My 7 days of living with a disability and isolation due to COVID

My 7 days of living with a disability and isolation due to COVID – introduction

I live with a disability (T3 paraplegia, chronic pain, sleep apnea and other conditions), get help from carers each evening and currently only live with a cat called Spartacus. Near the beginning of 2020, my GP mentioned that I should be able to cope with contracting COVID, but I should get vaccinated. I’ve had three COVID vaccinations, hoping I will recover more quickly from the illness and reduce my chance of requiring hospitalisation. I don’t want to burden the public health system.

Unfortunately, I tested positive for COVID via a RAT cartridge on the morning of Wednesday, 6th July 2022. SA Health required me to isolate myself for seven days and this blog shares the diary I kept during that period of time.

Day 0 – Tuesday 5th July 2022

  • During the night my throat tickled, waking me up ten times and requiring me to sip some water. I wasn’t coughing but had to induce a cough to get rid of the tickle and then get back to sleep
  • After waking up my rat cartridge tested negative
  • My throat became slightly sore and a slight cough developed as the day progressed. I purchased a cough suppressant from my pharmacy and took ten ml before sleeping
  • I advised my carer of the symptoms and the negative RAT result

Day 1 – Wednesday 6th July 2022

  • I woke up seven times during the night with a slight tickle, had a drink and went back to sleep
  • The RAT cartridge now told me I had COVID
  • After checking out the latest SA Health advice, I decided to isolate myself for seven days and do it without help from my evening carers.
  • I advised the following organisations/people of the positive result
    • SA Health (It is unlawful to have a positive result and not contact them)
    • Help at Home to cancel the next seven evenings of care.  They offered to send carers with full PPE (Personal protective equipment), but I declined their offer as I didn’t want them to go through the effort and expense
    • My immediate family
    • Everyone who is a FB friend via a post
  • I felt ok, but the sore throat was gradually getting worse
  • In the absence of my evening carers, it took me fifty minutes to do the basic care tasks. More details about my care can be found on this blog
  • I triple-checked that I had everything I need before returning to bed that evening. I wanted to cover myself with the doona and realised the linen was in the corner of my bedroom. Rather than getting out of bed again, I used a grabber to gradually move it toward me
  • As I attempted to fall asleep, Spartacus jumped on the bed and placed his head and arm on my hand
  • Then the shivers commenced. Every muscle in my upper body was attempting to move at once and I was worried about the reasons. I felt cold and turned up the heating, and my body temperature was nearing 38 C.
  • I googled ‘COVID shivers’ and found that my symptoms were normal, as my body was fighting an infection
  • After thirty minutes the shaking stopped and didn’t come back. I took additional paracetamol to reduce the fever
  • I tried laying flat on my back but breathing was difficult, and I adjusted the bed back to be slightly upright
  • I had the AC heating me up all night long (I usually turn it off)
  • Eventually fell asleep and slept ok. I think Spartacus was on me all night.

Day 2 – Thursday 7th July 2022

  • Upon waking up, had to push my abdomen to bring up phlegm as I am lacking sufficient lung capacity
  • The throat got worse and I stayed in bed all morning
  • I felt tired and just before lunchtime, I began sneezing for ten minutes. Sneezing is unusual for me
  • Many FB messages and responses to my covid post, wishing me the best
  • Madie left lunch and snacks in the garage to avoid contact, and I brought them in later
  • My throat is now the worse it ever felt
  • I attempted lego but my brain wasn’t working well and found it difficult to follow instructions. Lots of lego fell onto the ground and I couldn’t be bothered picking them up
  • I performed my care and fell asleep without the AC heating the room

Day 3 – Friday 8th July 2022

  • Slept ok, waking up many times and feeling my sore throat
  • I had severe back pain and worried about getting through the day
  • Did the biggest poo ever, and took it easy after the shower in bed till the afternoon
  • My throat improved as the day progressed
  • Ran a load of washing to avoid running out of towels
  • Placed the council bins out for collection
  • I took a selfie
  • Performed a little bit of lego, and writing, but couldn’t think that well
  • Phone calls were difficult as the voice did not work well
  • Played Xbox and went to bed early after performing my care tasks

Day 4 – Saturday 9th July 2022

  • After sleeping well, I woke up and my back pain was better than the day before at the same time
  • My throat is even better and coughing up phlegm to get my lungs clean
  • My body temperature was normal and I rested in bed until lunchtime
  • Not hungry and had lunch at 330pm
  • Made five phone calls as I could talk ok for the first time since Wednesday
  • Ran the dishwasher
  • Went outside and cleaned up the poo patch of Spartacus – I’ve managed to train a cat to only poo in one spot!
  • Brought council bin back in and performed my care
  • Watched the footy with Spartacus
  • I stayed up until about 930pm, and then couldn’t get asleep when I tried at 11 pm

Day 5 – Sunday 10th July 2022

  • Slept ok and now bringing up phlegm
  • No sore throat
  • Stayed in bed till midday to rest
  • Watered all of the house plants, put laundry away after running it in the dryer and constructed 80% of a new movie case. Wrote
  • Was sore and tired by 4 pm, and performed my care and headed off to bed

Day 6 – Monday 11th July 2022

  • Slept ok and woke up hungry
  • Went to the toilet and shower
  • Bringing up phlegm, bit tired and rested in bed
  • I could only manage to attach one of the backings to the new bookcase
  • Played plenty of Xbox, performed my care and headed to bed at about 10 pm

Day 7 – Tuesday 12th July 2022

  • Still bringing up phlegm. Slept ok.
  • Feeling more energetic, and took care of the housework and finished the movie bookcase
  • Played lots of Xbox and rested

Isolation ends  – Wednesday 13th July 2022 at 9 am

  • That ends full seven days of isolating and taking care of my care
  • Tonight my family are coming over to watch Star Trek and have an Indian meal
  • I’m feeling more energetic
  • I’m not returning to the pool or gym until I stop bringing up phlegm

Please ensure your Covid vaccinations are up to date, as I believe they helped keep the illness to a mild level, and kept me out of the hospital.

Click here for information about the blog WheelchairJohn. More information about me is found at

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