A little different time my other posts, but I thought I’d share with you my experience of having Coronavirus.
March 2020. I am an NHS professional and even though the pandemic was confirmed in China and spreading across the world, we were still seeing a lot of people, taking no measures to keep our distance from one another even if they told us they’d just returned from abroad etc.
March 13th. Me and my partner had annual leave booked for our anniversary and decided to go for a hike in the Lakes. We walked up the first 100m of a steep incline and my partner was ridiculously breathless and feeling as though she was going to pass out. I was alright but decided to leave the hike as she was never like this.
March 16th. My partner had a constant cough, breathless and feeling generally under the weather. I start having a cough too and notice a strange feeling of breathlessness. For example I would get up to go to the toilet and be huffing and puffing. Walking up the stairs was exhausting. I didn’t feel too bad though in myself. The rest of this week carried on the same. I felt like I had flu symptoms but extremely mild.
Week 2. This week I started to develop a fever and felt crap. My breathlessness got worse. I developed a sore throat like none before. It started on my right side and felt like a knife. I couldn’t talk as it hurt so much. Even the air during breathing irritated it. As the week went on my glands swelled up in my neck, armpits and groin. They were aching constantly and my legs hurt so much. I start taking a lot of paracetamol, hot drinks constantly, put vicks on my chest, suck on throat sweets. My partner was starting to get better and still relaxing.
Week 3. This was the worst week of my symptoms. My chest hurt to a new level. Anyone who knows me knows that I constantly get chest infections but this was on a different level. My legs hurt so much that I couldn’t sleep or get comfortable. Because of the two, I kept going in a hot bath for hours to try and relieve the pain. This helped to some extent. My breathing was at its worst and even laying down I was huffing and puffing. I spent days and days in bed. My sore throat had gone but my cough was constant which got worse when talking. I didn’t cough up any phlegm. Only very occasional small amounts of white phlegm My partner was more or less better and back at work but decided I should call 111 as it had been three weeks and I was getting worse. They just advised to stay off of work another 7 days. No point going hospital as they wouldn’t be able to do anything and no point me getting tested as by the symptoms, I do have it.
Week 4. My chest was still hurting. My cough was starting to get a tad better but I still couldn’t talk much without coughing constantly. In myself I felt better and started doing things around the house and garden along with going for very small walks around the block. The body aches were going down. Started getting very painful occasional stomach ache and pain over my liver.
April 14th. First day back at work. Chest still hurting and still a bit breathless when going up stairs but feeling good and ready to get back into work. Half way through my shift I am there chatting to my colleagues when I can’t concentrate on what they are saying, I feel light headed. I go to my manager to tell her that maybe I’m not as well as I thought when she talks to me and I can’t understand what she’s saying, feeling even more faint. I had to just interrupt her and say I need to sit. Whilst sitting down I nearly faint twice and go completely white. I remember seeing my hands and they were white/blue. Every one comments how white I am. Once I felt a bit better I went home and called the GP who told me to just ride it out and he will send me a sick note.
That evening my legs start aching again and my breathing gets rapid and shallow and I feel almost as bad as I was in week three. My chest was so achey around the back and sides and if I took a deep breath it hurt in the front too. I kept feeling like I needed to yawn to get oxygen. My mum called as I said I was sent home from work and commented that I wasn’t making much sense. Later, my partner got home from work and commented on how white and crap I looked. She also said that I wasn’t making much sense. In bed, I didn’t feel right at all, I was disinterested with anything and my breathing was rubbish along with body aches and my bad chest. I decided to call 111 who said I needed to go to hospital. Another person rang me and said as he couldn’t hear my heavy breathing I didn’t need to go in so he will get a Dr to call me. During this time I went to the toilet and went to close the lid but instead swiped and smashed a candle off of the top. I also went to drink some water but poured it over the bed. My partner was very concerned. I was just very confused and spaced out and EXTREMELY cold. The Dr called and decided she would come and see me. At 1am she came around, assessed me and although my sats were ok she decided I should go A&E and was going to call an Ambulance. My partner said she would take me as it would be quicker. So off we went.
In A&E I didn’t wait at all and was taken through. They checked my obs and took some arterial blood to check the oxygen. I was spaced out and breathing heavily. My obs and oxygen were fine so they were confused as to why I was like I was. The Dr came over and assessed me and advised that this was most likely a secondary infection probably pneumonia due to me defo having COVID by my previous symptoms. She said there was no point having a test as this wasn’t COVID anymore as I didn’t have a temperature. There was no point getting a chest X-ray as it would not alter her giving my antibiotics for the infection. And as my obs were ok she didn’t think I should be admitted, I should go rest at home.
April 16th. No longer delirious. Chest is very achey and painful around the back, my breathing is better but get huffy still when I do anything. Starting to get stuffy again and phlegmy which makes me thing these antibiotics are already working (taking 8 a day). My legs are still very achey and my nodes are raised again in my armpits so at least my body is taking on this second lot of infection. Yesterday I spent the day in bed but today I’m downstairs on the sofa. I went to sit in the sun for 5mins but got to tired and so came back in to lie down and now I am writing this.
So here I am, just taking my tablets and resting for another two weeks to recover from this pneumonia. If feeling ok, I need to go back to work after these two weeks on phase return. After following the advice of just constantly staying home and resting I would suggest anyone feeling as bad as I did in week three to call 111 and speak to someone about it. I genuinely feel that if they had actually sent a Dr to me then, I would have been admitted. I thought I was going to die – genuinely. The time that I went to hospital I didn’t feel quite as bad but obviously it was a good thing so I could get the antibiotics. I think if I had gone to hospital with the Covid I may have been treated and not got this secondary infection. Who knows though. We didn’t have that much info back in March so no one knew what to suggest other than stay at home. Luckily now, they have a touch more info which is why I’m writing this so you can see that sometimes it does last over the 14days. Not once did I lose my taste or smell. The symptoms seem to be anything you can think of….. Covid gives it you!! I may have forgotten to add things as I want to tell you so much but can’t think of everything right now. So feel free to ask my anything.
Please do stay safe everyone. Look after yourselves and follow your governments rules. I only wish our government hadn’t left it so long to impose the lockdown, our death rate wouldn’t be so high. And that’s only hospital deaths. I know our confirmed cases would be sky high if they had bothered testing us. But anyway, that’s a rant that I shall have when feeling fully better and back with my colleagues. You know it’s bad when you are excited to go back to work!! Lets all hope this lifts soon and we change as a society to appreciate what matters more in life.