I had finished working remotely at around 4pm on Tuesday evening and decided to go for a run. I got outside and got about 2 minutes into my run before noticing that something just did not feel right. I had only been jogging for a few minutes and yet it felt like I had been sprinting for over an hour. I decided to call it quits.
When I got home, I took my temperature to find that I was running a 99.9 fever. I had been exposed to someone who had recently tested positive a few weeks prior so deep down, I knew. Truthfully, I was horrified. With the little bit of energy I had, I cried. I knew that from that point on, I nor anyone else had any idea what the next few days, weeks, months, or even years looked like for me.
I touched base with family by phone to let them know what was going on and though they tried to provide comfort and support, there was really nothing they or anyone could do. Nothing in the world makes you feel more alone than that. I went to bed and woke up around 3am in a pool of sweat; My fever had spiked to 103. I drew a cold bath and sat in it for as long as I could tolerate before getting out and going back to bed.
The following morning, I contacted my PCP who met with me via Telehealth and he stated, given my exposure and the symptoms being displayed, I very likely had COVID-19. The next few days were essentially just me, alone, in bed, with fever, body aches, and chills. Day 5 was the first day I had woken up without a fever and it felt like the biggest accomplishment however, when the fever broke, the very strange symptoms started. My head was throbbing, my lower back aches, and I could not taste or smell a thing (out of sheer curiosity, I took a shot of hot sauce. Nothing.) The GI symptoms started as well (I won’t go into detail). This all lasted about 6 or 7 days.
Two weeks after I started exhibiting symptoms, I got my sense of taste and smell back very gradually. At this point, I had thought I was recovered. I felt back to myself again though very fatigued, but I attributed that to the fact that I had not really eaten much and lost a good amount of weight. This fatigue lasted MONTHS. I’d go a week feeling fine and then the next week, I’d have a small 99 fever with shortness of breath and extreme fatigue. The uncertainty was exhausting. I had good days which made me hopeful and bad days which made me feel foolish for thinking I was in the clear. It has now been 4 months since I started exhibiting symptoms and I definitely feel as if I’ve recovered physically, but mentally, I feel changed.
It’s so hard to live in a country where this virus is being minimized, scrutinized, politicized, etc. This was very real and very scary for me as it has been for so many people. My heart goes out to anyone who feels as alone in I did in their experience and their recovery.