I am a 38-year-old healthy mother with no health issues. My symptoms started in mid-March with a slight tickle in my throat, I passed it off to being out the night before around a bonfire. By the evening of that day, I felt extremely exhausted so much so that I decided to go to bed early which is not typical as I am a mother of four. I woke up in the middle of the night in agony, I had horrendous aches, pains, and chills so bad that my body was actually vibrating on the bed. My neck and swollen lymph nodes began to ache as though someone was ripping my head off.

Then began the cold sweats and my slight tickle in the throat turned into feeling like I was swallowing glass. It was incredible that I had gone from minor pain to being violently ill in a matter of hours.  As my symptoms progressed the weakness set in and I couldn’t even move to speak or wake up my husband. As the night wore on the symptoms only increased sinus pressure, teeth aching, ear pain, muscle pain, and a migraine headache. At one point in the night, I feared I wouldn’t wake up the next day. I barely slept and when morning came I told my husband he had to move downstairs as I was so sick.

The next day was not better as l lost my sense of taste, smell, appetite and my GI tract began to be attacked. I spoke with my doctor who confirmed I had COVID-19. I donned a mask and began my self-isolation.

Some days I’d feel on the up the next day my fever would return or chills and body aches. This would continue for many weeks straight, after two weeks of being intensely sick I was able to come out of my room. But I still had to avoid my family and wear a mask 24/7. The lingering symptoms of headache, sore throat and feeling flushed lasted for 7 weeks.

Finally, I’m now 12 weeks since my first symptoms and feeling on the mend. My body is still recovering and I feel inflammation in different areas. A few weeks ago my knee swelled up 2x its size and I couldn’t walk for a week. I’m told this is life for a “long hauler” – someone who’s had COVID-19 for a really long time. I’m cautiously optimistic that I am recovered or at least recovering.