I Tested Postive for Covid-19. The Coronavirus is no joke and I have been battling the virus with all my strength for 18 days.
Everyone says one of the first symptoms of Coronavirus is a sore throat. When I woke up with my own sore throat on Sunday, March 22, I worried for a few minutes I caught the virus. Then I decided my headache, sore throat, itchy ears, and fatigue was a side effect from an allergy flare up.
That evening I drank a little whiskey for my sore throat and relaxed on the couch. On Monday March 23 I felt FINE and carried on my day as normal as ever. But Tuesday March 24 I woke up feeling very achey and fatigued.
The First Few Sick Days
To be honest, I thought my symptoms were a result of a difficult dance class and walking six miles over the weekend. However, by noon I was under a heated blanket with violent chills. My Dad stopped by to drop off something and after taking one look at me, told me to call my Primary Care Physician.
An hour later I was on a Teledoc appointment with my PCP, shaking with chills and a fever. She evaluated my breathing by having me stand and take deep breaths. I felt dizzy, extremely weak, and my muscles ached to the core. She diagnosed me with the flu and prescribed Tamiflu, as well as Amoxicillin in case I developed a sinus infection. I’m easily prone to sinus infections.
My symptoms intensified as the day went on; I felt sicker by the minute. The next morning my skin hurt to the touch and I had developed a sporadic dry cough. After 24 hours on Tamiflu I should have felt a little better, but I was in tears feeling worse. I sent my Doctor a message and she called me almost immediately to discuss my symptoms.
Do I have Coronavirus?
This is the first time we discussed the possibility I actually had Coronavirus. My doctor explained their process for evaluating a patient’s symptoms before she could contact the hospital to set up a Covid-19 test. Everything I described aligned with Coronavirus, so she submitted the request for testing to Yale New Haven Hospital. I was contacted 12 hours later by the hospital and offered an appointment to drive thru testing on Monday. This was FIVE days away, so my PCP told me to try another hospital.
Long story short, the other hospital couldn’t offer a quicker appointment. I had to go through three evaluations before being considered for an appointment – two over the phone and one virtual triage appointment. Thankfully, Yale New Haven called me back with a Sunday appointment.
While I waited for my test results I pondered whether or not I was really just recovering from the flu. Perhaps I finally caught the flu going around town and my lethargy was depression from being trapped indoors? A tiny part of me thought I could have Coronavirus though, especially as my breathing worsened and cough intensified.
I Tested Postive for Covid-19
Three days later, I tested POSITIVE for Covid-19. My PCP called with preliminary test results stating my nasal swab test was positive early morning on April 1. We discussed a new treatment plan – 500mg of Azithromycin for 5 days. She asked about where I could have caught the virus (we don’t know) and inquired of my family’s health (they’re fine). Brandon also had an evaluation via Teledoc to confirm his health.
Today is DAY 12 since I first felt sick. I am weak, nauseous from the medication, and cough quite a bit. The inhalers I use for my breathing make me tremble and irritable. I also have a headache and quite a bit of congestions today due to high pollen count.
UPDATE on Day 18 with Coronavirus
Today I am starting antibiotics for a sinus infection and SHINGLES which I have contracted during this battle with Coronavirus. I am still coughing and fatigued, which means I am still positive for Covid-19 and contagious.
I completed my final dose of Plaquenil this morning, a drug that was prescribed six days. I’ve also completed a five day course of Azithromycin. Doctors say it could be another week before I am back to normal, but my body is still fighting the virus. My symptoms include: deep cough, fatigue, chest heaviness, sinus pain, headache, congestion, and Shingles side effects.
MY MENTAL HEALTH
I have discussed my experience with anxiety on CHB before, so you can imagine how I’ve been feeling. I wanted to be transparent and honest that I am now being treated for my anxiety with a very low dose of medication.
Your Positive for Covid-19 Questions Answered
Did you find that your symptoms came on one by one instead of all at once? Yes, you can see a breakdown of my symptoms as they developed here. The symptoms came in waves and I never felt EVERYTHING all at once.
