The Worst Sickness I’ve Ever Dealt With

As some of you may know I got really sick towards the end of March. I kept in contact with my doctor and at first he suspected flu or viral infection. I had a high fever and sore throat and just felt crappy nothing unusual. After a few days I wasn’t getting any better and since I was getting worse he said I’m fairly certain you have COVID-19. I was kind of possibly preparing for that but when the doctor says that to you over the phone a flood of emotions come. Panic, anxious, trying to be calm, listening to the doctor. I’m so thankful for my primary care doctor he explained everything and kind of outlined what I would face. I haven’t been tested because our county is so behind and backlogged. It was taking 7-14 days to get results and they didn’t want me to risk going out and getting exposed to another virus. He told us about the antibody blood test and whenever that arrives we will probably have that done. I wasn’t as scared at the end of the phone conversation which was comforting. We kept in daily communication on the phone and I knew I was being watched and cared for and I would make it through.

I turned off the news and stopped scrolling on Facebook and Twitter while I was sick. I didn’t want to put any fear into me. I wanted to just focus on what the doctor told me. It was like every morning I would wake up and feel worse and my chest kept getting heavier and tighter and painful. I started coughing so much and was getting out of breath. The first week for me was sort of comparable to the flu minus the horrible body aches. I was just exhausted and slept a lot and tried to stay in bed as much as possible. As I was facing the second week my doctor discussed with us that this is the week where if it’s going to get bad it will. I just want to start off by saying I’m so thankful that I got to stay home this entire time and made it through.

The second week was awful and I mean awful. I’ve experienced several times being sick and dealing with chronic pain/illness daily but this was by far the worst thing. I couldn’t really keep a conversation going because I would start coughing so bad. Mine was a deep cough and it was miserable. I had several episodes of minutes of coughing. The doctor asked if my lips ever turned blue or anything. Thankfully they never did. During some of the worst coughing fits my lips would get a little darker. He wanted us to get a finger oximeter to keep track of my oxygen. Thankfully Walgreens in Elkhart had 2 left in stock since they are sold out here. If my oxygen was 90 or below I would have to get a home oxygen tank. If much lower, it could mean hospitalization. I was scared I would end up in the hospital because April isn’t a good month for me – I always get a big sickness or something. I was scared what if my body couldn’t fight this at home? I wasn’t so much scared of the worse happening like dying, the thought of being alone in the hospital scared me more. The lowest my oxygen ever got was 93. This finger oximeter gave us all such a peace of mind, I was getting enough oxygen still. During the second week I slept a lot and I could just stare out the window or at something in the room and an hour would go by. I think I fell asleep so many times I couldn’t keep track. Every night was awful because I knew I would be worse in the morning which was true and at night I had horrible coughing fits. We put all the Vick’s and RC oil on my chest so many times a day and it helped some. I would get on social media and that would exhaust me. I tried to do some stories everyday to document it so people could see that even though it’s not fun not everyone that gets it will end up in the hospital etc. I would get a text and respond to it and just a single text made me tired. Sitting up for meals in the bed became more difficult because it hurt my chest to sit. I was only getting out of the bed to go to the bathroom. I would often come back heavy breathing and coughing. I would have to lay my head back on the pillow and just open my mouth wide and pray. Please give me more oxygen I will make it through this moment. I don’t remember a whole lot from the second week because I was so out of it. The exhaustion is crazy. I already don’t have a lot of energy so I was very exhausted. Now I’m pretty much back to my normal and I feel like I have so much energy now. I couldn’t focus on a TV show or movie. I would read a lot. My fevers were high 103-104.8 on Tylenol. I didn’t really experience any GI symptoms. The thing that was weird is that I was so hungry all the time. I felt like I was back on my steroids. Usually when I’m sick all I want is soup. I was hungry for anything and everything now. My appetite increased. The only thing I can chalk that up to is that my lungs/heart were working harder so I needed more food. I don’t know if this is also a part of it or my autoimmune stuff, but I’ve lost so much hair. There is kind of a chunk missing on the one side. The days seemed smooshed together and I felt like I was sick forever. Then I started having sharp pain on my back my doctor thinks I either strained the chest wall or cracked a rib from coughing. It kind of cleared up now so were assuming it was strain on the chest wall. I’m sure there are things I’m missing. I wanted to keep a journal of how I felt everyday but I didn’t have energy to do that. I tried to post on Instagram and write how I felt in the captions. Finally the second week was coming to an end. I made it through the worst part. It absolutely breaks my heart that so many people have to experience this and families have been ripped apart.

The third week was here. My doctor said I would have good and bad days but then hopefully it would turn into more good days. It pretty much stayed that course. I wasn’t as out of breath and my coughing and pain were going away. I was getting better. Then Friday came and my sore throat was back and my fever was going back up to 103. I was like surely it’s not coming back or I’m getting something else? By Saturday evening I was pretty sure I was now dealing with a flare-up. It’s so hard to explain but I could tell that the Coronavirus fever left and now I was dealing with my normal fever. I contacted the doctor on Monday explained my temperatures and my symptoms. He said COVID had run it’s course most likely as it should’ve and that I was dealing with a flare-up. It only makes sense anytime I get over a sickness because my body was put through distress and this is how my body responds. I’m so used to flare-ups now. My temp has been hanging around 103 and when I have a big flare-up that’s where it hangs otherwise it goes down to 100-101. I’ve still been loosing so much hair which I’ve experienced before during a flare-up which is a common symptom with Lupus which is what the doctors keep going back to. Anyways since we’re home from work I didn’t have to worry about a sick day and I let my body rest and recover. I’m still in the flare-up but I feel so much better than I have the last few weeks.

I’m so thankful for all the prayers and messages that were sent. The power of prayer is amazing. As of yesterday I don’t have to quarantine in the house anymore. I can go to doctor appts, pick up meds, go for a ride around the subdivision in my wheelchair.

Please stay home as much as you can. Try picking up groceries or getting them delivered try to limit contact. I know you may be thinking but I’m just one person. Well, if everyone thinks that, it adds up very quickly. I don’t know where I got this or who I got it from. So please stay home. Stay home for your parents, your kids, your elderly neighbor, all the people like me who have a compromised immune system. We must flatten the curve. I know it’s hard to not be social but I’m so thankful for FaceTime and zoom and texting.

I pray none of you have to experience the Coronavirus. Again I don’t have a confirmed case.

This was my first week sick

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

xoxo,

Abby

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