We were in Minneapolis, MN visiting our children when COVID hit the country hard in February of 2020. Everything was starting to close, and we knew we needed to get home. About 7 to 10 days after we got home, I started to cough and feel tired. Then the incredible fatigue set in. I started to feel short of breath. I didn’t have a fever. That was a crucial symptom. If you didn’t have a fever, you didn’t need to go in. I understand this. We, as a country, were still learning what this virus was about. I was monitoring my oxygen levels at home and the numbers stayed in the low 90s and occasionally would drop into the high 80 range. It was getting hard to get from the living room to the bathroom. That was 2 weeks into this, and I couldn’t stand it anymore. I saw my doctor.
I had a horrendous headache and loss of taste for sweet things. A COVID test was performed and it was negative. After several months of working with my physician she said she had to call this COVID. I took a round of antibiotics and was put on a Proventil inhaler. I don’t believe the antibiotics helped because usually you get that sense of having “turned the corner” and one feels so much better. That didn’t happen. Improvement was slow and the shortness of breath, though improved, never left and the headache waxed and waned and had not gone away.
Throughout 2020, I would have episodes of shortness of breath, especially, if exposed to anything like smoke from burning leaves or a charcoal grill that would last until treated with Proventil. Eventually, even that didn’t work well. I was put on a Budesonide inhaler for 5 months and that helped significantly along with the Proventil.
My headaches couldn’t be managed with Tylenol or any of the over-the-counter remedies. My migraine medication only reduced the pain to a dull roar. I was put on Topamax, a seizure treatment medication. It has been a wonderful medication for me, though I just recently had to have the dose increased. My neurologist said that’s not unusual.
In March of 2021, I received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine for COVID. My symptoms improved a lot. I still react to smoke and other lung irritants. I’ll be getting a booster vaccine next week Wednesday. My headache still persists. But, hey, I’m still here and thankful for everyday!