Today marks the two week point since I tested positive with COVID-19. Over the last couple weeks, I’ve received countless messages, texts, calls, and comments from so many friends, family and readers. I’ve never felt quite so popular in my life! I’ve been told by many that I’m the first person they know who contracted the virus. Not exactly the type of trendsetter I wanted to be, but what can you do. Since a lot has changed over the last two weeks, I thought it was a good time to share an update.
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Read my initial post about testing positive for COVID-19 HERE.
Let’s start out with the most important update. Everyone in my house is feeling well and for the most part, fully recovered. We are beyond grateful that none of us ever reached the point where we were struggling to breathe or required hospitalization.
Right now, our family is doing well physically. Mentally, I’m stressed. I’m back at the point in quarantine where I don’t know what to do with myself, if I should drink a White Claw for breakfast (don’t worry, I haven’t. Not yet at least.), or sit in a corner and cry. It’s tough being confined at home, especially this time around knowing we absolutely can’t leave the house and risk infecting others. It’s also now 110 degrees in AZ so spending time in our backyard is similar to a sauna. We will get through this, but it definitely isn’t easy.
I tested positive for COVID-19 on July 1st. A day or two after I received my positive test, my husband and kids went to one of the drive-thru blitz testing centers to get tested. At the time, my son was showing random symptoms (more on that in a minute), but Kurt and Kenzie were still healthy. They thankfully didn’t have to endure the painful line in the sun like I did to receive my Rapid test, but it took a few more days to get their testing results back.
A few days later, we found out that both of my kids also tested positive, but my husband’s test came back negative. By the time we received the results, Kurt was showing symptoms and decided to go to Urgent Care to be re-tested. Both Kurt and I would like to donate plasma following this wild adventure, and part of the requirements to make the donation is a positive COVID test. We also just flat out like knowing what’s going on with our bodies. He took the second test over 10 days ago, but we are still waiting on the results (insert giant sigh here). At this point, we are assuming it will be positive and have been quarantining as if he is infected.
The crazy thing about COVID-19 is how every single person seems to get totally different symptoms. Even for our family of four, none of us had the same experience what-so-ever. None of us ever had issues breathing or even developed a cough, which surprised me.
Looking back, my son, Carter, was the first one to show symptoms. On Friday, June 26, we went out to dinner with my parents to celebrate my dad’s birthday and their 50th wedding anniversary. While we were at the restaurant, Carter started complaining of random shooting pains in his legs. He was in tears and we took him outside several times to try to calm him down. At the time, we just thought he was dehydrated, gave him some fluids and went on with our night. The birthday cake helped dry his tears.
In the days following, he did complain several times of a stomachache, but it seemed to come and go and disappeared after a day or two. It never crossed our minds that these could have been COVID symptoms, but we now realize they likely were. Following his positive test, he did get a headache once or twice. Overall, his symptoms were very mild and were not things I thought to look for as a parent related to COVID.
As I said in my previous post, my first COVID symptom was a fever. My temperature never rose above about 101.5 and only lasted for 24 hours. During that time frame, I also experienced chills, cold sweats, and random body aches. In fact, some of the body aches were leg pains in the exact same spots Carter complained about. It was bizarre spots, like the sides of my knees, on the top of my feet and in my ankles.
Following the fever, I honestly felt weird for about a week. I had a lack of appetite, slight congestion, felt dizzy, had zero energy and was tired. My sense of smell was faint and things tasted off (in particular, salty foods) for a few days. At this point, I’m 15 days after receiving my first symptom and am finally starting to get my energy back. I exercised a few times this week and feel I lost a lot of strength, but I’m grateful I’m back where I’m at.
My husband, who has still not yet received a confirmed positive test, had completely different symptoms. He never got a fever and felt like he had a head cold. Kurt also experienced stomach issues, sinus pressure and lost his sense of smell and taste for a couple days. Out of everything, he says losing his sense of taste was beyond awful and the worst (oh, men).
Finally, there’s my daughter, Kenzie. Kenzie’s test came back positive with Carter’s. However, she has been 100% asymptomatic the entire time. She’s never once complained of odd body pains, an upset stomach, or shown any sign of reduced energy. It’s wild how different our symptoms all were.
Onto some Q&A. I continue to receive SO MANY QUESTIONS regarding our experience. Honestly, I’m more than happy to answer them because I truly believe many, many more of us will become infected in the coming weeks. If I can even help one person throughout this whole COVID journey, I’m happy to do it.
Q. How did the kids do with the COVID test?
A. I can’t tell you how many people asked me this question. Especially with school starting soon, parents want to know what to expect when it comes to their kids. I can tell you this for a fact: kids can get COVID-19. Both of mine did. They’ve now been tested twice and while it isn’t a fun experience, it doesn’t hurt. It makes your one eye water (the one they stick the swab up), feels bizarre and makes you want to sneeze. Carter got a little squirmy the second time, but we got it done.
