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JohnH

Know Anyone Who's Had Wuhan Coronavirus?

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Are you one of those who are saying "I don't know anyone who's had COVID-19."?  Well, now you can change that statement.  I thought I'd share with my friends and colleagues on this forum my experience of the past few weeks.  We haven't shared this information beyond a few family members and close friends - haven't even shared it within our church (for some unique reasons)  This is a little long, and probably too much detail.

On June 26 I awoke with a deep cough, slightly sore throat, and low grade fever around 99.1. The next day the fever persisted and I began feeling very tired.  Got tested on June 28.  The next few days were pretty bad with fever bouncing around and peaking at 102.  Dry cough, little or no taste, and general malaise.  Didn't get my results back until July 4, but to no one's surprise I was indeed positive.  The listless life and fevers continue until the night of the 11th, when I awoke at 3 am in a sweat because the fever broke.  The next day I felt much better but then fever began to rise to 102 at bedtime, and broke again around 3 am.  On the 13th day I felt great, and by day 14 one wouldn't have known I'd ever been sick. Today is day 19 and I'm still regaining strength, but feel wonderful. Already had my follow-up test and I'm now negative.  Next steps will be voluntarily testing for antibodies and possibly donating plasma at the Red Cross if they want it.

My wife also tested positive, but she NEVER HAD A SINGLE SYMPTOM.  My doctor wasn't all that surprised and just said "Yeah, she's an asymptomatic carrier.  We see this all the time."

I'm 72, with stable angina, overweight, and I have "reactive airways", which means I get bronchitis easily.  So I just assumed if I got the Wuhan Coronavirus I'd wind up in a hospital, probably on a ventilator, and with a poor prognosis. By the grace of God, I escaped all those dire outcomes.  It was very unpleasant and a little scary, but all in all not much more stressful than a bad case of bronchitis.  Medications?  Mucinex and an occasional use of my Albuterol inhaler.  Took one Tyleonol each of the two nights my fever hit 102.  Other than that, I trusted my immune system and my body's built-in furnace to kill the virus. As my doctor reminded me, I'm one of the 99% who recover from this, so there's that perspective.  But I also have the perspective of a cherished church member who died in a hospital on a ventilator.  So what do I conclude from those two extremes?

None of this is to minimize the risks of this illness, nor to predict the course of the illness if you or someone else happens to get it.  And if that happens and you want to ask me any questions I'll be glad to provide even more detail.  So I urge everyone to continue to be careful, take precautions, and know that it can happen,  but it isn't an automatic death sentence.  

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I am glad you have recovered.  My cousins family had the virus in April (?) and their experience was very like yours.  Three in the family, no one deathly ill, wife tested positive, husband's test messed up and could not be tested and he never re-tested, and daughter never tested. 

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I really glad you recovered. My neighbor who lives across the street from me who is in her late 60s came down with covid 19 at the beginning of March.

Her doctor told her that she wasn't quite sick enough to be in the hospital. She told me that it was by far the sickest she had ever been.

She had very similar symptoms to yours, however it took her 5 weeks to recover.

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19 minutes ago, Abby Normal said:

Even survivors may have damaged organs for life and experience subsequent problems. That's my biggest worry. Best wishes!

https://www.vox.com/2020/5/8/21251899/coronavirus-long-term-effects-symptoms

Yes, that's a legitimate concern.  Guess I'm going to be on high alert for any unusual symptoms anywhere in my body.  I do happen to have a cardiologist appointment in 3 weeks.  Going to lobby for a little more intensive testing. (I might even finally agree to that angiogram he keeps pushing.)😳  But whatever the course in the future, it is what it is.  I'm not losing any sleep over it. 

The thing I'm most curious about is whether there's any long-term immunity conferred, and whether it's limited.  I'm gong to get weekly antibody tests, even if I have to pay, for at least the next 6-8 weeks.  But plasma donations might come with free testing - haven't checked that out yet.  If I wind up with immunity that would fit in with my plans to return to Myanmar and India on mission trips early next year, and frankly would have made it all worthwhile.  I suspect those counties are going to be paying special attention to Americans at immigration - maybe even requiring documentation prior to departure..  (That's already happening in Europe) 

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Thank goodness you've recovered, John!

