My Coronavirus Experience: Day 5
I had COVID-19. I am 99% certain of where and when I contracted the virus (with the help of contact tracers; more on that later). I had ups and downs while the virus ran its course (mostly downs). I lost my appetite. I lost weight. I lost "friends". Here is Day 5 of my story.
Here's a quick recap of Days 1 - 4:
- Day 1: (Sunday) Came into contact with coronavirus carrier
- Day 2: Possible low-grade fever, I just felt warm in the house with a moment of sweating
- Day 3: Normal day until bedtime; that's when the headache/chills/fever/body aches began
- Day 4: I visited the walk-in clinic in the morning for a COVID-19 test. My fever spiked every 2 hours throughout the rest of the day (101.9 was the highest I recorded), accompanied by chills, headache, and body aches.
I was in the habit of taking my temperature every 2 or 3 hours by this time and, on Thursday, it never got above 101.5. The fever "cycle" also lost frequency, spiking every 3-4 hours, being highest in the morning and evening hours. It was also on Day 5 that my digestive issues began, and lasted for about 24 hours.
My phone rang just after 6pm, and I recognized the number from the walk-in clinic. It was the nurse calling with the diagnosis: COVID-19.
He asked several questions (I have to say that I have been very impressed with LGMC's walk-in clinic in Youngsville, as they called me several times until my symptoms subsided to check on me) to make certain that I hadn't taken a turn that would require seeking immediate medical attention. He also advised me on how to treat myself at home, advised me on the CDC's recommendations for quarantine/isolation, and encouraged me to call them with any questions. He also encouraged me to contact anyone I came into contact with over the past several days.
I was a step ahead with that last piece of advice: I had already contacted the 9 people that had come within 6 feet of me since the week prior to my symptoms, 5 of whom were coworkers.
No more than 1 hour after I received the results of my COVID-19 results, I received a call from the Louisiana Department of Health. She was armed with an arsenal of information about COVID-19 and was able to answer every question I had (except this one: when will this crap go away?).
When she started on the contact tracing questions, she only wanted to know where I was 2 days prior to showing symptoms. Answering her questions was very easy, because I had a total of 3 places to give to her: the store I visited on Sunday, my office, and one other place of business (with only a receptionist present, and we were both masked. I was only in there for a few minutes).
I mentioned that I had been on an airplane just over a week prior to showing symptoms, and she repeated that she just need to know where I had been in the 2 days leading up to my symptoms. That helped me pinpoint where I had contracted the virus.
She was thorough and polite and, after our conversation, she encouraged me to call 911 or seek immediate medical attention should I begin to have difficulty breathing or if my temperature should reach 103.
By this time I was no longer experiencing chills, and my fever never again got above 100. I still had a headache, body aches, and a slight tickle in my throat that would cause a cough, but it wasn't a severe cough, more of a something-in-my-throat-is-aggravating-me kind of cough. Also, I was fatigued, thinking to myself "if I don't get good rest tonight, tomorrow will be hell". I went to bed with a 99.9 degree fever and, for the first time since my symptoms appeared, I slept through the night.