Q. Are you able to leave your house yet?
A. This is a tough one to answer. Technically, yes. Have we done it yet? No, other than to go to Urgent Care or to get tested. The CDC’s guidelines are 10 days from the onset of symptoms – AND- no fever for 3 days with no medicine -AND- symptoms have shown improvement. Our entire family has exceeded these requirements. However, I’ve said from the very beginning that I do not want to get anyone else infected or be part of the problem.
I’m a worrier and these requirements don’t give me the warm and fuzzies that we are no longer contagious. My parents are both over 70 and there is no way I want to hang out with them until we confidently know we aren’t contagious. Heck, Kurt still hasn’t even received test results yet!
Q. Will you get re-tested?
Yes. We decided to get the entire family re-tested and went to another testing blitz today. We are well aware that re-testing isn’t a requirement and some doctors don’t even recommend it (this blows my mind). The virus can take up to 5 weeks to leave the body, but that doesn’t mean it is still active in our bodies. We are going to try to re-test and see what happens. Also, it appears the Red Cross would like to see a negative test in order to donate plasma.
Q. Did you spread it to anyone else?
A. No, I don’t think so. My parents thankfully tested negative and everyone else we had contact with prior to my fever did not show symptoms. This was my biggest fear since March so this was a huge relief.
Q. Any clue where you got it from?
A. I answered this in my last post, but I’ll add a few more thoughts on the topic since we’ve learned more since July 2nd. While we will never be sure where we contracted coronavirus, both my husband and I now believe it was likely from my son. He was the first one to show symptoms on June 26th and I showed symptoms about 5 days later.
He was participating in basketball once a week (small groups of 6 with temperature checks, hand sanitizer prior to entering), as well as baseball outside. We saw a couple friends but it was only with one or two other families and no one else got sick. Our best guess is he got it at basketball and passed it to me, but again, we will never know. I also could have picked it up at the gym.
Q. Will you go back to the gym after this?
A. Sadly, no. I absolutely loved being back at the gym in June (it’s my therapy), but after this experience, it isn’t worth it. Kurt and I are buying a treadmill, I joined a new online fitness program and have the Peloton app. I’m going to stick with that for the time being.
Q. How do you feel about schools reopening and will your kids return to the classroom?
A. I could probably write a novel on this topic, but I’ll keep it brief. Even though my kids will have antibodies, they won’t last the entire school year. Of course it worries me as a parent, especially knowing kids can 100% get the virus and pass it to others.
Our school plans to start the school year online for at least the first month, but there is a good chance it will be online for much longer. I do plan to have my kids return to live class should it be an option. They will wear masks and they are OK with that.
Q. Is it as bad in AZ as the news makes it out to be?
A. Yes, the virus is spreading like crazy. Our testing rates are through the roof and the positive rate is higher than any other place in the world. Not what I want our great state to be known for.
Right now with our intense summer heat, it is basically our “winter” where everyone is cooped up inside. A/C is blowing the virus around and people are getting sick. I’m clearly not a doctor or scientist, but this makes me very nervous about what winter will look like across the country.
I also believe testing is a HUGE HUGE HUGE issue in AZ. I went on a bit of a rant this week on my Instagram Stories about COVID testing in Arizona. Personally, we’ve found that it is EXTREMELY difficult to get a test. The hospital testing sites fill up quickly and many of the testing sites have wait times that are 3-6 hours long. I personally waited over 3.5 hours for my Rapid test. Also, many PCP’s aren’t doing anything to help their patients with COVID or offering tests.
When Kurt went to Urgent Care with COVID symptoms, they didn’t even want to test him because they said he “clearly already had it”. They only did it because they received a few extra tests that day. 10 days later, he still doesn’t have results. How can families make informed decisions when it takes 2 weeks to get test results? Especially when some people are not allowed to return to work until they have two negative tests.
I personally believe until they get testing under control in Arizona, they won’t be able to get the virus under control. No one knows how bad the problem is when people can’t easily get tested or receive timely responses.
Q. Where do you recommend getting tested in Arizona?
I recommend two places. I went to ARCpoint Labs on Greenway Hayden road for my Rapid test, which was $125 out of pocket. Get there early and prepare to wait.
Today, we went to a 24/7 testing blitz put on by Embry Women’s Health. Men and children can also get tested. Here is the link to sign up for an appointment. This option charges your insurance, but is free if you don’t have insurance. They told us today it would take 5-7 days for results.
Q. Will you donate your plasma?
A. Yes, I absolutely hate needles, but I’ll put that aside to potentially help someone else. The info to donate plasma to the Red Cross is available here.
Thank you all so much for your ongoing support. I hope that sharing my story has been helpful and encouraged even one person to consider skipping a large party or get-together. Trust me, it isn’t worth it. Our health is so important and it’s clear doctors and scientists still have a lot to learn about this virus.
If you guys have any other questions, please leave them in the comments below. In the meantime, stay safe and wear your masks!!!