Did you ever have a runny or stuffy nose before getting sick? I have severe environmental allergies with symptoms triggered by spring itself, so I did have a runny nose before I developed a sore throat.
How did you manage being isolated? Was it hard? I was so sick for three days I didn’t even think about the fact I was alone in a bedroom. My children had a tougher time staying away from me than I did staying away from them.
Are you immune now? I honestly don’t know.
What was your highest fever? I think 100.3 or 100.5 taken orally with a digital thermometer.
Did your doctor tell you to avoid Motrin/Aleve/Advil? My doctor told me from the start to take Tylenol for pain and fever. The Tylenol worked to an extent, mostly relaxing me enough to fall asleep and bringing my temperature down. The Tylenol never took away the body aches or pains though.
What made you think, “Oh this is it?” I never really thought, “I MUST have Coronavirus” because there are so many people with similar symptoms who test negative. However, my symptoms are so textbook it was hard to believe I didn’t have it. SO when I developed shortness of breath and a cough after the fever and body aches disappeared, I thought this must be Coronavirus.
Have you had a chest x-ray for pneumonia? No and we haven’t discussed the need for one at this time.
Do you believe you got it from going out to the grocery store? I have NO IDEA where I picked up the virus. The only places I visited within 5 days of being sick were stores and a doctor’s office. I did NOT wear gloves anywhere outside of my home, but used hand sanitizer and washed my hands a lot.
Why did your Doctor prescribe you a Z-pack if it’s a virus? My doctor said the first step for my treatment is Azithromycin, aka a Z-Pack, in a very high dose. The average dose is 250mg and my dose is 500mg daily for five days. I am also taking Hydroxychloroquine, aka Plaquenil, at 200mg two times a day for five days.
The most successful Coronavirus treatment is currently a combination of Azithromycin and Hydroxychloroquine (a Malaria drug) for the sickest of patients.
Is your cough treatable with cough medicine or drops? There is not any medicine or drops that seems to help my cough, including the pills I was prescribed in the beginning.
Do you plan on donating your plasma when you are better to help someone in need? If this is an option, YES, I will do whatever is asked of me. Even though I’m terrified of needles.
Before getting sick did you take any vitamins daily that helped your immune system? I increased my dosage of Vitamin C and Zinc once everyone started getting sick in our country. I also take a multi-vitamin, Vitamin D and B6 supplements.
How did you care for your children while you were sick? I am extremely lucky that my husband has been working from home since this all began. He took charge of taking care of everyone and everything as soon as I started feeling sick. Brandon – thank you.
Can you explain body sensitivity? There is a big difference between body aches and skin sensitivity. Body aches are inside and the sensitivity is outside. It feels like your skin is on fire, without actually being hot, and any contact feels like pins and pricks. From the blanket on my body to my legs resting together, everything hurt terribly for three days.
Were there any times you felt you should go to the hospital? There were two occasions I called my doctor about my breathing and contemplated going to the hospital. However, our hospitals are overcrowded and I managed to regulate my breathing. I never blacked out or became confused, which if I had, my husband would have driven me to the ER.
Do you know anyone who you interacted with that tested positive? No.
Does Vitamin D help? I don’t know – people keep telling me to go outside and get natural Vitamin D. Honestly, after I sit outside for 30 minutes I feel more naturally energetic, so perhaps there is some truth to it.
How is your breathing? It feels like I’m breathing through a straw most days, especially when I take a deep breath. My chest is heavy and it feels like there is something in my lungs I want to cough up. Like mucous, but nothing comes out. I was told to practice deep breathing outside when the temperature is warm (not cold). Also, my husband spend some time banging on my back when I woke up this morning to help break up anything that’s settled in my lungs. I cough A LOT once I get out of bed.
Do you have inhalers because of asthma or because you have Covid-19? I have had exercise induced asthma since I was in high school, but have not used an inhaler since 2001. My allergist prescribed me an inhaler for working out outside last spring that I used 4-5 times. Since I became sick my PCP prescribed Advair (2 puffs 1x day) and Albuteral (2 puffs every 6 hours). The inhalers help with my breathing, wheezing, and coughing.