On the evening of Tuesday, January 5th, 2021, I felt my first undeniable symptom of the Coronavirus. There were some that I successfully denied in the 2 days prior. I felt chills on my drive home from work. When I got home, I did, indeed, have a low-grade fever, 99.8 degrees. That fever broke within 2 hours. And while I didn’t go directly back to denial, I wasn’t far from it.
I notified the HR department at work, took a sick day on Wednesday, and scheduled a COVID test for the following afternoon (January 7th, which happened to be my wife Linda’s birthday). We also scheduled a precautionary test for Linda, but couldn’t get her in until Friday afternoon. I felt OK that day. Then, like clockwork, at 5:35pm, I felt chills and had a temperature of 100.2. Again the fever broke quickly.
I took the test on Thursday afternoon and received confirmation within 2 hours of my positive result, which, clearly, was not a surprise at that point.
I contacted family:
- Our girls (all 30+ and out on their own for years), Nicole, Raychel, and Lauren;
- My parents, sister, and brother;
- Linda’s siblings.
My brother gave some advice – he insisted on my sending a DAILY update. At first I thought that was crazy; but, it was brilliant. This was a way to keep my people updated and, hopefully, redirect their extremely well-intended curiosity and support in the form of constant contact and questions about how things were proceeding.
What follows are the daily updates that I sent to my family to keep us all sane. I’m just recording them into posterity, mainly for me to review later. This is not intended to be a full, detailed, record, or even to make narrative sense.
If you read nothing else, I’d point you to the update for Day 17, Thursday, 1/21. It includes my personal thank you to the compassionate and extremely competent caregivers at Presbyterian Hospital.
The most gratifying part of this experience, (well, I guess living through it is #1, and this is #2): My daughters all found a need and jumped in to help. It was so cool to see them in action.
I did get pretty sick. More than most who contract COVID. Obviously, far less than others. I don’t guess that I was on death’s door, although there were a couple times (especially on the morning of the day I ended up going to the ER) when I wasn’t 100% confident. People do die of pneumonia and it’s a weird feeling to be scared to go to sleep, which I hope to never experience again.