A man wears a mask while walking down Canyon Street in Creston on Nov. 13. Photo: Aaron Hemens

A man wears a mask while walking down Canyon Street in Creston on Nov. 13. Photo: Aaron Hemens

Creston woman living with COVID-19 reflects on experience

Contracting and living with the virus, she said, has led to a “major reset” in her life

*Editor’s note: The Creston Valley Advance has agreed to use a pseudonym to protect the resident’s privacy and identity.

It was on the evening of Oct. 30 when Jane* noticed an unusual pain in her wrists and ankles as she was driving through town.

“Never in my life have I had joint pains. It was really strange,” said the 45-year-old mother of two.

As she was preparing for bed that night, she began to feel an unfamiliar headache brewing.

“It was a different kind of headache than I’ve ever had before. It was very much in the centre of my head,” she said.

When she woke up the next morning, her whole body was in pain and was experiencing everything from chills to overheating. She said that she thought she was experiencing a very bad case of the flu.

By Nov. 1, her fever had worsened and she was now experiencing diarrhea after every meal.

“My mom stopped by to check on me because she knew I wasn’t feeling well. She came into the house, and I had made some soup with cabbage,” she said. “My mom said it stinked and asked me what I was making, but I told her I can’t smell anything.”

Upon hearing this, Jane’s mom looked at her and said, “that’s COVID.”

According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms of COVID-19 include fever or chills, muscle or body aches, headache, diarrhea and no sense of smell or taste.

“I had over half of the symptoms present,” said Jane. “I booked a test for the next day, and by the time I went to go for the test, I was starting to have respiratory problems as well.”

Jane went into self-isolation after getting tested for COVID-19 on Nov. 2, and it only took three days for the test results to come in.

“The nurse who called me was very matter of fact and told me my test results were positive,” said Jane. “I cried. I just started crying and I said some bad words.”

By then, she said that she was incredibly fatigued and her headache had “blown up.”

“It became absolutely unbearable. It was the worst headache I’ve ever had in my life, and that was the worst part,” she said.

Her respiratory issues had also worsened, and she said that it had become difficult to breathe.

“I could still breathe, I just couldn’t breathe deeply. It was painful to take a deep breath,” she said.

She took Advil, Tylenol, Naproxen and even tried cannabis to combat the intense headache and muscle pains, but nothing worked.

“I didn’t sleep for three days. It was so painful. My muscle pains were so extreme at that time too. My muscles and my body just hurt so bad,” she said.

She was prescribed stronger medication from health officials, which she said helped her sleep but didn’t ease the headache or body pains.

“I ended up getting really severe vertigo. In the morning, I would wake up and everything was spinning,” she said. “I still had no appetite, and my fever came back partway through. After the headache situation, I got my fever again. It just went on and on.”

As of Nov. 19, Jane is still battling fatigue, a bark-like cough and is without a sense of smell or taste.

She said that she’s been informed by health officials that possible long-term effects as a result of contracting the virus include persisting neurological issues, prolonged lung damage, ongoing headaches and not being able to regain her sense of smell or taste.

She also added that there’s also the chance that she could contract the virus again in the future.

“I’ve been told by countless health professionals that they expect most of the population to get this at some point,” she said. “They’re moving forward with the assumption that probably 70 per cent of the population will get COVID.”

Jane still isn’t sure where she contracted the virus, but she does know that it was from somewhere in Creston. She said that she was compelled to share her experience in a letter to the Advance out of concern for the well-being of the community.

“I wanted people here to realize that it could happen to anybody,” she said.

READ MORE: Letter to the Editor: I live in Creston, and I have COVID-19

Contracting and living with the virus, she said, has led to a “major reset” in her life.

“I feel like it’s been a real call to what I can control and what I can’t control, and then consciously choosing the better choice in those things that I can control, including my attitude and acts of kindness,” she said.

She urged residents to also be kind and to think on behalf of their neighbours’ own wellbeing.

“Expand your thoughts, your actions. Think about the effect of your actions. Whether you have chosen to acknowledge it or not, we’re all an interconnected web,” she said. “When you choose to be a weak link in that web, your actions could lead to somebody else’s sickness and possible death. Just do your part.”

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: aaron.hemens@crestonvalleyadvance.ca


@aaron_hemens
aaron.hemens@crestonvalleyadvance.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Corey Harkness, who is free on bail, is slated to make his first appearance in B.C. Supreme Court in Kamloops on Dec. 14, 2020. A trial date has not yet been set. (COREY HARKNESS/FACEBOOK)
Accused in Cache Creek homicide will stand trial

Corey Harkness, 33, is charged with second-degree murder

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
47 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region

1,538 total cases, 399 are active, ten in hospital

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 65 new cases of COVID-19

Province-wide, there are 887 new cases of the virus

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 70 new cases overnight

The total number of cases in the region is now at 1,426

The TNRD will no longer be offering free disposal days at its 29 solid waste facilities throughout the region. (Photo credit: TNRD)
TNRD votes to end free disposal days at solid waste facilities

Mattresses and tires on rims to be added to items that can be brought in at no charge year-round

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Kevin Bieksa during his days playing with the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)
Bieksa to guest on free Canucks Alumni ‘Hot Stove’ on Zoom app

Former NHL player has become a game analyst on Sportsnet

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

More than 60 cm of snow has fallen at Ulkatcho First Nation near Anahim Lake in the Chilcotin since a snowfall warning went into effect Thursday, Nov. 26. (Graham West photo)
VIDEO: More than 60 cm of snowfall in Chilcotin since Thursday, Nov. 26

Graham West of Ulkatcho First Nation captures the scene on video

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Most Read