Wednesday, June 24th, I got up at 5 a.m. and prepared to go to work. My sinuses were draining down my throat and my voice was raspy from the drainage. I dreaded going to work and being exposed to the Saharan dust that would permeate the warehouse. There was no avoiding it that day. I was actually glad to have an excuse to wear a mask. I’ve suffered from allergies most of my life and am no stranger to migraines and sinus headaches. I got to work and waited my turn for the thermal body scan which would give me the go ahead to clock in at work. With mask on, hands sanitized and work gloves, I was ready for my shift. I felt a little off but continued to press on. I attributed my energy level to the Sahara winds that probably were antagonizing my immune system. After all, I had been at this job since the beginning of the covid lockdown. I did my due diligence at work as best as I could. Recently, there were a few dozen cases being reported at work. I honestly did not worry too much.
Thursday morning I woke up with muscle pain. It was nothing new. It is what I experience when the lupus acts up. It felt like my feet were on fire. My hands were hot and hurting too. In addition, I was having a fibromyalgia flare. All my touchpoints for fibro were hurting. I applied for time off. Since it was my Friday, I rationalized that I would have three days to recuperate. Hopefully the Sahara dust would move on and my immune system would adjust.
On Saturday, I was not feeling better and knew that I would have to prepare to go back to work. Yet I was still feeling under the weather. So I made an appointment with urgent care and went in to see a Doctor. They took my vitals which did not raise a red flag. My temperature wasn’t even normal! But for me, I knew it was a little elevated 98.1. The Doctor suspected an upper respiratory infection and swabbed me for Covid. He told me to go home, drink plenty of liquids and isolate until the results came back just to be safe.
Tuesday, June 30th, I got the results back and I was shocked. The Covid test was positive. We immediately scheduled my daughter to be tested and I spent the next few hours reaching out to all that I had contact with in the last 2 weeks. I hated that I was responsible for friends being exposed but felt it was my duty to reach out on a need to know basis. That evening, I began to run a fever. It was the first real symptom that I attributed to Covid. Until then, it mimicked lupus and sinus issues. Keep in mind that I had this for almost a full week without a fever. I never lost my sense of taste or smell. I had not been nauseous or throwing up. I didn’t have a dry cough. I did have an occasional wet cough due to the drainage but it was not a constant. The next couple of days were rough. I developed even more muscle pain to the point that it hurt to walk on my feet. The weakness became worse leaving me barely able to get out of bed. Still no heavy coughing and no problems breathing. My temperature went up to 100 degrees which was high for me. Thank goodness my daughter was able to bring me water and gatorade. She filled the humidifier for me and made sure I was doing okay. The appetite left during the next few days. I lost 4 pounds from not being able to eat. The nausea set in and nothing sounded remotely appetizing.
It has been 6 days since my diagnosis and I am certain it’s been 11 days since the beginning of it all. There were about 4 intense days of not feeling well. It’s been 3 days now with no fever. The pain lessens everyday and is nominal compared to a week ago.
What have I learned from this? That I ignored symptoms that didn’t seem to correlate with Covid. Covid actually mimicked symptoms that I have frequently when my body is stressed (allergies, sinus, lupus, fibromyalgia). If I hadn’t of taken the Covid test, I would not have believed the positive results until the fever set in. That’s when a few of the traditional symptoms appeared. What I hope you take from this is to pay attention to your body. If something feels off, listen and take care of yourself. I ignored my gut on the Wednesday I showed up to work not feeling well. I pushed through thinking I didn’t need to miss another day of work. Looking back, I know that my health is far more important than a day of work. I’ve had time to reflect on my current life and realize there are changes that I need to make to ensure my best health possible.
I am not sure when all the lingering weakness will go away. At least I am on the way to mending. My daughter’s test came back negative. Hopefully my mom will continue to stay healthy.
I am not overly worried about Covid nor am I ignoring precautions. I think fear is a terrible thing and that we must help one another through this time with love and compassion. We are all doing our best to navigate these uncertain times. Love your family and friends with wild abandon, be grateful for your health and be kind to your fellow humans ♥.
In retrospect, I watched a video that might have shortened the down time I had. If you feel you have Covid, or know of someone that does, please share this video and reach out to Dr. Bartlett or ask your Doctor about this nebulizer treatment with steroids.