Man oh man, what a weird couple of weeks it has been. First off, let me just start with this: we are all totally fine. I wanted to share our story and Covid experience on my blog because I think it’s important to share my truth, and to be very honest. My clients have already heard the news since I had to reschedule a couple weeks worth of sessions, but, I want to be an open book (within reason) and be able to explain my absence over the last couple of weeks. Not only that, but to let others know that they aren’t alone. I took a couple of weeks off from working and doing pretty much anything, waiting for the other shoe to drop; luckily, that fear never came to fruition.
DISCLAIMER: Let me reiterate that YES, I understand our experience is not like the thousands of people who have had a much worse experience and NO, my family’s experience doesn’t negate the experiences of others.
It all started on a random Thursday in September, when Katelyn woke up with a common back-to-school cootie cold (runny/stuffy nose with a little cough), which morphed into a migraine by Friday. She’s prone to migraines, she even sees a pediatric neurologist for them, so I really didn’t think anything of it. We went on with our lives, just like any other year we would have – football practice, football games, school, work, life. You know?
Then on Saturday, Sierra woke up with a rash. It almost looked like a heat rash, or maybe contact dermatitis. Which, by the way, Sierra is prone to! So again, I didn’t think anything of it. I gave her some Benadryl and she went off to work, as did Katelyn. A couple hours later, I get a phone call from Sierra’s boss asking to pick her up because she was coughing a little bit and overall just not feeling great, and with the company’s Covid protocols, she needed to get tested before returning to work (“better safe than sorry” – which I totally respect). He asked us to get her a rapid test so she could come back the next day, no big deal.
So I took her in to get tested and low and behold – it was positive! And since she wasn’t really that sick like the media makes it out to be, it got me thinking – what if Katelyn was positive too and that’s why she had a migraine? So we got Katelyn tested and bam! Positive, too!
On Monday, we decided everyone in the family should get tested just to see – and guess what? Noah and I were also positive. What in the world!? Noah never had any symptoms the entire time he was on quarantine, except “meh, I just don’t feel great” but nothing more than that. In a normal year, I would have told him to suck it up and sent him to school! Sierra never got anything worse than a rash and a post-nasal drip induced cough, and Katelyn never got anything worse than her typical migraine. It certainly was not the on my death bed, hacking up a lung, absolutely terrifying experience that the media has made Covid out to be for anyone and everyone who gets it.
I ended up coming down with a sore/scratchy throat for 3-4 days with an accompanying cough and lost my sense of taste and smell for nearly a week. That’s it. No fevers or no loss of oxygen levels (yes – our insurance sent us a pulse/ox machine to keep an eye on things).
By that Wednesday, Randy started feeling like crap even though he originally tested negative on Monday. Out of nowhere, he started spiking 101 fevers, coughing really bad and his lower back aching (like in his kidney region, not so much the lung area), lost taste and smell and having a bad headache. Since he had definitely been exposed and was experiencing symptoms, we thought it was a good idea to get him re-tested. What happened? You guessed it: positive!
Randy got it worse than any of us, but even then – he’s definitely been much sicker before. Like when he was given the typhoid fever vaccines when he was in the military, or when he came down with flu A *and* B with strep at the same time (yes, after getting the flu shot that year). For me and the kids, it was nothing more than a few days of not feeling great and for Randy, it was a week of off-and-on fevers, sleeping, showers and not feeling the best. The worst part about Covid for both of us was losing our taste and smell, which is really disconcerting. I’m super grateful it didn’t lost longer than that – a bride/friend of mine had it last for 7 months. I could not imagine that!
I relied entirely on vitamins, eating well and resting as much as possible and drinking a ton of organic bone broth (a carton a day). Even though I was ‘sick’ I still had to be mom – cooking, cleaning and tending to Randy and the kids and the farm. Life still had to go on, whether I wanted to lay in bed all day or not.
The vitamins I took:
A couple of days after Randy got his positive test result, our medical team emailed Randy and offered him something called Monoclonal Antibodies. For the “TL;DR” crowd – they’re basically lab-made antibodies that have been created to fight viruses. They’re usually reserved for people who are high risk – people with asthma, lung issues, cancer, etc. whatever. According to our nurse, everyone is given a place on a 0-8 scale of risk, with 8 being the highest. Randy was given a score of 1, because of his weight. That’s why he was considered for receiving this treatment, and only because they had an open chair at the infusion center.
After talking it over in depth with the nurse and doing research on the risks and benefits of getting a monoclonal antibody infusion, Randy decided to go ahead. I’ve had a few people ask why we were more willing to do this but not the vaccine, and the truth is – the idea of inserting mRNA into our body is terrifying. Monoclonal antibodies have been used to treat so many other viruses and illnesses, and the side effects are not nearly as severe as those associated with the Covid ‘vaccine.’
Randy got the infusion on Day 5 of his illness, and to be quite honest – he felt awful afterward, worse than he did before. He spiked a bigger fever than he’d had previously and literally laid on the couch for a solid 24 hours, feeling like he got hit by a dump truck. But after that? He started feeling much better and by day 7 or 8, he felt almost good as new. Would he have had that same path of healing without the infusion? We’ll never know. He was feeling pretty good when he got the infusion, so I feel like he was already on his way to good health before he got the infusion. The infusion didn’t hurt him though, so, there’s that?
So to answer the question I’ve gotten asked a hundred times lately, … No, We did not get the vaccine and no, we won’t be getting it any time soon. I firmly believe in body autonomy and freedom of choice when it comes to what we do, inject into, and put into our bodies. If someone wants to get it, that’s fine – your body, your choice. But as for me and mine? Nope. We’ve done the research and talked with several medical professionals in our local region, and decided the juice wasn’t worth the squeeze. And now after having gotten Covid and having a very typical mild experience, our decision to let our bodies naturally fight this virus feels very justified.
On a VERY personal note …
I actually was posting on my private Facebook page about our experience, and someone I’ve known for over 20 years insinuated that by me posting about our Covid experience not being that big of a deal, that I was doing a disservice to those who have had it much worse. This person actually got really mad that someone who is not pro-vaccination like me got Covid and had such a mild case (which is pretty typical from what I’ve gathered from my own research). I’ll be honest – it really made me upset that someone was upset my family wasn’t dying – like, who does that?! I got upset enough to the point where I deleted this person from my life, and have taken a big step away from Facebook as a result. The audacity and downright rudeness of people who disagree with me and my beliefs can be pretty freaking unbelievable! I am so grateful to everyone who stepped up and spoke up to this person, and respected me telling my truth.
Well, I’m back to work and the kids are all back to school and sports … so now we move on with our lives!
October 1, 2021
Joy-filled photography for families, boudoir, high school seniors and weddings. I've got you, boo!
I'm Ashley! Family and wedding photographer in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, but I travel all over the country to hang out with the most incredible people. I am obsessed with puppies, extra hot coffee, incredible light and firmly believe that love conquers all.