Modern Athlete Magazine Issue 145, Sept/Oct 2021 | Page 45

I kept to all the usual rules of sanitising , wearing my mask and avoiding gatherings and crowds .
The next few weeks of November brought added stress with work , over and above the ongoing stress caused by lockdown and financial complications , which meant little or no sleep and working long hours . The work was a small trail event that we were given permission to put on , provided we followed all the rules of sign-ins , social distancing , temperature checks , wearing masks and ‘ bathing ’ in sanitiser . It was a great success , and the team finished the event happy , tired , over the moon we could actually have an event – all the usual things that come with an event .
Event fatigue is a real thing , so I didn ’ t think anything of it when I woke up the day after event feeling pretty shattered . I also woke up with a husky voice and a throat that felt like I had swallowed a razor blade . I again assumed it was from shouting through my mask and general post-event elements , but when my temperature climbed to 38.2 later that day , I knew something else was at play .
I went from having a sore throat to a full-blown chest infection in less than 24 hours , and the body aches and headaches that had started were off the charts . It was a Monday , and I called my doctor , who did an online consultation and arranged an appointment with a PathCare Lab . I felt so crap while sitting in that waiting room , and I knew that I was severely ill . I just sat in the corner , sobbing quietly into my mask , as all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and sleep ( read die ).
heavy was sitting on my chest , and that I had liquid in my lungs , as it was so difficult to breathe . I was also extremely thirsty all the time , and all I did was drink litres of ice-cold water . That was all I wanted .
In hindsight , I probably could have gone to the hospital for a few days , as living on my own and trying to get through this all is not the wisest decision , but I wasn ’ t really thinking rationally at all , and just wanted my bed . I live on my own , and I have a dog and a few cats that need care and feeding , so leaving wasn ’ t an option in my mind . Going to hospital seemed like too much hard work , when all I wanted to do was sleep .
By day four I was starting to feel like I was through the worst , and was actually quite upbeat and positive . I told a friend I was even considering walking my poor dog to the end of the street and back , just to get outside . That didn ’ t last long , though , as a few hours later the virus sent in ‘ back-up ’ and the fatigue hit me on the back of the head with a big stick !
I ’ m not talking about the fatigue you feel after a long run or lack of sleep , that goes away after a good night ’ s sleep . I ’ m talking about fatigue that makes you one hundred percent sure . I woke up on a Sunday morning with a high temperature and feeling really crappy . During the course of the day , the intense headaches started , and I went to bed . I isolated myself immediately and contacted my doctor , who said I should keep an eye on my symptoms and contact her if they got worse . They didn ’ t , but I did come out in this very weird rash all over my body , that looked like welts and bad sunburn . That was the sum total of what is now known as round one .
I recovered fairly quickly , but was left feeling pretty wiped out . I went for the antibody test , which is very similar to a pregnancy test and uses a drop of blood . ( You sit waiting for the lines to show up , hence I say it ’ s like a pregnancy test .) I was informed I had had a virus , but it wasn ’ t COVID , so I started living my life as normal again . Still , I was convinced I had had it , and
The SMS less than 24 hours later telling me my test result was positive was no surprise – I knew that I had COVID – but it opened up a well of emotion . That included a feeling of guilt as to who I may have infected , and meant that our event team all had to get tested , and we needed to send out communications to all who were part of our event . I know you can ’ t take the blame for contracting the virus , but the guilt of having it is still a very real part of having COVID . I also think I now know how HIV patients feel … Talk about being excommunicated and treated like you have the plague .
The next few days were the sickest I have ever been . It was a blur , as by this stage I had a fever and all I did was drift in and out of disturbed , erratic sleep . When awake , I had to try to control my breathing , which had become laboured and difficult . It felt like someone very
Back to racing fitness after recovering from COVID
One step at a time on the long road to recovery
Hiking replaced running as Sue recovered
feel it ’ s an effort just to think about getting out of bed , let alone actually getting out of bed . It was a tuck and roll , lie there for a bit , contemplate the act , and then anything from five to 15 minutes later , actually do it . The simple task of reading a WhatsApp message was draining . Talking was exhausting , and walking to the bathroom took massive effort . I run marathons , and yet I struggled to walk to the bathroom !
Meanwhile , I hadn ’ t really paid attention to my sense of smell and taste – one of the main symptoms – as I had been so out of it and hadn ’ t eaten anything in 45