Having been both careful and lucky for nearly three years of pandemic, my care and luck ran out at the beginning of the month.
I had a work trip in Louisiana, my third work trip in six months. I had skated through the first two, masking at the airport and on the airplane but taking some risks once there.
I did the same in this case… but this time, one of the other attendees brought the plague, and half of the attendees were sick the following week. Including me.
I got home Friday evening, and felt the first bit off Saturday evening. Sunday morning, 2/5, it was clear that I had something.
I thought it was either a head cold or RSV. Rob suspected otherwise, as witnessed by the label he added to this photo of me napping Sunday afternoon. I had a minor fever (99.7) when I went to bed Sunday night.
I tested positive first thing Monday, although it still mostly felt like a head cold. Still a bit of a fever (99.8, with a high of 100.5). I napped a lot, but didn’t feel too bad.
By Tuesday, I was able to work a part day, but still napped in the afternoon.
Wednesday, I was able to work a part day, and failed to nap in the afternoon — clear sign that I was on the mend. I felt about 80% in terms of brain and energy.
Thursday, I worked a full day, felt about 90%.
Friday, I tested negative, and nudged above 90%.
By the following Monday, I was aaalmost back to normal. Since then (almost another week now), I have battled the notorious lingering cough.
I’ve been taking dextromethorphan to try to prevent my lungs from becoming irritated by gratuitous coughing. I have also been masking a lot — that little pocket of humidity helps a lot. And hydrating, of course.
My chest still feels a bit tight, and I’m not sure what lung imaging would show. I’m definitely being careful not to push myself physically; my big fear is getting Long COVID.
At present, I feel like myself plus a cough. Is my energy a tad low? I think so. Is my brain a little creaky? Possibly.
Overall, I think I’ve fared fairly well, but it isn’t an experiment that I’m keen to repeat. The actual acute phase wasn’t bad for me (fully vaxxed and boosted!), but this lingering impact is worrisome.
Hopefully in a couple more weeks I’ll truly be back to normal. We’re getting on to spring and gardening season, and I want to be feeling my best!
Update: the lingering cough lingered until around March 6th, so a full month from first symptoms. That said, I’m prone to lingering coughs, and it felt like the same general type of lingering coughs that I get from colds.
My sense of smell was impacted for a week, maybe two. It never went away completely, thank goodness.
I’ll try not to do this experiment again for a goodly while.