Day 157. There has yet to come a day where I declare myself 100% symptom-free but I’m getting closer and closer! My experience of covid-19 and its after-effects are still affecting my days, both mentally and physically (a chest pain/’tight chest’ and tiredness still remain in my body).
A part of me feels like a soldier returning home from having fought a war. There is a word for that: shell-shocked. According to the Cambridge Dictionary this means extremely tired and nervous or frightened, especially after an unpleasant and unexpected event. Well, getting infected with covid-19 in the middle of March certainly was unexpected. And I guess you can call the past 22 weeks unpleasant but I can sure find other words to describe it too. It feels like I’m here but at the same time not really. I believe a part of me is processing all the things that I’ve experienced, bit by bit. Sometimes I can see it in my eyes when I look into a mirror – I don’t really look like ‘me’ somehow. And sometimes I find myself suddenly crying for no obvious reason when driving my car for example. This does not worry me at all, it’s all part of the process I believe.
I deliberately write ‘a part of me’ because that’s exactly how I feel these days. It’s not that I spend my days feeling extremely nervous or frightened all the time. My life is starting to look more and more like it did before. But I do have my moments. I’m nervous and fearful about relapsing for example, now that I’ve started to do more things every day again. However, I don’t want to let this fear stop me so I continue slowly activating my body again by taking daily walks and even going on holiday. And so far, no major relapses!
Covid-19 affected pretty much every part of my body, like a violent and destructive storm that swept through my whole system. And now, every day my body is working very hard to become fully healthy again. How amazing is the human body?! Seventeen and sixteen years ago I gave birth and experienced the magic the human body is capable of. It feels like I’m experiencing some of that same magic today. I can just scroll back and read my blog posts from some months ago and it immediately becomes so clear how much better I am today compared to those weeks, without having taken any form of medicine (not even a paracetamol). My body is healing all by itself. It truly feels miraculous!
Time. I still feel I need lots of it in order for my body to heal and process everything that’s happened for the past 5.5 months. I remember telling a friend a couple of months ago: I can’t believe it’s June! And now it’s August?! Soon, autumn will arrive here in Sweden. I had hoped to be able to travel to the Netherlands this autumn to visit my parents and friends who live there (it’s been almost a year since I last saw them) but I have come to realize that this will not be possible as I need to be quarantined for two weeks before being allowed into the country, my parents are part of a risk group and the number of infected people over there is rising again. I’m fairly certain that we won’t see each other for the remaining part of this year, which unfortunately is something that we all just have to accept.
This writing and the rest of my Corona Chronicles are my attempt to shed some public light on Long Covid and I notice in myself that I hope that it will spread widely and people will share it as much as possible. Not because I want to show off or boost this blog, that’s never been my objective ever since I started it (I fully trust that my writing will reach the people it is meant to reach somehow). I want my stories to spread because I feel strongly that Long Covid is a topic that people need to hear and learn about, and what better way to do that than to read and hear personal stories from people who are experiencing it firsthand? It is said that 1 in 20 people (I have also read 1 in 10) will experience Long Covid and with the growing rate of infected people worldwide, you can do the math yourself and conclude that this will become an even bigger issue in the times to come.
I find my experience relatively easy to write about, but I have noticed that talking about it often is a whole other thing. When people ask me questions I tend to get a bit quiet because I don’t know how to convey the depth of my experience in a couple of sentences. This is why it means a lot to me to connect with other people who have Long Covid. I’m part of a wonderful community on Slack (an online messenger/communication tool) with thousands of supportive and positive people from many different countries. Just knowing that I’m not alone means the world to me, and it’s nice to never have to explain anything because people in this community just get it.
I sincerely hope that my stories will contribute to something positive for the people who read them. This is story number 19 and I guess if you would try to find a thread throughout all stories it would be something like this:
However difficult and challenging these past 157 days have been, they have given me the gift of exploring my own depth in a new way. I don’t feel that I have stopped living my life at all – it just took another form. The author and life-coach Martha Beck instagrammed (is that a verb?) today:
When life’s options
the only way to keep
is to become deeper.
This is exactly how I feel. I hope these words will inspire you too!
With love from a sunny and hot Stockholm ♥
Photo: Sime Basioli – unsplash.com