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

An Interior Health nurse administers Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
105 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

Just over 8,000 new vaccine doses administered in the region for a total of 158,000 to date

Sand, sandbags will be available at three different locations for Mill Creek for property owners. (Black Press Media file photo)
City prepares for possible Mill Creek flooding

The City of Kelowna is providing sand at three different locations for property owners near Mill Creek

A still from the video taken of a violent arrest on May 30, 2020 in downtown Kelowna. (File)
Kelowna Mountie charged with assault for caught-on-camera violent arrest

Const. Siggy Pietrzak was filmed punching a suspected impaired driver at least 10 times during an arrest

(Pexels photo)
Okanagan film boom owes to industry’s strong pandemic response: Sandhu

Vernon-Monashee MLA Harwinder Sandhu lauded the local film industry’s adaptation to the pandemic

Prospera Place in Kelowna. (Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
Kelowna Rockets return to the ice after COVID-19 quarantine

All individuals within the team cohort tested negative for COVID-19 earlier this week

Arlene Howe holds up a picture of her son, Steven, at a memorial event for drug overdose victims and their families at Kelowna’s Rotary Beach Park on April 14. Steven died of an overdose at the age of 32 on Jan. 31, 2015. (Aaron Hemens - Kelowna Capital News)
Moms Stop the Harm members placed crosses Wednesday morning, April 14, on Rotary Beach in memory of children lost to drug overdoses. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)
Kelowna mothers remember children lost to the opioid crisis

It has been five years since illicit drug deaths was announced a public health emergency

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply on 5th anniversary of overdose emergency declaration

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

A Keremeos family lost their home after a fire shortly before midnight on April 13. No injuries were reported. (Contributed)
Keremeos home destroyed in late-night fire

The family inside was unharmed

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Naloxone
Op/Ed: Interior Health CEO speaks on five years of strides and challenges in overdose crisis

In 2020, close to 4,000 people across IH had access to opioid medications

Somewhere in the pack being celebrated by his teammates is Vernon Vipers forward Zack Tonelli, who scored in overtime Wednesday afternoon, April 14, to give the Snakes a 6-5 win over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in B.C. Hockey League pod play at Kal Tire Place. (Liza Mazurek - Vernon Vipers Photography)
Vernon Vipers bite Salmon Arm Silverbacks in OT

Snakes blow 5-3 third-period lead, rally in extra time for 6-5 pod play result over rivals

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

New parking meters have been installed on Main Street, Ellis Street, Front Street, Nanaimo Avenue and Padmore Avenue in Penticton. (City of Penticton photo)
Pay parking now in effect in downtown Penticton

A spot downtown will now cost you $2 per hour

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Most Read