2020 was a year that no one expected to go the way it did. Many had plans to get married, have babies, travel around the world and so much more. I watched as the media delivered news of climbing numbers of COVID and the deaths that accompanied some of the cases. Even though I felt really bad, I didn’t have the sense of panic that I thought I would have. I figured if I stay home, only go out when necessary, wear a mask and wash my hands I would be fine.
I was fine. Then my husband and I got the request for us to come to Asheville, North Carolina on a business trip. There would only be a few leaders there and they assured us all precautions would be taken. Here’s the thing, we live in Arkansas. We would need to fly to get there in a timely manner. My anxiety started to well up inside knowing that I was going to need to fly. I had friends that were flying with no problem, I should be able to do the same. There was another concern. Just a few months before we had to fly, I had some testing done which revealed that my immunity was heading towards burnout. But, I told myself I would be ok and that this would be an easy out and back trip.
It was an easy trip. Our first flight went well. We were the first flight out, they gave us wipes to wipe the seats. We had a layover in Atlanta which there were a ton of people, most wearing masks. Once we arrived in Asheville, we rented a cute cabin away from people. All was great. We had a great time in our meetings. Everyone was cautious of the distance and masks were worn. The day we left it was again in the early morning. Everything seemed fine. We met up with a friend that was traveling back with us to the same airport and during our layover, we decided to get some quick food and head to our gate. The gate was filled with people but I figured I was fine the first time, I should be fine this time. I let my guard down a little and removed my mask to eat one of the snacks I had bought. I didn’t even think about washing my hands or put hand sanitizer on, it was just a snack. I may have touched my face waiting for that flight too. While on the plane, we flew first class so I thought that the extra space would help with exposure. I took my mask down to drink some and from time to time to lower it below my nose so I could breathe better. No biggie. I was fine so far.
Mike and I arrived home safely, my friend dropped our kids off and I told my friend not to hug us as we would quarantine for precaution for a week before being around people. My kids I did hug and love on. I’m a mom who missed her kids and it didn’t cross my mind with my own kids.
Mike and I stayed home that evening and the next morning (Friday) I ran to the local store to grab some necessary food items before the weekend. I was careful to use hand sanitizer before grabbing the basket and then to stay away from people. I even made sure to distance myself from the cashier. The following is a breakdown of my experience in detail as I logged every time I had a symptom change or added.
November 14, Saturday- We stayed home from church as we decided that we were going to quarantine. We watched the service from home and chilled with our family. Everything was great. The next day was our agency Thanksgiving party. It was virtual, but I was feeling kind of tired and knew, for sure, it was from all the travel.
November 15, Sunday- I woke and had to blow my nose a couple times, which isn’t uncommon for this time of year, first thing in the morning. I was coughing a little and had the sensation that I needed to cough, but it felt like I was draining and it very well could be allergies. My stomach felt a little crampy too. The Thanksgiving party that evening was great, but again I was really tired and just wanted to go to bed. I still had a small dry cough. Naw, it would go away in the morning and I should be fine.
November 16, Monday. My cough was still tickling my throat. I knew this wasn’t normal, but chalked it up to dry air and change in environment from being in a different state.
5:10am- I woke up with the feeling of needing to cough. Stomach still cramps, could be hormonal.
11:00am- I went to work, attending virtual meetings and coaching with some agents. During one of the coaching sessions, I told the agent I was feeling extremely fatigued and that I was going to take a nap when I was done with our session.
12:05pm- Still coughing, dry cough, but I can feel draining in the back of my throat. I can take deep breaths, but tickles when I exhale. I ordered a test today and it will be here tomorrow or the next day. I should have the results with in a day or two.
2:15pm- mild headache but could be hormonal. Slight chills and achy lower back.
2:54pm- headache is stronger but still mild.
4:10pm- achy all over, mainly spine which is what happens every time I get sick. Headache still mild. Started my cycle. Temp. 98.3.
