On Wednesday 25th March I will be completing 2 weeks of a self isolation period.
I can’t be sure of what I had, and it’s highly likely that I’ll never find out either because no tests are being carried in the UK for suspected cases of Covid-19 unless the situation gets bad enough to require hospitalisation. And in my case it was all relatively mild. I never thought to share this on a publicly available platform but a couple of friends asked me to share my experience, so those who don’t know what Covid-19 can feel like or are terrified right now, can read through my post and maybe calm down a little.
For the rest of you readers this might just be another boring list of symptoms so feel free to skip. And obviously this thing here is just my experience, everyone are unique and react to viral infections differently, and one might need to remind you once more, that I wasn’t and probably never will be tested for Covid-19, so this is all the guesswork of my NHS doctor. For what it’s worth. But if sharing this little post is any help at all to anyone out there, here goes.
Some 2 weeks ago I woke up with high temperature, unusually strong muscle aches all over my body, a tiny bit of a dry cough and a feeling of exhaustion. A few paracetamols and ibuprofens and a couple of short naps later I had to admit to myself that I’m not 100% well. I thought it’s probably the seasonal flu although it sure didn’t feel like any of the other flu experiences I’ve had in the past. But I didn’t feel too bad either… Being the good boy that I am, I took no chances and decided to self isolate right there and as per the instructions. The next day my fever was coming down already, but the muscle aches wouldn’t and this constant feeling of tiredness kept bothering me. At times I felt a quick sharp stabbing like pain in my lungs, like a needle stabbing through when I took a deep breath. But then it would disappear completely. These sharp pains only happened a few times. And overall all of these symptoms lasted about 3-4 days. That was the first part of my mysterious episode.
When the first week of illness was behind me, the symptoms that I had t first switched off, and made way to something totally different. And namely a feeling of nausea that would usually start just after midday and then hang around until I’d go to sleep. It was this constant feeling of being at the very edge of having to vomit. But without the vomiting part. A little nasty for sure but again, not too bad… Up until now I was in touch with my brother who is a doctor and I self isolated by the book. But now I decided it’s time to report my experience to the NHS and see what they have to say about this.
So, off I went on the website of my GP practice and filled in a webform detailing my symptoms. Some 30 min later I got a phone call from my GP: “well, these are all classic symptoms of Corona virus disease, however you seem to be doing alright and getting better and therefore I suggest you stay at home and self isolate as you’ve done. We don’t test unless you need to be hospitalised, and sometimes after the first week things do get worse… But take care for now and do call 111 if you start having difficulties to breath.” Pretty much what I had in mind, no big surprises there. I already knew that tests are only being carried out in hospitals and that my situation was mild and can be dealt with at home. And so the self isolation continued…
The nausea symptoms lasted overall 4-5 days. All other symptoms were already gone during the second week, it was just nausea now. But soon after this annoying hangover like feeling took over, I also discovered that I lost my ability to smell or taste anything. And believe me I tried everything. I sniffed some cinnamon, snorted garlic (not really but I tried to smell it) but nothing. Zero. Nada. No smell whatsoever. I tried to eat my food with lots of Tabasco, chilli flakes, chipotle… but nothing I would spice my food with made any difference.
I can’t smell or taste a thing to this day… This symptom must be the weirdest I’ve ever experienced. But at least the nausea is gone. Phew ! I hope I can start enjoying my food again soon…
So that was my experience with whatever this was. I’m back to doing sports now albeit in an easy going fashion at first… And if any of you young’ish healthy’ish were panicking I would say, if this was the typical Covid-19 case (?) and one that the majority of people infected would experience (?) then none of the above felt like the end of the world at any point in time. But as nobody runs tests and Covid-19 could be a dangerous virus to some of us, especially the elderly and those at risk, please take no chances, be smart and act responsibly. If you have any symptoms at all, make sure to follow the rules and stay at home so you don’t put anyone’s life at risk. This could be a life threatening situation for some of us… So be good, be safe, don’t be an antisocial, wash your hands often, don’t be too worried either, if it happens it happens… and hopefully very soon this whole damn thing will be behind us and things will be back to normal… 🤞