Hi everyone. If you subscribe to our (weekly) Sunday newsletter than you know I shared yesterday that I have been sick for last ten days with what could possibly be the Covid-19 virus.
This is not medical advice, simply my experience I decided to share. Your doctor is as always your best source of information about your health.
To be very clear, I have not been tested for the Covid virus so I am operating under an assumption from my symptoms that it is likely what I have. I was told “You can come in but your fever isn’t high enough so they probably won’t test you”. They clarified that based on my symptoms and the lack of available tests that I should stay home, quarantine and recover unless I got worse. Since there isn’t any difference in treatment even if I had a positive test result (and we’re taking all the precautions anyway), I followed this advice.
Also, I should mention that because of health issues in our family we self-quarantined very early, around March 14th. Outside of the few errands I absolutely had to do, I haven’t been out and about at all. How I contracted this is somewhat of a mystery especially since I am a fanatic about hand-sanitizing, disinfecting our home and such but despite all my best efforts I still was somehow infected with this very Covid-esque virus. Thankfully at this point nobody else in my household has gotten sick.
My symptoms started with a minor scratchy throat about 5 days before I really got sick, at the time I attributed it to allergies. A few days after I found I had a day with really bad lyme symptoms, which isn’t typical for me at this point in my treatment but then the next day after I felt fine again.
Then I woke up on Thursday, April 2nd and was hit with fatigue so intense I couldn’t get out of bed. I had a low-grade fever, body aches (unbelievable body aches), loss of taste and smell, a headache and some tightness in my chest with episodes of (thankfully minor) shortness of breath, these have all continued on and off since then. Some days I sleep most of the day, other days I feel like I am getting better and don’t sleep well at all. The symptoms come and go, one day I’ll think I am feeling better then the next day it’s right back to square one.
My husband has done a great job managing to work, hold down the household stuff and take care of me. My kids are older too, and they have been a great help since I have been quarantined in my bedroom now for almost two weeks. They bring me meals and are helping out with all the house stuff. You can be sure we’re taking extra care with hand sanitizing, wearing masks, and doing anything we can to contain the illness.
I want to share with you all a few things I have learned about what to do if you are infected, what precautions to take right now even if you aren’t, and how to support someone you know if they are sick.
First, though I wanted to say that while the symptoms of this disease are rotten, I think the worst part about it is the fear. Not knowing how severe it would be, if I’d need hospitalization, if I’d inadvertently passed it along to someone, all those thoughts are never far away and it makes this illness that much harder.
So—from my experience, here are a few (important) things you can do right now to help stay well and be prepared in the unfortunate situation you don’t:
1- Take 1000 mg of Vitamin C each day. You can also take 30 mg of Zinc, these will help boost your immune system. D3 is also recommended by some practicioners.
2— Stock up on gatorade, mineral water, and most importantly A PULSE OXIMETER. If there was one thing that I could say really helped it was being able to monitor my blood oxygen level. Rather then wondering if I was getting enough air (when I didn’t feel like I was) I could quickly check my levels. I was so fortunate, when they dipped they always came back up to a safe range shortly after. I’d probably have gone to the emergency room in panic several times had I not had this on hand to reassure me I was OK. I know these are in short supply, but if you get sick you will be so glad to have this. I was fortunate we already had an inexpensive one, it worked fine.
3—Prepare some soups and such (with bone broth if you can, it is good for the immune system) and freeze them. My husband had his hands full feeding everyone else so it was good to have a few easy things frozen soups that he could just heat up for me. I regret now I didn’t have even more stocked away. I’d never given thought to what we’d need for a 14+ day illness prior to this, I’ll be prepared differently from here on out for sure.
4—Stock up on paper plates, cups, and utensils if you can, this is another one of my regrets, that we didn’t have enough of some of these things on hand. This way there is less handling of the contaminated dishes and I could just toss them away in a dedicated trash bag in my room.
5—Buy a whole house air purifier I know this is a pricey recommendation, but this winter we added an Air Oasis Air Purifier (we have the Nano Induct) to our furnace (to help my son’s asthma and based on the recommendation of my lyme doctor to eliminate any mold) and I think this minimized germs in our air, and even a portable one will help. I also opened my window in my room every chance I got for air circulation.