5:30pm- got news about my dad that was less than ideal. Right after the call. Hurting all over. No fever.
8:14pm- Headache stronger, aches stronger. Officially I have a fever. Temp. 100.1. Nasal passages are becoming more inflamed. Not stuffy though. Coughing is not a lot.
9:32pm- full blown chills and temp of 102. Mike put a cold cloth with oil on it and put it on my head. Ice pack behind my neck. I fell asleep.
11:28pm- awake, no chills, bad headache but fever down to 100. When I do cough I feel it deeper in my chest and sometimes cough up phlegm. I try not to cough, it hurts but the urge is not strong.
November 17, Tuesday-
1:32am- woke with achiness, bad headache, fever still at 100. Switched out cloth and ice pack. Put Doterra Deep Blue on to soothe my muscles.
2:55am- headache is strong still at 100.
4:22am- headache so strong it makes me dizzy. Had to get Mike to change out my ice pack and cloth. Temp 98.9. Not much achiness. Just severe headache. Definitely feel fluid in my chest when I breathe but still not much coughing. Worst virus I have had ever. I have gone through 2 bottles of water through the night and on my third one.
6:45am- I still have a severe headache and I can feel the pressure behind my eyes and the crown of my head. Body is sore. Neck and shoulders really tight and the cough comes from my upper chest. But it burns when I cough. Not coughing a lot and I don’t cough when I sleep so going to sleep makes me feel better, if I can stay asleep. Temp is 99.3.
8:12am- I took a 500mg of Tylenol 10 minutes ago, hoping it will help cut the pain. Body aches some. I want to sleep but the pain makes it tough. When I do sleep I dream in coherent dreams.
9:46am- Tylenol kicked in and I was able to sleep without pain for a little while. I woke feeling like I have to blow my nose but it’s not stuffy or runny. Headache is mild. Fever is at 99.1. All I want to do is sleep but I know it will help to get some fresh air. I may try to walk later.
10:45am- headache down to a minimum. Took a shower, got some yogurt, blueberries and Paleo bagel. Body still aches a bit. Opened the windows in my bedroom for some fresh air. Still feels like I have all the pressure in my head but not stuffy.
12:41pm- headache is starting to return. Fever up to 99.6. Body aches are coming back too.
2:05pm- headache back to moderate, have moments of sharp pain. Temp 100.5. Chills are starting again and cough is deeper but again not coughing a lot.
3:13pm- really going down again. Headache strong and chills and body aches. Temp 101.3. I feel so bad. Trying to drink water and eat yogurt.
3:47pm- Temp 102. Miserable. Everything the same just more intense.
4:41pm- Temp 102.3 so I just took a Tylenol. It’s the only thing that allows me to feel better. Cough is more wet and still burns when phlegm comes up. I have a little energy to respond to emails and chart but nothing more.
8:08pm- moderate headache. Body aches are minimal, nasal passages more swollen making it harder to breathe through nose. Temp 99.5. Still not coughing a lot when resting. I find it happens more when I am talking.
8:46pm- Headache strong. Not sure if some is hormonal. But taking another Tylenol now. Super achy in spine and neck. Temp 100.1.
November 18, Wednesday-
6:30am Slept most of the night, Got up at 1 am hungry. Drank some water and fell back to sleep. Just woke this morning with temp of 99.5 mild headache and tight shoulders and neck, probably from sitting up to sleep. I have chest spasms a little and my cough is more persistent this morning, and more dry. Body aches aren’t as bad this morning but I am still really tired. I can still breathe deep breaths without coughing.
7:11am- out for a walk with my dog. I had to get moving and exercise my lungs and heart. I have more energy this morning but still feel really bad.
7:38am- back in bed. I didn’t even make it a mile. My legs are cramping up and my kidneys hurt. And my headache is back. I decided to try to drink a liquid IV maybe I am not getting my sodium and potassium. Temp is 99.0. During my walk I tried to keep my heart rate lower than 120. It didn’t take much to get me up there.
