My coronavirus experience (and why the Universe still has an amazing sense of humor)


Well, folks, I have all the symptoms. Granted, I have not been tested. This is because in the US, there are not enough tests, so they are only testing critical patients or people of importance. And, since so far, my symptoms are mild, they won’t test me. I know I could go through people that I know and get one anyway, but since I am mild, I would rather they save the limited test kits for people at high risk of complications.

I just want to let everyone know what it FEELS like because it is vastly different from any illness I have ever felt and very different from the flu. My first symptoms were a low-grade fever, a general achiness, especially in my upper body, and the feeling like one of my cats had decided to burrow into my chest and curl up directly on my lungs. I haven’t had trouble breathing, but feel a tightness and a weight on my lungs. It felt very different from bronchitis or an anxiety attack, both of which I have experienced.

Next, I started to cough. A dry, unproductive cough. So far, sore throat lozenges have helped some with this. Also, this morning I woke up with a headache that felt like a cap was on my entire head and gently squeezing all of my head at once. Again, I have never felt a headache like this, and I have had my fair share, including a particularly nasty bout with daily migraines for a while. In my lungs, I now have the sensation of there being a bit of something tar-like in the bottom of my lungs. I am quite sure that is not medically what is happening, I am just giving what it feels like in my body. I am having to take the stairs (I live in a three story townhome) a little slower than my normal sprinting up them. Strangely enough, my appetite is not effected at all. Everything still sounds good and tastes good.

Again, these are mild symptoms. At this time, I have nothing to be worried about. I am in contact with my doctor. I am constantly monitoring my temperature, keeping hydrated, drinking warm liquids, resting, eating well, and regularly taking vitamin C and acetaminophen. Which leads me to the humor of the Universe…..

Last week, I heard that if you do test positive for COVID-19, you should take acetaminophen instead of ibuprofen. So, out of an abundance of caution, I went to the pharmacy to get some. Apparently, everyone else had gotten the memo first and all they had left was cherry flavored liquid. Ewwwwww……

So, here’s the backstory of my hatred of ANYTHING cherry flavoured. When I was 13, my best friend was spending the night and we were home alone. My parents had gone to a big Fur Rendezvous party (like Mardi Gras and a 12 day state fair combined in the Alaskan snow) with a bus load of their friends and left us normally good girls at home, alone. Well, my parents had a very large bar since they entertained extensively. And, being teenagers, we decided we wanted to be grown up and drink. However, we didn’t want my folks to know (duh…), so we mixed everything in the liquor cabinet with cherry Coke, so they couldn’t tell anything was missing from the bottles. Vile, but alcoholic, and we got VERY drunk and, unsurprisingly, very sick. We tried, unsuccessfully, to pass it off as the flu. To this day, even smelling cherry flavoured things takes me back to it.

The next morning, instead of grounding me, my Dad got me up early to go muck horse stalls. It worked. I didn’t get drunk again until I was 26 years old. I didn’t even drink again in high school, unless it was with my family.

So, now when I take the medicine that is keeping my fever at bay, helping my body to heal and allowing me to sleep at night, I have a reminder to be deeply grateful for it. In my gag reflex, I laugh and smile at the irony of this being my medicine. And, in that gratitude and laughter, is the true medicine.

Although, I still don’t think I will ever LIKE cherry flavour!!

Stay well and tell those you love how much and why you love them.

I love all of you.

Kimberli

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