First let me tell you I never imagined I’d be writing this. However, since I’m a writer, telling stories, fictional or factual is how I deal with pretty much everything. Why should telling my story of catching Covid-19 be any different?
After all, I’m still here to talk about it.
I’m living proof that this disease doesn’t have to be a death sentence for everyone. I’m relatively healthy. I lost half a person in body weight in 2019 and have managed to keep most of it off throughout this pandemic, despite the lockdown and being stuck at home throughout March and April. I’m 56 years young. I take no medications. I get plenty of fresh air and sunlight. I’m active and I must have a very good immune system…thank you ancestors.
I had a fantastic summer! I am fortunate enough to have a lovely deck and an above ground pool that’s approximately 15 feet wide by 30 feet long. I spent every weekend in that pool and on many occasions, hosted small gatherings of friends and family for pool parties and cookouts. That is most likely where the ten pounds creeped back but you know what? I was living life and enjoying my summer despite the pandemic. Once I’m completely back to normal, I’ll get rid of it.
Fast forward to October 12, 2020.
It was a normal Monday. Sales meeting, catching up on everyone’s weekend, some chit chat…the usual. My sister in law, who is also my assistant at my day job, had celebrated her birthday away at a local beach resort town over the weekend with her husband and two of our mutual friends. I didn’t go because my husband had had surgery on his neck (ruptured discs) on October 6th so I was home taking care of him from the 6th through the 8th. She left for the beach on the 8th so I hadn’t seen her in a week, so it was great to see her again and catch up. It was a normal day at the office.
Tuesday, October 13th, my sister in law came to work wearing her mask. Of course we had to wear our masks if we got up from our desks to move about the office but she was wearing hers INTO the building. Feeling something was suspicious, I immediately confronted her. Her response was, “I don’t feel good. Something is not right.”
I basically ordered her out of the building and told her to please go directly to a clinic and get a Covid test. I was concerned because she had been out of town for four days and could have contracted it at one of the places she visited.
She left and went straight to an urgent care clinic.
Her rapid test was positive, which meant she had had Covid for several days and only became symptomatic Monday night into Tuesday morning. According to what the health department told me, once you’re infected, it can take between 2-14 days for symptoms to appear.
Denial set in.
I convinced myself there was no way she had passed it to me or anyone else. We followed all the rules. We wore masks. We washed our hands. We had a cubicle wall between us. Yes, we passed paperwork back and forth but we washed our hands and we used hand sanitizer for Pete’s sake!
I buckled under fear and decided to get a rapid Covid test the next day anyway, and I took a send away test as well. She told me the doctor told her she most likely was exposed before she went away for the weekend but she could not pin point where she could have picked it up. I had only spent 7 hours working near her on that Monday. It’s not like we shared anything other than space.
Both of my tests came back negative. PHEW! I felt great and believed I was in the clear. I shot on my English Dart league Friday October 16th winning all three of my matches. I felt great! I shot on my shuffle bowl league the next night. Then…
I woke up Sunday October 18th with a horrible migraine, body aches everywhere, ear, nose and throat burning, and just an overall feeling of illness. I ate a little something and had my coffee and laid in the back sun room on the sofa for what started out as a little while and ended up being several hours. Finally, I did get up because I could feel a fever had joined the sickness soup. Sure enough, 100.9 degrees. I took an 800 Motrin and laid back down.
As crazy as it sounds, my fever came down in an hour or so to 100 so I lugged a laundry basket downstairs and actually did a tub of clothes. Thankfully the washer and dryer do most of the work but when they were done, I carried them upstairs into the living room and folded them, as I described how I felt to my husband. I think that was when it hit me… I think this is Covid-19.
I told him I was beginning my quarantine that instant. I removed myself from human contact, set up shop in the back sunroom, texted my boss telling him what was happening and by bedtime, I needed another 800 Motrin to take the edge off of all the aches and pains. I decided not to run right out Monday morning for another Covid test but rather wait one more day and then get the test. I mean, I was pretty sure I had it but I wasn’t about to get fooled again.
Monday October 19th is a blur.
I was so tired. I was weak. I ached from head to feet. My ears, nose and throat were aflame. My son went and bought me ZICAM lozenges and they did in fact help. I have wide French doors in my sunroom and the weather was gorgeous so I opened one of the doors and sat near them. I believe that plenty of fresh air and sunshine is the best thing for you when you’re sick. However, by Monday night, something else happened.
I was dying of thirst. I love Minute Maid zero sugar lemonade. I poured myself a nice ice cold cup and took a big swig. Ugh! It was awful as if it had gone bad or something. I called my husband in the room and asked him to pour himself a little and taste it. He did. he looked at me funny and said, “It tastes fine. It tastes nice and lemony.”
