Well, it happened. We got Covid-19.
I know this isn’t the type of post I usually share, but, as this virus continues to spread with little resistance and abundant misinformation in the United States, it’s something that’s going to happen to more and more people, unfortunately, including our readers.
And if our experience can do anything to help you prepare or provide care to loved ones who have it, at least it will have served a purpose.
So, today, I’m sharing about our Covid-19 experience. If you have any additional questions, please let me know in the comments. I’m going to share another post soon about ways to help if someone you know has Covid-19, too, so that we can all care for each other and make this difficult season a little easier.
Of course, I can only share from our experience, so that’s exactly what I’m sharing. This is not medical advice and should not be seen as such.
We look back on this period and honestly can’t believe it—we basically lost two weeks of our lives in a blink. I think it might be helpful to give a snapshot of the timeline of events so you can see where those two weeks went and how everything happened:
Saturday- Dustin starts coughing, a few times during the day but more that night.
Sunday- Dustin develops a fever, we begin quarantine, Dustin gets a Covid test.
Monday-My symptoms start.
Wednesday- Dustin’s Covid-19 test comes back positive.
Friday-I get a Covid test.
Sunday- Dustin is admitted to the hospital, my Covid-19 test comes back negative. (We believe this was a false negative.)
Wednesday- Dustin comes home from the hospital.
Monday- We try to return to normal life and need a nap by 3pm.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
Symptom-wise, both of us started experiencing symptoms with just a couple coughs throughout the day—it would definitely have been easy to ignore or brush off as allergies. But, for each of us, the coughing increased quite dramatically within 24 hours.
From there, Dustin got a fever, headache, fatigue, and body aches. At one point his fever got up to 105, but mostly we kept it around 100 with showers and Tylenol. We took his temp a lot and thought that was our main issue until breathing troubles started.
I never had a fever but my main symptoms were coughing and fatigue. I also had a headache, but mostly was just exhausted. We’re talking slept for 10 hours and needed a nap. (I called Dustin a babydoll because every time he would lay down, he’d fall asleep.)
So, did we know it was Covid-19 right away? No, but we quarantined anyway just in case. And, when Dustin lost his sense of taste we pretty much knew that it was Covid-19.
My test did come back negative, but incidence of false negatives seems pretty high. Because I’d been exposed to him and had symptoms (including losing taste for a bit), we decided to assume I had it and quarantine appropriately. I’m hoping to eventually get an antibody test to confirm that I had it and hopefully be able to donate plasma to help others recover.
We each experienced shortness of breath on our respective 8th day of symptoms, and Dustin’s doctors told him they’ve seen a lot of people admitted on Day 8 of symptoms, which we thought was interesting. Dustin’s shortness of breath was so severe we decided to bring him to the hospital.
This was the worst part of our experience and is honestly the hardest to share about. On Sunday, the 8th day of Dustin’s symptoms, he started having trouble breathing. We had a pulse oximeter, but it stopped working on Dustin so we couldn’t check his O2.
We have a dear friend who is a paramedic, and he called and talked to Dustin and then called me and said it’s time to take him in. From there, I called the hospital (if you’re bringing in a Covid-19 patient, many hospitals are asking you to call and give them a heads-up) and I talked to a phone nurse to confirm that I should bring him in.
If you are wondering if it’s time to bring a loved one to the ER or go in yourself for Covid-19, I highly recommend calling and talking to a phone nurse. Of course, when in doubt, just go in!
The symptoms she had me check were how quickly he was breathing (she timed and I counted breaths), whether he felt like he could take a deep breath, if his fingers were cold, and if his lips were blue.
He was breathing really shallowly, extremely fast, and his fingers were cold (we later found out this is why the pulse oximeter wasn’t working). She said yep, he needed to go in.
He ended up spending 3 nights in the hospital, and it was absolutely awful because they aren’t allowing visitors for Covid patients, so I couldn’t be there. Watching them wheel him away and having to drive home alone were such hard moments. I felt so guilty for leaving him, not that I had a choice.
So, how are we doing now? Much better, thankfully!
Dustin is largely recovered and back to making slow progress on projects in the basement. He just has to take extra breaks and move slowly to take care of his lungs and we’re monitoring his oxygen with a pulse oximeter. He was cleared to start working again as long as he goes slow and monitors how his lungs are feeling.
My cough seems to have settled into bronchitis so I’m still coughing and still pretty tired, but slowly getting more energy each day. I haven’t really gone back to work, but my clients have been understanding which is so nice. I’m hoping to work at least half days this week.
We’re at about week 3 of dealing with this, so if you do know anyone who goes through this or you yourself do, be patient and encourage rest and healing!
We’re both still taking Zinc, Vitamin D, and blood thinners since Covid-19 is associated with blood clots. Talk to your doctor about medications you should be taking after having Covid-19.
A Real-Life Covid-19 Story
I hope that our story was somewhat helpful or enlightening or at least can make someone feel less alone if they’re going through Covid-19. Again, my intention isn’t to make it all about us, but I can only share from our experience.
Coming soon, I’ll share the ways that people supported us and how best to help someone who gets Covid-19, from our experience.
In the meantime, if you have any questions, drop them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them.