When COVID-19 Came to My House

Keara Engle avatar

by Keara Engle |

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My family had managed to avoid being exposed to COVID-19 until recently. Earlier this month, on the same day I got my vaccine booster shot, I was exposed to the virus by my mom. She woke up feeling very sick the next day, and shortly after that, all of my younger siblings started to get sick as well. 

My mom and my younger siblings got tested, but the results would take up to three days because the lab was backed up due to an increase in the number of cases. The day after they were tested, I started experiencing symptoms, too. 

It started with a wet cough, a sore throat, and a pounding headache. By the next day, I was having other symptoms, including nausea, chills, and extreme fatigue. I was able to get my hands on an at-home COVID-19 test, which returned a positive result. My mom and siblings got their results the same day. Theirs were positive as well, to no one’s surprise.

Immediately, I knew I had to test my son, Cayden, 3, who has infantile-onset Pompe disease. The disease has severely weakened his muscles, especially in his lungs. I had already begun to take precautions, such as wearing a mask and washing my hands frequently, and I kept Cayden confined to his bedroom.

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I was terrified about what could happen if Cayden were to contract COVID-19. He had already been hospitalized several times for the common cold and for respiratory syncytial virus, which infects the lungs and can lead to pneumonia. I did not want to find out what something like COVID-19 would do to him. 

Thankfully, his test results were negative.

I was able to get some time to recover after my grandmother and her husband agreed to take Cayden for a few days. This also got him away from me so he wouldn’t be exposed.

I felt bad that they had to take him, because my grandmother just had an extensive emergency open-heart surgery in December. However, they were willing to step in at a time when I needed help the most, and I am very thankful for that.

When they brought Cayden back home two days later, he started developing mild fevers. The highest his temperature reached was 100.4 F. I immediately called his doctors, but they told us to manage his fever at home with medication and extra fluids and to call back if his condition worsened. His fevers stopped after two days, and he never had any other symptoms. 

My recovery time didn’t take too long. I only felt sick for about five full days before I started feeling better. I think I’d attribute most of this to having been vaccinated and to having a very recent booster shot. My mom, who is not vaccinated, took almost two full weeks to recover.

Overall, we didn’t have a horrible time with COVID-19. But it did upset me that I caught it anyway after doing everything to avoid it. I wore masks, washed my hands, used disinfectant products, got vaccinated, and stayed indoors for the most part.

I can’t really say that I was shocked that I got it, though. It is a pandemic, after all.

Note: Pompe Disease News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pompe Disease News, or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Pompe disease.


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