REAL STORY: What Does Having Coronavirus (COVID- 19) Feel Like?

Coronavirus

My test coronavirus positive too and I’m in the hospital after my nurse just woke me up for a another f’ing breathing treatment (pardon my language). Simply because my O2 sat this morning was 64% and I was severely hypoxic. Feels like shards or crystals or solidified material entered my lungs, although it’s probably just the secreted fluid by the virus which caused me to have pneumonia.

The breathing feels like I’m gasping for air every second, and the chest cough broke one of my ribs it was so forceful. Aside from that, I see stars, which is another symptom of hypoxia but also could be attributed to the virus itself. To those saying it feels like a really bad cold, let me infect you and you find out if that’s true or not. (Disclaimer: I would never purposefully infect this on my worst enemy). If there’s anything else you want to know please ask! I’m in the hospital recovering from the virus, so I’m free to chat 😂

Ooooh I forgot to add one more goodie! I also experienced way more severe orthostatic hypotension than ever before. When I get up or try to get up (which the nurses won’t let me even attempt anymore) I black out right away. I cracked my lip on the bed frame. Could have been worse but now they set the bed alarm (jerks, those evil nurses are foiling my dashing escape plans!!)

Update: Thank you all for so many upvotes! Never had this many people care for me or about me! I’ve always been somewhat alone in all my battles with my health. I’ll answer some of the questions you’ve all asked to the best of my ability. So here it goes!

Q: Do you have an underlying health condition?

A: Yes, I have Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, which precipitated the quick pneumonia onset after the coronavirus took hold because I’m immunocompromised. I did get a pneumonia shot last year that may have helped to reduce the intensity of this, but I’m not entirely sure if it’s the same thing. The MS makes me weak enough as it is, combine that with corona and it becomes very deadly. That’s why I was admitted to the hospital before my corona test even came back positive.

Q: What were your initial symptoms and how long before you were hospitalized did they start?

A: I believe that I was exposed on Friday, March 13th (I know, right? 😂) because that’s the only day I left the house that week. I went to a health clinic for a completely different issue, and Sunday the 15th is when my fever rose to 101.4 F, very quickly. I still didn’t go in.

I sometimes get night fever with MS and I chalked it up to that. On Monday the 16th, I woke up gasping for air. I could not breathe and it felt like someone was sitting on my chest. I have a home pulse oximeter and my sat was around 81%. This is when I decided to go in and get tested for Coronavirus. I feel so bad for having to expose ambulance workers to my potential virus…

Q: Did you receive any drugs like hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine phosphate for treatment?

A: I just asked my nurse this and she said that it’s not on my chart as ever given to me. I’m not sure what this drug is, but one of my degrees is in psychopharmacology, not just general pharmacology. I do see it’s being used experimentally on patients with COVID-19, but I guess it’s not being used on me.

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Q: What is your age?

A: I am 33 years old.

Q: Where are you being treated at?

A: For my own personal safety and that of others, I do not wish to disclose the facility I am at, at this time. I have received some very nasty messages about my story from people online mostly that wish to silence me (or change my story) from delivering this info to you all. It seems there are certain things people don’t want you to know. I can’t really understand why.

Q: Did you travel prior to another country or fly commercially recently?

A: No, I have not.

If you have any more questions, please ask!

And something to cheer everyone up!

Coronavirus

Update 3/21 10:43pm

I started having some really bad chest pain that was a new symptom and came from nowhere. It’s on the left side and only when I breathe in. It’s making it even harder to breathe now because of that. I thought my lungs were beginning to open up but now it feels like a solid mass of something in my chest.

I do suffer from regular anxiety and I know what the chest wall pain there feels like, and this is not that. The pain shoots through my chest and into my shoulder blade. Any thoughts? I can’t see the doctor tonight, unless it becomes life-threatening. He’s too busy.

Update 3/22 2:28am

Doing a breathing treatment. Should be updating my CT with another scan later this morning. I can’t sleep at all. Mostly the prednisone which my body converts into straight up anxiety. The pain is growing in my chest and it is just bothersome enough that I can’t rest. I want to lay on my side but it pinches my IV.

