Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper writes I Had Covid for 17 Days. Here’s What It Was Like.
A lot of folks are out there saying that COVID is a myth, that viruses don’t exist (wth?), or that the whole pandemic has been a scam. While I strongly disagree with the lockdowns and restrictions on our ability to make a living, there truly is a pretty bad virus out there. And I know this from personal experience.
I had Covid and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. It was brutal and I had what would be considered a “moderate” case. This article isn’t meant to be used as medical advice or political fodder. This isn’t a treatise about a magical cure being kept secret by Big Pharma nor is it about the Deep State, some villain who cooked up a bioweapon, or any other theory du jour. My medical and treatment choices may be different than yours. I’m simply relating my experiences.
This virus hits people very differently. If you were fortunate enough to have a mild case, don’t disregard your next door neighbor who ends up with permanent organ damage. Some people are asymptomatic, some have minor symptoms, some are moderately ill, and some die. This is definitely not “just the flu” for many people. I never had a case of influenza that took me down like this, particularly not for this length of time.
I don’t think that there is a “typical” case of Covid because there are so many variables.
The only thing notable about the week before I began to have symptoms was an insatiable thirst. This hasn’t been mentioned in any of the literature that I’ve read but anecdotally, several other people I spoke with who had a case lasting a few weeks agreed that they’d never had a thirst quite like it.
I generally drink 4 liters of water per day. I was up to 6 liters a day (that’s a gallon and a half of water!) as well as electrolyte beverages and still I felt parched. I was waking up in the middle of the night and guzzling a water bottle. It was a little weird but I didn’t think too much of the sudden dehydration.
How it started
First of all, to answer the inevitable question, I have no idea how I got Covid. I work from home. I have been following the local rules and staying on my property aside from trips to the grocery store. I haven’t been to any gatherings, I wear a mask as required by regulations in the city where I’m staying, and I wash my hands at the appropriate times.
As far as risk factors go, I have mild asthma, the cough variant kind, where instead of wheezing I sound like I’m dying of bronchitis. I’m pretty fit and active and walk 3-5 hilly miles most days, rain or shine, so my lung capacity is good and I don’t get winded going up hills or stairs, generally speaking. I’m 51 and could probably stand to lose about 20 pounds but I have no health issues for which I require regular medication. I rarely eat processed food, get plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and limit caffeine to one (okay two) cups of coffee per day.
Day 1: On Monday, the 7th, I started feeling kind of “off” for lack of a better word. I was tired – very, very tired – and I went to bed ridiculously early, at 7 o’clock because I just couldn’t keep my eyes open.
Day 2: When I woke up on Tuesday, I realized that I was sick and brushed it off as the flu or a cold. I figured a day with chicken soup, peppermint tea, and a nip of Jack Daniels for a stubborn cough would have me right as rain in no time. At that point, my symptoms were a dry cough, body aches, a very mild sore throat, and an all-encompassing fatigue. Later in the day, I got so cold that no amount of blankets and heat could warm me up. I was running a high (for me) fever that kept going up during the night.
What it was like to have Covid
Days 3-5: Over the next three days, chills and fever were almost constant. My joints and muscles hurt. Getting up to go to the bathroom felt like an expedition up a mountain. I was tired and winded. I had very little appetite and even less of an inclination to cook food so I existed mostly on peanut butter and crackers and leftover soup. I was absolutely exhausted and so cold that I shivered violently when I got out from under my bed piled high with blankets. I had super-weird dreams. My cough worsened, my head hurt, and my throat was still mildly sore.
I drank lots of water and electrolyte beverages. My thirst remained unquenchable regardless of how much I drank. I took vitamins (C, D3) and took Zinc supplements. These are my regular supplements but I doubled that.
Days 6-9: The line to get a test at the local clinic was long and filled with people who were coughing up a lung. There was no way I’d be able to stand in that line for an hour, as sick as I felt. Besides, I figured if I didn’t have Covid, I’d get it standing in the line so I opted not to be tested.
This part made me think of the worst case of the flu I ever had, except intensified by about four times. It was terrible.
I usually let a fever run its course but by Saturday I felt so awful that I gave in and began treating symptoms. My normal temp is in the 96s and my temperature throughout these days stayed between 101-103. I staggered ibuprofen and acetaminophen, and I also used a mild muscle relaxant and my Ventilyn inhaler. The meds didn’t get rid of my fever but reduced the chills to a tolerable level. I slept almost around the clock, waking up for a couple of hours here and there to check on website stuff. Fortunately, I have a wonderful team who kept things running for us. One day blurred into the next and I considered going to the doctor again, but couldn’t muster the energy. I felt like if I just got a little more sleep I’d be okay.
My cough was getting far worse and now my ribs and abdominal muscles hurt. It was a deep painful cough that caused me to clutch my chest every single time inhaled deeply.
Day 10: I woke up feeling slightly better. My fever had finally completely broken and I was no longer feeling chilled to the bone. My cough, however, was even worse than before and I recognized the wheezing sound that meant I was headed for a bout of pneumonia. I’ve got mild asthma and quite often upper respiratory issues end up with pneumonia for me so I know the signs. I upped the vitamin C and hoped for the best.
Day 11: I hadn’t been drinking coffee, just peppermint tea and I was really looking forward to a delicious cup of coffee now that I was feeling better. Unfortunately, the Keurig at the rental where I’m staying seemed to be putting out tinted water. I was bummed that the coffee was bad but I just refilled my water bottle and went on with my morning.
My cough was horrible. I decided that I’d put it off for as long as was safe and that I was going to need a steroid inhaler to heal my lungs. I planned to visit the doctor as soon as I finished my morning work on the website. I made myself some toast with peanut butter to eat before I left because there’s nothing worse than going to the doctor hungry and grouchy. I was texting with my friend while eating and thought, “This tastes awful. Why is my toast so bland and sweet? Ohhhhhhhhhh…….”
I had lost my sense of taste. I could pick up slightly sweet or slightly salty flavors but that’s it. Eating only sweet or salty styrofoam is probably the most effective diet ever…(continues)