2022 begins with a bang
The last days of 2021 certainly didn’t leave the Nigbor house quietly. They packed a punch that’s still felt two weeks into the new year.
Ironically, as I wrote last week about Western Wisconsin Health CEO Alison Page’s and Pierce County Public Health Officer’s warnings about the Omicron variant at the county board meeting, I was about to get hit by it myself. I just didn’t know it yet.
The kids went to their other parents’ homes for the second part of winter break on Wednesday, Dec. 29. Since we were going to be alone for New Year’s Eve, my husband decided to cook us a feast. We had ribeye steak, crawfish, shrimp, lobster and garlic mashed potatoes. It was delicious, but so rich. After the meal, I felt a heaviness settle in my chest. We chalked it up to me being overfull and not used to eating such rich food. But about two hours later, I had no voice and the heaviness wouldn’t leave. It was the strangest thing.
By morning, I felt about as terrible as I’d ever felt. My sinuses were rock solid congested, I couldn’t breathe at all through my nose, my throat was on fire, my chest felt like an offensive lineman was sitting on it, and the chills were intense. I was shaking. No amount of heat or blankets helped. The aches coursing through my body made me nauseous.
I spent the next nine days in bed. Luckily, my husband had some at-home COVID tests on hand and I was shocked when it registered positive. I hadn’t been hardly anywhere, so I honestly had no idea where I would’ve picked it up. I found later an interviewee had tested positive. I was fortunate to talk with my doctor over the phone, and she said she was fairly certain it was the Omicron variant. She also said that if I wasn’t vaccinated, it would have been much worse for me. I’m so relieved I had the vaccine. If it was this bad vaccinated, I can’t imagine what it would have been like had I been unvaccinated.
My husband tested positive and went through many of the same symptoms. Neither one of us could stay awake for very long at a time. Somehow on Monday and Tuesday, I managed to finish my newspaper duties for deadline in between naps. It was horrible, but I did it. When one of us could muster the energy, we’d feed the cat and boil some soup for us.
We made sure to drink plenty of water and I basically lived on Ricola Swiss Cherry cough drops. We’re very lucky we didn’t end up in the hospital, because who knows if there would’ve been room for us. Today (Sunday) is the first day I don’t feel like I’ll never feel better again. I’m cautiously optimistic that we’re on the mend, but I’m worried we may experience longterm effects as so many we know have.
We haven’t seen our kids in 10 days, which has been the hardest part. While I’m extremely thankful that they are safe from our sickness, I miss them terribly. We get to see them on Tuesday and I cannot wait.
I know we’re not alone in our suffering. I wanted to share our story, because even though I’m sure people have their minds made up one way or another about being vaccinated, I can personally tell you that I’m glad I am, or I don’t think I would be able to write this column right now. I’ve never been so sick in my life.
I’ve known so many people come down with COVID over the last few days that it’s ridiculous. Please be vigilant and stay careful. All I can say is, 2022 is starting off with a bang.
BY SARAH NIGBOR