7:56am- can’t get warm. I may get in the shower.
8:26am- took hot shower and feel so much better. Back in bed slight headache. Liquid IV drink helps.
10:06am- miserable feeling. Every time I cough up stuff it burns my chest. Slept some but trying to be somewhat active, but I get exhausted fast. Temp 100.2.
11:45am- Temp 100.6, strong headache, chills and body aches. Pressure starting back up in head and nasal passages. Took Tylenol.
2:46pm- Feeling better but I know it’s the Tylenol. I ate some cassava spaghetti plain. Feel halfway normal. Temp 99.6.
4:17pm- headache is slight, fever is 99.5 but I am losing my ability to taste anything. I can taste if it’s salty or sweet but not the flavor. I can still tell textures and can still smell a little bit. Cough is more frequent but not persistent. I can still take a deep breath without coughing.
7:45pm- Temp 101.1. Took another Tylenol.
8:54pm- New symptom. Thrush in my mouth which could contribute to the loss of taste. I do have candidasis so I am a little concern about the balance of my body at this point. I need those test results back. I will start gargling in the morning with salt water. I was drinking a lot of liquid IVs today. I have to go on a serious sugar free diet after all of this.
November 19, Thursday-
4:34am- Woke at 2:30 am hungry even though I had eggs for supper. Slight headache this morning with stiff neck and shoulders. Going to try yoga later today. Temp. 99.5. I slept on my stomach, I read it helps with allowing the lungs to expand and can save lives. My brother in law, who works in the hospital said I needed to be on my stomach at night. When I breathe deep slight feeling of needing to cough but nothing persistent. Breathing still good, just have a stomach ache this morning. Could be all the sugar I had yesterday. I hope that I am turning the bases today with this. Ribs hurt from the little coughing I have done. Body still fatigued and slightly chilled. Going to try and rest a little more.
6:22am- muscles hurt neck, shoulders, back, and kidneys.
8:20am- my head is splitting so I took another Tylenol. I took a shower after doing some yoga which nearly made me nauseous because my muscles are super tight. I had to sit down in the shower oh, I just don’t have the energy. Today was the first morning I snapped at my kids. I know I get this way when my pain is uncontrollable. My skin is extremely sensitive and my chills are coming back. I’m having a hard time shifting my eyes to the left as it causes pain to go up the right side of my head. My temp is 100.
8:44am- I heard Olivia coughing so I asked her to come into my room so I could take her temperature. Crap! She has a temp of 100. She started showing signs yesterday and today she is fatigued and has a dry cough and sore throat. Juliana has a low-grade fever of 99.5.
1:19pm- headache is starting to come back. Body aches are less severe today. I feel like I may be turning around, maybe. It’s too soon to tell. Temp 99.3. 3:11- I still have a small amount of energy oh, but my coughing seems to be more prevalent. I don’t have a fever I’m at 98.7. Still going to rest but I hope I get better soon.
4:20pm- new symptom, mucous in my stool. Also coughing up phlegm more. Temps is starting to rise its at 100. Cough is more persistent which drains me but is loose and wet. Headache is mild approaching moderate.
5:01pm— Took Tylenol. Was talking to my sister about my dad and I’m pretty sure it elevated my temp. After finishing I was dizzy and checked my temp and it was a hundred and one point five. I removed my sweatshirt and take a Tylenol. I’m really fatigued now and should really rest and go to sleep.
7:10pm- I just tested positive for COVID. I know the kiddos have it too. No other signs for them, just fever. They play and do virtual school like nothing is wrong.
