COVID With an Ostomy
After 3.5 years of managing to avoid COVID-19 - it finally got me. Having avoided contracting COVID-19 up until now was probably partly due to luck. However, for the most part, due to the fact, I spent a lot of time at home.
I have worked from home for a number of years. My home office was my base; from there, I would travel within the UK, Europe, or beyond for work as needed.
Of course, with the pandemic upon us and countries in lockdown since around March 2020, business travel was, for most, reduced or canceled altogether. For some time, flights weren't flying, and some airports were virtually closed.
Locked down (safely) at home
I was at home all of the time, work-wise. Aside from work, lockdowns restricted activities outside the home. So overall, I was spending my time at home.
As time passed and things started to ease, not much changed for me. Everyone had gotten used to remote working, even those who hadn't done it previously. It was commonplace to meet with someone on Zoom instead of in person, often even if they were close to you.
During lockdowns, I very much followed the rules and didn't mix with other households. I followed the rules when it came to facemasks when in public places.
Even after the majority of restrictions were lifted, I continued to take Airbnb trips alone with my husband in Scotland rather than jumping back on a plane abroad. So, in many ways, subconsciously in part, I continued to restrict my chances of getting COVID-19.
Like a ton of bricks
I must say, returning from my work trip to Hungary and getting COVID-19 has hit me like a ton of bricks.
I traveled home on a Friday after being away early on Tuesday morning. I woke up that morning feeling tired, exhausted, and really rough. I put it down to the hard week away. The long days, many meetings, work talk even in the evenings. After all, it had been a while since I had done that.
Along with the traveling, I thought my body was telling me to slow down.
Getting home to my bed
The journey home was tough and almost too much to cope with. All I could think of was getting home to my bed.
During the journey, it had crossed my mind that it could be COVID, but I half ruled it out due to all the factors above. Once I arrived home, I knew we had plans to visit friends for dinner the following day. I thought I should do a COVID test, rule it out, and ensure I was good to visit them.
I took the test, and it was positive. I was slightly taken aback, but in reality, I wasn't completely surprised. I went to bed and next morning woke up a lot later than I usually would.
I felt awful. Weak. Tired. Heavy head. Sore throat. Cough. You name it, and I thought I had it.
The "post-COVID" recovery
I tested positive for 10 days. Each day the majority of the symptoms easing slightly as the line on the test got lighter and lighter.
What I wasn't prepared for was the "post-COVID." I lost my sense of smell and taste - a negative test didn't bring that back. I was hoping it would, but I don't know when. It may seem a less significant lasting side effect, but I think only when you lose them do you realize how much it impacts you.
More significantly, perhaps, is the ongoing tiredness and fatigue. Regardless of how much I sleep, I still feel tired. Like I have had a night without sleep entirely. I lack energy. I feel a constant feeling of fatigue. I struggle to do even the simplest tasks without feeling completely washed out.
COVID with an ostomy
I have always said while I am now very comfortable caring for my ostomies when everything is going well. Health or otherwise, when something is causing me an issue, or I feel under the weather, it becomes a real chore to change my ostomy bags, and as a result, have more issues with leaks and sore skin.
I hope things start to improve soon and I can return to work fully. I certainly underestimated the impact of COVID, or more specifically, COVID with an ostomy.
Have you experienced COVID with an ostomy? Tell us about your experience in the comments below, or share your story with the community.
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