I had COVID-19 for over 60 days. I’m 33 years old, was super healthy, pescatarian, 125 pounds, and ran and did yoga every day. I couldn’t walk for two weeks besides a couple of steps. It was the worst illness of my life.

COVID-19 has been such a rollercoaster, with so many ups and downs. I ended up making a whole blog about my experience. It has 20k views from 76 countries.

I’m a special education teacher and I think the reason I got such bad COVID-19 symptoms was because I didn’t put on my metaphorical mask first before helping others. I work in a school with over 90% of students below poverty. I was so worried about my students and their families. I would work 16-20 hours a day to compile lists of financial resources and other support and I would call parents every day. Some would call me crying at midnight and I would always answer.

Also, in 2 days, 2 of my students’ parents died. I worked non-stop to help them and started getting only 3 hours of sleep. That’s when my COVID-19 symptoms became unbearable and my family made me go to the ER.

I live in Chicago, USA, and was terrified to go after seeing the pictures of the hospitals in New York looking like morgues. My family made me and my roommate drove me.

I didn’t realize I had COVID-19 symptoms for weeks. Here were the early signs:
-waking up sweaty (I normally don’t sweat at night)
-slight sporadic chills but no fever (or I thought I had no fever because I only took my temperature during the day)
-I could smell fine but would have weird smells like metallic or gas. Also, tasted metallic in the past 2-3 weeks. Apparently, a metallic taste or smell is related to lung problems
-loose stool but not terrible

Then, I started having:
-shoulder pain
-severe neck pain and headaches
-difficult breathing (but not congestion in lungs). I just thought it was anxiety
-night terrors and foggy thoughts. I believe due to night fevers
-ear congestion, felt like a cold
-worse anxiety & breathing problems at night because laying on my back made breathing worse

2 weeks later I had:
-Way more difficulty breathing if anything is even touching my back, especially my lower back. It’s way easier to breathe while laying on my belly or sitting on a stool (because nothing is touching my back)
-A few nights, I had feelings of intense dread because my fever was so high, I couldn’t even move, was drenched in sweat, and almost delirious from the fever. I’ve heard multiple covid patients describe it as “feeling like covid is taking over ur body.”
-Lots of digestion problems but probably from the tons of antibiotics I’m on
-Severe chest pain and some rib pain. It feels like a gorilla is sitting on my chest and someone is squeezing my lungs so every breath is work but my oxygen levels are mostly normal.

There are so many common misconceptions about COVID-19. People think you have to be coughing and congested with a fever. I never had lung congestion or a cough. I also only had fevers at night. My doctor said my symptoms are super common in COVID-19. COVID-19 can affect people very differently. Some people’s lungs fill up and some have extreme tightness and pain.

Also, that “hold your breath for 10 seconds” test is false. People are dying from this “made-up COVID-19 test” because then they don’t go to the hospital.

Also, doctors usually put you on antibiotics to make sure you don’t get another infection. I had to take 3 sets of antibiotics.

Breathing exercises help you reach the lower part of your lungs that are near your low back. One reason COVID-19 is so dangerous is that it hits the tiny air sacs at the bottom of the lungs which can cause double pneumonia. If you google COVID-19 breathing videos, you will find what to do. I highly recommend people buy a spirometer to practice breathing exercises. It’s the #1 thing that helped me.

Also, my doctor said 30-50% of COVID-19 tests are false negatives. She said that in the beginning they were tested with a mouth and throat test and they were way more accurate. Now, due to low supplies, hospitals only give patients one test.

My doctor said ibuprofen is totally fine. 1 small study said that people should not take ibuprofen and the media went crazy with it. My doctor said that Tylenol is preferred to reduce fevers. Ibuprofen reduces inflammation.

This is what has helped me:
-Drinking lemon water all day, especially in the morning. It cleans your organs and reduces inflammation. It has helped me breathe better
-Eat garlic every day
-Use a lymph node brush on your lymph nodes along your neck, chest, armpits, etc. This cleanses your lymph nodes. My lymph nodes were horribly swollen. After doing this for 2 days, they went down
-Sit outside in your backyard or take vitamin D. Vitamin C and zinc are very helpful too
-Lidocaine patches on my chest every 12 hours has helped a lot
-I’m also drinking some Pedialyte, coconut water, and Gatorade to help keep my electrolytes balanced
-Tylenol for chest pain and to reduce fever
-Herbs or tea from an acupuncturist.

-Black seed oil is very good for lungs and immunity; it has been around for thousands of years. They even found it in King Tut’s tomb.
– Eat as many fruits and berries as possible
-Drink green tea
-I’ve also been taking my oxygen levels about 10x per day and blood pressure 2x per day
– I bought 2 air purifiers for my living room and bedroom. They have helped immensely
-Also, don’t just lay in bed or sit there. Many people die from blood clots. Even if you are exhausted, try to walk a little or use the vibrating machine on yourself so you don’t have blood clots

After going to a very good hospital, clean and calm, they call me every single day around noon to ask me a set of 10-15 questions and to see if I need anything. They also have a social worker on call that I can call day or night since COVID-19 is so stressful.

I hope people take COVID-19 seriously and wear masks and social distance. COVID-19 has been the worst illness of my life. And living in the USA, with for-profit healthcare has also been a terrible experience. I think that’s why so many people are dying at home.