I started to panic. He then sat a Swedish fish candy on the kitchen counter and stepped a safe distance away as I pulled down my mask and bit into it.
It tasted like rubber. I started to cry.
He said, “Oh stop it. You’re being silly!”
I said, “I can’t taste it! I can’t taste anything!” Followed by me trying to smell things…I’d lost my sense of taste and smell.
His eyes went wide and then he shook his head and said, “I guess you better go get that test tomorrow.”
Tuesday, October 20th, I went to the emergency clinic and took the Covid test.
Not that I didn’t already know it but I needed to be sure. Still suffering with a low grade fever and all of the other oddities; traveling aches and pains that seemed to radiate at times like muscle spasms that by Wednesday, had settled uncomfortably into my hip area and shot down into my thighs and groin. I also had inflamed sinuses but no mucous.
NO MUCOUS? No lung involvement what so ever? Oh thank GOD!
I was comparing my symptoms with my sister in law daily via text and we were neck and neck for the most part although by this time she’d been sick over a week and turning the bend to wellness. Hers had given her head cold symptoms but mine had NOT! We had pretty much suffered through almost the exact same ailments except she had mucous. I didn’t. She had chest tightness. I didn’t. I SWEAR it’s due to the fact that I had gobs and gobs of sunlight and fresh air all day everyday into the late evening perching myself 4 feet from that wide open French door ALL DAY LONG since my first sign of sickness.
Finally, Thursday, October 22nd, I got the results. POSITIVE. 5 days after I woke up sick.
Thank goodness I’d decided to quarantine from day one. Thank goodness I’d sat next to that open door for 5 days. I swear it has made all the difference in my recovery. I mean, I’m not knocking my immune system by any means but a closed up room or even recycled air cannot be healthy for anyone with Covid.
I have worked from home throughout this entire ordeal on both my day job (remotely) and my copywriting assignments. I have stayed mentally active for as many hours a day as I possibly could but resting when my body said REST. One night, I slept from 6:00PM until 8:00am the next morning. I listened to my body and did what it told me to do. I’ve eaten as healthy as possible, despite not being able to taste or smell anything which I have to tell you is the freakiest shit I’ve ever experienced as a symptom to an illness.
So, here I am, exactly one week with Covid-19. Yesterday was a good day. No symptoms at all except for the no taste and smell oddity and weakness. Yes, the weakness is most likely because my poor body is worn out from fighting this virus.
Today, I’m feeling very good for the most part.
I’m still weak and this afternoon, I was getting strange aches in my left hip again and lower legs to where I could not stand in the shower. I had to sit down to wash my hair and I nearly shoved a bar of Irish Spring soap up my nose in the shower trying to smell even a wisp of it to no avail.
Tonight, however, I ate 2 pickles and I could almost swear I tasted the tiniest hint of pickle on the very back of my tongue! I’m excited to see what tomorrow will bring!
I do however know what it will bring though. Another call from the health department and 4 more days at home. here are the rules according to the Maryland Health Department:
PEGGY may end their isolation and return to work/school no sooner than Oct 28, 2020 and only when all of the following are true:
- At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared (or the date tested for the virus in asymptomatic cases); AND
- At least 24 hours have passed since recovery. This includes BOTH:
Resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; AND
Improvement in COVID-19 symptoms (cough, shortness of breath or diiculty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell).
Which means I may return to normal life and work on Thursday October 29, 2020! Woohoo!!!
Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I have Covid-19. I am a walking, talking, living, breathing, still aching and still weak and tired survivor of this pandemic.
I am also now a statistic. However, my heart goes out to anyone who has suffered far worse than I have with this and especially those who have lost loved ones because of the severe complications due to this virus.
My advice to you is although myself and my sister in law both caught it, we DID IN FACT follow every guideline laid down by the CDC. My employer followed every guideline. The true oddity is why did only she and I catch it? She lives with her husband, and her two adult children. She spent the weekend with her husband and two of our mutual friends.
NONE of them caught it. Only me.
I continued to work until Friday October 16th. Granted, the people in my gaming leagues as well as my coworkers are only on day 8 from the time I exposed them to me after I tested negative the first time. But as of this writing, none of them are sick thank goodness.
The only differentiator she and I have found is that she and I both received flu shots in late September. Now I’ve done a little research and cannot find anything that states viral interference is possible after receiving a flu shot. I guess as of right now, I’m not convinced of that and neither is she. I think someone out there should start gathering this data.
Please continue to be safe and careful. Please take care of yourself and if you have underlying health conditions, by all means protect yourself diligently. But please, do not be lulled into a false sense of security thinking it can’t happen to you but if it does, get as much fresh air, sunshine and sleep as you possibly can and fight.