Nurse said if there is solid matter in my lungs it would be bad to lay on my side anyway. She’s probably right. The only good thing right now is my cat 🐻 being here with me and binging Star Wars Clone Wars on Disney+. Thanks everyone for your phenomenal support. I will continue to keep you updated once those tests are done.

Update 3/22 6:46pm

Sorry for the delay everyone. I got a chance to get some much needed sleep today. I just kind of passed out. I was woken up a few times to watch my breathing but it looks like I’m stabilizing in terms of oxygenation. It’s not great but it’s not hypoxic like it was before. My CT showed lots of fluid in my left lung that appeared to be crystalizing. There is damage to the lung itself that may cause permanent reduction in lung function. This is all I know at this time. Thank you all for staying with me along the ride.

coronavirus

Update 3/23 2:03pm

It’s been a rough day but I think things are finally on the up. Drinking a lot of hot fluids seems to be breaking up some of the stuff in my throat and chest. It seems to be making the breathing a little easier and my oxygenation levels are higher. Not a big update right now as I’m still lax on sleep so I’m going to try to rest. I will update again a little later.

Update 3/23 10:07pm

After some much needed rest I am up and doing a breathing treatment. My saturation is up to 89% and has improved much. My temperature is at 101.2 F. It’s kind of strange. I have ice packs on my neck and forehead but hot gel packs on my chest. Interesting sensation but it’s the only things keeping the solidifying mucus at bay. My throat is very very sore and the hot fluid drinks soothes it but once it fades it seems to swell up and hurt more, I’m not sure why that is.

I’d rather have popsicles for my throat but they say that wouldn’t be good right now and just may make the mucus problem worse. So, here we are. I took my prednisone a little earlier tonight, as I requested to the doctor, so that I could maybe sleep a little better. I do feel more tired tonight, hopefully this plan will work.

I can’t thank you all enough for your overwhelming support. I was speaking to my aunt today about how without it I’m not sure I could have fared as good as I am. I tend to be a positive person but still, this was the hardest test of my life. I needed you all. Thank you so much.

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Update 3/25 4:00pm

I apologize for the lack of update yesterday… it was a day of logistical necessity and I did not have the time nor energy to post. I am at home as of today, and had to figure all of that out yesterday in terms of getting home safely. Most of the mucus has been cleared out, and it appears I am well on the mend. My fever is still present but has lowered to 100.7 F. I am going into self-isolation until it is deemed safe again, the same as everyone else. I will post another update later tonight to inform you of how I am adjusting.

Update 3/27 3:46pm

Hey everyone. Man am I exhausted! I’ve been keeping up with my breathing treatments. My fever finally broke this morning! I’m at 99.3 F! I woke up covered with sweat and that was unpleasant. Thankfully I have a part time caretaker than can help me reset everything until I’m back on my feet. O2 sat remains around 89–90% but my chest is feeling wholly lighter and airy.

I can definitely feel there is an overall loss of volume though (due to the damage?). The spirometer won’t go any higher than 350 right now. Once awhile back I had pneumonia like this and it took my fever to get back into the 600 range on the spirometer. Thanks everyone for sticking with me! I hope those worse than I that needed ventilators are going to pull through, we all need your love and support right now. Thank you!

Update 3/28 5:26pm

Hey everyone! Doing good here. I’m finally done with the regimen of prednisone and have been able to get some decent sleep. I’m highly exhausted even just getting up but I know that will get better with time. Losing lung capacity, I never realized how debilitating it can be. Makes me really feel for the people that have lung cancer and stuff. I never understood how that could feel until now. It’s humbling, actually.

I’ve been spending my time doing things that aren’t too strenuous like drawing on my iPad Pro and talking with friends over PS4 chat. Everyone has been so unbelievably supportive and I can’t begin to thank you all enough. It’s strange to see that 17,800 strangers have got my back.

It keeps me going strong though. O2 sat remains between 86-89%. My pulse has been quite tachycardic but I know that’s just a symptom of having not enough oxygen flow. I’m developing a bit of a headache so I’m going to turn off screens and cover my windows for now. Thanks again everyone, not sure I could have done as well as I did without you.

