UPDATE: Trying to Get Tested for COVID-19, Part 2

(The crown-like projections of coronavirus as seen under a microscope. Coronaviruses are responsible for respiratory ailments and gastro enteritis and the virus responsible for SARS belongs to this family. Photo By BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images.)

DAY 3: I’ve already messed this up

I’m pretty sure I’ve had this thing for five days now, possibly 7 but it’s really too hard to tell. I have read reports that now digestive issues are a component of COVID-19 and that has been true for me today. I’ve had a couple of restless nights partly because I am not taking any sedating medication due to my compromised breathing and partly because I have awakened frequently at the slightest difficultly in breathing from being so freaked out.

I can’t stress enough that my fever has always remained fairly low and never higher than 2 degrees or so, so not everyone is getting that high fever that the CDC keeps referencing. The cough seems to be waning and right now I am dealing with more flu-like symptoms and body pain. But, my breathing seems much better and that squeezing around my lower rib cage has eased off significantly. I drink a lot of water daily and am really hydrated, but my lips are still chapped and my skin is really dry.

I typically take very high doses of Vitamin C to help with adrenal support and I feel like it has helped me a lot with this virus. I also take OMEGA-3 fish oils for my asthma and I have added zinc at night. I had several crying episodes yesterday and I have a feeling it was indicative of my body shifting gears to combat the virus because this morning I felt stronger.

I was going to try and completely rest and stay off of social media altogether but I am so angry at the state of things, it was an impossibility. I just sit here, or more aptly put I just lie here, in total disbelief that this is what it has come to in the United States of America. Now we are all too sick to be as angry as we truly should be and even the Surgeon General confirmed today that this is all just getting started and this week will be bad.

I think I’ve given up on getting tested for the time being. I am already in self-quarantine and I don’t feel well enough to run around trying to find a drive-up testing center. It is also still impossible to get my doctor on the phone. I did look into private tests but most of the companies have either suspended testing per FDA guidelines or they will be prioritizing testing for health care workers, which is how it should be. Pence mentioned something about tests becoming available for everyone with symptoms in some kind of at home scenario this week, but I will believe that when I see it.

I feel physically miserable, but I also feel very relieved and hopeful that the worst may have passed. What is on my mind most now is staying hydrated, eating healthy food when possible (I have no appetite) and making sure my lungs stay clear from any secondary infection. I woke up last night and realized that I had fallen asleep with my inhaler next to me on the pillow and I was suddenly so sad for the collective us — all of us who are scared and sick and isolating. I’m sad for all of the people who might need ventilators, those of us who are scared we could get to that point only to find there is no equipment to help us. Hang in there if you are having symptoms like me, I know it feels like it, but you are not alone.

For the first post in this series, including Day 1 and more details, click here.


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Amee Vanderpool writes the “Shero” Newsletter and is an attorney, contributor to magazines and newspapers and an analyst for BBC radio. She can be reached at avanderpool@gmail.com or follow her on Twitter @girlsreallyrule.