I’m positive with being positive

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If you’re wondering what you’re wondering – you are probably right! I am finally down with COVID after more than two years of having multiple close shaves with this virus.

Confused about why I sound so excited about it? Well, I don’t know either but now that I’m positive (and hopefully the chance of re-infection ain’t that high), I can get by my days and overseas travel with less anxiety of wondering if I have contracted the virus or not. It’s funny how I’ve been to the UK and South Korea, yet manage to return unharmed but I highly suspect I contracted it from my day trip to Johor (Malaysia) two weekends ago. While I can’t be 100% certain about how I caught the virus, I highly suspect it was during that travel as I had many high-risk moments – like queueing in line for 3 hours at the customs, doing a 90 mins massage where it is impossible to be masked up all the time and doing a 90 mins scalp and hair treatment. The only travel buddy that was with me for that day trip had contracted covid prior (so she probably has the immunity).

Today is Day 6 for me, which means tomorrow I will be able to ‘exit’ my room isolation officially regardless of my ART result (in eyes of the protocols given by our ministry of health). Based on their studies, one should no longer be infectious on the 7th day after the first positive covid test. So how did it all begin (symptoms wise)?

Day -5 to Day -3, I went to office and started complaining about having a dry throat when I wake up in the morning. Back then, I blamed it on my air conditioning which I had to keep it on otherwise I’ll find myself having trouble sleeping in the night. Perhaps it is global warming, or perhaps it is just that humidity from all that rain, I haven’t been able to sleep comfortable without air conditioning for quite a while. When my dry throat happened, I didn’t even think that it could be Covid and I just thought like ‘maybe I slept with my mouth open’ or ‘maybe I didn’t have enough water at night’ or ‘maybe I messed up my aircon settings. Then again, my dry throat symptom only stuck with me in the early morning after I woke up. It felt fine after I start hydrating myself throughout the day.

So.. then came Day -3 where a friend I met told me she was a close contact of a positive patient a few days ago. Told me that her ART was negative but just in case. Then came Day -2 where I woke up once again with a dry throat but this time round, no amount of water could soothe the dryness. My throat was not painful or in discomfort but I just felt it was super dry and thought that it was an impending sore throat/flu, as a result of me eating too much heaty and fried food within the week. Anyway, so I spent the day drinking a lot of water and ate vitamin C and fruits as an attempt to boost my immunity to battle the flu bug. So.. the following day (which was Day -1), I had plans to visit Johor (Malaysia) again with my friends. However, I did let them know that I wasn’t in the best condition and that I will decide the following morning whether I’ll be able to join them or not. I rested early that night and.. woke up to having a hoarse voice. While I was feeling perfectly fine despite having a hoarse voice (note: I did no feel any pain in my throat), I thought it wouldn’t be very wise of me to join the trip to Malaysia as if things get bad along the way, being stuck in a foreign land isn’t the best option. Oh and just to mention, I did do ART tests on both Day -2 and Day -1 but both came out negative. Thus, I was pretty much certain that it was just the flu bug, and not covid.

I spent Day -1 at home the entire day, flushing as much water as I can through my body system, hoping that I can wash off whatever bug that was within me. When night came, I started feeling hotter than usual and with the thermometer, yes I have gotten a fever. Still showing a negative covid test though. I popped some paracetamol and slept early. The next morning, my voice was still hoarse but I could still talk and I turn on my laptop as per usual work from home morning and decide to do another ART to make sure that I was still in the negative zone.

Sadly, beyond my expectations and imagination, my 42nd ART test finally showed 2 lines. Uh-oh. I started panicking a little while informing everyone that I had to. So that was Day 1 and I wasn’t really feeling the ‘scratchy throat’ sensation that most people have told me about. For me, I felt like there was mucus stuck somewhere in my head (though I could still breathe using my nose) and that my voice was hoarse but once again, there wasn’t any pain in my throat. I also had a slight fever (about 38 degrees) which I took paracetamol at 8 hours intervals to control. Continued to work on my laptop (since I didn’t feel sick enough to be lying in bed) and decided to go to the clinic after lunch. At the polyclinic, there were 4 other patients with the ‘red sticker’ which indicates that they have covid symptoms. The entire process didn’t take too long and I believe I was in and out of that place in about 45 mins. Took an ART test there (which was positive) and with that result, I became a registered covid patient, contributing to the 1.36M+ reported cases. Was informed to stay at home for the next 72 hours and I could exit isolation if my ART result was negative thereafter. Sadly, my Day 4 test was still double lines and I didn’t bother testing for the next two days. Well, the reason why I’m isolating is because I’m still living with my parents and I don’t wish for them to get infected. Thankfully the coast is still clear and I hope it would remain that way even after I exit my isolation. *fingers crossed*

