We want to take the unusual step of making a few extremely serious and important points regarding this post.
This is the experience of one family, as we have seen there are varying degrees of severity so please do not assume all cases will be like this.
Nothing in this post is to be interpreted as medical advice.
We ALL have a significant responsibility to reduce the spread of this virus as much as we possibly can. Every single one of us.
Please maintain the strictest of measures to protect yourselves, your loved ones and the entire community as published on the official channels some of which are listed below.
*Cover picture courtesy of our daughter Emilia, aged 8, and not the family referenced below.
Have you heard about the Elmbridge Coronavirus Support group on Facebook?
There’s a lot of scary stories out there about what it’s like to have the corona virus.
For many people with underlying health issues and the vulnerable groups, this is indeed going to be a hard illness for them to deal with, and we know that the NHS will do all they can to keep them safe if they get ill.
BUT, for many many people, and in my family’s own experience, it is not something to be utterly fearful of. Prepare, yes. Stay away from people so you don’t pass it on – ABSOLUTELY YES.
But if and when it comes to your house and your family, the likelihood is that you will be fine, and that’s if you even realise that you have it!
I wanted to share our experience in case it helps ease some of the panic I know we are all fighting. We are healthy and in relatively good shape and for us the virus has been uncomfortable but not serious.
While our experience has been relatively mild, it has really brought home how this could affect people with health issues, particularly those vulnerable to respiratory issues. So while you should not necessarily worry about having it, you should continue to worry about passing it on, so please be responsible by social distancing.
My never usually ill 9 year old daughter showed the first symptoms. A raging temperature for a couple of days, which left her disinterested in anything other than lying on the sofa watching TV, and dozing.
This was accompanied by a continuous dry cough. No cold symptoms, no snotty nose, sneezing or coughing anything up. Just a hacking cough.
We kept her topped up with calpol and loads of fluids.
Warm ribena and hot chocolates were soothing. After a couple of days the fever would come down well with calpol, but would creep back up again throughout the day.
She lost her appetite, but still managed some food and was never really in any pain other than a bad earache one day. The cough that sounded so awful to listen to wasn’t causing her much discomfort and any mild tightness in her chest was alleviated by Vicks Vapour rub and the calpol.
After about 7 days her temperature was consistently just under 38, and although the cough remained the same it was time to bring out the tissues to deal with the snot, and she has had a streaming nose since then.
We are currently on day 11. She is still coughing, and getting through tissues, but in herself is fine and I’d say in general she has just reacted to this like she has a very long lasting cold.
She hasn’t managed a huge amount of physical exertion yet, presumably as being a respiratory illness this does put some strain on lung capacity.
But, at no point did I feel it was unmanageable and at no point was I anywhere near feeling like we needed any sort of emergency medical support.
Not being able to have a confirmed diagnosis was frustrating, because ordinarily I would have had her back to the doctors to check for a chest infection after a couple of days of the awful cough starting.
But the 111 service was amazing. I called them to check on the cough on day 5, and was rung back by a wonderful doctor who took notes and confirmed in her opinion this was coronavirus.
So it was good to know the self isolating of the entire family was not in vain!
I also took the opportunity to talk to her about my own symptoms – a tight chest and slight wheeze, and consistent hacking cough.
Again the conclusion was that this was also likely to be the virus.
So how have I found it? In the past week I have had only 3 days of eating paracetamol like smarties to ease the discomfort caused by tightness in my chest and the odd earache. For a couple of days I had to sit down at the top of each flight of stairs, cursing myself for our bedroom being in the loft!
For a couple of days long conversations would cause me to wheeze a bit and need to stop to take deeper slower breaths. And I’m still very aware that my breathing can occasionally feel a bit laboured.
BUT, having had full on flu before I can happily report this was no way near as bad. I have not been bed bound, or unresponsive, or on the brink of not being able to breathe.
I’ve never been panicked about how I feel symptoms wise and have still very much been able to open the front door to all the amazing care packages that have flooded in thanks to our amazing network of friends and neighbours.
And the 2 boys? Well my 8 year old had a temperature for 24 hours, and my husband has been symptom free. I think it’s inevitable they have had it, but they have been just fine.
So – please don’t be fearful of getting this.. Many of us will. Do still be worried about potentially passing it on, and please don’t wait until you have symptoms to socially distance yourself.
We have had this mildly, but I am now fully aware of how anyone with lung problems in particular would find this a challenging illness, so don’t be responsible for passing it on to them.
And of course follow the NHS guidelines….
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