A Fight Against an Invisible Monster - CORONAVIRUS
Updated: Dec 27, 2020
We’ve tested POSITIVE for COVID19 about a week ago.
There are so many mixed emotions as I’m sitting here contemplating what to write for this blog. I feel numb, sad, upset, angry, hopeless, scared, nervous, etc... At the same time, I feel lucky to have support, love, strength, protection, etc. We wouldn’t have survived this without the support of our families and friends. You were the light at the end of the tunnel.
Now that my brain is finally able to put sentences together, I wanted to at least do something that perhaps would be able to help others in this chaotic world. This blog is really just to document what it was like to have the COVID (since we both experienced it differently), what we found helpful when dealing with it (especially on our own at home) and what we are still doing during this recovery stage.
Saturday, March 14 - Brandon felt an itch in his throat in the morning. Towards the evening, he felt really weak and had a slight cough and body aches.
Sunday, March 15 - In the morning, Brandon started to develop a fever that’s around 102. He felt the chills, body aches, coughing, loss of appetite and just slept a lot for the day. We started to self-isolate at home and I was in another room while Brandon was in another area. We also isolated our pet.
Monday, March 16 - We got him some Mucinex as we were hoping this would just be a common flu and it will go away. During these few days I did not have any symptoms.
Tuesday, March 17 – Saturday March 21: He’s been having sporadic fevers ranging from 99-103 but it never stuck. He was taking Advil for the body aches at the time. He just drank a lot of water and slept a lot. I started showing some symptoms of fatigue and a little fever starting on March 17. I didn’t have much of a cough or phlegm which I was hoping that’s a good sign since it hasn’t reached my lungs. My grandma also passed away in China on March 21. I couldn’t even be there to see her for the one last time because of this evil virus and a month ago I had just lost my grandpa.
Sunday, March 22 – Brandon experienced 4 Vertigo attacks that day and I was very scared. I wasn’t sure if we needed to bring him to the hospital or not. We consulted a few doctors and they said it’s best to stay home if he doesn’t have problems with his breathing. I was also concerned since he’s a Diabetic. His fever went down which was a good sign. My fever has gone up for the day. I had lost my sense of smell and taste. I couldn’t hold a long breath and was feeling soreness around my chest area. I started to feel scared since we didn't have any clear directions on if we can get tested and what to do other than if we can’t breathe, we have to call 911.
Monday, March 23 – My nose started to bleed, and it must’ve been over 15 minutes and won’t stop. I was getting very nervous and I think it must’ve been the blood gushing into my brain as I’m thinking about thoughts like “am I going to die?” or “what should I do? Who can help me?” As the bleeding finally stopped, I saw a letter from our township (we are in the state of NJ) saying that we can call for an appointment to get tested with a new drive-through location. I called right away and got through after 40 minutes of being on hold. Brandon’s call wasn’t that lucky, but he was finally was able to get in touch with someone after 4 hours of trying. We actually got an appointment for him on the same day at 4:30 pm and I just tagged along as I really needed to know one way or another that day. When we got to the testing center, it was actually very organized. We told the policeman his name and they checked him off and he explained that I’m a family member and they let me through as well. We had about 5 cars in front of us and the entire thing probably took less than 10 minutes. Brandon experienced a little discomfort when they stuck the long stick into his nostril. I didn’t have much of pain feeling at that time. Once we were done with the test, they gave us this piece of paper for us to take home.
Tuesday, March 24 – My nose bled again in the morning but not as bad as yesterday. There’s a weird sensation of burning feel inside the nostril. It’s very dry yet very hot (due to the fever) and its not comfortable at all to breath through it. Sometimes I had to breath through my mouth. I still have really bad fevers throughout the day and night. Since I can only take a maximum of 6 Tylenols within 24-hour period, I was very careful on when I should take them. The fever makes the entire body very painful. Sometimes it felt like someone’s stabbing me with an ice pick and it hurts all the way into the bones. I couldn't sleep at night at all as no position was comfortable. Brandon’s fever has been gone for 2 days now which was good news. The health clinic also called and said that she’s just a health worker and can inform us that she does see that we tested positive for COVID but wanted us to wait till we hear the official result from the lab. We were kind of prepared for this but of course no preparation is good enough to hear of this bad news.
