You lock your door and set your alarm, but sometimes a thief still breaks in.
Like I said in this post, we began self-isolation on March 15th in our hometown, San Antonio, Texas.
And yet, even though I only left the house to get groceries and get gas (we live too far out to receive groceries by delivery), and wore a mask everywhere, I still contracted COVID. I did what I could, but the Lord still allowed it. I’m not upset by this. In a way, I was expecting it, according to this post, where I felt like something difficult/some kind of suffering was coming (and that was written on February 17th, before COVID was even a real concern in the US).
I still think there’s more suffering to come, but that’s also in the Lord’s hands.
Thank God it’s not on me to protect myself. Like I said, do what you can, but walk in careful submission and don’t test God. Lock your doors, set your alarms, and sleep in peace, knowing someone may still break in, but the Lord loves you, and that’s what matters. I’d rather have His everlasting love than physical safety. This life is just a passing shadow in the light of eternity, and God wastes no suffering. It all has purpose.
Here is a timeline and symptoms from my diary, which I kept as a scientific record to help others (if you’re not reading this post for more info on a personal experience with COVID, skip down until you no longer see dates):
April 6th (Monday): dry persistent cough that feels like it could just be allergies, but no nasal problems or itchy eyes. Cough feels like a hitch in the middle of my throat that “catches” sometimes when I’m talking or breathing out.
April 7th (Tuesday): same dry cough, but now there’s a bit of constricting tightness in the throat, as if someone is squeezing my windpipe along the front of my throat where my voice box is, but only when I cough. Went on a walk to test breathing and find I’m easily winded and have slight difficulty breathing, but more like I’m winded than anything else, as if I’ve run a mile, but in reality I’m just walking.
April 8th (Wednesday): symptoms suddenly worsen. Slightly sore throat now that feels more like pressure and is there all the time and not just when I cough. The dry cough is still there, along with the tightness or pressure on the front of my throat, but now it extends down to between my collarbones and into my upper chest. Have a fever for the first time (100.4). A sense of pressure or heaviness is on my chest constantly. Slight difficulty breathing that worsens when I walk around, as if I’ve just run for awhile. Chills. No appetite. General feeling of malaise with muscle ache and extreme fatigue, like with the regular flu. Still have zero sinus issues and no allergies. The back of my neck is very sore, but possibly just from coughing so much. Went in for testing (swab test). Also tested for flu, cold, strep, RSV, and all come up negative. Begin self-isolating in my room just in case COVID is positive, especially since we have four kids and Campbell has CML and is extremely high risk for fatal consequences should he contract the virus.
April 9th (Thursday): symptoms same as the 8th; slept for twelve hours.
April 10th (Friday): symptoms the same, but cough and breathing have worsened, now with slight difficulty breathing even when resting, and the pressure and constricting tightness/weight are heavier and all the way down into my chest and constant. Fever remains low grade but present at 99.7 that evening. Slept for over twelve hours again.
April 11th (Saturday): — symptoms almost the same, but with no fever. Shortness of breath is a little better. Cough and tightness between collarbones is just as bad as before. A tad phlegm whereas before was dry and clear voice. Received phone call and found out the sample from the swab test taken on April 8th was too thick with mucus, so they didn’t even test it because it was an insufficient/poor sample, recommend I get another test. Go to different testing site and they do a chest x-ray, which turns out clear, and instead of swab, they do a Second COVID test, but this one is the saliva test instead of swab.
April 12th (Sunday): symptoms are lessening even more, with only cough and fatigue and no appetite remaining. No fever. The best I’ve felt since symptoms began.
April 13th (Monday): still feeling better with symptoms the same as day before and still no fever.
April 14th (Tuesday): all symptoms come back. Feel just as bad as when all symptoms hit on Wednesday, April 8th, but with even more tightness/pressure in throat and at collarbones and a worse cough than ever. Aches and malaise and fatigue. Low grade fever of 99.6. Slept eleven hours. Receive call and found out saliva test taken on April 11th was NEGATIVE.
