My COVID Experience At Age 32 In 2022

Reaching August of 2022 having never contracted COVID-19, I thought I might be one of the fortunate ones who was either immune, asymptomatic, or simply lucky.  My parents, my sister, my husband, and many friends and relatives had already had their time.  Some of them suffered through it in 2020 in pre-vaccine days and were left with terrible long-term symptoms.  Watching others go through it, I was diligent about getting my Pfizer vaccine as well as my first booster shot last February.  I’m thankful that I did!  I do believe that my infection would have been much worse if my immune system had been unprepared.

Like many others, I truly don’t have a good idea of where I picked it up from or who gave it to me.  I’m someone who has been conscientious and worn my mask indoors and in crowds (always!), but the weekend before I started noticing symptoms, I did happen to be in more crowded areas than usual.  While it’s easy to place blame on being in those crowds, I was also in a doctor’s office the following Monday that had a large amount of people packed into a small waiting room.  I ran errands, and I lived life.  I don’t have any one situation to blame.

Day 0 (The day one first feels any symptoms)

It didn’t even register that I was getting sick.  My throat felt irritated and dry at the very top as if I was constantly parched.  I blamed my pollen allergies, the fact that I had consumed more caffeine than usual, and spent the day gulping down water.  I felt otherwise fine.

Day 1

My extreme thirst continued, and over the course of the day, I started developing a very distracting headache and felt increasingly fatigued.  I skipped my usual workout of the day, and did all of my computer work from the couch.  Between the fact that I am not someone who gets headaches often, and that I suddenly had a light cough out of the blue, I became a bit suspicious.  I took a COVID antigen test for peace of mind – Negative.  (It turned out to be too early.)  Later that evening I felt a fever coming on, got into bed early, and spent the night with a temperature of around 103.  I felt pretty certain that despite the negative test, it had to be COVID.

Day 2

I didn’t leave my bed.  I’ve never experienced anything quite like it, but the pain and pressure in my head was absolutely the most difficult symptom to deal with.  I couldn’t do much other than try to sleep, keep my fever down, and wait.  (Less bothersome symptoms included congestion and coughing.)

Day 3

This was the first day that I tested Positive on the antigen test.  It was very similar to Day 2:  I stayed in my bed, kept my eyes closed, and tried to deal with the intense head pain and fever.  The coughing and congestion continued on the side.

Day 4

I made it from the bed to the couch!  I continued to have head pain, coughing, and congestion, but the fever was tapering off which enabled me to move around a bit.  There was also a very strange and almost comical 24 hour stretch around this point where I truly could not stop sneezing!  I would have 10 sneezes in a row, a minute would go by, and then another 10 sneezes…They just kept coming!

Day 5

I felt like I turned a small corner!  I had continued head pressure, coughing, congestion, and sneezing, but at this point it began to feel more comparable to a worse-than-usual cold.

Day 6

It was nearly identical to Day 5.

Day 7

This was the first day I started to feel like I was getting better.  I still had a slight cough and a bit of congestion, but my energy levels felt much more normal and my head was no longer bothering me.

Day 8

I had a slight cough and mild congestion.

Day 9

Now this was odd; 9 days in and I had a stretch of about 24 hours where I experienced some chest tightness and shortness of breath.  This worried me a bit as I had not really had any symptoms like this up until this point.  I briefly returned to complete bed rest until this passed.

Day 10

I had a slight cough and mild congestion.

Day 11

By this point, it had all been reduced to a slight cough that was only occasional and I felt mostly “recovered”!

I will of course update this page should anything change, but writing this on Day 12, I’m hopeful that despite the lingering cough (which is common from what I know) I’m out of the woods!  It was a very long 11 days, but I will say this:  I feel extremely thankful that I was vaccinated.  Unlike so many people who I knew who got sick in 2020 without a vaccine, I did not end up in the hospital, and I did not have any life-changing side effects for the long-term (that I am aware of at this time).  I will continue to get boosters as they become available in the hope that, should I ever catch another future strain of this virus, my body will be as prepared for the fight as possible!

Why I’m Not Currently Vegan

Why I'm Not Currently Vegan

Like many, over the years I have made the attempt to go fully vegan for the sake of the planet and the animals.  Many of my vegan readers have asked me why I personally did not stick with it.  There are two major reasons why a vegan diet has never been sustainable for me:

Food Allergies

I’ve had food allergies for all of my life. Many of these foods are unfortunately big vegan staples. A couple of main examples:
-Tree Nuts (Almonds, Cashews, Pecans, Walnuts, Pine Nuts, Etc.)

In real world scenarios, 9 times out of 10 vegan food includes one of those ingredients.  Even when cooking at home, the diet is quite limiting without these foods.

Supplement Intolerances

When you go vegan, there are supplements that are recommended, such as B12, that can only be found in animal foods.  I’m very sensitive when it comes to supplements. 99% of the time they give me nausea, stomach cramps, or headaches. I’ve also experienced side effects such as loss of appetite, rashes, and insomnia. Therefore, I personally try to get my vitamins from food sources alone.  For me, this means a variety that includes animal products.

I often feel guilty that I am not a vegan. With the environment in need of our assistance and the inhumane ways that so many animals are treated, I have tried to do my part in this way. I still try my best to purchase more humane animal products, such as eggs from the pasture, when possible.

I think it’s wonderful that veganism works for so many, because it can have great impacts on this planet and for certain people’s health. I know that there are many vegans who follow me, and to all of you I say: amazing. I hope you can understand the other side of the coin.

Soy Story

Soy Story_2

You may or may not have noticed that none of my recipes include soy.  I am actually allergic to soy!  Food allergies have been a big part of my life ever since I was a kid.  The weekly allergy shots at the doctor’s office, emergency trips to the hospital, rashes, hives, you name it.  I have a wide variety of reactions depending on the allergen, but with soy it’s nausea and vomiting. 

While very small amounts are unlikely to bother me too badly (compared to, say, a big block of tofu), it’s safest just to avoid it completely.  Some of my childhood allergies have actually lessened in severity over time, and I do always hope that one day that will happen with soy too.  There’s still so much we don’t understand about allergies!

If you also have a soy allergy and are sad to have to skip the soy sauce in cooking, I highly recommend trying out Coconut Aminos.  It’s a fantastic substitute in recipes that call for soy sauce.  When I’ve personally made the substitution nobody is ever able to tell the difference!

Soy is found in so many foods, from chocolate bars to sandwich breads to baked goods.  My number one tip is simply to be in the practice of checking labels.  Luckily, when it comes to creations in the kitchen, there’re always great alternatives out there!