Wednesday, March 25 – As Brandon is getting better with his symptoms, I’m getting worse. At this point, I had a stuffy nose, no sense of taste or smell, constipation, some phlegm and a really bad body ache. My fever was around 101-103 and it was every 10-11 hours. I was at least able to stuff food down my body as I know I needed energy to fight this. At this point, I started trying out a lot of different types of Chinese herbal medicines. We have family members in China that had doctors fighting in the front lines of COVID and had given us some suggestions. I have some photos here of the Chinese herbal medicines we took that helped with coughing, phlegm, fever reduction, release of toxins etc... Of course, there’s no cure to this virus but at that point I was willing to try anything. I even put out onions around the house seeing that it might attract this virus to its surface. This is also when we heard that we should not take Advil and Ibuprofen so all we were depending on at this point was the Tylenol. We drank a lot of water and Gatorade to keep hydrated.
The doctors in China have been taking this during their fight at the front lines of the Coronavirus. Apparently it helped a good amount of people.
This is a Western medicine that the China doctors have also taken to the front lines when they were fighting this virus.
This is good for stopping coughing and phlegm...
This is good for toxin release in the system and also good for just regular flu etc...
Also for toxin release...."Liu Sheng Wan"
This helped me at times with my stomach issues (diarrhea/constipation)
This is great for fever reduction and regular flu...
Thursday, March 26 – Fever conditions are the same. Nighttime is the worst as I have to constantly get up to drink water and pee out the toxins. I’m not getting much rest not that I don’t want to but because my body ache doesn’t really allow me to. I started to gargle salt water and washing my nostrils with Q-tip and soap to try to kill some of the viruses. I’m still constipated but gained back a little taste buds. It still hurts my head when I try to breath through my nostrils.
Friday, March 27 – I’ve been getting up at very weird hours. Today, I’m up at 5am because I was very hungry. Most of the dishes I’ve been eating are prepared by my family as they don’t want me to be eating delivery. Most of the dishes are congee, noodles, veggies, eggs and these are very good for the digestive system. My fever is still haunting me throughout the day. But I was able to finally sleep one night through without a fever. I thought I was getting better… This is the day the lab called us and confirmed that we’ve both been tested positive for COVID. It was a pretty sad day for us.
Saturday, March 28 – Sunday, Mach 29 - These were the worst two days I’ve felt in days. I was ready to go to the hospital. I had a fever starting from 6am and it just won’t go down despite eating Tylenol which hasn’t happened to me before. The fever lasted till the next day until about 6pm. It’s also been the highest I’ve seen at 104 at times. At one point, I felt like my body wasn’t even in my body anymore and I was seeing things. I was very worried and scared. I didn’t want to go to the hospital as I did not want to be put on a ventilator or respirator. I also wasn’t sure what was going on with my body since my entrusted Tylenol wasn’t working. All I could do was drink a lot of water and just keep peeing the toxins out. I also had very bad diarrhea which the doctor told me to get Mylanta. The doctor told us to go buy a “Oximeter” to test our oxygen levels and he said as long as it’s up above 90 then I should stay home. This is probably a good thing to have at home and to gauge and see if it’s definitely necessary to go to the hospital or not. The hospital should be your last resort. Brandon’s grandma was admitted to the hospital and she tested positive for COVID.
Monday, March 30 – Fever went away finally. I was able to at least get some sleep. Body ache got a bit better, but the chest area was still sore, and I still couldn’t breathe normally with like a long breath. I’m just happy fever went away.
Tuesday, March 31 – Fever is still gone which is good news as this is the second day. Hopefully those two dreadful days was the body finally winning the battle. Keeping my chin up throughout all of this.
Wednesday, April 1 – This was a very sad day for us. Brandon’s grandma passed away due to COVID complications in the hospital all by herself since no visitors were allowed. We are deeply saddened by the fact that we can’t even be there to say goodbye. Every moment with family should be cherished as you just don’t know how fast a turn of events could be. We did not expect this. This is surreal.