Here’s something I drew, just in case anyone wants to see!

coronavirus

Update 3/29 10:00pm

So, I’ve been told by my doctor that I’m going to probably suffer from limited lung capacity for the rest of my natural life. Right now I’m at about 65% of where my lung capacity should be. It wasn’t 100% before because I do have Reactive Airway Disease, usually more prominent in kids but adults can have it too.

It’s a specific type of asthma that reduces lung function as a result of specific triggers. For me, those triggers are cold air, cigarette smoke, and candidiasis. Unfortunately I’ve had oral thrush more times than I can count because I always forget to rinse after using Pulmicort, which is known to cause candidiasis if you don’t rinse. Shame on me I suppose. So I guess I’m not alone when it comes to making bad decisions about my health.

Fortunately (and unfortunately) for me, I have to stop taking a corticosteroid because it has been demonstrated to make COVID-19 stronger. I have to remember, I’m still infected. Just because I’m home doesn’t mean it’s over. I have a feeling I’ll be fighting for the next few years to get back to a semblance of normality.

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Emergency update 3/30 1:50am

I am not feeling good. My fever has spiked back to 102.2 F and there’s a hard spot, or so it feels, in my lungs and it is causing a world of pain. I did everything by the book. I really hope these symptoms aren’t reasserting themselves and relapsing back. My breathing is shit and when I breathe in I feel like there is a mass in my lung or bronchial tube. Here’s the difference, this hurts way more!! What should I do people? I’m honestly thinking of going into the ER because this is making it really hard to breathe. Ideas?

Emergency Update 3/30 8:25pm

Well, I’m back in the ICU. The pain is horrible this time around, I don’t know why it’s worse. I’m going to be put on a ventilator for the time being. The thought scares the absolute f*ck out of me. This will happen in less than an hour. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to post updates as a result. I’ll also be put on a nasogastric tube to eat and drink since I’ll be intubated. They say that I’ll be quite sedated, we shall see. It takes a lot to sedate me these days. One other thing to add.

A lot of you are asking me to request the current popular treatment for COVID-19 which was just emergency approved by the FDA, hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin. I’ll say once more that I am allergic to macrolide and ketolide antibiotics, of which Zithromax is. As a result, I cannot have this treatment. I’m also hesitant to even consider the chloroquine because of the horror stories I’ve heard in the past few weeks. Unless I’m about to die, I’m not sure I’m going to risk it. I’m counting on the doctor to find an alternate route. I’m sorry to have brought this terrible news to you all after what looked like a stunning victory.

Update 3/31 12:51am

I have some good news! Prior to ordering a ventilator, we did another CT scan to see how my lungs were doing. It showed an overall reduction in mucus buildup but did show that my lungs were quite damaged. The doctor believes that this is what’s responsible for the intense pain and not having another buildup of mucus in them. My heart is healthy, though highly tachycardic. They gave me 4mg of hydromorphone and 5mg of diazepam to help with the pain and calm me down, as my anxiety was really really high. So for now, no ventilator. Just oxygen, pain and anxiety control, and mucinex/antibiotic mix to continue reducing the buildup. I feel like I dodged a huge bullet.

Update 3/31 10:24pm

Hey everyone. It’s been a somber day. I’ve mostly been heavily sedated to help the pain from the damage this atrocious virus has caused. I can’t do a big update, can barely keep my eyes open. They’re keeping me comfortable but closely watching my breathing to make sure I’m not over-sedated. Thank you all for your continued support. I’ll update again tomorrow.

Update 4/1 11:12am

I’m trying to update because you asked, Cem (Jim) Onur. So this one is for you. It takes a lot out of me, so I apologize if I kept everyone on edge waiting. Right now the doctor is doing everything she can to just keep me stable. I’m on oxygen right now and on stable pain control.

It’s a battle of just trying to keep a balance between the pain and oxygen so one doesn’t get too bad. I’m not a risk for death anymore, so we can all rejoice in that. Not unless I overdose but they are monitoring me heavily for signs of over-sedation. This is all that can be done for the time being. Thank you all for sticking with me during this hard time for all of us

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