Catching Omicron and Missing Birthdays

So 2 years into the pandemic we finally got it. Omicron proved too much for our vaccinations and it swept through our household. 

a person holding a positive lateral flow test after catching omicron
Does two lines mean I passed or failed?

Ok so we are pretty much certain that it first got us right at the start. Just as the pandemic was starting my partner was really poorly (and he shakes off colds like a dog shakes off water) and my middle child was pretty unwell too. At the time we didn’t think it was Covid because it didn’t really match the advertised symptoms, but looking back she had lots of the textbook symptoms for children including headaches, gastro issues and tiredness. It’s just no one knew those were the symptoms at the time and of course you couldn’t get tests back then so we just muddled through.

First time round my son had a cough, but was otherwise ok. He passed the cough to me (and an eye infection) after he coughed in my face one night. It wasn’t too bad, but enough that I had a few weeks off running and I was running a several times a week at that point.

Getting Omicron 

Anyway, fast forward through multiple lockdowns, homeschooling, quiet birthdays and a cancelled Christmas and we thought the persistent hand washing and anti social behaviour (marketed as social distancing) were working.

Then one afternoon there was a message on the nursery Facebook group. 2 children had Covid in my toddler's class. That evening my son woke up and threw up. After a quick lateral flow test we were unsurprised to see he was positive.

When my daughter woke up the next morning we gave her a LFT and she too had the double lines of a positive test while my partner and I were negative. My eldest was at her Dad’s so I messaged to say she would need to stay there for a while. Despite countless cases in her class recently she has stayed negative and I didn’t want her to catch it from us.

My son was sick again a few hours later and spent much of the next day cuddled up on me. His sister was absolutely fine.

The next day they were both charging around the house like the trapped animals they were. Both feeling well, but neither able to go out. We continued like that for a few more days and on day 5 my daughter tested negative. The next day she was also negative so by the current rules she was allowed back to school. The problem was after a few days with a sniffle my partner and I were now testing positive on the lateral flow tests. This meant we couldn’t actually get her to school.  

A super kind school mum friend offered to come and pick Little up so I broke the news and she rushed off to get dressed in her uniform. A day at school meant relative freedom. It was a relief for me too as I didn’t have to spend the day breaking up sibling fights and I was feeling increasingly poorly so I just wanted some peace.

Over the next week my partner felt like he had a really mild cold. A few sachets of Lemsip and he didn’t even take a day off work; the advantage (or curse) or working from home.

I felt like I had a really heavy cold and was pretty tired so needed a nap most days. I was tired, achy, really snotty and had a sore throat. About 5 days in I got a cough  too. 

More Germs

Around a week after testing positive, and roughly 12 days into fighting Covid based on my really mild cold symptoms, I started to feel a bit better. I was frustrated about being stuck inside and reliant on others to do basic things like shopping and taking my daughter to school.

It was also a couple of days to Little’s 6th birthday and I couldn’t make her cake or do much. I was worried that I wouldn’t test negative in time to go to her party on the Saturday.

On Thursday I got up, had a shower and quickly started to feel pretty rough. By 11am I was in bed. I spent most of that day and the next 3 in a dark room hardly moving and barely eating or drinking. I had a bad tummy bug and no appetite for food. The only time I got up was to rush to the toilet. The first couple of days I had a vice like headache at the back of my head as well.

Friday was Little’s birthday and I managed to get up long enough to watch her open her presents then went back to bed. That evening she went out for Pizza with her sister (who was still staying out of germs way at her Dad’s), brother, Dad and grandparents. I stayed in bed.

I spent my days either asleep or lying with my eyes closed. I felt too ill to read or focus on anything. 

On Saturday, party day, I had such bad nausea I couldn’t move. I tried drinking water and was sick so just dozed. I felt too poorly to mind I was missing the party, I couldn’t even look at the photos I was being sent of it.

By late afternoon the nausea eased enough I could lie on my bed while Little opened the presents from her friends. It was lovely to see how happy and special she felt. After she opened them I went back to sleep.

a bed in a messy room covered in torn birthday wrapping paper
chaos, mess and a 6th birthday party

I gradually improved and on Wednesday morning, after 18 days, I finally made it out of the house. I accompanied my partner on the school run and walked very slowly from the car to school. It was exhausting after so long barely moving and I was still struggling to eat. I drove home from school with my partner in the car to see if I could do so safely. After emerging from the dark bedroom on Monday morning my eyes had been struggling and I wasn’t sure if it would be too much for me. It was fine so I could finally start doing some things independently.

It was still days before I could walk without feeling exhausted. On Thursday I went to get my prescription and picked up a few things from the shops, but I was so tired by it and found it really hard. By the time I got home I didn’t even have the strength to push the car door open.

It’s now a week later and while I am still much less fit than I was before I’m doing ok. I still tired, have a cough and my lungs feel a bit rubbish. I’m mostly eating normally but the thoughts of some food still turn my stomach. I haven’t managed to be brave enough to do a full supermarket shop yet because I think it will be too tiring.

My theory is I was just getting over Covid and I got hit with a tummy bug. My children and partner have had a few isolated incidents of vomit and diarrhoea spread over the last couple of weeks, but none of them were knocked down like I was. While some people have these symptoms with Covid I didn't until I was starting to feel better from Covid. I think my immune system was battered so the next lot of germs could have a party in my body without much of a defence.

So thanks Omicron and mystery stomach bug. I feel like I have lost 3 weeks of my life. I’m still very aware and grateful that it hasn’t been more serious for any of us. I was hit the hardest in the house (even before the bug) and it makes me wonder how much worse I might have been without the 3 vaccinations. 

Hopefully my lungs will heal soon and this annoying cough will pass (I have been testing negative for 12 days now). And hopefully we’ll manage to avoid getting any future variants. But with isolation requirements being removed and infection rates still rampant that seems wishful thinking 

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