COVID-19 Follow Up
To follow up after my March 3rd post about Leena getting sick with COVID-19 and testing positive....
I probably had it the first time in March of 2020, after I was exposed to it at the office, before New York City closed offices down. One of my coworkers came to work sick, with a fever and coughing up a storm. That time I had about three weeks of an on again off again sore throat and fever. Both were so mild my wife didn’t realize it, and at times I had to remind her I wasn’t feeling well. At that time tests were only available to the terribly sick, the wealthy, and the powerful, so I never got tested and can only speculate what I had.
Then I had it in March this year, 2021, and while it wasn’t the worst, most painful illness I’ve had, it was far from pleasant. Both me and my wife had it, but we were fortunate enough not to have it so severely we needed hospitalization.
In hindsight, the first effects of it in me turned up before I knew I was sick. I knew I was exposed to it, because my wife was sick with it, and had tested positive. About a week or so after her test I read a news article about the governor of Mississippi, which had his photo. And for a few days every time I was by a mirror I kept silently remarking how Tate Reeves was my doppelgänger, how we looked so uncannily alike, as though we were twins.
|Me and Tate Reeves, side-by-side|
Around the same time I also noticed a lot more red spots on my skin. I’ve had acne problems since puberty, but that week I had more reddish, prominent bumps around. Not large numbers, not like a rash, but red bumps on my face, my arms, my belly…. It’s rare I don’t have any, but this was more than I’d normally have at one time.
After a few days of that, one evening I had a sore throat. I felt it, but I held out hope that I was merely dehydrated, although drinking water didn’t help. The next day my throat was still more sore and I was unquestionably sick and my whole body felt sick.
Then I had a weekend and I developed a mild cough. Monday I actually felt slightly less sick, overall, but the cough was worse, more coughing more often, while still not being terribly forceful. I went for a COVID-19 test that afternoon at a nearby clinic, and two days later it came back positive.
Tuesday, though, Tuesday it all got worse. Tuesday morning I woke up to eat breakfast and begin work, but all I could do after I ate was lie down on the floor and take a nap for an hour and a half. Then I got up and worked, not feeling well, having trouble focusing. I had a headache and I felt like I had a fever, even though our thermometer never measured a temperature above 98.6 degrees F. Whenever I tried to speak I coughed.
The following day was worse. After breakfast I felt everything from the day before, sick, sore throat, cough, with an even worse headache, and adding in nausea. I took my 90 minute on the floor by the computer, and when I woke up realized I couldn’t work, so I sent some emails that I was sick.
I slept on the living room floor till my wife woke up in the bedroom (she’s on a wildly different schedule than me) and then I slept in the bedroom, waking up now and again to use the bathroom and sip some water.
That evening I took a shower, a long, hot shower. It felt nice. I just sat in the tub, reclining against the back of it, feeling the hot water hit my belly to ease the nausea, slam into my throat to ease the cough, and pound my face and forehead to massage away the headache.
I was in there for an hour and a half or so, then I got up and I was dizzy. I could barely stand, wobbling on my legs all over. I bashed my nose against the tiles of the tub, and while trying to gauge how much blood was pouring out I lost my balance and crashed out of the shower, banging my head against the tiled floor. I found myself looking up at the toilet, my feet still in the tub.
I called for my wife, who came in and helped me sit up. She got me a few glasses of water and held an ice pack to my bleeding nose for a while until I’d calmed down.
Following the bathroom incident I felt like the peak of the COVID-19 infection had passed. The next few days I still had a headache, still felt sick in my body, still had a sore throat and cough, but it wasn’t as bad as leading up to the shower.
I took the next couple of days off from work, spending most of the time sleeping. By the end of the following weekend I no longer felt sick all over. The headache was gone and I felt normal, except for being fatigued and having a cough when I tried to speak aloud much. Cough drops didn’t work on it, cough syrup did little, if anything. Cherry flavored candy helped as long as I sucked on them, not ones that purported to be cough drops, just plain old candy. Other flavors, not so much.
Now it’s close to two months since the first symptoms and I still feel tired more easily. If I’m active I get to the end of my energy a lot faster than I would’ve before COVID-19. I’ve had Raynaud’s Syndrome as long as I can remember, but now my fingers and toes, and my arms, are much colder for the current weather than they would’ve been in previous spring seasons. When my wife wants to test out the new air conditioner in preparation for summer, I’m fighting it because I feel cold.
For other health reasons I’ve been checking my blood pressure almost daily, and during the couple of weeks I was sick with COVID-19 my blood pressure was noticeably higher.
So that was COVID-19 for me…. I’m lucky I didn’t have it as bad as millions of other people have.