Tale of Two Sickies…

We’re not on the road, and not planning to be until our fall migration (thank you fuel prices!).  However, that doesn’t mean we haven’t found new adventures.

At the onset of the pandemic, one of the questions that swirled around my gray matter was the dilemma of how to handle one of us getting sick, and the other not.  Based on the reports of the severity of illness, I knew that neither of us would want to have the other one tough it out alone.  I had to have faith that we wouldn’t have to deal with that.  And that worked well for us.

As time progressed, we became just a little too complacent and let our guard down.  (Strike #1)  We did get our initial vaccine series and the first booster.  I put off the second booster because I had been sick and the doc suggested I wait a bit for the second one. (#2).  We are back in northern Michigan, where we consider ourselves fairly safe based on transmission numbers.  (#3).  Masks are only pulled out for strangers and crowded conditions.  (#4).  (You’ll see we went past the three strikes already – and there are two more things that belong on this list.)

So, I thought I would take a moment and share some insights with y’all.  Keep in mind the following:

  1. This is not a political post.  Don’t turn it into one.  Just quit reading and move on.
  2. This is not a finger-pointing post or blaming post.  I believe there is something to be learned from everything, and this situation is ripe with opportunity. 
  3. We readily acknowledge that we are fortunate (at least thus far) to be experiencing a mild case of what is likely the Omicron BA4 or BA5 variant based on symptoms.
  4. There is always something to be learned (I may have already mentioned this)!
  5. You do you.  But be kind to others.

We pretty much know when we were exposed and know exactly when our symptoms started.  None of the 14-day stuff, not 10 days, not 5 days….how about 3 days????  And yep, even though we knew by then, we still wanted to deny it. 

So, to answer our initial question about how to deal with someone getting sick while living in the RV – the answer appeared on it’s own!  Just get it together – that way isolation and quarantine is easy to track, and no one has to go to a motel/hotel while the other is at home.  It’s very helpful to have just ordered a year’s supply of Puff’s Plus with Lotion – because you will use 6 month’s worth in a couple days.  (Might want a little extra TP on hand as well.).

The minute you discover you’ve been exposed – grab your mask and head to the grocery store!  Time is of the essence! You want to accomplish this before you become contagious. Quickly plan and purchase food for 7-10 days.  Folks, this is not the time to plan gourmet meals.  Think comfort food – items with 5 or less ingredients that will make at least one extra meal.  Orange juice, chicken soup, bread, peanut butter, jelly, Spaghetti Os, (or in our case – coconut Thai chicken curry soup, pasta fagioli, and Mexican Shrimp Cocktail) – those comfort foods that are super easy to make, and even easier to reheat.  Make sure you have the necessities – coffee, Jujyfruits, yarn, and Sudoku. 

Put your groceries and supplies away and make sure you catch up on as much as you can.  Don’t fall prey to the “oh good, I will have 5 – 7 days at home with no one bothering me to get stuff done – with another 5-7 days avoiding people” mentality.  Start hydrating now.  Find your Advil and Tylenol, your Mucinex, Zinc, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, honey, tea, and lemon.  Pick out your favorite comfy blanket and pillow, and your softest jammies.  And your home test kits…but it’s best not to use them until you’ve had symptoms for a couple of days (and this is straight from the doctor’s office) unless you enjoy tickling your nostrils with Q-tips.  Find your thermometer and your pulse oximeter.  You’re about to embark on an adventure!

We got our wake-up call about 5:00am – and neither of us had requested it.  Our feeling about 5:00 is that there should only be one at 5:00 PM.  Of course, we tested negative, but tested anyway since we are in contact with friends that are vulnerable.  We did check in with our doctor and were advised that we didn’t qualify for Paxlovid or the infusion, and that we should assume we had COVID despite the negative result.  We were to monitor our symptoms and seek attention for any difficulty breathing, change in mental status (okay – I think they really mean like if you get confused, difficult to respond and stay awake.  Pretty sure it doesn’t include stir-crazy, cranky, sleep-deprived bad mood mental status changes).

That first day wasn’t too bad for about 12 hours, then things started heading south.  We pretty much lost the next 3 days.  So much for planning to get stuff done while we waited this out.  We still haven’t found the energy to do all those things we planned with all the time we were to have had on our hands.  Fortunately, our campground is unusually empty – and has been most of the summer.  Pretty sure this is directly related to fuel prices.  We were able to take Piper out for walks and not meet anyone.  Keep in mind that Bill and I had been walking a couple miles a day.  Now, a quarter mile loop around the campground felt like a 10k.  Thankfully we have Piper – and a reason to get out and breathe fresh air.

Fevers, coughing, upper respiratory symptoms, body aches and fatigue (like you got run over by a truck) were pretty much what we were dealing with.  I had trouble sleeping (and still working on that).  Very little exertion and we are ready for a nap.  A serious note here – if you have COVID, pay attention to your symptoms.  Again, learn everything you can about the current recommendations, etc.  Know when to seek medical attention!  (Just for the record, we did test positive two days later – just like the doctor said!)

Earlier I mentioned having yarn (for me) and Sudoku (for Bill).  Really aren’t ready for those until day 4 or 5.  I did try to do some knitting around day 4 – and added several design elements that aren’t in the original pattern (they became design elements instead of mistakes because I didn’t have the energy to rip them out).  I noticed that Bill seemed to be a little (lot) more challenged than usual by the Sudoku puzzles.

You’ll notice I didn’t add reading material to the list of things to have prepared.  I suppose you can, but don’t be surprised if your ability to retain what you have read is close kin to a kitchen strainer.  I was going to be brave and try to work.  About the only code I could come up with was U07.1 – AKA COVID.  I couldn’t get my hamsters to spin the wheel in sync – heck – I couldn’t even find them to put them on the hamster wheel! 

Bill was able to do a little outside work (our handyman went AWOL), and I staffed the kitchen for food (our cook didn’t show up for work).  Piper rode herd on us and kept us in line.

We are recovering nicely and will be breaking out of house arrest tomorrow.  We are very grateful for friends, our kids, and Mom and Rob for making a grocery run and calling to check on us. 

Borrowing this practice from my other blog site, here are a few “Grace Lessons” to think about…

  1.  COVID is still a real thing.  Regardless of your views, take a few minutes to refresh your knowledge with respect to the new variants.  Boosters are out there and available (if you are up-to-date, you have had two).
  2. Masks are still in style.  Protect your friends and family with whatever method you feel is appropriate.
  3. If in doubt, test it out.  Free test kits are available – you can order them from the USPS (and if you only ordered the first set, you are eligible for 2 more with 8 tests per set).
  4. Understand that your vaccinations help protect you from severe disease.  They don’t mean that you can’t get it, can’t get severe symptoms, or you can’t transmit the disease.
  5. Know the symptoms of the current variants.  If you suspect, or if you have known contact and exposure, please let people you are in contact with know this.  That gives them the choice to respond in the manner they choose.
  6. Check on friends/family that are dealing with the disease. 
  7. Don’t make elaborate isolation plans for all that time you will have while waiting to do your jailbreak – just pick your softest pillow and blanket.
  8. Doesn’t matter what is on TV…you’ll fall asleep anyway.
  9. Fluids are your friend, so is ice cream and popsicles.

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