I never was tested for covid when I needed to be, but I believe I am a survivor.

By Sarah

Hello everyone. I never was tested for covid when I needed to be, but I believe I am a survivor.

I am a nurse who made a switch 2 years ago to teach at the preschool where my 4 children have attended. I have 4 children ages 11, 9, 6, and 4 and also teach Sunday school at our church. My husband is a first responder. I was around many sick kids, including my own, in the weeks before I got sick. Symptoms i saw in the kids around me were fatigue, fevers (some high, some in the 99s), loss of appetite, headache, coughs (a lot!!!!), sneezing and runny noses. In mid March (the week before our spring break) I started having a tickle in my throat that I thought nothing of. In the first week it moved into my sinuses and then into my chest, but I felt fine. That Thursday i was cleaning the house when I very suddenly felt all of the energy drain from me. The skin on my legs was pale and mottled, which alarmed me, and I went to lie down in bed. I stayed in bed all weekend and started having body aches and internal pain. My temperatures were in the high 99s. I called the covid line, but was told I didn't qualify for testing because i hadn't traveled outside the US or been in contact with a known positive case. Also was told my symptoms weren't consistent with covid, but that i should call my doctor because something was definitely going on. I called my on-call doctor over the weekend and he wasn't sure what was going on, but called in steroids and a zpack to have on hand in case. On Monday my husband took me to the ER. I was so weak I barely was able to walk in. I felt like i was dying and wasn't sure if I'd be coming out. My husband waited in a lawn chair in the parking lot. My HR was 150 and BP was 180/100 on admission. I got fluids, labs, chest x-ray. Labs were borderline normal and I was negative for 25 viruses (they did not have enough tests to test me for covid19), ekg was fast but normal rhythm. Cxr showed a viral picture that they weren't too concerned about. I had a dry cough at this point, but nothing terrible. I went home and things got worse. I had trouble staying hydrated, lost my appetite and lost weight, was extremely fatigued but couldn't sleep at night because the pain was too great. I had some strange sensations on my body: a lot of tingling, burning, itching. My fingers and toes would be very numb in the mornings and it took a long time to get sensation back. I also had bad GI symptoms. I had multiple video appointments with my primary and she kept encouraging me and keeping me positive, as did my husband and family. I isolated in my bedroom, but my husband did come and sleep next to me at night, which scared me but also comforted me.

The GI symptoms continued for weeks and my heart rate remained around 100-120 during this time. I started having severe muscle spasms and contractions that lasted for hours and were very painful. The fatigue was indescribable. It felt like every cell, every calorie in my body was being used to fight this infection. I felt like i was fighting for my life. I began praying and repenting and that's all I did for days, weeks maybe, it's very fuzzy. I didn't have enough energy to read or watch tv so i just prayed. I remember waking from a nap in tears because I felt God tell me He healed me. I kept getting sicker. My cough got worse and I became mildly short of breath (resting and laying prone helped relieve it), the fatigue continued, no appetite, diarrhea, and i started having chest pain that radiated into my shoulders and arms. I was still shaking and having spasms and muscle rigidity.

After several weeks of this i started feeling like my body was giving out and couldn't take anymore. I told my children goodbye, wrote them things I wanted them to always know. A few nights later, at 2am, I felt God calling me. My heart started beating in a way I'd never felt before and I started feeling myself separate from my body. I felt so much peace. The pain completely disappeared and I felt comfort in knowing I was going to heaven and my family would follow after me in time. I wanted to tell my husband goodbye so I turned and whispered his name. He woke up and I told him God was calling me. He grabbed me immediately and told me, “no! Not now” and it somehow brought me back.

I slowly started to get better after that. Everything quieted down and I started healing. I gained my appetite and weight back. In May and June I started exercising again, resting when my body told me to. Ive still had GI symptoms off and on and some things that i think are circulatory or neuro like numbness and tingling in my extremities, some shakiness in my legs especially at night. I continue to have fatigue and shortness of breath that comes and goes.

To think that I was considered a mild case breaks my heart completely. This virus is evil and I could feel it when it was wreaking havoc on my body. Im praying for our Healthcare workers, our teachers, our children, our families, everyone. I wouldn't wish this on anyone ever. I pray those who don't believe in the seriousness of this virus never understand.