Adam messages me in the early hours of the morning, he can’t sleep, another patient in the ward bay is having a disturbed night, Adam is looking out for him and presses his buzzer when the other patient needs something or needs help.
We message each other in the morning, Adam has managed to sleep, but is really tired. He is still on oxygen and now has a nasal canula, he is mobilising around the ward bay and sitting in the chair.
Lunch time hits and I really want an egg mayonnaise sandwich, I haven’t wanted food in such a long time, I feel I need to put the effort in and make it. I put the eggs on to boil and butter the bread. When the eggs are ready, I put the saucepan in the sink and run the cold water, its an effort but I am really want this sandwich. I like my eggs thickly chopped up, which I do, mix in the mayonnaise and make my sandwich. I am going to enjoy every moment of this, my first bite, I can feel the bread on my lips, my teeth pass through the sandwich, I can feel the egg, and nothing, absolutely nothing, no taste, no smell, nothing. I built myself up for this sandwich and I have complete disappointment. I take my disappointed self up to bed and switch on the zombies, its gone a bit off the boil this series and I have lost track of what happening, but I’ve committed myself, I carry on watching.
Within half an hour of settling myself on the bed, by tummy starts making a bubbling sensation, I ignore it, it continues until the bubbling is starting to hurt. I make my move to the bathroom, this isn’t going to be good. I don’t know how long I am there, I am hot, sweating and feel like I am about to pass out. I start pulling my clothes off as another wave of pain sweeps through me and my life force falls from my body into the toilet.
If you have a pet, there is one thing you can guarantee, is when you go in to the bathroom, four paws will follow you, regardless of what you are going to do in there. The four paws have entered the bathroom, in seeing my predicament, the cat decides to make her move. She is standing and moves her paws closer together so her back is arched, tail swishing side to side, head down and then she make a direct sideways run for me, on the toilet. She has done this numerous times before, upon contact, you received the claws, you don’t put your hand down as she will clamp on to you hand and arm and not let go, its painful, there is normally blood, she enjoys this, enjoys the torture.
As the cat gets closer I’m pleading with her “no, Tupac, no, don’t do it”, she knows I’m vulnerable and can’t move, I’m lifting my feet up as high as they can go, without falling off the toilet, she’s connected with my ankle, just the one swipe and runs off, doing those zoomies, triumphant that her attack was successful, if the cat could fist pump she would be doing it now. She returns, takes up her arched position at the door and comes in for second run, I threw what I had to hand, the toilet roll, it misses her completely, it was a left handed throw, but she disappears, I can hear her thundering down the stairs. I am thankful that I have baby wet wipes next to me, I think that these will be much better for the job.
I’m defeated, and just need to lay down, I don’t trust myself being vertical for long, I clean up the bathroom and lay down on the bathroom mat, I don’t want to go far, I feel awful, I feel faint and now my foot is itching and bleeding for the scratch. I am still sweating, my back is touching the side panel of the bath, its cold, but it feels nice and will hopefully cool me down. I pull a bath towel over me, I’m still naked and I know I will get cold. This is where I thought I was going to die, actually die. The pain on the left side of my stomach is excruciating, its coming in waves, its taking my breath away and making me breathless, the pain is so intense, I grip on to the bathroom mat, it offers no respite for the pain. I can hear my phone ringing in the bedroom, I know it’s Adam, but I just can’t move yet.
I’m grimacing in pain and actually grateful that covid-19 has taken my sense of smell away. I don’t know how long I laid there for, curling up in pain, the cat never bothered to check on me, I could of died and she didn’t bother with me at all. I try to sit up, with my back against the side of the bath, this just infuriates my stomach and the torture starts again, I lower myself down, until the pain subsides. I try again to sit up, the phone rings to the zombies in the bedroom, another intense wave runs down the left side of my stomach and the last part of my dignity leaves my body, onto the bathroom mat. Only me and the cat know what disaster has happened in the bathroom, the cat is not bothered.
I return to the bedroom, exhausted and deflated, I lay on the bed, feeling cold and shivering, pulling the duvet over me, Adam has rung me and left messages, I message him back explaining that I haven’t been well, I didn’t go in to detail. I am exhausted and fall asleep. Adam’s mum calls me later to check up on me, I tell her about my exciting day and say I am staying in bed, I have no energy at all.
