Girl Gone Smart: Vaxxed, Omicron breakthrough, and immuno-compromised

Updated: Jan 10


This morning a fourth person asked me to write about my experience with having Covid-19's Omicron variant as a fully vaccinated, immuno-compromised person.

I didn't want to. I don't want to now. Not because it took almost all of my energy to get out of bed to get my laptop, but because who would even be interested? Turns out quite a few folks who share an underlying condition are, and they're wondering what they could be in for should they catch the Omicron variant.

What really changed my mind was a quote I read this morning from our CDC Director, Rochelle Walensky:

"The overwhelming number of deaths, over 75%, occurred in people who had at least four comorbidities. So really these are people who were unwell to begin with, and yes, really encouraging news in the context of Omicron."

Encouraging? Really? So life goes on and people like me - especially people more vulnerable than me - are okay to just... die? Not a big deal? It's encouraging that it's not affecting anyone important. Fuck you. I can't rant on this any longer because it breaks my heart, so take a moment and check out the #MyDisabledLifeIsWorthy hashtag on Twitter.

If you're a regular reader of GGS, you know I have Rheumatoid Disease and the medication I'm on is Humira, an immune suppressant. Through this entire pandemic I have been as careful as humanly possible, but Omicron got me and my husband. We are both fully vaccinated and have been for months.

I'm also adding we spent the holidays alone, with me (alone) visiting only two people for a couple hours on Christmas night who are also fully vaccinated. (They are fine and do not have Covid.) We were able to trace how we contracted it.

The Symptoms and Timeline

December 28 - Dec 29 (Day 0 and 1)

(Day 0 is the first day of symptoms.)

  • Joint and muscle pain, which isn't unusual for me with having RD, but I also had cold symptoms. With RD, I'm often not feeling well so I didn't think anything unusual was going on.

December 30 (Day 2)

  • Woke up with in extreme physical pain in muscles and joints.

  • My skin felt like it was on fire - as if I had been sunburned.

  • I had a slight temperature and had woke up several times drenched in sweat.

  • The fatigue was (and still is) unbearable. My phone felt heavy, walking from one room to another took so much energy, and taking a shower was a chore I dreaded.

  • A friend found a home test kit for me and dropped it off about 9:30am that day. It returned an inconclusive result.

  • We went on the hunt for more tests.

December 31 - January 1 (Days 3 and 4)

  • All of the same symptoms as above. It was hard to sleep and hard to get comfortable because of the physical pain.

  • I had zero appetite. I did not lose my taste or smell, but everything I tried tasted or smelled... off, as if it were spoiled.

  • The congestion kicked in and I found it hard to sleep because I couldn't breathe through my nose. I would wake up often needing a drink because my mouth was so dry that I couldn't swallow, and that lead to a bit of a panic.

  • I was drinking nothing but water, iced tea, hot tea, or ginger ale to stay hydrated best I could.

  • A friend gave us one test kit and it returned a negative result.

  • On January 1, we found more test kits and again it returned a negative result.

January 2 (Day 5)

  • My husband I both tested again and this time it returned a positive result for both of us.

  • All of my symptoms continued. My husband was mostly asymptomatic up to this point, but he started to feel fatigued and generally unwell. This lasted only two days for him - thankfully.

January 3 - January 9 (Days 6 - 12)

  • Jan 7, my husband, feeling back to normal, tested and the test returned a positive result.

  • I didn't bother wasting a test because I still have symptoms as of the writing of this.

  • The muscle and joint pain is still here but not as intense, and the sunburned skin pain has gone away completely. The congestion and dehydration and dry mouth is still just as bad as in the beginning.

  • I developed massive pain in my left ear from blowing my nose so much, which caused me to lose balance and literally had to hang onto walls to walk. I think that was day eight.

  • Around day nine I developed what is called "Covid tongue." Google it. It's gross, but thankfully only lasted two days.

  • The fatigue is still overwhelming to the point I'm sleeping about 17 out of every 24 hours.

  • My appetite comes and goes. I'm able to eat a little bit and food tastes and smells normal again.

It feels like I'm on the mend, but there were days where I thought for sure I was getting better. I had bursts of energy where I was able to disinfect parts of the house, or sort laundry, and those bursts lasted a couple hours. Then I would be hit again with fatigue or pain so bad all I could do was go back to bed and sleep.

Right now, the morning of Day 12, writing this has taken all I have and so now I'm going to hit Publish, go back to bed, and finish watching season four of Cobra Kai - which is so disappointing by the way - if I can stay awake through a 30 minute episode.

Be safe, and be well.