Before I got it, I was curious about what it involved, what I could expect.
One Friday I got a sore throat. I took a Strepsil and forgot about it.
That evening I still had it, so I popped another Strepsil.
On Saturday after breakfast my boyfriend and I were sitting, looking at the rain and wondering what to do. My boyfriend went on the laptop and I was on my phone.
I started coughing and had a drink, maybe that would help.
The coughs were continuous and dry…
After a while I started to feel tired and went to sit on the sofa, hoping that would help.
I started to feel exhausted. My boyfriend insisted that I was “putting it on”.
“I’m going to bed” I announced suddenly, and he looked up anxiously. It was an effort even to sit up.
It had hit me out of nowhere, what was going on? I felt like I’d just got off a plane from the Philippines again, heavily jet-lagged.
I lay down and that was it, I was in bed for the next five days, apart from some sunbathes in the garden. I was able to do this because I had several hours each day where the coughs eerily disappeared, so I felt less tired. I hoped that my body hadn’t stopped fighting it, whatever it was.
I begged my boyfriend not to go to work but he did and I was alone.
I had to drag myself out of bed and rest regularly as I hauled myself downstairs, leaning heavily on the banisters as if I had rapidly aged overnight. By the time I got back up I was wheezing so much I felt like I was breathing through a straw. Sometimes I had to cough to breathe, I was so constricted, and that was quite alarming. But the advice I saw online was that you only needed to go to hospital if you felt tingling in your fingers or toes or had blue lips, and it wasn’t that bad. My extremities were still being adequately oxygenated and I reminded myself that I didn’t have a temperature, so it was only “mild”.
Pull yourself together, I told my inner child. No need to be a drama llama.
My chest hurt as I coughed roughly every ten minutes for three days. On the second day, my friends dropped off a care package and it gave me such a boost. I was able to talk to them from the upstairs window. I fortunately had a welcome break from the symptoms at that point, another weird window where it felt like I wasn’t ill.
On the fourth and fifth day the fatigue worsened and I was quite weak. Once I couldn’t even turn over in bed. I got tired having more than one chat on the phone each day. I am usually someone that is lively and energetic but this had really floored me. The last time I had been that ill was when I was seven and laid up for two weeks with pneumonia.
On the sixth day I was feeling better until I had a shower and had a dizzy spell. But I was no longer coughing all the time so I had more energy. I was able to stay up and out of bed until 3pm, when fatigue bowled me over, literally.
So I spent a total of three days coughing, five days in bed and 11 days later I am finally feeling more human, and have put my first clothes wash on in two weeks.
I don’t qualify for a test, so I do not know if that was the dreaded coronavirus.
Vicks vapour rub is all you need if you have it mildly, the essential oil vapours are helpful. Lying on two pillows allows you to breathe easier too. Paracetamol helped my boyfriend lower his temperature, it brings it down by half a degree. Please note that I did not use any extra toilet roll.
Keep your immune system supported with exercise, sleep, fruit and vegetables and you might only get “mild” symptoms too, if you get it.
Even though I can go out again soon, I will take more time to rest first, as I do not want to get another infection while my immune system is recovering. It will take me another week to get better whilst I replenish energy levels.
How did I get it?
I had gone shopping 12 days before in a busy supermarket, but that seemed unlikely to be the transmission event as it was so long before.
I may have been infected over the Easter weekend when we went out every day on the bikes. Some cyclists had passed right by me, breathing heavily. But that was an unlikely source too. It was a mystery.
I had been so careful – wiping and spraying everything from the supermarket, washing hands on entry to the house, staying away from people, but it had been useless.
I am just relieved to be through the worst and to have got off lightly. I know someone that has sadly passed away from it, so I am well aware that not everyone is so lucky.