Reaching August of 2022 having never contracted COVID-19, I thought I might be one of the fortunate ones who was either immune, asymptomatic, or simply lucky. My parents, my sister, my husband, and many friends and relatives had already had their time. Some of them suffered through it in 2020 in pre-vaccine days and were left with terrible long-term symptoms. Watching others go through it, I was diligent about getting my Pfizer vaccine as well as my first booster shot last February. I’m thankful that I did! I do believe that my infection would have been much worse if my immune system had been unprepared.
Like many others, I truly don’t have a good idea of where I picked it up from or who gave it to me. I’m someone who has been conscientious and worn my mask indoors and in crowds (always!), but the weekend before I started noticing symptoms, I did happen to be in more crowded areas than usual. While it’s easy to place blame on being in those crowds, I was also in a doctor’s office the following Monday that had a large amount of people packed into a small waiting room. I ran errands, and I lived life. I don’t have any one situation to blame.
Day 0 (The day one first feels any symptoms)
It didn’t even register that I was getting sick. My throat felt irritated and dry at the very top as if I was constantly parched. I blamed my pollen allergies, the fact that I had consumed more caffeine than usual, and spent the day gulping down water. I felt otherwise fine.
My extreme thirst continued, and over the course of the day, I started developing a very distracting headache and felt increasingly fatigued. I skipped my usual workout of the day, and did all of my computer work from the couch. Between the fact that I am not someone who gets headaches often, and that I suddenly had a light cough out of the blue, I became a bit suspicious. I took a COVID antigen test for peace of mind – Negative. (It turned out to be too early.) Later that evening I felt a fever coming on, got into bed early, and spent the night with a temperature of around 103. I felt pretty certain that despite the negative test, it had to be COVID.
I didn’t leave my bed. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it, but the pain and pressure in my head was absolutely the most difficult symptom to deal with. I couldn’t do much other than try to sleep, keep my fever down, and wait. (Less bothersome symptoms included congestion and coughing.)
This was the first day that I tested Positive on the antigen test. It was very similar to Day 2: I stayed in my bed, kept my eyes closed, and tried to deal with the intense head pain and fever. The coughing and congestion continued on the side.
I made it from the bed to the couch! I continued to have head pain, coughing, and congestion, but the fever was tapering off which enabled me to move around a bit. There was also a very strange and almost comical 24 hour stretch around this point where I truly could not stop sneezing! I would have 10 sneezes in a row, a minute would go by, and then another 10 sneezes…They just kept coming!
I felt like I turned a small corner! I had continued head pressure, coughing, congestion, and sneezing, but at this point it began to feel more comparable to a worse-than-usual cold.
It was nearly identical to Day 5.
This was the first day I started to feel like I was getting better. I still had a slight cough and a bit of congestion, but my energy levels felt much more normal and my head was no longer bothering me.
I had a slight cough and mild congestion.
Now this was odd; 9 days in and I had a stretch of about 24 hours where I experienced some chest tightness and shortness of breath. This worried me a bit as I had not really had any symptoms like this up until this point. I briefly returned to complete bed rest until this passed.
I had a slight cough and mild congestion.
By this point, it had all been reduced to a slight cough that was only occasional and I felt mostly “recovered”!
I will of course update this page should anything change, but writing this on Day 12, I’m hopeful that despite the lingering cough (which is common from what I know) I’m out of the woods! It was a very long 11 days, but I will say this: I feel extremely thankful that I was vaccinated. Unlike so many people who I knew who got sick in 2020 without a vaccine, I did not end up in the hospital, and I did not have any life-changing side effects for the long-term (that I am aware of at this time). I will continue to get boosters as they become available in the hope that, should I ever catch another future strain of this virus, my body will be as prepared for the fight as possible!