I have seen a few comments on the previous posts asking about the details on my symptoms so this diary entry is for you!
South Africa (27 June 2020) – Let’s be honest here, from everything I am seeing online in terms of treatment and symptoms; nobody knows what the hell is going on. Not a soul! Every case of COVID-19 is unique and has to be treated symptomatically, this much we know. However, treatment advice differs greatly.
Medical professionals, researchers and scientists just haven’t had enough time to come up with definitive answers. We know what we know through a process of trial and error.
As you can imagine, unsolicited advice from people who are not healthcare professionals has been rife. Even in my own case, I have been told to drink lemon and bicarb to balance my PH as the virus thrives in acidic environments.
I have also been celebrated because now I have freedom others don’t and won’t have to take the dreaded vaccine. Then I have to sit through just how awful the vaccine would be. Thanks, Aunty Karen! Just kidding, I don’t have an Aunty Karen, but having information which isn’t verified or being force-fed the opinions of others during this time is starting to feel worse than the 3-hour-long headaches I’m dealing with daily.
I am stressed! I am working with my doctor daily to make sure I am one of the recovery statics. The only advice I will be taking is from my doctor because she took more than an afternoon on Google to become my doctor. Sorry, not sorry!
The truth is, the world’s greatest minds are working on this. We have no idea once I recover, what my immunity will be, the fact is we know nothing and need to stop pretending we do.
The waves; this is no walk on the beach!
I am the family Guinea pig. Everyone has a million questions daily because now that they know a person with COVID-19, they can prepare for if they get it too. But mostly, they can try to understand it’s mysterious nature.
It does mean my naps get punctuated by pings or phone calls. But if it offers some peace of mind, I let it be.
The way I explain it to everyone is that it’s like waves. Imagine you have been shipwrecked and you are floating in the ocean waiting to be saved. While you are in a very horrible situation, you are safe as long as you stay clinging to your bit of broken boat.
Suddenly a giant wave will come and completely disorientate you. It’s quick and takes you an hour but then you are stable again.
That’s what my COVID-19 feels like. I can be fine for 20 hours of the day and just 4 hours are miff.
I have broken down my symptoms by day for you so you can see how they progressed. This is my symptom diary.
Day 1 – Saturday 20 June 2020
I woke up feeling a bit hungover even though I didn’t drink the night before. My partner was at work so I tidied the kitchen, grabbed a shopping list and head out for the morning.
It was sunny and a little too bright so I employed a pair of sunnies. I also found that I needed my reading glasses, that my eyes were sore.
I bought some Panados and when I got home, drew the curtains and spent the entire day hydrating and napping.
My symptoms: a constant headache, sore eyes and dehydration plus bouts of chills.
Day 2 – Sunday 21 June 2020
More of the same! Spent the entire day nursing a headache, added rehydrates to the mix as I figured my symptoms were just dehydration.
I was cold the whole day, enduring waves of chills.
My symptoms: a more severe headache, sore eyes, dehydration and waves of chills.
Day 3 – Monday 22 June 2020
I woke up tired, a typical symptom of a Monday so ignored it. Rolled out of bed and got busy working.
My headache was milder than it had been so I assumed my rehydration plan had worked. My body was stiff though, this I pegged was due to being very inactive over the weekend. I was also thirsty for the whole day.
My symptoms: Mild headache, thirst, sore body and a few more chills.
Day 4 – Tuesday 23 June 2020
Ah, my favourite day of the series! I woke up in agony. My entire body ached and my glands were inflamed and very sore.
My headache was back and I felt quite flat. I reluctantly rolled over to check my phone and found the messages from my domestic helper. Panic!
I called my partner to come back from work and we started the process to see a doctor. You can read the full story if you missed it, by clicking on Day 1 below.
While driving to the testing laboratory, I felt nauseous but I wrote this off as nerves.
I wore extra layers as my most predominant symptom thus far had been full-body chills. I got so cold it felt like my bones were iced.
My symptoms: Sore body, swollen glands, headaches, nausea, thirst and chills.
Day 5 – Wednesday 24 June 2020
This was an uneventful day. Symptoms were milder than the day before. In fact, they all but disappeared. It may have been that I scared myself better for a few hours after the stress of being tested.
This was the day I had convinced myself I was being a hypochondriac. While cooking dinner however, I got hit with nausea and the marinade I made for our grilled chicken tasted and smelled too sweet.
I ate it anyway but spent the rest of the evening enduring waves of nausea. I didn’t sleep well and was awake by 4 am the next morning.
My symptoms: headache, sleeping problems, nausea and chills.
Day 6 – Thursday 25 June 2020
I received my test. It was positive. Spent the rest of the day bouncing between panic and calm.
Didn’t focus much on symptoms. Just tried to get through the day.
Again while cooking dinner, a wave of nausea hit. This time it persisted the entire evening and made it difficult to fall asleep. I again woke in the middle of the night, this time 3 am and lay in bed wishing it would end. Eventually, I got up and made a cup of tea to try to soothe the nausea.
My symptoms: headache, sleeping problems, extreme nausea and chills.
Day 7 – Friday 26 June 2020
Already awake and feeling nauseous; I called in sick to spend the day in bed. My doctor called and we discussed my bad night. She said I was the first to have such bad nausea and that most other patients were experiencing vomiting and runny stomachs. I would have paid in spades to swap. I personally feel that nothing is worse than continuous nausea!
The doctor voiced concerns about my symptoms appearing to have worsened and prescribed bed rest. Although she is happy that I have yet to show any signs of chest related symptoms. Those would have appeared by now.
I literally stayed in my bed, sleeping the whole of Friday. Emerging at around 4 pm as I was hungry and needed something warm and comforting. I woke up with no symptoms.
We ate early, I got slightly nauseous and had a mild headache but was exhausted so ended up in bed by 7:30 pm.
My symptoms: headache, nausea, chills and exhaustion.
Day 8 – Saturday 27 June 2020
I woke up feeling refreshed and very much like myself again. Ready to take on the day but I must heed my doctor’s advice and get bed rest. It may very well be that bed rest is what does it!
As soon as I get up and put stress on my body, I could get symptoms again. So the bed is where you will find me. It’s officially a week since my very first symptom and I feel fine. I feel less scared but still unable to understand this virus.
My symptoms: at the time of writing this, none! Yippee!!!
It’s very strange and I think that’s why the world is struggling so much with this virus. It makes no sense.
How is it that I can be infected with a highly contagious virus that has killed hundreds of thousands of people, and all I need to do to combat it is lay in bed while feeling mildly ill and taking a range of vitamins.
In my binge-drinking, chain-smoking youth, I used to get crippling sinus infections. My throat would get so inflamed that swallowing or eating felt like I had shards of glass cutting my throat open. I could barely even speak. It was agony and the fevers would be so intense it would be as if I had taken hallucinogenics.
As I said above, I just feel like I have had a week-long hangover. However, we need to be aware that mild symptoms don’t mean out of the woods! While I may be fine, the next person not so. The sooner we can stop this thing, the sooner we can save the lives of those who have life-threatening symptoms.
I will continue to keep notes on my symptoms and do a final round-up next weekend. By then I will be in the clear and ready to rejoin the world outside my four walls.
If you would like more information, the South African COVID-19 website is a wealth of knowledge and zero-rated so you don’t use data accessing the information. If you too test positive, you can access the NICD isolation information here, and remember, don’t panic!
If you missed the previous diary entries, you can find them below.
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