9:18pm- I just finished putting the girls to bed and picked up around the house a little bit. Went up and down the stairs a couple times. I need to keep my lungs active as much as I can and then rest through the night. It feels like I have a tickle in my chest that makes me want to cough, but if I relax it goes away. I plan on doing yoga with the girls in the morning and making them go for a walk with me if their energy level is up. Mike so far is not showing any signs. As of right now I think the Tylenol is keeping my fever down and I have no aches or headache. Seems it has all traded off for the coughing. I took another warm shower but I can’t take them for long otherwise it gets me dizzy. But oh, I do find that they are helpful. I have also started as of yesterday a supplement regimen that I normally do for my gut. Two turmeric, two gastromend, and two black walnut oil capsules.
November 20, Friday-
5:58am- Couldn’t sleep all night. My subconscious was telling me that if I did I would not wake up. It wasn’t until about 2 or 3 in the morning that I realized that I needed to sleep so I just let myself fall asleep. When I relax I don’t cough, but I understand that that’s a dangerous place to be. This morning my cough is definitely more persistent but my fever is at 99. I’m going to try and get a hold of a doctor today to see if I can get some cough medicine. I feel like this is the second worst half of this virus. It was like I had a day of mild symptoms but now it’s shifting the other way. I am going to try and sleep a little more then get up and do some exercises. Just so everyone knows where I’m at, I currently have minimal headache, low grade fever, no body aches, a persistent and productive cough, breathing is a bit more challenging but I could still breathe through my nose fine. Here’s to day of rehab and focus on strengthening my lungs today.
7:45am- I did my yoga and that really helped open up my lungs, I made an appointment with the teladoc today and ironically I am feeling better than I did the past 4 days. It’s just as nasty cough that drains me and I still have a headache. My energy levels aren’t completely great, but I’m able to be active and that’s what counts.
8:25am- resting feels so good. I don’t cough. So I rest and then will get up to do something else and then rest again. The cough is still semi-productive. I can belly breathe to fill my lungs, but I can’t chest breathe real well without coughing. But I am tired. Olivia is in the shower singing with Covid. Lol She acts like she isn’t sick. So crazy how this virus works.
8:45am- headache moderate again. Temp up to 101. Just took a Tylenol which should kick in here soon.
10:25am- I met with a teladoc and he is putting me on an antibiotic to keep me from getting bacterial pneumonia. (Post COVID hindsight- I think this is what could have prevented me from going into the hospital). He also prescribed me a cough suppressant. He thought it was odd that my cough was productive, he said that’s not a typical covid cough. But I can’t say that my test results are negative when they came back positive. He still is treating it like it’s covid since the lab test said it was positive. My cough does wear me out but I am trying to be active. I cleaned the girls room today and now going to go take a nap so I can be active some more today.
1:25pm- I took an hour nap and then got up and cleaned the kitchen. I can tell my body is getting tired, so I decided to take a chill in bed and work from the computer. I had some yogurt for lunch. But not much else I can tolerate yet. Plus I can’t smell or taste. I have noticed that the phlegm that I was coughing up, really yellow in color, is now coming out in my stool. I don’t know if it has anything to do with the other supplements that I am taking, but the doctor thought it weird that my cough was not dry. Which I have to agree. I just keep doing my breathing exercises and staying active with periodically resting.
November 21, Saturday-
5:40am- and I have my digital fireplace going this morning and slowly waking up. I slept all night oh, I do think that I tossed, but I didn’t get up in the middle of the night. Headache is light this morning, I have a temp of a 98.8. I have not taken anything this morning, yet. My coughing is still heavy and persistent but yet it’s still wet. I started taking the antibiotic last night around 6 pm. I have not started the cough suppressant yet I just don’t want to suppress the stuff down into my lungs if it’s coming up. If I need a break from the coughing just need to lie down and sleep. And then get back up again. I need to try to get more fluids in. Yesterday only got three bottles of water, today my goal is six.
