Covid has been on the scene for about 2 years now. 2 years! – it feels almost hard to believe it’s been that long and is still something we’re dealing with today. I remember when it first was being talked about at the beginning of 2020 as the Corona virus, I honestly didn’t think much of it, but little did we know what was coming our way.
As I’m sure you do, I know dozens and dozens of people who have had the virus at some point over the past few years. You’ve most likely had it yourself. But after almost 2 years of not contracting it myself, I sort of started to believe it was just something that wouldn’t ever be an issue for me. I hadn’t been sick with anything in about 5 years. So I didn’t know if it was because of my strong immune system, blood type, limited exposure to the public or a combo of all the above, but I felt like I was somehow safe from it.
I was careful to not have an arrogant attitude about it though, I think for a few reasons. One being, deep down, I knew there was a chance it was only a matter of time before it was my turn. And the other reason being because I know so many people who had lost loved ones to it. After losing family members myself in tragic ways, I’ve always had a strong sensitivity to others experiencing that type of loss. When I’d read memes or hear people make jokes about covid, my first thought was always about the people who had lost loved ones to it. I’d always wonder how those jokes made those people feel. So even though I didn’t fear covid, I respected the reality of its effect on people.
On Tuesday, May 17, 2022, I started feeling extremely intense aches in my legs late that afternoon. I had trained legs pretty hard the day before, so I figured I was just sore, but it felt differently than normal muscle soreness I experience so often. I had weight trained four times for 60 minutes or more over the past 48 hours, so I was thinking maybe my fatigue level was just intensifying the soreness and hindering my body’s ability to recover. But that kind of training was pretty normal for me and my body usually bounces back very well, so I just had a feeling something could be going on. I drove home that evening, not giving much more thought to it.
I took a shower when I got home and sat down on the couch to watch some playoff basketball, and that’s when the next symptom hit. I started to get the chills. Being the stubborn SOB that I am, I tried convincing myself I was just cold and not getting sick! Obviously that was foolish pride, and my experience with covid had begun.
Chills and fever persisted through that night as my body aches, especially in my legs, severely intensified so at this point, I was thinking I had the flu. I still didn’t think I had covid, not me. By day 2, I had a slightly sore throat but my symptoms were still primarily just chills, fever, and body aches, so I was sticking to my flu self-diagnosis and was waiting to snap out of it back to normal health at any point now.
Well that’s not what day 3 brought. Day 3 brought me the most painful sore throat I’ve ever had. It felt like I had swallowed razor blades and battery acid at the same time. I’ve never swallowed those things but this had to be what it would feel like. The pain was almost unbearable, to the extent that now, a week later, I still brace every time I take a drink of something or swallow from PTSD that 10/10 pain is about to strike me. Anyways, the sore throat on day 3 made that night absolutely miserable. I had been on that couch for 72 hours straight, my back was killing me, and now I couldn’t even drink much needed fluids or eat because the pain of swallowing was too intense. I’ll admit, at this point, I was starting to worry.
I woke up on Day 4 hoping the sore throat would be a little better, but it wasn’t – at all. My wife and I were convinced I had to have strep throat, and that I would need antibiotics so it was time to go to the doctor. My first time off the couch in 4 days was to drive across the street to the urgent care clinic where I received 3 tests: flu test, strep test, and covid test. That was even my first time ever receiving a covid test, and damn that swab up your nose! They really get that thing up to your brain! Loved that. I drove back home and awaited the results. About an hour later, I received the call and was given the news my covid test was the only one that came back positive. I was shocked! It had finally reached me. I wasn’t immune. And this was real. I had covid.
The doctor told me everything you’ve already heard about what to do, which is basically very little. So day 5 was more of the same, laying in the same spot on the couch, playing the waiting game. But it was starting to get to me mentally. I started feeling anxious and restless. I started wondering if I’d ever be “normal” again. I was sliding into an unhealthy mental space I didn’t want to go, but I just couldn’t seem it help it. I started thinking about all the people who had faced this alone, and my heart really sympathized for them. I couldn’t imagine what this whole experience would have been like if I was alone. The physical battle would’ve have been more difficult because I wouldn’t have had my wife to help me keep drinking fluids and eating what bland foods that I could. But most importantly, I know the mental battle would have been so much more difficult if I were alone. It made me feel from that perspective, and the result was I felt deep empathy for those experiencing this alone and I felt gratitude. I was somehow able to be thankful in that moment, and my mental space started to really improve. Gratitude is so important to our perspective. It allows us to stop thinking like a victim, and empowers us to feel empathy for others as we build on what we do have.
Day 6 brought me a wonderful gift. My 10/10 pain sore throat was now almost completely painless. My chills were gone. My body aches were gone. And I finally felt like I was actually on my way to getting better. I knew I still had to take it really easy, so I decided to go for a short walk in the sun and go for a drive. Actually, I went for 2 drives because it felt so good to finally be out of the house. I drove my truck out to the middle of the desert, got out, and just felt the sun beam energy back into my soul. It felt incredible, and I wasn’t going to take this feeling for granted. When I got home, I started researching and planning. It was time to start taking my health more seriously, for myself, for my family, and so I can teach others through my platforms.
If you follow me on any social platforms, you might be thinking “how can you take your health any more seriously than you have been?! Isn’t working out basically your whole life?!” Fair question, but the issue was I had started caring far too much about my physique and performance instead of my actual health. Sure, physique and physical performance are important, but they aren’t sustainable without health. My focus needed a shift and covid gave me the kick in the butt that I needed to wake me up and reprioritize health.
So what does that look like for me? Well just to start, here are a few things:
Day 7, I woke up feeling like a new man. My throat didn’t hurt at all anymore. I did still brace myself for the pain every time I swallowed, but no pain followed and it reminded me to be thankful every single time. I had a new focus with a plan to follow. That’s important – don’t forget to make a plan to implement your focus. An idea without a plan is still just an idea. It takes action to make change.
I’ll conclude with a challenge. My challenge for you and for myself is this: let’s prioritize our health as we use the information and experiences that we gather along the way to help others do the same, especially those who are alone and need our help. We are not victims, we are powerful, and we can make incredible impact on this world and others.
Stay Grateful. Stay LFTD.