Getting By With a Little Help from your Friends
Having lived with suspected COVID-19 for two weeks now, and being part of our rural community, there are valuable things I have learned and hopefully can pass on through this short account. It may help others cope a little better in the unfortunate event that they contract the virus. It’s a positive story as well, because I managed to stay out of hospital and am now on the road to recovery, despite having what would be classed as moderate to serious symptoms.
Before my illness, it is fair to say I was a little blasé about the likelihood of me catching the virus and the seriousness of it if I did. I was fit and healthy, played squash regularly, never smoked and considered myself strong enough to fight off any infection in a few days. How wrong was I?
I GOT CHILLS… – DAYS 1-4
It began for me with a loss of appetite and I started to feel cold.
THE FEVER!! DAYS 4-11
During the day I was cold with a raging fever at night. The thing you are not prepared for is the complete shut-down of your body. It is in full fight mode and needs every bit of energy but I had none and was unable to do even the simplest of tasks.
COUGH, COUGH, COUGH, COUGH AND COUGH AGAIN!! DAYS 9-13
Then the persistent cough started and by day 12, my breathing was becoming compromised. Paracetamol and Ventolin no longer made any difference and I was prescribed Codeine to be collected from the pharmacy in Kendal. If that didn’t work, I would be hospitalised.
It was Friday evening and I was not to be left on my own. Michelle decided to reach out to the Kirkby Lonsdale Coronavirus Support Group via Facebook to see if anyone could help. Within minutes we had responses and various messages of support. One of the lovely volunteers confirmed she would drive to Kendal, collect the prescription and drop it off to us here. By 11pm that night, I was taking the first of the Codeine and things started to improve.
The single most important thing has been the support and compassion from family, friends, neighbours, local community, the NHS & key workers and the social media network. Without all this coming together, it might have been a different outcome. A special thank you must go to my wife, Michelle and to Kirkby Lonsdale Coronavirus Mutual Aid Group who were there for me at the critical moments. Remember you are never alone – always reach out to someone. Social media is important and don’t underestimate the kindness of others. Now that I (hopefully) have immunity I will be happy to help others in need.
Thank you on behalf of myself and my wife. The community in and around Kirkby Lonsdale has been invaluable.