12:00pm- State of Arkansas is now monitoring me. They called and my COVID nurse said I am the poster child for COVID that I have everything except hospitalization. She advised me to be careful and monitor my oxygen. That I will be getting texts every day to check on my symptoms and that I need to respond to them or they will call me. She asked me when my first symptoms showed up. I said the 15th, she said I was contagious two days before that, so the 13th, but I contacted it the day before, so the 12th. Which means I got it at the airport coming home from Asheville.
12:49pm- I ended up taking a Tylenol around 7 a.m. my headache was really bothering me. After sleeping for a couple more hours, I was able to get up do some laundry, wash the dishes, eat some eggs and yogurt. Sometimes around 11:30 ish I went to the bathroom and it was no longer solid. Not sure if this is the virus trying to get out of my body but it burned and every time I cough up phlegm it burns like acid. I have had extreme fatigue all day, but have been forcing myself to stay active and giving myself a designated rest time.
6:42pm- my fever went up to 100.4 and I needed to get it down as I wasn’t feeling good. I took a Tylenol around 5 p.m. my body is extremely tired it’s wanting to relax but I can’t relax as much as I want. I’ve been watching the Christmas cookie challenge with my girls and trying to blog past blogs.
November 22, Sunday-
7:39am- this morning has been rough. My coughing is really heavy and it doesn’t allow me to breathe as often as I want. This morning I went to take a shower and started washing my hair and almost passed out. I had to leave the shower and lay down on the cold floor and let my heart rate slow down. Last night I was just tired from coughing. But I slept through the night without any problems waking up about 5:30 a.m. and then falling back to sleep for another hour and a half. It feels good to sleep but I know my lungs are working against me every time I lay down on my back, so I need to try my best to stay active. Now to go get some breakfast. I don’t feel like much so I’ll probably just get some yogurt. I am worried that I will leave my kids motherless. This stuff is real and I feel like I am at time suffocating even though I can breathe through my nose and throat.
8:09am- took 2 puffs of inhaler.
10:42am- fatigue is setting in. Trying to get some stuff done in my office and I can tell my breathing is much more flavored but not quite short. I can still take about 5 breaths before coughing. I’ve been reading other people’s stories and it’s very encouraging.
12:40pm- I took about an hour nap and then woke with a little more energy. I got a oxygen reader. I put it on and it said I was getting 100-98% of my oxygen, which is good.
9:01pm- had a coughing spell around 6pm. Had to take my inhaler again. Took a Tylenol too as my fever was up. 8pm I got my appetite back and I can taste just a little and smell just a little. My o2 levels still remain at 98%. I need to beat this.
November 23, Monday-
9:05am- I woke up this morning feeling pretty good, it’s just when I sit up from bed I start in two an uncontrollable hacking cough. It’s all because it drains down into my lungs. Today my lungs feel extremely worn and my ribs hurt without me even coughing. And then worse when I do cough. I have more energy than I did yesterday so I did go for a walk I couldn’t do more than 1/2 Mile and then my lower back started hurting. I tried not to let my heart get up to 120, but it doesn’t take much for it to get there. Olivia made some pancakes this morning and I had two small ones I’m hungry, but I just don’t have the stomach to eat. My smell and taste are slowly coming back which is a good sign. I did have to take my inhaler this morning but I still do not have a fever.
My dad is not doing well. He may pass soon. I hate that I can’t be there with him. My family surrounds him, but I have to be there virtually as I am so weak and still really sick and contagious.
November 24, Tuesday-
2:15pm- not much has been different today. I don’t have a fever which is good. My cough is less but it still powerful when I am coughing. I’m weak from coughing so much and my lower back still hurts. But overall I feel like I’m starting to mend. I have talked to the Arkansas Health Department again today and they just wanted to be sure that I wasn’t in contact with anyone and if I was who it was so they can contact them. I have my smell and taste back I just have this annoying cough that won’t go away. I still don’t have the energy to do all the fun stuff that I wanted to do this week in preparation for Thanksgiving. Mike and the girls get tested tomorrow afternoon. As soon as I get the test results back, that will help determine when we’re done with our quarantine. Mike still isn’t showing any symptoms but you also currently is in the basement. One day at a time. My oxygen levels are still 97% and it is a little harder to breathe today. But it feels like it’s going away. I hope that this stuff goes away soon. It is so nasty. Tomorrow hoping that my energy will be up higher so that way I can prepare for a fun day with the girls on Thanksgiving. Mike will pick up the groceries tomorrow and I can start preparing some of the stuff for Thursday.
