Long Covid sore joints
By the third week of my April trip to Indian Creek (April 21), I had a persistent cough and very sore knees. I attributed that to not enough rest days, and the cough to allergies. Neither was crippling, but Sue sounded increasingly lonely on our weekly phone calls. Coming home to my family and my soft couch vs suffering with sore knees became a no brainer.
But here I am, 5 weeks later, still dealing with sore knees and an asthmatic cough.The beginnings of Covid that I carried home from the creek quickly became a nasty 4 days of suffering on the couch. And Sue was right there with me. She caught it from me after a 4 day delay.
When we got Covid in February of 2020 the symptoms were very similar, though Sue never gets the joint aches. The difference this time around is that the ridiculous joint aches won’t leave. I was warned by Christine to “see your doctor and get some meds!”, which I ignored. Sue took 5 days of Paxlovid and got better much faster, though she still hasn’t got her wind back.
You can get free Covid test kits at the pharmacy, so we watched as the ‘positive’ line gradually got fainter until May 5 when we both tested negative.
My problem now, 5 weeks later is that I can’t kneel. Or if I do, I can’t get up. It feels like there is cement in my knees. When I bend them fully, like in a squat, the pain is awful. And I’m stuck there, literally can’t stand up without pulling on something nearby, like a table. As you can expect, this is not fun when I’m trying to climb something that requires a high step. Or just working on the car. My hips and shoulders are also very sore. I’ve had sour shoulders for decades, but now everything is exacerbated.
When I got home I had to swap out the winter tires, grease the suspension on both cars, change the oil, secure our catalytic converters with stainless steel cables and swap my 100 watt solar panel with a 200 watt to support the new electric fridge. That was a lot of kneeling, and every single deep knee bend was excruciating.
This week I finally felt good enough to go back to the gym after two months away. I can climb reasonably well, unless there is a high step…and then I’m squealing like a little girl.
My research tells me there is nothing to be done…you just have to out live it. Supposedly each deep knee bend squishes more poison out of the joint. It’s the old: “No pain, no gain”. Like right now, writing this long whiny journal entry, I have my legs elevated out straight on a apple box. It’s comfortable. But when I lift them onto the floor and bend the knee…it’s like there is red hot cement in the joint, it doesn’t want to be flexed, open or closed.
So my punishment for today is to ride my unicycle. Which isn’t fun at all, since my knees hurt and my wind sucks due to the asthma triggered by the long ago Covid.
It’s a week later and I’ve been to the gym 3 times. I’m actually building up some plastic power. I’ve also unicycled 5 times. I was rusty, but: “It’s just like getting back on a bicycle”. We also hiked up to Panorama Point with 7 and 8 month pregnant Lisa and Jamie, who both carried their two year old daughters Olivia and Rose. Those women are so strong! I was weak, but with lots of rests made it to my normal painting spot. I’ve heard that a month is a normal recover time from Covid, so hopefully all my symptoms will vanish soon.
I often fail to finish my plein air Rainier paintings. I’d carried one up. It was semi finished on the top, but needed the bottom finished. Sadly, the entire damn mountain was covered in clouds. I set up my easel anyway, hoping I’d get a few peeks.
As I was painting from memory, I wondered if I was hallucinating, because I kept hearing the distant tones of horns, like something from the Swiss alps. Then these two showed up and played a song for me. They carried those horns up hill through two miles of deep snow. People are still skiing. Clint just skied off the summit last week. That is a small patch of dirt where I’d set up to avoid standing in snow.