Updated: Aug 4, 2020
Let's cut to the chase...Yes, I had COVID-19. However, I don't want anyone to jump to conclusions about me being young and careless or whatever it is that may cross your mind. I was not going out to the bars or participating in mass events or leisurely disregarding the importance of masks or hand sanitizer. I actually had been up north surrounded by just my family when several of us fell sick shortly after. I was doing my best to take all the necessary precautions. I knew how devastated I would be if I was a carrier and spread it to my family somehow, especially my dad being high risk with some underlying conditions.
I thought to myself, how do I make my experience with this awful virus something positive? First, I have had heartwarming quality time with my loved ones, I can now donate plasma (People who have fully recovered from COVID-19 have antibodies in their plasma that can attack the virus. This convalescent plasma is being evaluated as treatment for patients with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections, or those judged by a healthcare provider to be at high risk of progression to severe or life-threatening disease. -American Red Cross) and I will definitely be doing that, but I can also just let others know what we all experienced since this is still such a foreign virus, we are all learning about and navigating every day.
Unfortunately my dad, sister, brother, boyfriend and I all tested positive for COVID-19.
I wanted to share with everyone what our unique experiences were as many of our friends and family have been curious as to how we progressed with the virus. We also cover a wide age and health range. My dad being 66 (high risk), sister 38, brother 34, boyfriend 30 and myself 24. And I can't forget about my angel mother who is also a nurse (Bless her heart) taking care of everyone. She tested negative two times even after being surrounded by COVID-19 positive patients in our household for weeks.
Day 1 and 2 - I was convinced I had a nasty head cold, just super congested, but this was happening in the heat of summer...who gets a cold in summer? My boyfriend thought the same...we didn't think we had COVID-19, that is for sure. BUT we were seeing our parents and grandparents and we just felt 'off' so to be cautious we thought we should get tested before hand. I thought part of these two days I was having hot flashes, but now looking back I realize my body must have been breaking a fever.
We all experienced a variance of having a fever, chills, shortness of breath, a cough, headaches and congestion in the first few days. Major fatigue had set in for all of us and continued into the next weeks. We all began to hydrate constantly, take vitamin C and zinc daily.
I lost all taste and smell completely. This lasted for around 11 days and I now have around 80% of it back.
Most research shows this happens primarily in younger females.
My sister and brother both experienced loss of taste and smell, but for a much shorter duration of about 4 days.
Mine and my brother's congestion began to get better with help from mucinex.
My brother and boyfriend had bad muscle aches and pains. There were several days where I experienced waking up very sore.
Headaches were frequent for my sister and I.
In this timeframe, my brother and sister lost their taste and smell.
Loss of appetite was prevalent in myself, my dad, brother and sister. This lead to nausea and weakness from not being able to get as many nutrients into our body as we all needed.
My dad and I experienced dizziness almost everyday.
Day 6 and beyond
Many experts say that once you hit day 5 or 6 you either take a turn for the better or worse.
My brother, boyfriend and I had all started to feel as though we were at least on the upward spiral. There was an end in sight for us.
My dad and sister had a bit of a different story. My mother monitored my dad and sister very closely, checking their pulse ox, and blood pressure numerous times throughout the day.
After my dad's blood pressure had been repeatedly low we began to get more concerned. He had a terrible episode where he was passing out right in front of my mom. We then got him into the hospital for a few days. They were able to regulate his blood pressure and assist in his path to recovery. However, they found he had pneumonia in one lung. This eventually was treated.
My sister proceeded to go to the hospital a few days following as her cough had not been getting better. After a chest x-ray, they found she had bilateral pneumonia.
After some antibiotics both cases were treated.
Just when we thought we were all about to be back to normal....even my dad had two of his best days...we woke up suddenly having to call an ambulance to our home, my dad was having a TIA (mini stroke). After being admitted to the hospital they found that it was also from having COVID-19.
For anyone still afraid to go about normal life, I understand completely. To those who want to wear masks I understand, to those who don't want to wear masks, I also understand.
I truly believe we are all within 10 feet from this virus throughout our daily routines.
When we presume normal activities with other's from outside our bubbles, we are all assuming the risk that there is a possibility to contract this virus. I hope shedding light on our experiences as a family will help anyone still nervous, curious or confused about this bizarre virus to understand how it affects everyone so differently. Most importantly, I hope everyone stays safe, takes precautions, but also lives and enjoys their lives.
Your Girl Next Door and So Much More,