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

A sign outside Ucluelet’s Blue Room on Monday morning advises patrons that the restaurant has gone back to take-out only. (Andrew Bailey photo)
Some Ucluelet restaurants heading back to take-out only as COVID-19 concerns rise

Ucluelet mayor Mayco Noel urges residents to be respectul of business owners’ decisions.

A sign at the entrance to Ty-Histanis asks visitors to stay out of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Andrew Bailey photo)
Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation announces lockdown after member tests positive for COVID-19

Essential travel only and restricted to Tofino and Ucluelet.

Tofino Sea Kayaking staff Sable Trafton holds a gift card they are contributing ‘12 Days of Jingle’ draw. One lucky local will has the chance to win $500 worth of gift cards to local merchants. (TLCC photo)
Tofino’s 12 Days of Jingle kicks off holiday season

“We wanted to do it early so people could make purchases and send them wherever they need to go.”

FILE – British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears a face mask as she views the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Masks now mandatory in all public indoor and retail spaces in B.C.

Many retailers and businesses had voiced their frustration with a lack of mask mandate before

A staff member at Ucluelet’s Black Rock Resort has tested positive for COVID-19, according to the resort’s assistant general manager Lara Kemps. (Andrew Bailey photo)
Ucluelet’s Black Rock Resort shuts down restaurant and spa after staff member tests positive for COVID-19

Black Rock’s assistant general manager Lara Kemps says resort was informed on Nov. 18.

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the project site in Kitimat. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
Forty-one positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak in Kitimat

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

Brenda Schroeder thought she was reading it wrong when she won $100,000 from a Season’s Greetings Scratch & Win. (Courtesy BCLC)
New home on the agenda after scratch ticket win in Saanich

Victoria woman set to share her $100,000 Season’s Greetings lottery win

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

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

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

(Delta Police Department photo)
Cannabis edibles found in Halloween bag lead B.C. police to illegal lab

Delta police arrested a man and a woman while executing a warrant at a residential property Nov. 20

A woman being arrested at a Kelowna Value Village after refusing to wear a mask on Nov. 22.(@Jules50278750/Twitter)
VIDEO: Woman arrested for refusing to wear mask at Kelowna Value Village

RCMP claims the woman was uncooperative with officers, striking them a number of times and screaming

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Most Read