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

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse on staff at the Northwood Care facility, prepares a dose of the Moderna vaccine in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Almost two in three Canadians surveyed recently said they trust COVID-19 vaccines to be both safe and effective. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Northern Health to open 30 COVID vaccine clinics for oldest residents, Indigenous seniors

Health authority says it plans to vaccinate nearly 15,000 people in Phase Two

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available by appointment only from March 10 to 12 and March 15 to 19 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Bella Coola General Hospital (file photo)
COVID vaccinations open to Valley residents as of March 10

Starting today all residents of the Bella Coola Valley 18+ can book their vaccination appointments

Jovin Walkus and Alayah Mack enjoy the Centennial Pool in summer 2020. (Geneva Walkus photo)
CCRD receives more funding for Centennial Pool project

The total funding for the project is now over $4 million

Provincial funding in the amount of $300,000 has been announced for the Cariboo Regional District’s plans to improve the Anahim Lake Airport runway. (CRD photo)
$300,000 provincial funding to fuel Anahim Lake Airport runway upgrade

The recovery grant is one of 38 announced to support jobs in rural communities

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Murder charge laid in February 2020 stabbing death of Smithers man

Michael Egenolf is charged with the second-degree murder of Brodie Cumiskey

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Most Read