It is the grace I have been receiving that keeps me going. I’m thankful to be alive.
Last 5 December, I celebrated my 50th birthday. Part of expressing my gratitude is to appreciate every second of my life and to somehow be able to give back, especially to my kababayan. Almost all of us have a burning desire to help in whatever way we can. I thought sharing my experience when I tested positive for Covid-19 would be able to help others. I’m sharing my experience so you know most people recover from it and it’s not a death sentence.
I remember having mixed feelings I had when I heard the news, and I was worried about the fear it would cause my family back home. The stigma of being Covid-19 positive is discriminating and embarrassing.
The moment I got the positive result, it was not Covid as a sickness that made me feel ill. It was the overwhelming fear that started eating up my immune system to fight it. I needed someone reliable to talk to and decided to contact my dear friend in the Philippines, a Covid-19 survivor. I was asking a lot of questions like “Did you also feel this and that, what did you do, how did you react?”
Though every patient had different symptoms and body chemistry, I felt a sudden relief after talking to my friend. Knowing that my husband and I were going through the same experiences as the others provided some comfort and reassurance that we would recover soon like them.
Here’s the manifestation of my Covid-19 infection and how it developed:
The symptom resembled an allergy attack. I was sneezing, had a runny nose and teary eyes. I was not worried at all because I thought it was a normal reaction to the Fall season, plus the fact that we raked falling leaves at the front yard that day.
I didn’t feel well on my second day. Nonstop sneezing turned into coughing, and then headaches. My coughing was dry, which led to sore throat and chest pain. I began taking mucus relief medicine around 3 p.m. and drank warm water frequently for hydration.
I felt feverish but my temperature was normal. I had a persistent headache. My husband reached out to my sister-in-law, a medical doctor in Los Angeles, to consult about my situation. She suggested I take a potent three-day Z-Pack starting that day.
Fourth and Fifth Day
I felt relieved when I took Z-Pack for two days. On the third day, my feverish feeling came back, as well as the headache, with nausea.
My husband didn’t have any of the symptoms, but he decided to schedule a test for us at 1 p.m. He was able to get us in at 4 p.m.. I didn’t feel well, I felt body pains with a little bit of stomach pain.
We got one missed call from St. Luke’s Hospital in Boise and another call at around 8 a.m. We called back and found out that our test results were positive. That’s the bomb that woke us up. So, we were on speakerphone with the nurse at the hospital, telling us what to do and to contact our family physician right away. But before we called our doctor, his assistant called to say that they already received the test results. A teleconference appointment with the doctor was scheduled at 12:30 p.m.. Since we signed a consent form, the hospital forwarded our Covid-19 positive results to our local health department in Idaho just for the collection of statistical date.
The doctor advised that we were entering the most dangerous stage of the disease and the next three to five days would tell us which way we would go. It was the most dangerous phase because our bodies caught up with the symptoms of Covid-19 and if they overreacted to fighting it, breathing would be hard due to inflammation in the lungs. I already felt I had shortness of breath and that’s why the doctor gave us a nebulizer to help reduce inflammation.
The doctor gave us a list of medicines that was ready for pick-up at the pharmacy. I noticed most of them were vitamins like Vitamin A, C, D and Zinc except for Hydroxychloroquine and nebulizer drop. The rest of the things we needed, such as Oximeter Reader and Nebulizer were also provided to us. The DCD policy here in the US for Covid patients is to stay home for 10 to 14 days, not unless they need to be confined in the ICU for life-threatening symptoms.
That night, I had a full-blown flu. I was shivering with a body temperature of 38 to 39°C. I woke up in the middle of the night with stomach pain and feeling so tired that I just wanted to go back to sleep. I didn’t know if this was pure fear after knowing that my husband and I were both positive of Covid-19. My chest felt heavy and I started hyperventilating. My sense of taste vanished as well as my appetite and I couldn’t eat well. Oximeter indicated that my oxygen level was at 96 percent and we were told that anything below 92 percent would require hospitalization. Mine never dropped below 94 percent.
My husband had no symptoms except exhaustion. He took the same prescribed medications. True enough, after two days of taking medications, we felt better, as if nothing happened. Thank God, David did not get to experience what I went through
— except for his sense of taste and smell that disappeared only when he was totally out of danger. It was more of the side effects of Covid-19 than symptoms.
By this time, my sense of taste was slowly coming back. The doctor said this was a normal residual symptom so I should just give it some time.
I am sharing some photos with my medicine prescriptions for your reference. I hope this will help anyone confused and frightened. Just follow proper hygiene and other precautions. Trust God and be positive. Think and imagine that you are much bigger than any virus. Take it seriously but don’t live in fear. Millions of people in the world have recovered from it and the survival rate is 99.79 percent.