So much talk about COVID not being a big deal – “just a cold”. "Those that do get it bad have underlying health issues." So, here’s a story.
We spent most of January in semi-isolation at our home in Brisbane. No playdates, no shops. We had a week up at Agnes Water, with one tour, no contact with other people. On returning, it was simply visiting family nearby and one (highly sanitised) dinner out with my mum who was getting cancer surgery the next day. We were being extra careful, so she wasn’t exposed. I was completely paranoid.
Thursday: I was in Hervey Bay taking care of mum post-surgery. Get word from the most AMAZING Aunt/Uncle that my 6 year old son, Jenson was lethargic and high temps (39+). He was hanging out with them while Dad worked. Panadol, cold baths, sleep with Dad that night.
Friday: High temps (over 39) and lethargy again. Negative RAT test. Panadol wasn’t bringing the temps down. So, I made an early trip back home to take care of my baby.
Saturday: Temps still over 39 – Panadol & Nurofen not bringing it down. Eyes and face all puffy. Lethargy. Strawberry tongue. So, I took Jenson to emergency. Negative RAT test before we could enter the hospital. Once there, Drs did all kinds of tests. COVID wasn’t suspected because symptoms were so varied, but they did a PCR test along with bloods and other tests. Diarrhea started. Rash started to appear. He was dehydrated, but as long as we kept fluids going in, they allowed him to go home. They didn’t want to put us in a ward with COVID kids because “we don’t believe he has COVID and that would be exposing him to it”. The hospital nurses and doctors were AMAZING.
Sunday: Temps still over 39. Eyes and face all puffy. Lethargy. Painful stomach cramps. Diarrhea. Rash. And woke to a POSITIVE on his PCR test for COVID. Completely in shock. Dr at emergency called me, also in shock. We had been so careful.
Monday: Temps still over 39. Eyes red, but less puffy. Diarrhea. Rash. Painful stomach cramps. He was feeling pretty good after some medicine, even hopped onto the trampoline for a few minutes, ate some toast. But was exhausted and fell asleep 3pm Monday afternoon (first nap since falling ill). Woke up every couple of hours for a drink, wee (hydrated, phew), cry, Panadol or Nurofen, then back to sleep. His breathing got shallower, so I stayed awake most of the night, packed to go back to emergency, but we made it through (much to his relief as he wasn’t keen on hospital again).
Tuesday: Temps still over 39. Eyes red. Rash. Vomited (he had a sip of Ginger Beer which may have been too much for his tummy to take). Severe headache. Slept majority of the day til 3pm. (essentially 24hrs of sleep). Had a baby cucumber and a few bites of chicken nugget. He even got cranky when a nugget fell on the floor – a sign he was getting better.
Wednesday (today): It’s now the 7th day since the Fever and other symptoms started. Temps in late 38s, severe headache at 2am. Tummy pain at 3am and spend 40mins sitting on a chair in the shower as it made him feel better. Now his throat is extremely sore – first sore throat in the 7 days. But he is certainly more alert than he has been. Diarrhea and vomiting again today.
Onwards from here: Who knows. Taking it hour by hour. He’s been very lucky (touch wood a million times) to not develop the cough or further breathing issues. My emergency bag is packed, though, just in case as it is so up and down.
But - He’s a kid and it’s just a cold, right?
My point: 1. The reason I wanted to share this is for the sceptics - because kids DO get COVID bad ... Jenson is probably one of the healthiest kids I’ve ever met – eats everything and plenty of fruit, veges, meat, etc, he’s athletic and always on the go ... seeing him floored for a week is so hard.
2. From everything I’ve read, it seems Jenson’s case is rare, and most kids and adults are recovering within a day or two, with only mild symptoms. But this has been the scariest and most mentally and emotionally exhausting week (or couple of weeks if you include the emotions around mum’s diagnosis and operation as well) and I wouldn't wish it upon anyone.
3. RAT tests are not accurate. If you have symptoms and do a RAT test that’s negative, don’t think you don’t have COVID and hit the streets. Do a PCR test. Jenson had a negative RAT the day before, and a negative RAT the day OF his positive PCR test. I’ve since found out they only detect the virus when it’s in full swing.
4. For the record, his close contacts are all symptom free thus far (touch wood a million times). We all had PCR tests on Sunday – all negative. Will do more PCR tests once his fevers subside – no longer very trusting of RAT tests. 5. It doesn’t matter how careful you are, COVID will still find its way into your home. We have no idea how Jenson got it. But he has it, and we can’t drive ourselves insane trying to figure out how.
6. I’m still really angry that the Qld Premier caved to pressure and opened the borders. I realise it was bound to happen eventually, and it was nice to see family at Christmas, but another year without the stress of COVID would have been great.
7. Please be careful. Don’t expose your kids to COVID on purpose because they may NOT simply have a “cold” from it. And if they, or you, do get it, I hope you have minor symptoms and all stay safe at home, out of hospitals, and fully recover. 8. COVID SUCKS
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