November 25, Wednesday-
This morning I had a temp of 97.7. No fever. Olivia had 99.4 and Juliana had 98.6. I am so tired of being sick. I still have a cough that is really annoying and it makes it hard to breath through my chest. I hate how the Arkansas State health department keeps checking in with me. Like, come on. Let me rest. You generalize my symptoms and it looks like I am still sick. It is not tracking it correctly. I am tired today. A lot of my energy is being exerted. I had to get my videoing done before we leave in December to be with my family in Michigan. I also have to decorate this house so that when I return, I am going to have a pretty house. I should go take a nap and then get back to work. I have yet to pack and finish purchasing my gifts for Christmas.
Mike tested NEGATIVE for COVID today. I am not sure how that is possible. He has had no symptoms and kissed me the day I was contagious. I think he at one point had it before they knew it was COVID. I remember several months prior to today, I took him into the Urgent Care for fluids and they didn’t know what was wrong with him. He tested negative for the flu.
November 26, Thursday (Thanksgiving Day)-
8:30pm- slight fever but not sure if it’s because I am exhausted. I lost my dad today. I hate that I am not able to be there with them and that I didn’t get to touch him or hold his hand when he died. I did eat a lot today too and I can start to breathe out of my chest a little better. My ribs hurt really bad. Like someone has taken a bat to my upper back. I am exhausted.
November 30, Monday- The State of Arkansas sent me a release letter stating that I am no longer contagious and that I can travel. I plan to leave for Michigan on Thursday. Have to avoid the snow storm coming in on Wednesday in Michigan.
December 21, Monday – First day with no cough at all. But I have massive fatigue I have been battling that nonstop since having active COVID.
December 26, Saturday- Fatigue is extreme when I don’t get proper rest. It consumes my body and my mind can’t think with short term memory. My breathing is fine. It can be a struggle when I get excited or yell. I still feel soreness in my lungs. Losing a lot of hair, thankfully I have a lot.
January 6, Wednesday- I am still battling fatigue. I have read that those that had a bad case of COVID may battle fatigue for long term. This fatigue does not let up for me. I can sleep 9 hours and still wake up tired and drained. I am learning now how to manage my fatigue as if I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I wish others could understand what it feels like, but being tired is not the same as CFS. It is frustrating how much people don’t understand. Now, I get it. I am really sorry for those of my friends that battle this CFS and I wasn’t sensitive. I get it now and tears come to my eyes as it is so real and can debilitate you in an instant if not managed well. My lungs still hurt. I have to find a local doctor so I can get some tests done to see what damage has been done. If I exert myself too much my memory goes and I can’t think and my lungs start to hurt really bad. My oxygen levels are at about 97% consistently, which is still good. I just struggle to breathe at times. I am still losing my hair. I was told that I am immune to COVID for 3 months from my first symptoms so that means come February 15 is my marker that I can become susceptible again. This scares me. I still have really low immunity and I am scared if I get this again it can be worse and take me down.
This virus has been the worst virus I have ever had in my life and I don’t want to repeat it. I don’t want my friends and family to get it either. I understand that if affects people differently, as my older neighbors have it and they are doing fine. Which I am over the top grateful for, it just takes one person though to think they have great immunity and then realize that they didn’t have as good as one as they thought and COVID takes them down. Be aware and be careful out there. I care about you all.
I hope that my experience can help someone out there battle COVID and I hope it brings awareness to everyone.