April 15th (Wednesday): begin the day feeling the same as yesterday, but as the day goes on, symptoms begin to abate again, with only cough, pressure on chest, and no appetite remaining and fever is gone, with only a slightly elevated temp of 99.2, but at behest of family, get a Third COVID test; this one a SWAB test. With this test, the doctor sends the swab far deeper, keeping it there for much longer than first swab test, passing nasal passages and into throat, making eyes water and cough, with burning afterwards for a solid thirty minutes, which lets me know the first one was indeed done incorrectly, resulting in a poor sample.
April 16th (Thursday): feel the same as yesterday, but slightly better concerning the pressure on my chest, but still have deep dry cough with tightness in throat down to collarbones and have no appetite.
April 17th (Friday): feel much better with no fever and only a cough/tightness in throat now and then.
April 18th (Saturday): still no fever, but cough and tightness on throat remain. Cough seems to be getting less dry and there’s some hoarseness now and a little pain. Appetite returns a little.
April 19th (Sunday): fatigue is back and feel a little “off,” and throat is sore (more like a tickle) with same cough. Slightly elevated temp of 99.3. Receive call and found out SWAB test taken on April 15th was POSITIVE. Get a call from the Texas Department of State Health Services. Talk for awhile, asking me about timeline, symptoms, any tests I received and their results, who I came into contact with since March 23rd (since symptoms began two weeks after this), names of everyone I live with, underlying health conditions, etc. They will be calling everyday to check on my symptoms until my cough is gone. I’m supposed to take my temperature every morning and evening. Campbell and the kids are also supposed to take their temperatures every morning and evening. They will be calling Campbell as well since he’s immune-compromised. I have to strictly self-isolate in my room until my symptoms are completely gone as I may still be contagious even without a fever. Our family must remain quarantined in our home until my symptoms disappear, and then stay quarantined for an additional fourteen days after my symptoms have disappear.
April 20th (Monday): two weeks since symptoms began. Still feel the same as on the weekend. Low appetite, “wetter” cough, tightness in throat and some pain, especially when talking. No sinus issues.
April 21st (Tuesday): lingering cough and tightness in throat remain with hoarseness. No fever, but slightly elevated temp of 99.1. (My normal temperature is around 97.5.) For the first time have some sinus issues with ear pressure as well.
April 22nd (Wednesday): same symptoms as Tuesday. Remember for first time that I was diagnosed with latent tuberculosis in 2002, when I was getting tested for various diseases before beginning college (I went to Mexico in 2000 and was in a home with someone coughing and dying from TB; being fifteen, I thought I was invincible and wasn’t worried about it). At the time, there was no cure for latent TB, and my doctor wasn’t worried about it, saying it probably wouldn’t “activate” until I was on my deathbed/dying already anyway. Totally forgot about it until now.
April 23rd (Thursday): symptoms same as Tuesday, but with slightly more mucus. Fatigue and just feeling subpar with consistent low-grade fever (99.1-99.4). Doctor thinks I may be developing a bacterial infection on top of the COVID, and my state health department case worker thinks my latent tuberculosis may be a complication, so I have to keep an eye on things. Case worker researches connection between COVID and TB, but finds no data.
April 24th (Friday): begin to feel better as the day progresses. No fever, just mid-98’s or mid-97’s. Also, aches and fatigue are gone now.
April 25th (Saturday): Fever and cough and temperature are back. 99.5-99.7. Case worker and doctor inform me that COVID can last weeks past the two week timeframe. Discouraged. They said that unlike other flus, it’s very up and down and can stick around.
April 26th (Sunday): same symptoms as yesterday. Fever remains.
April 27th (Monday): same symptoms. Fever got up to 101.
April 28th (Tuesday): same symptoms but worsening with deep, painful cough and new, worse pain/heaviness in chest. A little trouble breathing but not too bad. Fever of 99.5-100. Extreme fatigue now. Have now developed sensation of “feeling” my lungs. When normally breathing, don’t feel lungs, but with this, feel pain all along the middle/inside part of lungs on either side of my sternum. Doctor said it’s called “pleural rub,” and is a result of inflammation and recommends I go to ER. Thinks I should be evaluated for pneumonia and bronchitis and/or possible other bacterial infection. Went to ER. Did x-ray and EKG to make sure pain in chest wasn’t heart-related. EKG totally normal, and x-ray clear of fluid! Doctor assumes bacterial infection and scarring damage from COVID. Prescribed steroid, antibiotic, cough suppressant, and inhaler and went home.
