COVID-19 is like nothing I’ve ever battled before within me. No matter how healthy my normal day-to-day living was prior to getting it, didn’t seem to matter once I got it. While many have contracted COVID-19 by this point, I’m envious of the ones who were lucky enough to be asymptomatic or with minimum symptoms. Unfortunately, I wasn’t one of them, as it was exceptionally hard upon my system. In light of that, I decided I wanted to share my story and battle with COVID-19 with all of you.
Look, I’ve had the flu before, a number of times in my life for that matter, and if there’s one thing I know with the flu that I can do is flush it out of me pretty rapidly. Anytime I’ve gotten the flu I simply drink tons and tons of water and usually within a few days I’m free of it. But, COVID-19 isn’t the flu even though many try to claim it’s just a really bad case of it. In fact, I wouldn’t even put it in the same category as the flu after going through this. Because no matter how much water I consumed, no matter how many healthy foods I ate, no matter how many hours of sleep I got, and no matter how much light household exercise I did, the virus kept its terrible grip upon me day after day after day after day for a long period of time.
My battle with it actually began on January 2nd, 2021 in the late afternoon. For what started out as only some teeth pain, a light headache and a low-grade fever, quickly spiraled out of control into total debilitation of me lying in bed for almost 4 straight days with pounding pain and pressure in my skull, no appetite, non-stop low-grade fevers, coughing with phlegm, aches and soreness around my body, loss of smell and taste, and reduction in my ability to breathe deeply from my lungs.
My first bout of relief with this virus came towards the end of my fourth day of it when my fever broke. Given my knowledge of viruses prior, I assumed things would immediately improve from there on out. But remember, this isn’t a normal virus, it’s not a normal flu, and it’s a pandemic for a reason. Because one main characteristic of this virus is how it keeps coming back again and again and again, each time you think it’s over. I lost track of the number of times my fever broke and then would go right back up again. Beyond the sheer frustration of that, COVID-19 does affect everyone differently in regards to overall symptoms. The following is a detailed list of what I experienced:
- My teeth hurt a lot in the first week, like I had braces again.
- I developed several sties, especially in my left eye that swelled the entire upper and lower eyelid areas.
- Bowel movements were minimal and high yellow in color when they did occur, fluctuating from painful to pass, to diarrhea-based.
- While my body was feverish, parts of it like my hands, feet and nose remained ice-cold.
- When I wasn’t feverish, I’d still break out in these cold sweats spontaneously.
- I had head pain that ranged from what might feel like if you are in caffeine withdrawal, to a stabbing migraine where you can’t even move your head.
- I felt tons of pressure in my forehead through it all and had all the symptoms of a head cold.
- I had to urinate frequently throughout the day and night, sometimes even when I hadn’t consumed any liquids for a good while.
- Even though my taste and smell were severely impaired, I occasionally would still smell something rancid in my nostrils and taste something metallic on my tongue.
- Coughing was a huge frustration with massive quantities of phlegm being brought up each time I hacked away, always starting with this tickle in the back of my throat.
- I always felt like I was stuffed up, but blowing my nose generally did nothing but bring out some flecks of blood and a little mucus.
- I developed a severely itchy and painful fever rash that broke out on my chest and back and looked almost as if I had a case of the chicken pox.
- My breathing felt restricted quite a bit, especially when taking deep breath, often causing tingling sensations in my hands and feet as if they weren’t getting enough oxygen to them.
- I had no energy and no matter how many hours I slept, I remained feeling that way, leaving me with this hopelessness feeling overall.
- I had chills even when I wasn’t feverish and always felt cold overall.
I do want to mention a few generalities I experienced in my battle with COVID as well. Nights were worse than days. All of my fever and symptom spikes came late at night usually. My mood fluctuated rapidly from sedate to angry. I questioned my sanity more than not given how long it lasted. My hypochondria became extreme because of how much it affected me and ultimately, I really longed for my deceased mother to be back alive solely to hold me and tell me it was going to be ok.
In the end, I came to learn the hard way that COVID-19 is not just a bad case of the flu. It’s not something to joke about. And it’s definitely not something to be taken lightly. I was one of those who initially believed life should just go back to normal and to let the virus run its course on our planet. How naïve and ignorant I was. Thankfully, I’m not anymore after experiencing this virus firsthand. I sincerely hope you don’t have to go through what I did to learn this though, especially being that it’s now 17 days into my battle with COVID and I’m still dealing with frustrating symptoms from it.
Nevertheless, if you are someone who has survived this virus after having a difficult case of it, then you probably have the one thing now that I gained from enduring it, and that’s compassion for those still suffering from it. I pray for everyone who’s dealt with COVID or still dealing with it, including the many losses of life it has caused. May God be with us all.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson