May 10th, 2020 – Mother’s Day, I knew I was sick. I had already been journaling every day. The first week was mainly a low-grade fever and body aches. I went to one of the drive-through testing sites popular at the time. This happened as everyone was returning to work from being shut down, so getting a telehealth appointment was difficult and took weeks. I was told 3 days for test results, which turned into 7 business days to contact lab directly. Many phone calls. It was over 30 days before I got a call from the lab saying my test results were lost/misplaced. My active illness lasted about 24/26 days.
Symptoms during my active infection – I don’t remember the exact order of all my symptoms. Brain fog and cognitive disruptions were huge, and my notes/journaling is somewhat scrambled. I’m going to list the symptoms I experienced, but there are a few things to keep in mind. I did not experience these all at once, the symptoms came in waves, with days of relapse and new symptoms appearing, sometimes a day or two, sometimes a week. I only ever had a low-grade fever (below 100F), and any symptoms related to the lungs were very minor. Example: Years ago I had benign cysts in my left breast, mammogram, ultrasounds, which went away on its own = all good. During active infection, I felt the cysts in my breast for 2 days before disappearing. Some symptoms only lasted days, others lasted weeks.
- Random swelling/pain in different body parts
- Loss of appetite, loss of smell and taste
- Eczema on scalp extreme
- Sensitivity to light
- Dry cough at night
- Conjunctivitis/redness in eyes lasted 2 weeks, end of active infection. Eye antibiotics did not help
- Neck pain
- Cysts in breast for 2 days
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling shaky, tingling body sensations, hot/cold
- Chest/pain tightness
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Felt like a UTI for a day/2 days
- Covid toes and fingers (swelling and blisters)
- Sore throat, talking caused exhaustion
- Heavy sweating Brain fog, forgetfulness
- Joint pain
- Smelling smoke
- Eye pain, watery, crusting both asleep and awake
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Black spots in vision
- Two days felt like my brain was swollen, told myself if I woke up again like that I’d go to ER. Woke up starting to get better next day.
Telehealth visit – About day 22/23 of active infection. To summarize: My test should be considered lost (still hadn’t heard from the lab). I didn’t qualify for another test because I no longer had a fever (even though I never had a high one). The doctor told me that I “did my duty” not to spread the virus and could leave quarantine and return to work. She never listened to the full symptoms I experienced and did not seem concerned my eyes were still pussing, red, and hurting. Signs that would normally prevent me from going to work and touching people. As for my continuing symptoms, she told me she would share research as it came out. The end, no follow-up visits or health checks. Feb. 2022, I got access to the online notes from this appt. It says I was seen for an upper respiratory infection. There is no record of me ever having Covid.
Now, remember, this was 3 months after the pandemic began. There were no monoclonal antibody treatments, the news/government/medical industries only listed a small list of possible symptoms. It was not known that Covid could affect the eyes or so many other systems in the body. There was no way for me to get information or help, just waited weeks for this telehealth visit. I joined Covid support groups on FB during the shutdown and talked with people all over the world experiencing the same things. Got angry at one point and posted on Facebook, my anger over how the government and medical systems were handling the pandemic, and how we were left suffering at home. That’s when I learned one of my cousins was also sick with Covid. We would text and check on each other, talk about symptoms. The week that I got better, I got a call from another cousin (3 of us had been close the last few years), my cousin with Covid was rushed to the hospital and passed away. I miss her every day.
What I did at home: Mucenix seemed to be the only OTC medicine that helped. I drank Ginger tea, sometimes mixed with turmeric and garlic almost every day. All high anti-inflammatories and good for heart health. And medical marijuana that contained both CBD and THC. It was easier to get my medical card (chronic pain neck, car accident) at home isolated in my bedroom than telehealth. My Cannabis doctor, also a family practitioner, was the only one who listened to all my symptoms and helped come up with a plan to even help me sleep and decrease pain. I also did an aspirin regime when I start reading about blood clots. Due to the dangers of blood clots and massage therapy, I paid close attention.
I am for both alternative medicine and modern medicine. Lavender for anxiety, honey for sore throat, and vaccines! for smallpox, polio, etc. My job for 15 years is sometimes considered to be both depending on who you talk to. Some know that to have a massage therapy license, you take intensive anatomy and pathology. Many in society see it as an alternative or luxury. While I’ve always been pro-modern medicine, I am not a fan of our healthcare systems. Single mom raising two kids on government health insurance. I’ve been dismissed by people in the medical field more times than I can count (longer story, look for the book in a year or so). I can’t imagine what it is like for minorities or people of color. The pandemic made this so much worse.