What to do you are sick—
Most importantly stay in touch with your doctor and follow his or her direction. Here are some of the things that I felt like have helped me.
I take a 1000 mg of a high-potency vitamin C supplement daily, this C-Max was recommended by a pharmacist.
I drank at least two and sometimes more, mugs of hot water with lemon or green tea with lemon throughout the day.
I tried (as best I could) to eat really, really healthy food when I ate. A good part of the time I had no appetite but during those times my daughter made me smoothies with fruits and greens so my body was still getting the nutrition it needed. You can prepare packets of the smoothie ingredients and freeze them ahead of time to make this easy if you need them.
My lyme doctor (Also the director of Integrative Medicine at a major DC University) recommended I use Transdermal Glutiathione as it is a big-time immune booster. You can buy this over the counter as it is good for your skin too. This spray is quickly absorbed though your skin and it helps your immune system go into overdrive.
Drink Fluids –I drank Gatorade during my worst days, though it isn’t the best choice with all the sugar it has but it does make a difference when you are very dehydrated. I also drank mineral water. Dr. Patel told me this virus doesn’t like moisture so the more hydrated you are the less hospitable your system is to it. Mineral water is preferred to plain water as it contains calcium, magnesium and such and keeps you hydrated longer.
Stay off the news and be careful with social media. I needed the distraction of social media but found it also made me more anxious depending on the type of posts. The posts I appreciated the most were the funny ones! The posts I appreciated the least as you can imagine were the sharing of death, doom and gloom.
What to do if you know someone who is sick—
Pray for them. This mattered so much to me, during the times when I was the most worried and my breathing was feeling challenging I felt like I could feel friends supporting me in prayer.
Reach out to them. One of my good friends texted me literally every morning and many days again at night. She simply just said “how are you doing today?” Or “how are you feeling?” It was even ok when she said to me “I am worrying about you”—this is a very isolating disease as you can imagine, being quarantined in a room for weeks, so when someone reached out to me it really, really lifted me up. Also, one of my neighbors texted us every time she went to the store to see what we needed, these people are pure gold.
If you can cook, drop something off. While my kids are good with eating chicken strips or frozen pizza (my husband’s cooking specialities) that wasn’t what I needed to recover. Thankfully my amazing mom dropped of a large gluten-free pasta dish along with a huge salad. I was able to live off that without any extra effort on my husband’s part and I felt so much better about what I was eating. The food was very much appreciated.
Phew—I am sure I will think of more to say but I am tired. If this is helpful, be sure to read Christy’s cousin Stephanie’s blog post sharing her experience here, it is more technical since she is a medical professional and she’s far more eloquent than I am in sharing her experience.
In the meantime, obviously—STAY HOME! It goes without saying that a few more weeks at home are well worth avoiding this and to help protect those people caring for the most ill. The medical professionals risking exposure to this have my utmost admiration. Never, never take your health for granted!
Finally, I am very very grateful that I likely have what is termed a “minor” case of this virus, it is not lost on me that I am fortunate compared to so many others suffering with this. I am so very thankful for this. While I am not at the end of it yet, I still have more days of isolation and expect, from what I have read and heard, it will be a while yet before I am fully recovered. Thank you for reading, while I’m more comfortable writing about the lighter side of life I believe that God has brought these health-related storms into my life for a reason, so maybe my experiences will help someone else.
And of course, now as my son Jack told me “Now Mom, you can say you had Corona with Lyme”…There is that.
(My Lyme Story is here)
Part 2– following up to this post is here for another update.
Stay well friends!XO,
Oh my word, so glad you are feeling better. This stuff is so serious. Stay well and safe.
Thank you Marty, I appreciate it! XO, Amy
Good to hear that you are feeling better and will hopefully each day.
One of my brothers was in the hospital in Europe with it. He was released on Saturday. Received an email from him stating that taking in a deep breath has never been so gratifying. He was unable to see his wife and boys (who are college age) as they were unable to go to the hospital. It was thought that they had mild cases. My mother (who is in her mid late 80’s) was concerned about her son. All of her kids (there are 7 of us) are concerned about her because she has serious heart health issues.
That is wonderful that your husband was attentive to you and your needs.
