COVID 19 – It’s not very nice.

I just had Covid 19 and thought I’d tell you how it went. I felt pretty ill for a while and, I felt after reading various comments on various sites that people still regard this illness as a “little flu”. To counter that, I wanted to tell you about my experience.

My Covid experience

Until I had the disease myself, I didn’t know any people who’d (100% proven with a test) had the bug. There were plenty of people who said “Oh I think I had it in March or February”, but as we had no testing back then we will never know for sure.  I wanted to share my experience to give a contrast to both the nay sayers and the people who have sadly passed away.

Days 1-5

I first noticed feeling a bit off on Tuesday 15 December. On Wednesday, I noticed I had a cough, and in the afternoon, I developed a fever. I ordered a Covid-19 test that evening. I duly self-isolated from that point onwards. However, I wasn’t going out anywhere anyway as I work from home and London was going into lockdown.  

By the morning, I had a full-blown fever of 38.1C. However, I still didn’t want to believe I had Covid 19. My symptoms were more like actual flu, and as I didn’t have the flu vaccine, it was possible I’d got that. I thought this because I could still smell and taste fine.

I did my test and sent it off on Thursday. I even ‘went to work’ in my home office on Friday, but it was very unproductive. The days seemed to lengthen. A ‘brain fog’ descended where thinking straight seemed impossible. All I could do was watch endless Netflix shows.

I was scared. I didn’t want this, and my partner has asthma so naturally I was scared she would be badly affected by a disease that affects the lungs so badly. We live in a small flat, so if I contracted this, then it was almost certain she would too. On Friday, two days after me, she developed symptoms. There was a collective denial that we had it.

On Saturday, my taste disappeared, and weirdly my ears and eyes ached. My whole body hurt like I’d done a workout.

Days 5-9

On Sunday morning, the positive result came back. It was a hammer blow, and I must admit feeling a bit panicky. My chest felt pressured and tight.

Day 5-7 are apparently when people start to struggle with this illness. I must admit I felt a worsening of my symptoms at this point.

I had a blood oxygen meter which I’d bought in June. It was the type you put on the finger, and it measures heart rate and blood oxygen. My Oxygen was always borderline, OK at around 95-96%. If you go below 92%, they recommend seeing a Doctor.

Day 7 was when I started feeling better, but then it seemed I was knocked back a few steps. Day 8 and 9 were when I had a splitting headache and diarrhoea.

Day 9 is the hump day of Covid 19. If you make it this far without going to the hospital, you will either get better, or get worse and probably need a hospital. My partner’s Uncle is a microbiologist involved in making the Aussie vaccine and shared this info with us.

My partner was faring better, and although very sick too, she was not getting the expected asthma symptoms.

Day 10 – 12

Only on day ten did I feel things were getting better. I had the splitting headache, but all the other symptoms were getting better. Even at this point, I couldn’t be sure I was out of the woods.

Today, which is day 12 for me, and 10 for her, we are both feeling like new people. Although strangely, her smell disappeared today. We both still have awful coughs.

Doesn’t sound that bad, but to be honest, combined with the anxiety of knowing that day 9 is a turning point, and the fact I was fluctuating between feeling better and worse within a few hours several times a day with no idea where this was going.

I had a few moments of gasping for air and feeling faint. I worked out if I lay on my side or front; it relieved the breathlessness. A few times when I put the oxygen meter on, and it said 90% (and then quickly went to 94-95%), there was a panicky feeling. Do I call the ambulance? It was the last thing I wanted to do with the hospitals full to the gunnels and it being Christmas.

Christmas was spent feeling rotten. I’d made a mistake with the food delivery and couldn’t leave the house to get the ingredients I needed.  But we still made it work, and having gone through the horrors of the sickness together as a couple, made the little things on the day seem more special.

The verdict

I read The Times online, which has an active comments section. I was infuriated to see people saying they’d had it and it was nothing more than mild flu. I also wonder how many of those commenting actually had a test to confirm it, but that’s the cynic in me. That may have been true for them, but it doesn’t mean it will be the same for everyone. I’ve had various illnesses like flu, German measles, dysentery, and numerous chest infections, and this was the worst. It lasted the longest out of any of these. Usually, I’m over the flu in a week. Covid took a full ten days to start feeling human again. I think people’s bodies get tired and start failing at this point.

I know I’ve had it easy and my case is classed as a mild case, but I’ve never had an illness that lasted this long or affected my breathing as much as this. I’d say that the anxiety of actually having COVID 19 did not help, and the not knowing what way it could go really didn’t make me feel secure about it. Maybe I’m lucky but Covid 19 is a serious illness, and the problem is you just don’t know how it will affect you until it does.

I’m now praying we don’t get ‘long Covid’ which I’ve heard of a few people getting.

Stay safe and wear a mask.

7 thoughts on “COVID 19 – It’s not very nice.

  1. Those symptoms sound fairly mild versus the worst type A and C flu that I’ve experienced but also lasting much longer than the usual two or three days of symptoms from normal flu. The severe flu cases I had included higher fever, painful and unpleasant stomach and GI tract symptoms, hallucinations and severe chills along with the symptoms very similar to what you experienced. However nothing lasted even close to that long. I think the mental toll of being sick for two weeks and not knowing if you could go over a cliff would be much worse for Covid than typical flu. Normal flu you have some horrible hours but not a horrible week or two. Oddly though I did test positive for type A flu earlier this year and negative for Covid and it was the mildest case of flu I ever had, nothing close to what you have with Covid. Glad you are hanging in there and sharing. Most of us don’t know anyone who has exhibited symptoms and wonder what it is like. Best wishes that your new year will be virus free and fully recovered.

  2. It sounds horrible being so breathless. A colleague described being so short of breath they couldn’t even pick up Scrabble pieces! Glad you’re on the mend Playing With FIRE.

  3. Thanks for this playing with fire. I tested positive before Christmas the only one of the major symptoms I had was the loss of taste and smell but my experience was still hellish and I’ve had bad viruses in the past as well. Like you I seemed to start feeling better and then get knocked back for several days. We have an asthmatic in the house and thankfully they did not have the chest problems either despite being positive too. Take care and plenty of rest its just not one to try and power through!

  4. Sorry to hear that you were unlucky to catch it but good to hear you have recovered ok.

    My friend caught it, had milder symptoms and appears to be fully recovered.

    My colleague had it and had similar symptoms to what you had, but several weeks later, he still has a cough and a bit of breathlessness.

    Both the same age (mid-30s) and gym bunnies so fit and healthy.

    They say immunity from having caught it isn’t permanent (although this of course isn’t 100% clear) so hope you and your family continue to stay safe.

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