COVID-19 Finally Strikes My Husband, Who Has Parkinson’s

After almost 3 years of masks, vaccines, and isolation, we have to face the virus

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by Jamie Askari |

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It started with a dry throat, which isn’t unusual for us in winter. After a lifetime of living in chilly Cleveland, we’re used to the dryness from forced-air heat.

But the minute my husband, Arman, and I both woke up to this dry throat, we immediately tested ourselves for COVID-19. We’d been negative the day before after being exposed to the virus. Although we’ve tested multiple times throughout the pandemic because of several exposures, this was our first time testing when we had symptoms.

Fortunately, Arman and I both tested negative; it seemed we’d dodged another COVID-19 bullet. Hurrah! We let out a sigh of relief because we’d been concerned about his possible complications, given that he has Parkinson’s disease (PD).

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Since the pandemic began, we’ve done everything possible to protect Arman and keep him safe from COVID-19. We used masks, social distancing, and vaccines, as well as basically being hermits for the past three years.

While we’ve been fortunate that Arman had avoided the virus so far, the pandemic was affecting him and everyone dealing with a chronic illness in many ways. A February article in JAMA showed that COVID-19-caused anxiety, social isolation, and reduced physical activity can worsen PD symptoms and progression.

Although our symptoms worsened over the next few days, our tests continued to be negative. And then, it finally happened: two double lines. After nearly three years of our family jumping through hoops to keep Arman free of the virus, he tested positive, and so did I.

Thankfully, my symptoms were worse than Arman’s. But the fear that he would get worse loomed over us. All the anxiety and stress of the past three years finally landed on my shoulders like a boulder, a weight I didn’t think I could carry, especially while I was so sick.

Although I was grouchy (very grouchy, actually, as I’m not a good patient), I was able to pull it together and make a plan. I knew we needed to start an antiviral medication as soon as possible. I scheduled us for a virtual doctor visit, and we were prescribed medication. Despite zero temperatures and a blizzard, my best friend went to the store to pick up our medicine and brought us her homemade chicken soup. (I’m thankful for my incredible friends!)

We took the medication, ate our soup, and hunkered down to isolate. It wasn’t too tough, considering we stay home most of the time anyway. It was during winter storm Elliott, so we felt fortunate to be safe, warm, and cozy at home. Arman watched a lot of sports, and I enjoyed binge-watching home remodeling shows.

It’s been a few days since this all started. So far, my case is much worse than my husband’s (thankfully). We’re both experiencing fewer symptoms each day.

I’m grateful that when we finally caught COVID-19, we were prepared to deal with it. We’re incredibly fortunate to have easy access to testing, vaccines, and therapeutics to help lessen the severity of the illness. I’m thankful for the medical professionals who work tirelessly to care for us, even during the holidays.

I look forward to putting this experience behind us, and I hope I don’t deal with it again soon!

Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.


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