Thursday, April 2 – We are slowly recovering from COVID. Brandon is doing much better than I am as my body is still weak and feel fatigue from time to time. At least the fever is gone and I’m able to sleep at nighttime. The digestive system is also not really at its full state for me. I keep going from diarrhea to constipation back and forth. It’ll probably take some time to heal as I’m sure throughout the fight with this virus other parts of my body organs were probably damaged along the way.
Friday, April 3 – Brandon’s God mother’s mom passed away in the hospital as well due to COVID and she was his grandma’s best friend. May they both rest in heaven and watch over us.
Saturday, April 4 – I was able to do a little walking since by us its very open and we don’t have much people around us. Everyday we’ve been taking Vitamin C (2000mg), Vitamin E (1000mg) and 2 elderberry with Zinc. We want to still keep our immune system up as we only probably have immunity against this one strain of COVID. As COVID strains evolve we are still not safe. We have been big supporters of wearing masks and gloves when you go out. This is not to say you are protected but please protect people around you. You don’t know if you are carriers or not as some people are asymptomatic but for the sake of your loved ones, people you care about please wear masks and gloves!
Sunday, April 5 – Brandon’s grandma’s sister’s husband is in ICU due to COVID complications and her family members have tested positive as well. We are praying for their safety and to win this fight against this monster.
Monday, April 6 – We are finally starting to be able to do some work at home. Even though our breathing hasn’t been 100%, we are finally fever free and haven’t really been coughing too much.
Tuesday, April 7 - The sun felt great today. We had to go out to get some grocery but fully covered with mask and gloves. I waited in the car most of the time as the body is still quite weak to be walking around for too long. I had really bad diarrhea today but soaking in the sun felt really refreshing.
Wednesday, April 8 - Today I was able to do some more chores at home. I'm still not 100% as I still can't smell things and my taste bud is probably still at 70%. A lot of the items taste like powder to me and has a weird after taste. Last night I slept better than the day before but there's always cold sweat but at least no fever. This recovering stage won't be a short one. I'm sure there are organs that has been "damaged" during this fight with this scary virus. I keep hearing things about maybe how some people's symptoms happened again after they thought they were recovering. We are not immune to this at all. Maybe just this strand but there's still a high chance we still can get infected again so we have to protect ourselves at all times especially when our body is not at 100%. I suggest to anyone who's recovered or think that they are to still take precaution at all times.
Thursday, April 9 - Thursday April 11 - Not much changes to my body lately except my smell and taste haven't fully recovered. I would say scent is at 20% and taste is at 70%. Brandon has his all back awhile ago. I guess everyone's experience is different with this virus. There's still some weird digestion issues with my stomach.
Sunday, April 12 - We lost another member of our family (Brandon's grandma's sister's husband) to COVID. This is just so unreal. Everything happens so fast. When you are emitted to the ICU it just seems like there's not much hope making it out. I still believe currently if you can fight this virus on your own please try to do so at home. Hospital will likely either contract you with the virus if you didn't have one (since you will not likely get tested and won't know if you have it or not) and they can't really do anything for you since they are so busy with the patients already with more serious conditions. The wait is very long in an ER room. Try to fight this on your own if you can.
Monday, April 13-Tuesday, 14 - My taste is probably at 80% now and smell at 50%. There's always this weird bitter and powdery after taste after I eat meals. The chest area sometimes still feel a bit like there's something on top of it but nothing really concerning. I don't cough due to it and the testing for oxygen level is normal on the oximeter.
Wednesday, April 15-Friday 17 - Nothing much changed these few days. I think we are on the recovery route. I have started to eat more normal again with normal foods and even some oily ones. It's good to have taste buds back but still have a weird after taste...Not sure when that will go away but I realized i pick up salt and bitter taste much more...Husband actually started to teach virtual dance classes. Support him here and get your grooves on at home!
