I’ve gotten a lot of questions about what the symptoms were like. There are a lot of you who are sick right now and wondering “Is this COVID-19?” and you may or may not ever know because of how few tests are currently available. My hope is that someday soon there is an antibody test so you can know whether you’ve battled it already and won the good fight. What’s SO crazy about this virus is that the symptoms look different in everyone. I would have never gotten tested had my roommate not called me to tell me she’d had a positive COVID test and had the same symptoms as me. I thought I had the flu, and I thought COVID was supposed to be a cough and respiratory issues. Nope, not always!
When I had my first Zoom meeting with my Doctor, he told me that my symptoms actually did match what they were hearing were common symptoms of COVID…I guess the media just hadn’t caught up yet. I was really concerned about passing this to my family. And while I love my husband, I was most concerned about my kids. I didn’t want them getting as sick as I had been. What he told me was really interesting, and helped me understand WHY we’ve closed schools. Kids can carry this virus and the only way it will present itself is with a runny nose. So the same virus that can kill someone else can literally look like seasonal allergies or a common cold in my kid. How many times have I sent my kid to school with a runny nose? Hundreds, because kids always have runny noses. And once they get into school, and one teacher is trying to manage 20 kids, how many times do you think my kid is washing their hands? Probably not as many as we’d like them to.
And by now we all know how that spreads. One kid is sick and sneezes at school. The kid next to her takes that sickness home to their family. Their mom takes that sickness to work and to all the families of her coworkers….on and on and on like wildfire.
THIS is why we closed schools, and THIS is why we all need to stay home.
So, the symptoms:
My CDC interview was interesting because the gal interviewing me listed every single symptom that they are concerned about and asked me if I had it. So check back to my Day 10 blog post to see those.
Day 1: I woke up because Jerod was getting back into bed and told me he had been throwing up. Of course then I was laying there thinking “Weird…do I feel sick? I think I do…nah it’s just mental.” And I did that for about 30 minutes before I started throwing up. I felt like I was on fire, and I was. My fever was 102.3 and Jerod’s was 103.1. The vomiting lasted until morning for Jerod. My vomiting lasted until about 2pm the next day. Jerod and I slept all day and had fevers ranging from 101 – 103. We were taking Advil to cut the fever and it wasn’t really working. Our daughters totally fended for themselves. I’m pretty sure they were on iPads and Nintendo all day. My mother-in-law brought over dinner for them, and I’m pretty sure Jerod got out of bed to help with their nighttime routine. I was sleeping.
Day 2: Jerod woke up and was feeling better. No fever. I woke up feeling terrible. My body hurt and my fever was still high. I continued to sleep and never left my bedroom that day. I came down to try and have dinner with the family. I was eating the meatloaf and mashed potatoes that my husband had prepared, but I was only a few bites in when I realized I couldn’t taste anything and I didn’t have any appetite. I just had to go back to bed. That night was when the congestion and body aches started. My nose was both stuffy and running. My body aches were like growing pains. I felt like my leggings were too tight so I switched to shorts. I felt like the blankets were too heavy on my body so I kept trying to switch the blanket that was on me. I couldn’t sleep because my head hurt. I started taking Tylenol instead of Advil at this point because my mother-in-law suggested that it may help.
Day 3: The congestion was really bad all day, and my fever never went below 99.6, even with Tylenol. My head hurt so bad that I swear it was making my throat hurt. I was so tired that it exhausted me to walk up the stairs or take a shower. I took a long steam shower to try and loosen the congestion, but it made me so tired that I got lightheaded and had to go straight back to bed. I was trying to be “normal” and make dinner for the family, but I was so tired. I went back to bed and my stomach started to turn. I had diarrhea all night. I don’t want to explain that part in detail, but if you’ve ever seen the movie “Dumb and Dumber” then you’ll know what I was dealing with. I was terrified to fall asleep because I was certain I’d poop my pants.
(Side note: I’ve always wanted to write a blog. I never in a million years thought I’d be blogging about pooping my pants.)
Day 4: I got no sleep the night before and was so sick I couldn’t think straight. My husband came upstairs and I told him what was going on. He brought me Immodium. That solved the problem with just one dose. He was getting ready to head to Costco when I got the phone call from my roommate who I’d share a hotel room with in New Orleans. She had tested positive for COVID. I told her that I had been sick with the flu, and she told me it probably wasn’t the flu, and that her symptoms were eerily similar. She was also having respiratory issues.
(Side note: Jerod did not go to Costco, and we have been on “house arrest” aka home quarantine ever since.)
Day 4 – after the call: Now I start feeling panicked…do I have respiratory issues? Am I getting tired so easily because I can’t breathe? Is this congestion or are my lungs turning to glass? Cue the freak outs that would plague me for the next few days. My fever was steady around 100 degrees all day, my chest felt heavy and warm, and that night the diarrhea started again. Same as the night before. I took the Immodium sooner this time, but it took three doses to work. I laid in bed unable to sleep because my stomach hurt so bad. It felt like it was rolling. I kept imagining dice in there with different symptoms on each side…and my body was just rolling the dice to see what to throw at me next.
Day 5: My congestion is pretty bad…my breathing and voice are a little shaky. My fever was gone when I woke up, but was back within an hour. I have some energy back. This is the day that, if we weren’t in quarantine, I would have felt up for going out and about. Even going back to work because I can tough it out. My fever is there, but it’s only 99 – 100 degrees and that’s not bad! Could just be the thermometer being off. THESE are all the things I would have told myself and justified being out in public any other time of my life, but I was still highly contagious at this point. And that’s why it’s so important that we STAY HOME.
Days 6 – present: These days I still have symptoms. They come and go. The fever has been gone since day 8. The diarrhea too. Now there is just some lingering congestion, mostly in my nose.
Some other symptoms that I had either throughout the ordeal or at random times:
- Loss of taste and smell: Literally couldn’t taste or smell anything for almost a week. My daughters thought it was hilarious and would ask me if I could smell farts or if I could eat dog poop. Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing this parenting thing right.
- Eye irritation: My eyes felt like they were SO dry and irritated. I kept expecting to look at them and have them look bloodshot, but they weren’t.
- Exhaustion: Falling asleep while scrolling through Netflix trying to find my show.
- Loss of appetite: Not just because I couldn’t taste or smell. I just wasn’t hungry, at all. I’d drink broth so that I could get some calories and the warm liquid just felt really good on my chest.
I have to be 100% back to my baseline health before I can leave my room. Well, and now I also have to wait for Jerod’s test results to come back before I can leave my room. He tested on Friday, April 3rd, at 2pm. We are hoping his results come back as quickly as mine did. There isn’t a game plan as to what we’re going to do either way…whether it’s positive or negative. In the Zoom visit Jerod had yesterday they discussed a few potential game plans, one of which was keeping me in isolation quarantine for 14 days after I’m back to baseline health…and we are all PRAYING that doesn’t end up being the game plan. But if it is, then I’ll gladly do it to keep my family safe.
Let me know if you have questions about any of this or anything else! Knowledge is power.