Dear Ambush Nation,
I thought it important to share my story with you so that you can realize just how serious the Coronavirus and COVID-19 disease are. I’ve been sick with COVID-19 for the better part of two weeks now. I can tell you it ain’t pretty and it sure as hell isn’t “just the flu.” Today is the first day in 11 days that I’ve woken up without a fever and the first day I’ve legitimately had the strength to type out my experience as there have been days along this two-week journey where I could barely pick my head off the pillow.
It started on Monday, March 16 with what was just a dry cough. At the time, I chalked it up to allergies and didn’t think much of it. However, by Wednesday night, I was running a low-grade fever of 101, and, by Thursday night, my fever spiked to 102.5 with my coughing becoming much worse.
Finally, on Friday, I contacted the LCMC hotline where I got in touch with a nurse who took some information and then I had a “virtual” appointment with a doctor where we basically talked via FaceTime and she asked more questions.
She told me that I should presume I was positive for COVID-19, but because I didn’t have any pre-existing conditions I should be okay. I asked about getting a test, but she explained at that time they didn’t have enough tests so it was best to just stay home. Her advice was to take over the counter medicine for my fever and to quarantine for the next 14 days.
The next seven or so days all seem like a blur. It was as if I was living the movie Groundhog Day with each day feeling the same as the last. Breathing became more difficult and sometimes labored. I lost my sense of smell and my taste buds were out of whack to the point that even my favorite Diet Coke didn’t taste good to me. I didn’t have much of an appetite and there were days I barely ate anything. Every day, my temperature would range from 99.5 to 101.8 with seemingly no relief in sight.
I’d wake up each morning and sit up in bed and would be immediately overcome by a horrible hacking cough for some days over an hour. I would be coughing up clear mucus from my lungs. You cough so much that your entire stomach and back are so sore from the constant coughing that sometimes it hurts just to breathe.
As the days went on, the hacking cough turned into hovering over the toilet and throwing up the clear mucus. Most days, I was so exhausted from my morning coughing spell that I would lay in bed until around noon. I would then force myself to get up and make my way to the den where I would spend the rest of my day sitting up in my chaise and falling in and out of sleep while battling my fever and constant headaches.
One of the worst parts of coronavirus, at least for me, was the constant headaches. I would alternate between Tylenol and Ibuprofen to help control my fever. By the time night came, I would once again have a hacking cough and would throw up clear mucus before bed. It got to the point where I would dread to go to bed at night because I knew what the morning would bring.
When you move from day eight to nine to ten, you begin to wonder how long this could last. At this point, I was looking forward to the two to three hours each day I felt “well” enough to sit up and watch TV, but, most days, I didn’t even have the strength to do that.
Today is day 13 since I first began coughing and 11 days since I began running a fever. Needless to say, it’s been a very long two weeks and I can tell you, this is a scary thing to have. There are days where you literally feel like your body is too weak to go on.
While I know there are many people who have had and will have this worse than I, I wanted to share my story to hopefully encourage you all to take this seriously and to stay home. Hopefully, I’m now on the upswing and my fever stays away. I’m hopeful the coughing and headaches will soon subside as well.
I’m confident that social distancing is the only way we are going to get control of this virus and stop its’ spread. So I beg you, please STAY HOME, wash your hands and take this seriously! I don’t want any of you to get the virus.
Also, if you are in a position to help, then please do so. We all know someone who lives alone or who is elderly and could potentially use someone to pick up their groceries or medicine. When you’re sick with coronavirus, leaving your house is not an option. It is also nice to just have your friends check in on you to make sure you’re okay, but remember to keep a safe distance without taking unnecessary risks. Feel free to call and text friends who may be alone so they can have some sort of social interaction.
And finally, I have to take this opportunity to thank Michael Musa who has been by my side through this entire ordeal making sure I ate and kept hydrated. He has also been an angel taking care of both my dogs along with his own. There is no way I could have made it through the last 13 days without him.
I’d also like to thank my twin brother Toby and the friends who made deliveries and left them safely at my front door. To everyone who called and texted to make sure I was okay, thank you!
Again, I hope you all stay safe and can’t wait to see you at Betty’s soon for a drink or some mac & cheese bites. When this is all over, I think the way we live our lives will be a bit different, but I hope that we realize now more than ever we are all in this together. As I always say, if we aren’t here to help each other then why are we here?
Be a friend and help someone today! Stay Safe!