I got it. OOF. People, it was bad (even being fully vaccinated), and for more than one reason!
First - a disclaimer that everyone's experience with and view of COVID is their OWN to have. How it affects us will be individualized and fluctuate depending on our health history and current health status.
Second - I know that COVID hit me harder than most healthy young adults that are fully vaccinated, and it very likely has to do with the fact that:
A. I have chronically impaired lung capacity and various health concerns from living with an eating disorder and malnourishment for many of my developmental years. This is one of the MANY reasons I work with clients in this exact field.
B. The fact that I was NOT up to par with where I needed to be with my own nourishment in the weeks (perhaps months) leading up to the exposure. This experience was an unfortunate but much-needed wake-up call that I too was human and needed to start prioritizing my own health in the same way I encourage ALL my clients to! It’s not uncommon for health care practitioners to have a blind spot for their own health status, and uncovering that over these last few weeks has been… interesting… but also amazing.
#1 The physical health effects: all over body and joint pain/aching/stiffness, diminished lung capacity and this terrifying feeling of drowning because I could not get enough air for a full breath (then the anxiety attacks that followed when my body shot into fight or flight mode), constant nausea and lack of appetite, and a constant migraine that NO amount of medication, icing, or stretching could touch. I sat my ass on that couch for 3-days straight and barely moved. 2-weeks later and I am feeling stronger each day, but I am (and likely will be for a while) on prescription puffers to help with my breathing and need to be augmenting my meals due to lingering low appetite. I have given myself permission to fall back on my GO TO “Pina colada” smoothie - as often as I need to. It meets my bodies needs and is easy to get down.
#2 The mental health effects: the shame storm (as Brené Brown would say) I found myself in when I got the positive result was LOUD as hell. “How did this happen? Where could this have happened? I am so careful! This is my fault. People will think I didn’t respect guidelines. How can I help others if I can’t take care of myself? Oh my God. I am a failure. Dread…”. It took me a few SOLID days to navigate my way out of this storm, but, I did it! I’m still kicking and feeling mentally stronger for it. Practicing self-compassion throughout the healing process has been absolutely integral, confirming what I already knew and work on each day with my clients!