What a saying that your son had about the fact that you had Corona with Lyme.
Continued healing and best health for the future.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience here with us. I found so little information about what to do at home if you actually are sick with it and this helps. I’ve made notes so I won’t forget. I pray you continue to feel better and that your family remains well. Take care and God bless!
So very glad to hear you’re recovering. As a nurse this is something that has been recommended to us by respirologists to check your lungs. Cheaper than a pulse oximeter too.
Simply take a deep breath in, hold it and count to 30. If you can do 30 you’re good, if you struggle to get to 10 you need medical care.
Hope this helps
My Mom told me about that test last night. Great tip, thanks for sharing!
Thank you also for all your are doing for those who are sick, we are keeping all the healthcare workers in our prayers.
Thank you for sharing your story. Hope you are back to good health soon. (Jack is hilarious! )
Jack is always my comic relief! Thank you so much, hope you all stay well. XO
Amy, thank you for sharing your story. Although I am not a mom, and yet read your concerns about not having this or that in the house while you are sick. Friend, you make me smile knowing a mom is always a mom – doesn’t matter if she’s sick or not. My own mom could be the same way. =) Thoughts and prayers that you continue to stay healthy and well!!
Thank you for your kinds words–I really lucky am lucky I have such a great support system at home. I hope you stay well too! Xo, Amy
Thank you for your honest sharing. Praying for a full recovery and that the rest of the family stays healthy.
Thank you Kathy, your prayers are appreciated. XO, Amy
Lou E Gipson says
I found this post most helpful with honest , down to earth responses and suggestions.
I am following all the CDC guidelines for self quarantining at home.
I am single, live alone, and am the senior group with immune compromised conditions.
Again, thanks for your honesty..
Praying for you, me and everyone for this virus to end..
#stayingathome #stayinghealthy #weareinthistogether
Thank you so much for your note. Early on when I was trying to find info about what to expect I found a wonderful news story about a 95 year old gentleman who had just been released from the hospital after being treated for Covid. I think it was on Fox News? It inspired me that if he was OK I’d be OK! He also said he never lost his positive attitude, and it helped him recover. I loved his story. Stay well and you are right to be very careful, we all hope this will end soon. Amy
I’m sure this post will help many others. I’m about to order the Vitamin C myself! I am praying that you will feel better every day and that the rest of your family will stay well.
Thank you, that is so kind of you. I hope you stay well! XO, Amy
Susan Jackson says
I’m so glad to hear that you are recovering! Sending lots of blessings and good wishes for continued healing and energy. And I love the Corona and Lyme comment – we HAVE to keep our senses of humor or we’re all sunk!! xoxo
Thank you and you are so right, laughing helps so much during this time. Stay well! XO, Amy
So very sorry to hear you have the virus but thankful you’re beginning to recover. Thanks for sharing your story..
Thank you for the good wishes, I hope you stay well! XO, Amy
Monica Cooney says
Happy to hear you are recovering! I have had the same experience. Started with a headache, I never get headaches. Next was the fever. Lots of chills and just moving was painful. My Dr said the same as yours. I should be fine, please stay home and call if I felt the shortness of breath. I was home alone, husband was traveling, and kind of glad for that. Had someone put Gatorade on my porch and that was a big help. Thankfully I am recovered, the dry throat persisted the longest. I just read an article this morning about zinc being good to fight the virus. Stay healthy and I hope your family stays healthy.
Thank you for sharing your experience Monica. I think this is more common than anyone realizes, there are many people sick but not getting tested and included in the ‘counts’. I am very glad to hear you are recovered (that is so encouraging!), I am very glad that you are doing well. XO, Amy
Rebecca Purdie says
I’m glad you are feeling better. This virus is no joke. Please take care of yourself.
You are definitely right about that. Thank you Rebecca, please take care of yourself. XO, Amy
Darrah Osgood says
I am so glad that you are on the mend! Please keep resting. I look forward to your blog each week. I feel as though I had the covid 19 virus in December as well. I had traveled to visit my family after Thanksgiving I had the same symptoms, chest heaviness, hard time breathing and no appetite and a I couldn’t hear from one ear. I tested negative for the flu and a chest x-ray showed pneumonia. I took antibiotics but also on my own took zinc and vitamin C and I really did not feel well until a month later. I am patiently waiting to be tested for the antibody. Two local Hospitals are offering it for those that tested positive and hopefully in two weeks for those who think they had it. I would love to donate my plasma if helps others. Please take care of yourself.
