I need to start this by saying, I have Rheumatoid Arthritis (an autoimmune disease) an immune deficiency, and no spleen. Before this virus hit our area, I kept saying “if I get this virus, I won’t survive.” On March 11th, after having a sore throat, dry cough, and headache for 2 days I went to the doctor. I had been exposed to Influenza A and thought it was that. The doctor did the flu and strep test gave me Tamiflu and cough medicine.

Two days later the doctor called to tell me both tests were negative and to stop taking Tamiflu. I said, well something is wrong. I have a 103.9 temperature and I’m so sick. She said she would give me an antibiotic. We didn’t think it could be COVID-19- it hadn’t really hit our area. All I did was sleep all weekend – at least 18-20 hrs a day! That Monday she called to see how I was doing and at that point, I couldn’t breathe either. I felt like something was crushing my chest. I had lost my taste, smell, had no appetite, had diarrhea, nausea, horrible nightmares that were extremely vivid, heaviness on my chest, could barely breathe, just wanted to sleep and a temperature that fluctuated between 99.5 to 101/102. I’m sure I’m forgetting a lot, but this is the gist of it.

The doctor wanted to try to keep me out of the hospital. She followed up for the next few days. I told her I wanted a COVID-19 test. I just knew that’s what it was. The next day I went and had the test. I was still really sick and she decided to put me on zpack. I’m already on Plaquenil for RA. I truly believe the Plaquenil saved my life and combined with zpack made me feel better after a few days.

I got the results a week later. I was told the test was positive and to quarantine for 14 days. The rest of my family was presumed positive because there weren’t enough tests at that time and since I tested positive they probably were too. My husband got it very mild – temp, cough,  loss of smell -only for a week. His smell gradually came back after 2 weeks. My younger 14 yr old son had it for 3 weeks. My older 2 kids escaped the virus. I’ve now had this virus almost 3 months. At this point, I’m still suffering from many health issues. Shortness of breath, gastro issues, fluctuating temps that go away for a few days and then come back, etc. most of the symptoms come and go. I also over the last 2 weeks have suffered low oxygen/high heart rate and I’ve been to my primary, had blood work, and a CTA scan because it was thought I could have blood clots. I don’t.

The scan shows what is being called “COVID Lungs” which my primary called ground glass opacities, but according to my pulmonologist, my lungs are fine. The symptoms come and go. It’s the most bizarre, horrendous virus I’ve ever experienced!

My next step is a telemed appointment with an infectious disease doctor. I’m hoping to get some answers from him because most doctors don’t know enough about COVID-19 and don’t know how to treat it. They insist the shortness of breath is anxiety. To be told all of your tests are fine, but you just KNOW something is not right, is very frustrating, to say the least. I’m hoping that doctors will start to understand the complexity of this virus and finally have answers for all who are still suffering. Thank You!