How a year later, Covid still controls parts of my life and why not being able to smell is both a blessing and a curse.
I’m at the top of the flight of stairs I just climbed, there are a total of ten. They are nothing special. Basic, standard steps that lead up to another floor. It doesn’t matter if I sprint up them or walk slowly, by the time I’m at the top, I am out of breath and my lungs feel tight.
I’m at the top of the mountain I just climbed, one of MANY on my roster. It’s definitely not the first or the last mountain I’ll reach the peak of. I reach into my fanny pack and pull out my puffer. I’ve been climbing uphill for the last hour and a half and my lungs are screaming at me.
I’m at a shop picking out a gift for a friend. She loves candles, so I pick a few with nice sounding scent names and bring them to the cashier. “Can you tell me which one of these smells the best, I can’t smell”.
I put sweet potatoes in the oven probably over an hour ago now but I’ve got so much on the go it’s the furthest thing from my mind. I’m in my room on my laptop and my roommate comes in “you’re dinner is burning…can’t you smell it?”.
I walk into a coffee shop, my favorite one in my neighborhood. I used to always come here to sit by the fireplace and journal. I love it for the ambience, the fire place, the quirky coffee table, and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. The smells here initiate the feelings that follow: home, comfort, zen, and Alli time. Today I rely on my sight to feels these things.
I’m in the waiting room at the xray clinic awaiting my chest xray to see what havoc covid left on my lungs. The report finds scaring and evidence all over that covid was here, had a nice stay and liked it so much, it didn’t want to leave without some parting gifts. I have covid pneumonia remnants in my lungs, 9 months later.
I know in comparison to MOST medical dianosis and complications that these are wildly mild inconviences. I am well aware and am not here to disregard the millions of people that were affected far worse than myself, but am writing this in hopes I can find people who relate and so I have a little memoir for when I’m old and forget covid even existed (imagine!).
A year ago when I set off on foot to the covid testing center, taking many breaks to sit on the sidewalk because I was so light headed and dizzy, felt like I was floating outside of my body and had body aches that were all consuming, I knew without a test that I was positive.
What else could all these crazy symptoms be?
Once my hunch was confirmed, I was confined to a single hotel room, complete with ugly brown furniture and a window that looked out into the back yard of a warehouse. I spent ten days doing the same puzzle over and over again and making slow mo video’s of me destroying it. I spent the days trying to learn how to do the splits, writing, reading and watching the food network salivating over things I couldn’t get delivered to my hotel room. To top it all off it was Christmas and New Years and I had to celebrate with zinc tablets and chicken noodle soup.
Again, not the worst case scenario, and from the wise words of my Grandma Martin, “it could always be worse”, and she’s not wrong, but it felt shitty grandma!
I honestly thought I was invincible to this, even working in health care. I was so careful, I never got sick – ever! I have never even had the flu. I’m active daily, and the last thing I went to the doctor for was blood work so I had a baseline.
But it got me.
It got me right smack dab in the middle of when there was still a lot of shame around getting it, when lines like “it’ll be gone by Christmas” held no truth, and vaccine drama wasn’t even a thing yet.
I remember getting my results back and thinking I couldn’t tell anyone cause I was embarrassed that “it got me”. I told a few people but tried to keep a low profile. I’m not sure why I felt this way. I worked full time on a Covid unit, I was kind of asking for it, yet I still felt stupid for not being able to dodge it.
Jumping ahead to now. I feel like most people I know have tested positive now but I did some very unofficial research in an instagram poll and out of 147 people, only 19 said they have been positive as of Jan 2022.
Some days I hate everything about this damn virus, other days I’m grateful it was a catalyst for many changes I so badly needed in my life.
Some days I wish I could smell the things I love again; fresh baked cookies, garlic, coffee, flowers, candles, perfume and other days I’m grateful I can’t smell garbage and all the familiar smells of a hospital.
I’m grateful for my health and know this is barely even a speed bump in the road. I’m not here for sympathy, I’m simply sharing my personal journey with this ever changing, bizarre thing that has affected us all in as many ways similarly as it has differently.
Someday I hope to write a blog next to a diffuser of fresh essential oils as I bake fresh cookies and the wind blows salty air from the ocean through my window and I can smell it ALL! But until then I’ll just blog and smell nothing and hope my laptop isn’t at the top of any staircases.
Thank you for reading about my covidversary.
Here’s to positive outlooks and negative tests 🥂