18 Jan What I Learned from My Covid Story
There’s nothing remarkable about my experience with Covid 19. I don’t know the person that passes it on to me. I can only guess where or at what point it entered my system. I do know that now that I’m on the other side of it, I feel a sense of relief. I feel very lucky to say that given what my expectations were.
In early 2019, I picked up a virus that led to three weeks of severe laryngitis and more than 6 months with a chronic cough. You don’t want severe laryngitis when you work with kids. When the news of Covid started circulating a year later, I was extremely fearful. I had to shelter in place and move everything in my life to online. Then in early 2021, I was so grateful to get the vaccine. I, however, had a strong reaction to it that led to another six months of migraine headaches and fatigue. Per my doctor’s advice, it was recommended that I NOT get any boosters and take my chances with Covid instead. This time the devil you do know may NOT be better than the devil you don’t.
Fast forward to Christmas Day 2022, the day I realized I wasn’t just fatigued from the freezing weather in the state of Georgia. I took a Covid test, and it instantly turned positive. The next day I took a second test to be absolutely certain and then headed back to Miami to spend the next two weeks at home patiently waiting to feel good enough to leave the house again.
Why Am I Sharing This?
I happen to be one of those annoying people that likes to find the good in every situation. So, I had to really search for the silver lining on this because ruining Christmas, my birthday and New Years was not an experience I would like to replicate ever again. What could I have possibly have learned?
- My body is stronger than I anticipated.
- I am more capable of relaxing than I expected.
- The hardest part was not knowing how long it would last.
This last truth is why I am writing this. I feel like it renewed my empathy for parents when they realize their child needs therapy. There are so many worries with the unknown. Some stress about finances. Some stress about schedules. Everyone worries about their child’s health. A common question asked by parents is “How long with the therapy last?” To their frustration, the answer is often that “it depends.” Much like with Covid, the length of time needed to go through the process depends on the individual. This is not a response that satisfies anyone, but it is the truth. Everyone responds to therapy in their own unique way. They each have their own story.
How Does This Help You?
One of the reminders I kept receiving in my recovery was to rest. That was a big part of the plan that was challenging for me especially when my holiday plans included travel, time with friends and family as well as some fun adventures. In occupational therapy for children, a big part of the plan is to play. Believe it or not, this can be just as difficult for some parents as it is for me to rest. It is so important to respect the plan to achieve the goals set, to see the end of the tunnel. You can check out this new video for suggestions on how to Think Like a Therapist when planning your playtime.
My recommendation to both parents and professionals is to regularly review the plan. Every child receiving services should have a formal plan that was created by their therapist. It is a tool for you to use just like you use a calendar or planner to keep track of your work or personal goals. It is the helpful advice that serves as a reminder to help your child on a road to good health and success.
Amy Baez is the Founder of Playapy and Creator of the PALS Handwriting Program. She is a pediatric occupational therapist, speaker, and parent coach with over 20 years of experience.