A COVID-19 Care Kit | What Got Our Family Through Recovery
No one plans to be in the situation where three members of their family are battling COVID-19, but that’s exactly what happened to us in mid-July when the Coronavirus infiltrated our lives.
To read the full account of our family’s experience with COVID-19, from the first symptoms to recovery and a big Q+A, CLICK HERE.
When all was said and done, our tween had a mild case, I suffered from what I like to call a “moderate but miserable” case and my husband was the unlucky one to have a severe case of COVID-19 that landed him in the hospital for 5 days.
When COVID strikes, you are under isolation. Not only can you not go anywhere under any circumstances (other than to get medical attention), but you have to stay away from any asymptomatic family members and NO ONE from outside your household can enter your home or come into contact with you. It is scary and I felt very alone.
I’m sharing my family’s story in the hopes that it will help someone else if it happens to them. This post is about the items that I considered to be most helpful when we had COVID-19, many of which I really wish I had on hand before it struck so I wasn’t relying on others to bring them for me or praying for the fastest Amazon delivery in the history of the universe. If any of these items sound useful to you, I’ve created a handy shop you can order from directly. I bought basically everything off of Amazon because when you are in isolation, it’s one of the easiest and fastest options to get you what you need.
Let me quickly pause here and disclose that many of the links in this blog post are Amazon affiliate links. This means that if you choose to purchase via these links, I will earn a VERY SMALL commission, at no extra cost to you.
By far, the most important thing that helped give me peace of mind during this ordeal was a pulse oximeter. This inexpensive device was a lifesaver mentally and was the deciding factor that made us bring my husband to the emergency room when it showed his blood oxygen level had dropped too low. A pulse oximeter is a device that measures your oxygen saturation levels. The one we bought is no longer available, but the one I’ve listed is very similar and will run you less than $30.
A couple quick Google searches showed me that any saturation at 95% or above is good. Anything between 90-94% should be monitored and below 90%, you should seek medical attention. My husband’s percentage dropped to 85% and that’s when we went to the emergency room!
Gasping for breath or struggling to breathe is really scary and this device was an easy way to reassure myself that I was, in fact, getting enough oxygen. On the other hand, it was crucial in helping us make an informed decision about getting emergency medical help and knowing things had gotten serious. If you get nothing else for your medicine cabinet…..get a pulse oximeter.
Another must-have in the age of the Coronavirus is a reliable thermometer that is fast and accurate. We were doing temperature checks on all five members of our family multiple times a day and this little baby was so handy to have. Running a fever is one of the big symptoms to look out for with COVID, so having a quick and easy thermometer that is no-touch is a must.
We were unfortunate to have significant gastrointestinal symptoms while fighting COVID. Both the adults dealt with terrible nausea and diarrhea and I was vomiting a LOT. It’s super important to stay hydrated when you’re sick and COVID is no exception. I had a huge insulated cup of water near me at all times, but I was relying on a rehydration supplement to get extra hydration and electrolytes. My favorite is the Liquid IV packets, but I know others have suggested Nuun tablets or DripDrop packets!
Speaking of the vomiting, I was having a really hard time eating anything and keeping it down. Smoothies and popsicles were the only nourishment I was able to keep down for several days and some friends dropped off these Pedialyte freezer pops. They were a freaking lifesaver.
More COVID Care Items That Came in Clutch
In addition to those heavy-hitters, these items also were super helpful during our recovery from COVID-19:
- Tylenol – We had to stock up on grown-up Tylenol and the childrens’ version as we fought off chills, body aches, headaches, etc. Our doctors told us to only use Tylenol and no other pain reliever so we went through quite a bit of it.
- Weighted Blanket – I have a 15 pound weighted blanket that I use for calming anxiety and it was put to good use during the hours and hours I spent in bed.
- Echo Dot – Hear me out. Our tween was in isolation in the basement since he too was symptomatic and my husband and I were confined to our bedroom and I frankly did not have the energy to go up and down the stairs to check on my kid, ask if he needed anything, etc. We have an Echo Dot in the basement, so I could easily talk to him through it via the Alexa app on my phone. It was incredibly helpful.
- Powdered Tide and Bleach Packs – Every day, I was whipping up a concoction of scalding hot water, powdered Tide and one of these Bleach packs and using a microfiber cloth to wipe down all high touch surfaces in our house to try to keep the virus from our asymptomatic kids. If you don’t already follow GoCleanCo on Instagram, drop what you are doing right now and do that so you can learn about the magic that is the Water/Bleach/Tide combo. I also used this combo to clean our floors with this mopping system once I could stand for that long.
- Soothing Tea – A sore throat was another one of the symptoms we were dealing with and green tea does great things for healing.
- Eye Pillow – I have never had a headache as painful as a COVID headache and one of these can make a big difference in helping ease the pain.
- Blue Light Blocking Glasses – Speaking of headaches, I found myself unable to look at screens without getting a splitting headache thanks to COVID. While using blue light blocking glasses didn’t make them go away, it does help keep them at bay and I’m really hoping this lingering symptom goes away soon.