There are several reasons to wear this dress to celebrate my start to feeling well again. When I visited with my friend Ann in Florida earlier this year, we assessed many of the items in her closet and discussed the style features which complemented her shape most. A few of the pieces got voted out. To my surprise and delight, she gave me some of those items.
The stunning Tadashi Shoji dress I’m wearing (similar here) is one of those gifts. I’ve been yearning for a special event so that I could wear it. Shoes here. Similar bag here. Pearl bracelet here. (Shopping links in my post may result in a small commission to me, at no additional cost to you.)
I have a few new wrinkles from losing about ten pounds during my illness, but it felt so good to get back into the routine of using my Beautycounter skincare here. I was too sick to follow any regimen at all for the first week.
Without thinking, in one careless act, I removed my mask for a few moments in an empty public restroom. I am confident those few maskless breaths infected me with the virus. Even in the most sparkling and swanky environments, there can be that one droplet that is waiting for you. Don’t relax your guard.
The virus took over my body on the afternoon of June 25, seven days after my mistake of removing my mask. I started to feel unwell at about one in the afternoon, so I decided to lie down on the sofa for a few minutes. Five hours passed before I awoke. I remember thinking, “I wish there were someone here to cut these clothes off of me.” My skin, my joints, and my muscles hurt so much that it was a great effort to make my way to the bed and turn on the electric blanket. I was trembling from chills and pain. My back hurt as if I were passing kidney stones from both sides at once.
For the next two days, I did almost nothing but sleep. My head ached so badly I couldn’t stand to touch my hair. My sense of smell and taste completely vanished. I ate almost no food for three days, but I continued to drink water.
A half bowl of chicken noodle soup was my only food on the fourth day. When you have not eaten for a few days, it is best to start with small amounts of something bland and light. I was still sleeping a lot, but the body aches and chills were beginning to fade. I no longer needed to stay under an electric blanket turned on high.
During several nights, I awoke bathed in sweat. The bed was as soaked as if I poured a cup of water on it. I lost as much as three pounds of weight in one night. Taking two showers per day and changing pajamas two or three times a day became part of my routine. Long soaks in Epsom Salt hot bathes gave me some relief from the body pain.
There were many strange dreams because the virus affects your mental state. In one dream, I was studying a vivid Modernist painting when the bold colors started to move and reach for me. Another evening, I was carrying my Mother through a rice paddy as we migrated across Vietnam. On another evening, I awoke in fear and panic, thinking that someone had broken into my house, turned on all the lights, and was about to murder me. As I calmed down, I realized the “lights were on” because it was still daylight.
Day nine was the first that I did not have a pounding headache and need to recheck every word I wrote to make sure I was using the correct one. For the same reason, I did not trust myself to drive to get the test for COVID-19 until I felt steady enough to do so. Even then, it was a massive effort for me not to cause an accident as I made the drive, which is less than three miles from my house.
I have not allowed anyone else to enter my home or come closer than talking to me through the glass entry door. Every surface, handle, and light switch must be cleaned with alcohol before it is safe to have guests again.
Testing is valuable to let you know when you should self-isolate to avoid giving the disease to others. Each person who contracts this illness will experience a variety of symptoms or perhaps none at all. I have not experienced problems with breathing other than some coughing and shortness of breath. It will take months to fully recover from even my “mild” case of COVID-19.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the cards, your kind comments, prayers, and well wishes. During the few minutes, I was able to look at a screen; they gave me great comfort and encouragement.
Another update for July 7, 2020. My first of two COVID-19 tests have come back negative. When I spoke to my caseworker today, she explained that I might have a different strain of a virus that is going around. My physician is ordering further tests to determine what might be causing me to have all the symptoms that mimic COVID-19. Please take care of yourself. Whatever this is, it is severe and should not be taken lightly.
This update is from July 12, 2020. My final test results have also come back as negative for SARS-Cov-2 (COVID-19). My doctor’s office continues to monitor me closely by phone to ensure that I haven’t developed pneumonia. With two negative nasal swab tests, I will now schedule an in-person visit to get more specific blood tests performed.
July 14, 2020 update: I have pneumonia now. That is another symptom of the virus. My doctor continues to monitor me as a COVID-19 patient.
An article from The New Yorker about the efficacy of tests is here.