Let’s talk about Covid. Well my experience of it…

I wasn’t stupid enough to think that I wouldn’t catch it. I took all the right precautions to keep myself safe.

Both of my parents have had it. I wasn’t naive enough to think if I did get it, it wouldn’t affect me.

But I wasn’t prepared to spend 2 nights in hospital with it.

My Covid journey was rapid, unexpected and scary. I went from feeling like I’d just got a cold to being in A&E with an irregular heartbeat.

My symptoms weren’t the usual ones you’re told about. I woke up Boxing Day with a mouthful of ulcers, a sore throat and a snotty nose. I put it down to being rundown. I felt grotty, but no worse than a cold. I’m so glad that I went to be tested Boxing Day morning. The only reason I did was cause I knew I could have been exposed to it at work.

The cough started on Boxing Day afternoon. But it wasn’t the dry continuous one they talk about. It was chesty and chunky.

I got my results back on Sunday afternoon. I burst into tears when I opened the email to find I was positive. I would have laid money that it was going to be negative.

Having to tell people I’d seen was just awful. I felt so guilty, even though I couldn’t have known. Thankfully I’d only seen a small number of people. I thought people would hate me for inadvertently exposing them. It’s a very bizarre feeling.

Having spent most of year in splendid isolation, the thought of more wasn’t terribly appealing. But I knew I could do it. 10 days isn’t that long really in the grand scheme of things.

My heart had started fluttering on Christmas Eve but again I thought I was just tired. It got worse Sunday evening. It felt like I had 2 heartbeats. Very odd. I kept going light headed and almost passing out. And I was just sat still. I’ve never experienced anything like it.

I didn’t get much sleep as you can imagine. My heart was pounding out of my chest and I was rather emotional. Not for the first time this year, I cried myself to sleep.

I called 111 on Monday to check if my heart palpitations were normal or connected to Covid. They wanted me to go for an ECG. Slightly challenging as I couldn’t drive or ask anyone to take me. So paramedics were called. They checked my heart and it was all over the map. Bouncing from 45 to 120 with no clear level. Skipping beats and throwing in extra ones.

They weren’t happy, so off to A&E we went. Arrived at the hospital and had to wait outside till a Red Room was available. Now don’t get any ideas of 50 Shades, this was very different!

I was immediately hooked up to a heart monitor. Watching your heart beat bouncing around like a pinball machine is freaky to say the least! It went from 160 to 0 at one point. It even hit 250! It wouldn’t stay still.

I have a low resting heart rate and my heart rate never goes that high! I may be 50, but I consider myself fit and healthy. I don’t have any underlying health issues. So it was very unnerving seeing two doctors standing watching the monitor as your heart danced about. All in the knowledge that they are putting themselves at risk in order to treat me.

My blood pressure was lower than usual too. Again, it usually on that low side. But was on the floor.

They decided to admit me. But there wasn’t a bed available on the Covid ward, so I spent the night in A&E – feeling scared, exhausted and very alone.

Next morning I made it to the ward. And brought the average demographic down considerably as the other ladies were all late 80s / early 90s. I was full of snot and sneezing constantly. All very odd.

After another night on a heart monitor, my heart started to go back to normal. I’m lucky. The ladies had been in for weeks. I only had to do 2 nights. But they did all have multiple health issues.

I’ve been in hospital before. But never through illness. They’re going to refer me to a cardiologist to check that there isn’t anything else going on. But it seems that the virus is affect everyone differently. It really is a vile virus.

So now I’m back home. Resting. Again. Still full of snot and with a hacking cough. I started the year in hospital after breaking my ankle. Kinda apt that I finished it in hospital too.

Please stay safe and take it seriously. I have always had a huge admiration for anyone who works in the NHS. Everyone is doing the most amazing job, in very odd circumstances.

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