Saturday, April 18 - My knees started to develop a sharp pain. I didn't twist it or bump anywhere so not sure where it's from and other body parts became ache. I'm worried since fatigue and body ache are symptoms of COVID. I hope it goes away. No fever or cough I guess that's hopefully a good sign.
Sunday, April 19 - Brandon has a very bad episode of Vertigo. He's been having dizziness all morning and nausea/vomit. We are going to consult the doctor on video tomorrow to see what can be done. He slept pretty much all day. My knee situation got better since I started using the Chinese medicine "Tiger Balm". It something you rub on your skin that kind of gives a burning sensation like a heat pad.
Monday, April 20 - Brandon's vertigo is still bothering him a lot. The doctor prescribed "Meclizine" and said to take it for three days and should be better. We shall see. We were also worried this is another symptom of COVID since he had it when he had tested positive COVID. Hopefully this is all us thinking too much and not something more serious....
Here’s the list of items which we considered “lifesaving” items and some optional ones that you might need if you are in a self-quarantine situation. If you are symptomatic, we suggest you start to do these anyways just to not let the situation worsen.
1. Drink a lot of water (warm/hot water preferred). If can add a lemon that would be even better. Optional when needed: Gatorade/juice
2. Eat a lot of fruits.
3. Gargle saltwater morning and night. Optional: Clean your nostril with Q-tip. Use Vaseline or Tiger Balm inside nostrils.
7. Optional when needed: Mylanta, constipation medicine
8. Vitamin C, E, elderberry with Zinc
8. Mask & Gloves
10. Keep an excel sheet and update your intake on the medications, fever degrees, other body changes so this way you won't forget and also you can report it back to the doctor accurately
11. Recommendation from a medical personnel - Lie prone (chest and belly down). Based on the Pathophysiology of the disease it helps improve diffusion (gas exchange) in the lungs and perfusion to the tissues.
Throughout these 3 weeks of painstaking experiences, we feel like we’ve been reborn. There are so many moments of life and death (losing our loved ones, losing our faith and maybe even losing ourselves) that we now look back and wonder how we did we even survive this? There’s no cure for this virus but if we had to share our “cure” it’s HOPE, it’s STRENGTH and it’s the WILL to FIGHT! Even though there’s a lot of hardships with the economy right now at least you have your loved ones to go through it together. Even though you can’t be physically be together... a phone call, or a video chat each day could give them the strength to go on. We hope everyone stays safe, practices social distancing, wears masks and gloves whenever possible to protect your love ones. If anyone has any concerns or questions, feel free to email us and we’ll help as much as we can. Email: email@example.com
Friday August 14 - We just got our results back after testing for COVID again and it's NEGATIVE! We also tested for the Antibody which came back POSITIVE. It was weird because the first time I went for the COVID test my husband tested negative for COVID and positive for antibodies but I tested positive for COVID and positive for antibodies. I told the doctor that my test result doesn't seem to be correct as I haven't had any symptoms and have contracted the virus back in March. So he had to redo a test for me with the oral and nasal and the second time it came back negative. I wanted to share this story so people know that sometimes the test might not be accurate and since testing is free anyways its probably best to get tested twice to make sure. Even though we are happy about this news, somethings are still not the same. My scent and taste buds are not like before and I don't know when and if they'll ever recover. My knees and muscles are still hurting a lot and are a lot weaker than before. My husband also feels fatigue from time to time. No one could tell us anything because no one knows if there's ever going to be a cure that'll fix everything. We could only hope for that day...
Monday August 31 - Our doctor's office finally opened and we were able to go do our annual check up. Due to the fact that we're constantly feeling tired, we haven't been exercising as much. This has caused both of us to gain weight since recovery. I also have a lot of body ache which the doctor said to try "Meloxicam". She said to try it out for 7 days and see if the pain would become better or not. I'll update with more information if it does help. My scent and taste still haven't came back 100% and who knows if it will ever become before or not.
