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Tag: covid symptoms

Cartoon woman with red hair, sneering with text bubble containing symbols as expletives.

Oops, did I say that, again?

I’m not sure which expletive slipped from my mouth last Wednesday as I watched a red line appear. I was doing a home test for Covid and the test line was glaring red and positive before the fluid even reached the point for the control line.

I hadn’t fully recovered from a bout with the virus in March that took me off my feet for three weeks and it seemed impossible to have been hit with it again.

My first experience with Covid was in June 2022, when the bug infiltrated our household.

Having asthma and a rare disorder treated by a chemo drug, I was eligible for treatment with Paxlovid, which was relatively new at the time.

The goal of the treatment is to reduce the chance of severe outcomes in people who are immunocompromised.

When discussing possible implications of Covid with my hematologist back in the early days of the pandemic, he told me to do whatever I could to avoid catching the virus.

“You would likely end up hospitalized but I don’t think you would die,” he said.


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Based on this advice, I was very cautious, not only because of my own health concerns but also because of my husband’s and daughter’s conditions. We chose to be immunized as a means of further risk reduction, and it was two years before the nasty bug caught us.

At that time, taking Paxlovid treatment meant forgoing Tylenol, decongestants and even herbal tea. Of the three of us, I had the worst symptoms. A cup of tea with honey to soothe my raw throat would have been lovely and it was a rough 10 days or so, but I believe it was worth the trade-off.

Fast-forward to early March of this year.

The takedown was swift — chills that led to nearly every blanket in the house being piled on my bed mixed with four nights of fever. Covid tests were negative until the third day.

It was the weekend and nearly midnight (of course), so I chose to call 811 rather than go to the hospital emergency room.

As with any time I’ve called, the registered nurse I spoke with was pleasant, helpful and informative. We discussed the pros and cons of being treated.

At the time I was experiencing terrible body aches and recurring fevers and couldn’t imagine not being able to use Tylenol for symptomatic relief. In the end, I chose to tough it out without treatment.



There’s no way to determine whether or not I made the right choice. What I do know is that my symptoms were worse and lasted longer than in the initial case.

I was home for three weeks and still not fully feeling up to snuff by last week when Covid came calling again.

I didn’t test until the end of the first full day of symptoms.

“Not yet. Twice in three months would be a bit much,” I replied to a friend who asked if I had tested.

Thus the expletive on seeing the positive red line.

I chose 811 as the starting point again and went through the diagnosis confirmation process before discussing options. By the time I called, I knew I shouldn’t forgo treatment.

Much of Friday morning was spent on the phone confirming eligibility (you must be immunocompromised to receive treatment) and local availability, as well as reviewing medical history.

I want to give a huge thanks to Amber Shepherd at Pincher Creek Pharmasave, who spent a lot of time ensuring the correct dosage and confirming drug interactions.


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At all three stages of discussion with 811 and the Covid Treatment Centre nurse and physician, I was told that patients are now responsible for the cost of Paxlovid and urged to ask for the price before committing to filling the prescription.

Amber assured me there was no cost, which was a relief.

Today is the first time I’ve been out of bed for more than a few minutes at a time. I’m almost through the Paxlovid regimen and am confident it kept my symptoms from getting as bad as they were in March.

But, I swore out loud again on Monday — and that’s the real reason I’m sharing my experience.

Curious about how the loss of government coverage for the drug will affect people, I checked back with Amber.

It turns out Friday was the last day it was free, so my prescription snuck in just before the change. That was lucky for me now but not for anyone needing treatment in the future.

Learning the cost prompted the second expletive, and it may elicit something similar from you as well. The five-day Paxlovid treatment will now cost more than $1,400 for those without insurance coverage. For seniors, there is a maximum co-pay amount of $25.

Shootin’ the Breeze carries the Chambers of Commerce group insurance and Amber ran a test claim to see its impact. The next time I have Covid, I will have to choose between paying more than $700 for a course of Paxlovid or not being treated.


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