My COVID Journey Still Isn’t Over

Today is my first day back to work/life (from home), after battling my own horrible case of COVID-19

Anybody else try and brush off their first symptoms as a cold or allergies? Yeah, me too. But, after spending a whole weekend in bed because I was just SOOOOOOO TIRED, and seeing my normal body temp of 97.1 climb up to 99.5, I made it to a drive through testing facility on day 5 of what will now be known forevermore as my 2020 COVID-19 experience.

I had been to this same facility to be tested before when work required me to get cleared, and that time the negative result was delivered via email, so it was a surprise to get a call from an actual Doctor the very next day saying I had tested positive and let’s chat about my symptoms. Dr. Pliura was very encouraging that due to my age and lack of other health complications I was most likely to be out of danger in a little over a week, but do reach out if there were breathing problems quickly and let the local health department keep tabs on me just in case.  Mclean County Health Department started with phone calls and online surveys the very next day. Nice people.

At first I thought this isn’t too bad. I mean it isn’t fun, but I’ll be ok and I’ll have antibodies! Won’t that be nice to not live in fear anymore?  I took a couple days off work because I just couldn’t focus and ordered food delivery of my favorite soup. Less than 24 hours later, (Day 7), I no longer wanted to eat because everything came back up and everything in my house smelled BAD. I thought you lost your sense of smell with COVID? Nope, everybody gets something different, and my special treat was enjoying days of my nose telling me everything in the house was rotten like garbage cans of dirty diapers and fish. It was the world’s worst superpower to smell everything intensely. My gag reflex activated with each deep breath even though I have a house full of wallflowers in lovely apple scents. Temp now 99-102 depending on the time of the day and which side of my forehead I measured.

After each 4 hour nap I hoped to wake up feeling some kind relief, but the target of what symptom to survive kept moving. Keeping up with fluids and Tylenol was all I could do. With less nutrients going in each day, my energy level dropped super low. Would this ever end? The deep behind the eyes headaches were very painful, and they lasted 4 days straight with no breaks.

Covid made me feel far worse than I have ever felt in my life, and I pray you don’t ever experience the depression COVID brings, when your symptoms just keep getting worse every day, and there is nothing that can be done. Just hopeless.

Yesterday, day 13, I woke up hungry. Hmmmmm. So I ate some soup. It stayed down and tasted good!. Then later a toaster waffle and apple. Better. Smart water with electrolytes must be working. I showered and didn’t have to hang on tightly to the support bar. I smelled good and my teeth weren’t fuzzy anymore! I think I’m on the mend and later today I’m getting some IV vitamins and fluids to recharge. The leftover side effects are still insane- clumps of hair loss, gut upset, fatigue, but I’m better and grateful.

It would be great to now celebrate the worst being over, but my super senior parents are now both COVID positive two hours away, with Mom having complications already, and I can’t be with them in their time of need. She is in the hospital now, but not on a ventilator or oxygen yet, her lungs just have some fluid, so your prayers are appreciated.


So that’s my story, and I appreciate you reading it. Some people say they haven’t met anybody who has had COVID and actually been sick, so you can use me to fight the deniers. Stay vigilant, wash hands and mask up, do whatever you can to stop this plague.

Be well.

Susan Saunders 10/21/20

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