Here's an interview we did with WJMS radio along with a few other COVID survivors on our experience during COVID and post COVID symptoms and other useful information:
As I had some request of a Chinese version of this article, here's the translation:
A Fight Against an Invisible Monster - CORONAVIRUS
3月17日(星期二)——3月21日(星期六): 我老公一直在断断续续发烧，范围从99-103，但从未停止过。他当时一直在服用止痛药 (Advil)来缓解身体疼痛 。他只是喝了很多水，睡了很多觉。从3月17日开始，我开始出现一些疲劳和轻微发烧的症状。我没有咳嗽或痰，我希望这是一个好迹象，因为它可能还没有到侵蚀到我的肺。我的奶奶也在3月21日在中国去世了。因为这个邪恶的病毒，我甚至不能去见她最后一次。一个月前我刚刚失去了我的爷爷。
3月23日，星期一——我的鼻子开始流血，而且肯定已经超过15分钟了，一直流个不停。我变得非常紧张，我想一定是血液涌进了我的大脑而导致鼻子的血流个不停。我的脑子开始胡思乱想。。。 “我会死吗？”，“我该怎么办?” ,” 谁能帮助我?“ 当流血终于停止时，我看到了一封来自我们镇(我们在新泽西州)的信，信中说我们可以打电话预约一个新的驾车穿越地点进行测试。我马上打了过去，等了40分钟才接通。我老公的电话没那么幸运，但经过4个小时的努力，他终于与某人取得了联系。那天下午四点半，我跟着他一起去了。当我们到达测试中心时，他们还是非常有组织性的。我们告诉警察我老公的名字 然后跟他解释说我是一个家庭成员，他们也让我通过去测试了。我们前面有5辆车，整个过程可能不到10分钟。当他们把长棍插入他的鼻孔时，我老公感到有点不舒服。那时我并没有太多的疼痛感只是高兴终于给我们测试了。测试完了后就给了我们这张纸，让我们带回家。
3月25日，星期三，—我老公的症状正在好转，而我的情况却在恶化。此时，我的鼻子不通气，没有味觉或嗅觉，便秘，有些痰，身体非常疼。每隔10-11个小时，我的发烧大约是101-103。我至少能够把食物塞进我的身体里，因为我知道我需要能量来对抗病毒。从那时起，我开始尝试各种各样的中草药。我们在中国认识的一些医生给了我们一些建议 (包括莲花清瘟，阿比多尔，银翘，六神丸，贝母止咳，等等)。我这里有一些我们服用的药物的照片，这些药物可以帮助治疗咳嗽、痰、退烧、释放毒素等等……当然，这种病毒是无法治愈的，但当时我愿意尝试任何方法。我甚至在房子周围都放了洋葱（因为它可能会把病毒吸引到它的表面），用大蒜进行口试呼吸等等。这也是当我们听说我们不应该服用Advil和Ibuprofen。所以我们一发烧就只吃 Tylenol。我们喝了很多水和佳得乐来保持水分。
1. 多喝水(最好是温水/热水) 。如果能加一个柠檬那就更好了。必要时可选:佳得乐/果汁
2. 早晚用盐水漱口。可选: 用棉签清洁鼻孔。
6. 必要时可选: 蜜兰塔，便秘药
7. 维生素C, E，含锌接骨木果
在这三个星期的艰苦经历中，我们感觉自己得到了重生。有太多的生死离别 让我们感觉到失去我们所爱的人，失去我们的信仰，甚至失去我们自己)，以至于我们现在回首往事，不禁会想，我们是怎么活下来的? 因为知道没有治愈这种病毒的方法，所以还没跟病毒抗衡的时候就感觉50%我们是输了。但是这个病毒就是靠这个理念才带走了那么多人的生命。我们不会那么轻易的屈服的。我们有支持和爱我们的家人，我们要为他们战斗！尽管现在的经济很困难，但你们要记得你起码有亲人和你们一起度过难关。即使你们不能在一起，每天打个电话或视频聊天也能给他们继续下去的力量！我们希望每个人都能保持安全，少出门，多隔离，尽可能戴上面具和手套来保护你们身边的人。希望我们这次的COVID经验能够帮助更多人战胜这个病毒！如果任何人有任何疑问，请随时给我们发邮件，我们将尽我们所能提供帮助。电子邮件: firstname.lastname@example.org