April 29th (Wednesday): same symptoms but no fever now.
April 30th (Thursday): still no fever and feeling much better. Cough is almost gone thanks to inhaler and cough suppressant. Even though felt better at times before during ups and downs with COVID, today is a “different” feeling of getting better. Stronger physically. Energized and clear mind. Doctor thinks this confirms bacterial infection on top of COVID since antibiotics worked.
May 1st (Friday): same as before, but cough is almost gone now. Antibiotic and cough suppressant and steroid have all finished prescribed course now, and only have inhaler for as-needed breathing problems/coughing fits.
May 2nd (Saturday): no fever since April 28th when went to ER and temperature hasn’t gone above 89.5. Cough almost completely gone now.
May 3rd (Sunday) through May 4th (Monday): same cough/breathing, no other symptoms.
May 5th (Tuesday): same as before with very mild cough/breathing problems only. Texas Department of Health Services officially ends monitoring and lists me as recovered from COVID.
May 6th (Wednesday) through May 10th (Sunday): same as before. Inhaler works well to battle occasional breathing problems/cough throughout day.
May 11th (Monday): went on walk with family and had a scary coughing fit/bad breathing episode where even inhaler did not work. Had to lie down with arms above head and wait for breathing to return to “normal.”
May 12th (Tuesday) through May 17th (Sunday): same as before. Inhaler works well. No other bad episodes like on May 11th.
May 18th (Monday): cough and same pain in chest (“pleural rub”) is back again. Even with inhaler, a little trouble breathing and exhausted. No “official” fever (must be 99.4 and above to be fever), but temperature is elevated in low 99’s, exhausted, and have had much difficulty in recovering from things like cuts and bruise easily. Call case worker and says to get it checked out as not normal for COVID. Call doctor and she says COVID can cause bad lung damage and will take me a few moths to get my lung function back up to normal. Very discouraged.
May 19th (Tuesday) through May 25th (Monday): dry cough and breathing problems and pain in lungs has continued every day.
May 26th (Tuesday): really scary breathing episode where the inhaler didn’t work, just like on May 11th during walk, except with this one, wasn’t walking, just putting frozen pizza in oven. Just had to lie down with arms above head again and wait for breathing to return to “normal.” Called doctor and set up virtual appointment.
May 27th (Wednesday): extreme exhaustion and brain fog and intense malaise. Cough and breathing problems and pain in lungs have still persisted. Virtual appointment with doctor. She wants to do a CT scan to check for scarring/infection/inflammation and signs of tuberculosis or walking pneumonia, but I’m coughing too often with “fits” of coughing to do scan now (must remain still for scan to work), so prescribed a new, more powerful inhaler, and then touch base on Monday to see how cough is so I can get CT scan. Low grade fever of 99.7. Slept for 10 hours. Felt as bad as when COVID first began.
May 28th (Thursday): same symptoms with low grade fever of 99.5-99.7, but new inhaler works! Only do two puffs a day, once in morning, once in evening, and use other as needed.
May 29th (Friday): same symptoms with low grade fever. More tired than before. Did not use special inhaler in the morning, and had another breathing episode during which I almost passed out. Used special inhaler and better. Will now use as directed by doctor, twice a day, even if feeling “okay” breathing-wise.
May 30th (Saturday): same symptoms but even more fatigue and fever got up to 100.5; stays low grade even with Tylenol. Special inhaler continues to work and now coughing is better, which means hopefully can do CT scan.
May 31st (Sunday): TODAY — same symptoms with low grade fever (99.7). But less tired because slept 10 hours last night.
Though I am discouraged as I have now been sick for a solid seven weeks, I am encouraged by the CT scan tomorrow. My sickness is one of the reasons why I haven’t posted on here in so long. I just haven’t felt up to it.
As far as mentally, my psychiatrist upped my medication when the depression got much worse (likely due to isolating in my room alone), and general stress of illness lingering. It has helped, but still battling depression on a near-daily basis. The Lord is good. I know He is with me, and even though I’m still sick–
CAMPBELL DID NOT CONTRACT COVID.
This is a miracle. I didn’t isolate until three days into illness because we thought it was just allergies. I am so grateful to the Lord. Though we know he may still contract it, we are at peace, no matter what happens. Blessings, friend, and stay well.