HI Darrah, Thank you for sharing, I will be anxiously awaiting the antibody test as well. I hope they have it out soon, it’s valuable information for sure. I am glad you have recovered, please take care. Amy
Diane Blackwell says
Hi Amy! So sorry to hear that you are sick. Thank you for sharing this good advice and info with us. I read that you can get a Covid test now at Piedmont Urgent Care on Blackwell Road. It’s a drive-thru facility.
I’ve self guaranteed since March 6 with my daughter who has an autoimmune disorder. We’ll get through this. spring has been so beautiful here in Warrenton.
Hi Diane, thanks for the note and I am sorry for the delay in responding, it has been up and down this last week. Piedmont was actually who told me early on I wouldn’t qualify for a test (before they started the drive up), though I could have gotten one later in my illness there I’m pretty sure. I hope you and your daughter are holding up OK and that you both stay well. XO, Amy
I’m so glad you’re recovering as well. My friend’s daughter has a case exactly like yours and quarantined in her bedroom. Her husband is working from home and she has a 4 yr old and a 2 yr old. By God’s design, her mom was in the midst of a move and came to stay with her until she closed on her new home so she is still there to take care of the children while hubby works. She said exactly the same thing you said about it. She has about another week of quarantine then she can come out. It’s an awful virus and all we can do is pray for our loved ones and those we know who have it. So, so happy you’re on the mend.
Thank you Nita. I hope that your friend’s daughter is doing better. I wonder how people who are sick can care for their kids, I am so fortunate that mine are of the age where they can fend for themselves. It is a hard time for many, we all need to keep praying for sure. Take care, Amy
Amy, It’s so good to hear you’re doing better!Thanks so much for taking the time to write this post, so much great information. Sending goo vibes your way girl. ❤️
Thank you Cristina, I appreciate it so much. Stay well! XO, Amy
Heidi Colton says
Oh Amy. Thank God you had a mild case. Given your history, that is a blessing. I will pray for your continued recovery.
Thank you Heidi, hope you are staying well and I truly appreciate the prayers. XO, Amy
Tina Kreisher says
Amy, I am so sorry you have been through this. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. I knew something was wrong when your Mom did not join our K-street Zoom fest. Your advice is stellar, your optimistic outlook is inspiring, and Jack’s quip is very funny. Stay well, Tina
Hi Tina, I hope you are all staying well. Thank you for the kind thoughts, I hope she can connect with you next time, I love that the neighborhood is still in such good touch! XO, Amy
Patty Morris says
Amy, so sorry to hear of your illness. I will be praying for speedy recovery. “By Jesus’ wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:17)
May the Lord encourage and strengthen you. Speak healing to your body, quote heeling scriptures and watch things turn around. Much love to you, Patty
I think you are so right! Thank you for the inspiration and the prayers. Have a lovely day, Amy
Peggy Langenfeld says
sending prayers and good wishes. Thank you for taking the time to help others. I have ordered a few items you suggested that I did not have. Also, I love your blog I am always excited to see what you and Christy have to share.
Thank you Peggy, so kind of you. Please stay well. XO, Amy
Our family has health issues also, our son is a T1 Diabetic and I have cured Lyme. we stayed home early also. my 91 yr old mom is an amputee in a full time care facility. she was hospitalized 12 days ago and has COVID 19. I can’t see or talk to her and she’s now in Hospice. Our son lost his job & came to stay with us about 5 weeks ago. He went home last week and now he’s sick. we think it’s a cold. we hope. My brother was diagnosed and had cancer surgery just weeks before the outbreak. He & his wife are holed up in a hotel outta state while he undergoes 2 months of infusion treatments. I wish people would stay home and wear mask and gloves when they’re out, it’s such a simple thing and seems SO selfish not to bother. Not everyone has symptoms. May God Bless you as you recuperate and strengthen your body and protect your family.
I am so sorry to hear what your family is going through. It is such a hard time for so many, thank you for sharing. We will keep them all in our prayers. XO, Amy