So.. on Day 3 during dinner time, I realised that my sense of taste was ‘weird’ or perhaps ‘off’. My mum gave me a can of coconut water (a usual brand that I have been drinking often) and I was like.. why isn’t this sweet (like it should taste like). Then, I grabbed my scented candle on my table (something that I always take and smell to ‘test’ my sense of smell) and I was like, okay this is not right. I can’t smell my candle anymore. My candle has a very strong smell (moringa fragrance) and now it smells like.. 15% faintness. Right now (Day 6), I still feel that my sense of smell has only recovered 50-60% of my original. It was pretty upsetting to know that you have lost your smell. By right, if your strain is the ‘omicron’ variant, you wouldn’t have this symptom but somehow I had it so I have no idea what is my covid strain >< So apart from that, coughing is the most annoying symptom in my entire covid experience. That being said, the coughing is still not as bad as the cough I developed after my UK trip and the infamously long cough I had in 2018 (through my Japan and Hong Kong travel) and miraculously ended when I was in South Africa. Coughing is super annoying. Grrr. Heard that coughing (due to covid) will continue for a long time and people call in the ‘long covid’ and I guess let me embrace the realities of the sadness to come T_T

So.. what have I been up to this period of quarantine/isolation/confinement ? As ridiculous as it sounds, being able to work from home helps the time to pass faster. Although I applied for sick leave for all 5 days, I still found it a habit to login every morning to check my emails and work on tasks that do not use too much brainpower. Many people ask me if I feel alright and my reply would be ‘fit enough to turn on the computer to work’. I guess there’s no way to get rid of that workaholic in me. Then again, I’m not a fan of letting my work pile and backlog because it just means that you are somewhat burdening your future self. At least I’m going to turn on my laptop on Monday morning, knowing that I do not have hundreds of emails waiting for me. Apart from work, I’ve watched my regular weekly dramas (chasing so many at the moment) – Doctor Lawyer, Why Her, Eve, Yumi Cells 2 – and finished watching the entire season of Sh**ting Stars which is quite a decent one that allows you to understand the ‘behind the scene’ of an entertainment company. Oh, I also got started on Disney+ Ms Marvel which is pretty good as well (though we have to wait for an episode a week). I’ve also started playing iPad games – there’s this one called Fun Hospital which is modelled after ‘Theme Hospital’ from the 90s. Just downloaded Sims today but there’s simply too much waiting involve and I would probably stop playing tomorrow. And I did a metal 3D puzzle handicraft work today too – a mini carousel – that I bought from Hong Kong 4 years ago. Plus I just completed an audio book ‘Never Lost Again’ which talks about the backstory of Google Maps. Worth a read if you’re a fan of start-up stories. I think that’s pretty much about it.

I’m thankful that my symptoms from covid-19 are really mild and I’m not suffering or anything. As it wasn’t my first time having to do this isolation/quarantine stint, it was pretty bearable mentally and physically (though I think I definitely need to move a lot more). I’m glad that this is going to be all over in a sleep’s time. After this entire covid stint, I’m gonna have a couple more things in my life to worry about – one of which would be the japan air tickets which I bought but not being able to utilise >< Few weeks back, took a gamble to lock down air ticket prices for a Japan vacation but given that Japan is only re-opening with such strict regulations, it is still very impossible for me to make it to Japan on a free and easy itinerary. Still praying hard but absolutely not hopeful at all.

Stay strong everyone. Even if you get covid, it ain’t the end of the world (if you are MRNA-vaccinated). Cheers and happy summer to all ^^

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