A dear friend now tests negative, but her three-month illness with two hospital stays plus hospice left her weak. She's still in hospice but in her own room now instead of a Covid room. They do NOT expect her to get any better or ever return home. A 19-year-old died in my tiny town, as did an infant, and several men and women my age who, as you say, were not expected to have good outcomes. A strong firefighter recovered after months from the first symptoms, but tells us he has heart and kidney (? liver?) and cognitive problems that will last his lifetime. A nurse in her 20's that I know in our local hospital recovered after two weeks and went back to work.

Do NOT trust your antibodies. We don't have enough months/years of experience to see if antibodies = immunity and, if so, for how long. In fact, I also know a couple different people who are now struggling with their SECOND bout of Covid, both cases worse this time their their first time. Their doctors are unsure if they have a new case, or their old case lay dormant for some time and then resurfaced.

Be grateful and be careful.

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Thanks for that info.  What you described just illustrates how varied the outcomes can be, even among different age groups.  

I’m very interested in the antibody story as things move forward. I think there’s lots of speculation among the scientists based on something other than the data. I’m convinced it isn’t enough to know antibodies are present. The actual value need to be tracked, but they don’t have enough data to establish a baseline or relevant range yet.  

By the way, I lost 13 lbs which I needed to lose, but that isn’t an endorsement of the COVID diet.  

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Yes, firsthand I know of 3 friends that had it for sure and others suspected. The first is in her early 80s and is a cancer survivor. She is in independent living and is sure the communal living was the source. She started on a Thurs with nondescript symptoms of being unwell that progressed over the weekend, and then had to call 911 on Monday. Spent a week in the hospital on large doses of oxygen, steroids, and antibiotics. She ended up with some sort of heart complications that will require medication for the remainder of her life. She considers herself very lucky to not have ended up on a ventilator at her age or worse.

Next is a friend and former coworker of my husband, age 60 and otherwise healthy. His job is inventory control and delivery of Rx meds to one nursing home. He was there the day of their first positive case and said they didn't show much concern. He was incredibly sick for weeks with the coughing, high fevers, very shallow and difficult breathing. He should have gone to the hospital to at least be checked out but was too terrified because of the stories of patients on ventilators. We were incredibly worried because he wouldn't go and knew that he probably should have been on oxygen and steroids at a minimum.  He has recovered and is extremely angry over how that nursing home had no procedures in place and were lacking in their response.  He should not have been allowed in there at all!  To put it in perspective, the facility that my mom was in went immediately on lockdown the day Delaware had its first positive, and that was the day she was released, and I feel lucky that I got her out in time!  Facility that friend does meds for had about 450 residents at the time of their first positive case and, within a short amount of time, 125 of them had died because of the virus.

An otherwise healthy friend from Los Angeles also had it early on and it left her with tinnutis and vertigo so bad she's had to give up driving and is even fearful of activities like walking her dogs for fear of falling and injuring herself. Some of the lingering after effects weren't known at the time she was sick, so doctors don't know for sure if her current issues were caused by the inflammation from the virus, but I suspect that is the case because it started right after she was so sick.  We have some mutual friends from the same area that have said they believe they had it in early February before it was believed to be there, and they'd tested negative for flu, and so they say that whatever it was, it was horrible and like nothing they'd had before. 

I think the virus was in our area earlier than was first thought too because my brother and wife had something horrible about a week before Delaware announced its first case, but they didn't go get checked because they didn't think it was here yet and assumed it was flu. Who knows?!  They've said the exact same thing that other online friends have said about it, that the coughing is like nothing they've ever had before, and haven't ever been sick like that. I can say that if my brother said he was laid up on the sofa being sick for more than two weeks, it must have been really bad. He was still sick but got back to some level of activity.

Husband was tested prior to his last biopsy and was negative. His followup was this week and his nurse said 2 of her neighbors, an older couple, both died from it.  I'm still only going to the grocery once every 2-3 weeks, and other than that, the only people I have contact with are husband and my mom.  

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A little late responding, John glad to hear you and your wife are okay, unfortunately I personally know of the 15+ individuals that had it and some think they had it since early January 2020.  

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I appreciate all the well wishes.  Feeling great now, continuing the weight loss (intentionally), and antibodies were very high on the first test.  Already have my first appointment to donate Convalescent Plasma at the Red Cross on Aug 10.  Will be able to donate every 28 days as I understand it.  Maybe my antibodies will help someone else recover.

 

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