Getting Covid With MS
The Christmas season is usually a joyous time, but unfortunately, it wasn't the case for me. Just a few days after receiving my MS treatment, I tested positive for COVID-19. It was a terrible time to fall ill, as I was already feeling extremely sick. I desperately searched for a COVID test, but couldn't find one anywhere. Eventually, I had to go to the emergency room to get tested. Thankfully, the doctors were quick to administer monoclonal antibodies to prevent my condition from worsening. This helped me feel better, but now I had to navigate isolation while taking care of my kids.
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With my husband's help, we managed to survive. He took care of all the household chores, meals, and the kids while working. However, despite our efforts, everyone in the house, including my husband, eventually got infected with COVID. Luckily, their symptoms were mild and resolved quickly. On the other hand, I experienced symptoms such as loss of voice, chills, nausea, loss of smell, and bizarre pain in my face, which I attributed to my MS. After recovering from COVID, I experienced weakness, fatigue, a scratchy throat, and a lingering cough for almost two months.
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Fortunately, I had received two COVID vaccines and a booster before getting infected. This likely contributed to my relatively mild experience with the virus. I had reassured others in the MS community during an episode about COVID-19 and vaccines that they were safe for people with MS, and my experience further confirmed it. Despite the lifting of COVID restrictions, I and my family still wear masks as we are immunosuppressed and cautious. The virus may not be as severe now, but it is still a concern for us.
It took me around 21 days to fully recover from COVID and get back to my baseline health. I focused on exercise to regain my strength, and it also helped with the fatigue. I also received the Evusheld shots before traveling, which went well, although it did cause a delay in my period. From the beginning of the pandemic, MS doctors emphasized that people with MS could fight COVID effectively, and vaccination was recommended. While my MS symptoms didn't worsen, I believe my concurrent MS treatment made my COVID experience more challenging.
MS does not determine the outcome of a COVID infection. While we may be vulnerable, we still have the ability to fight the virus. If you do get infected, it's important to eat well, stay hydrated, rest, monitor your blood oxygen levels, and engage in moderate exercise to manage fatigue. Hopefully, COVID will just be a temporary hurdle.