I’ll start off by saying, I am not in any immediate danger or very ill. I am, however, being treated as if I have the Corona Virus. I have asthma and my 72 yr old diabetic mother lives with me. Because of this, I have been social distancing, being safe at the store and more or less self quarantining except to do my job and getting food.
In January (supposedly before the Virus was in the US) I suddenly developed a dry cough. It quickly got so bad that I went to urgent care because my heart was racing and I couldn’t catch my breath. Because I forgot my insurance card they couldn’t see me but the lady showed me how to properly use my inhaler. (I’m new to needing one.) By the time I got home, I was doing better.
In February the virus officially arrived in the US.
March 6th and 7th: Covid wasn’t in my state, I wasn’t worried too much. We went to the art festival and went out to eat for my birthday. That was the last time I was out in a crowd.
March 11th: the first case in my state was 80 miles away. It’s time to be careful I was being safe, wiping down the cart at the store, and sanitizing hands. I still have the cough but it’s not bad.
March 12th: The virus is 40 miles away but we are a small town. Our people go to that town for work, fun and etc. Time to stay home, don’t take chances. Still coughing but it’s manageable. No fever… not sick. This is asthma and allergies.
March 21st: I figure I’m good… I’ve had no contact with others, I’m staying home. It’s been 14 days since the 7th when we all went out.
March 25rd: The cough is steady, I’m worried but no fever. No fever= not sick. I start loading up on Vitamin C and D and orange juice for just in case. Boosting the immune system! So, I’m not sick right? It’s not responding to my inhaler, my allergy meds seem to have no effect. With all the plants are spewing their yellow/green crap into the air and painting my car a weird mustard green color. It’s allergies and asthma. I’m having to use the inhaler a couple of times a day. Allergy med is useless.
March 26th: I took a long hot soak in the tub… going for the “croup” cure. I realized it was working, I’m not coughing. Yay for the “aha! moment” my plants are always dry, the air is dry… it’s dry air, allergies, and asthma. I start boiling water on the stove, steaming up the windows and for good measure, I throw some white sage in there too. It smells a little like minty eucalyptus. Can’t hurt… the measures seem to help some. I’m relying on my inhaler 3 or 4 times a day. I try a new Allergy med it’s a 3 day supply sample pack.
March 27th Cough keeps hanging on, it’s a repeat of January. I’m wheezing when I breathe and have an occasional runny nose, my eyes and ears are itchy. It’s allergies and asthma and the new allergy med seems to be helping. The middle of my chest feels heavy and hurts. Like a fist just pushing really hard in the center of it. Heart races during and after coughing spells… I’m left winded. Using the inhaler every 3-4 hours and it’s getting low. No fever = not sick= not covid.
Until they say: some people don’t run a fever… WHAT?!!!
Nope, not going to freak out, I’ve been really careful. No visitors, no running to the store.. I’ve been good, I’m washing my groceries when I come in. Mom has stayed at home while I go out. I sanitize my hands, I wash my hands.
March 28th: I’m scared, but feeling like people will think I’m just being and I know I need a refill on my inhaler or I’ll run out. I order groceries online and include a bottle of the new allergy med. Still boiling water, still resting, still taking all the vitamins, and all the things I would do to treat the flu. I do NOT feel sick. I am NOT achy. IF I had a fever, I never noticed it. I am just having trouble breathing. The allergy meds are working, so that’s a good sign right?
March 29th: I start getting winded while talking. This is unacceptable! I love to talk… it’s how I communicate! It’s how I keep in touch with my aunt and stuff! Weirdly talking takes more breath than walking around, cleaning, normal stuff. My mother and I are listening to music, Neil Diamond… I want to sing… but there’s not enough air. Enough is enough, I decide to call my doctor in the morning and tell her what has been going on. Get my refill… see if she can get me a script for the new allergy med I tried.
March 30th: I call my doctor, tell them what’s happening, tell them I think it’s just allergies and that I’ve been really really careful. She says they are booked up but she can schedule a telemed/video visit for the next day. Yeah, I don’t want to come in there… You got sick people there!
March 31st: After some difficulty getting the call set up, I see my doctor. After listening to me and hearing the cough and trouble I’m having she is very calm and caring. She wants to hear me take some deep breaths, I dissolve into coughs.
She says I’m breathing shallow. She orders the refill on my inhaler, adds a new allergy med and mentions antibiotics. Works for me! We get off the video… I go to pick up my meds and find out that they put me on anti-malarial antibiotics. Heavy Duty ones… Corona Virus type ones. NOW I’m freaked out. I call them back, they’re closed.
April 1st: They say they are treating me for a severe upper respiratory infection. I’m not so sure, but I’ll take it if it will help. I’m a little freaked out. I’m suspicious that they are trying to keep numbers down.. no testing for virus. They do not tell me to quarantine, but to continue social distancing and self-isolating.
April 2: I have some side effects… the kind they say to stop taking it and call your doctor immediately if you experience it. I stop and wait for them to call me back as it’s after hours.
April 3rd: Official orders: Take it anyway… sooo that does NOTHING to help with my suspicions. Going off the antibiotic had an immediate effect… wheezing, cough frequency back up… Still no fever, no aches, no pains, no headaches, no loss of smell or taste… just a nasty cough and chest pain.
April 8th So here we are… I think it’s day 7 of the meds. Some days are better than others. The cough is productive, my nose is running again, my voice is a little raspy. Yesterday, very few coughing… today… lots of coughing and using the inhaler twice. I did skip one of the allergy meds yesterday and went outside on the porch to water some plants so maybe that is the culprit. I am no longer getting winded when I talk, I can sing again, my chest doesn’t hurt and I’m not wheezing.
I feel fine… 🙂 aside from the cough. I hope whatever this is does not come roaring back with a vengeance when I finish the meds.
My advice is this: “Classic covid symptoms” (as if that exists) or not… if you have trouble breathing do NOT play around with it. Call the doctor… see what tool/weapon they can add to your arsenal to fight this thing. Whatever it is.
Hoping you stay safe and healthy,