In the evening Adam and I video call, I am sitting up, when the pain starts again, I drop the phone and crouch down on to my left side, curling up my legs, bracing myself. Adam’s is looking at the ceiling of the bedroom, still talking to me. I pull the phone closer to me, I can see the top of my head in the image, I explain that I’ve got to go. I don’t want him to see me like that, he has enough to deal with, where he is. I make my way to the bathroom, this is one of several trips I make throughout the night, the cat doesn’t get her dinner either, I don’t want to risk going downstairs and getting caught short and I am producing something that looks very similar to the liquid hand soap I have Carex Drumstick Squashies, raspberry and milk. Every time I wash my hands I am reminded of this, until the pump bottle is empty.
One of my friends message me, I explain that my two days of trying to eat properly has just passed through my soul, I go on to say that I am cursed with this damn virus and I am just waiting for the plague of locusts to hit me.
I video call my buddy, I say I think I have poisoned myself with egg mayonnaise, she make me laugh, but not too much, I don’t trust myself.
The next morning I call my GP, another GP calls back, I explain what has happened and describe what I am producing now, the GP asks me if I have ever had diverticulitis symptoms, I haven’t. My GP goes on to say that they have received reports from patients with covid-19 having diarrhoea, but no pain. GP isn’t sure if my symptoms are food poisoning related or an infection, I don’t care what it is, I just want the pain to stop. The GP thinks that if it is food poisoning, it maybe because my immunity is low, through having covid-19.
Through the conversation with my GP she obviously realises, I haven’t got a clue what the day is, I was talking about calling her again tomorrow, but it’s Saturday tomorrow, they are not open on a Saturday. The GP writes a prescription for Buscopan which I can start taking straightaway and some antibiotics, she doesn’t want me to take the antibiotics until tomorrow, that’s if I still have symptoms.
I call Adam’s mum, there is no way I can leave the house, I don’t like being vertical, my body is fighting against me and standing just causes the pain to come back. Adam’s mum gets the prescription for me. I talk to Adam’s mum out the bedroom window, she has left the tablets on my doorstep.
I go downstairs, retrieve the tablets, feed the cat and I find some of those dissolvable multi vitamin tablets. I haven’t eaten since this episode has started and I don’t feel like food, but I know taking the multi vitamins will help replace some of what I have lost. I return back to bed and the zombies.
Later on I speak to Adam, the medical team have been round and they have reduced his oxygen to 2 litres, via nasal canula. The medical team told Adam that when he was unwell, he was 40 minutes away from being sedated and intubated. I am thankful that they didn’t intubate Adam, he has been so very lucky.
In the evening my friend messages me to check on how I am, I’m exhausted and I feel like the Buscopan isn’t working, I’m still getting intermittent pain, I’ve been taking paracetamol as well.
The following morning I receive in the post, a hand made envelope and card, the envelope has drawings over it and the card is amazing. The card has been made by my supervisors daughter, it has a rainbow in the front, with Adam and I underneath and on the back drawings of cats, Tupac, her cat and a neighbors cat and a lovely message inside. I am so touched by the card, its making me well up. I take a photo of the card and send it to Adam, he is equally emotional. I put the card in my window, to join the other rainbow picture I have, in the UK people have been displaying rainbows in their windows in support of the NHS and other frontline workers. The card arrived on a good day, after two days of well, you know.
My shielding friend contacts me, we both wave our fists at egg mayonnaise, I say I going to chuck the eggs out. The Buscopan seems to be working, so I haven’t taken the antibiotics, she suggests eating some vitamin D enriched foods to boost my immune system and sends me some suggestions.
Adam and I message and video call each other through the day, we are both really tired, but just manage to keep each other going. Adam has had marmite on toast, one of the staff made it for him, he said he can taste the marmite, Adam is so grateful that they could do that for him, he arranges for the staff on the ward to have a Chinese take away on their break tonight.
I catch up with my covid buddy, we discuss the debilitating fatigue that has gripped us both, my nightmare of two days and compare notes on our GP’s, I feel that my covid buddy has a better GP than mine. It’s good to catch up and I feel that I am not alone on my covid journey.
Later in the evening Adam and I are on a video call, when my friend messages me, we add her to the call, it so good to see her face and she always has some excellence advice as well, I think we end up in tears, but good tears.
On Sunday Adam is up early and is full is mischief, my stomach has been bubbling all night and I haven’t slept much and I still don’t want any food. Adam is still on oxygen and is moving around the ward more. Doctors rounds due tomorrow so hopefully we will know what the next plan is.
Adam and I decide to add some people to our video calls, its good fun and really nice to see some of the faces that have been sending messages to us both. During the calls I take screen shots, I want to put them all together in a short video, once Adam is out of hospital. The video calls are tiring for us both, we both have naps in between calls, it’s been an exceptional day, one filled with happiness, laughter and good memories.