• Sarah Merrell

COVID and My Road to Recovery

Recently I was tested for COVID after potentially being exposed two days earlier. At the time, I was warned the test was being done too soon and it could be a false negative but I didn't think much of it. The following night I woke up in a sweat and spent the whole night awake with alternating chills and hot flashes. The next day I had a fever, body aches, a sore throat and pounding headache. Breathing felt labored. Then came disorientation and dizziness that made me nauseated. I struggled to eat and lost weight. The biggest mistake I made was seeing a virtual doctor who misdiagnosed me with the flu. I would soon find out my COVID test was indeed a false negative.

Over the course of the next seven days I felt miserable. The fever didn't budge. There were times I felt so sick, so fatigued and in so much discomfort that I would just plain cry. However, it was people's kindness who got me through it. I received so many well wishes, funny memes and even flowers and dinner dropped off at my house. It was people's kindness that helped me stay positive even when I felt my worst. My husband came down with COVID too. We were a sad duo and our house felt like a cesspool of sickness, but at least we were in it together. And by the time my husband reached his worst, I was starting to feel better and could help him.

By day 10, I started to feel more like myself. I still had fatigue and would get easily tired, but all other symptoms disappeared. And as of today I'm no longer contagious and have my energy back. Last night, we went for a walk for the first time after being sick.

The experience taught me a few things:

  1. We were lucky. We were never hospitalized. We were never on a ventilator. I'm extremely thankful for that.

  2. It made me empathize with people who have chronic illness or serious illnesses. I was miserable for 10 days. But there are so many people out there who have illnesses they live with every day--and people with life-threatening illnesses like cancer. Jud and I are able to move on with our lives but so many other people can't. And my heart and prayers go out to those people.

  3. COVID sucks. It really sucks. And we had what would be considered mild. Imagine having a case that is not mild. I would never wish this on anyone. And doctors still don't fully know the long term effects of COVID. The fatigue we're still experiencing could last a month or longer. And there's the threat of damage to organs like the lungs and heart. You do not want this. So I encourage everyone to do what they can to prevent it. Like many people, I hate wearing a mask. I really do. But I do not want to get COVID a second time nor do I want anyone else to get it so I plan to be more diligent about wearing one from here on out.

Next weekend Jud and I will be at the track and I can't wait. I've really missed being on my bike and I've missed being around people. Technically since I'm considered recovered I could ride this weekend but we're playing it by ear. Jud and I both are still struggling with the lingering fatigue but it gets easier each day. We're still a week out and we feel optimistic that it will subside in time for the track weekend and feel confident we'll be back to 100% by then. I was really looking forward to having new painted race fairings and the graphics kit on my bike for this track day, but due to being sick, we just weren't able to get it done. It is what it is. I'm just thankful we had COVID when we did so that we're recovered in time for the track weekend, period.

I want to send everyone a big thank you who reached out to me while sick. There were times the kind messages helped me get through the worse days. I think the most important lesson throughout all of this is the power of kindness.

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