The Coronavirus Diaries – 7th July 2020

I have decided to write a weekly diary of our time through the Coronavirus pandemic. To keep for the future. It’s such an unprecedented time and full of so many mixed feelings and events we have never encountered before it is hard to process it all.

The Coronavirus Diaries - 7th July 2020

6th July

This week has been quite an unnerving week. Last Sunday, I started feeling wheezy and just attributed it to my asthma. On Monday I had a cough, again I thought asthma. Tuesday I woke up with a very hoarse and generally just feeling fatigued. It was at this point my husband looked at me and said I don’t think this is just asthma and I decided to apply for a covid test. Because the nearest testing station was a 30 mins drive away, I applied for a postal test instead. By the evening I had a mild temperature of around 37.8.

The test arrived quickly. The very next day and I completed it the same day and posted it off before last post the same day.

It’s quite a strange thing, staring down the face of maybe having that is potentially a dangerous illness. There are so many terrible stories in the press which you cannot help to read. In the end I had to remind myself of the positive facts, that most people who get covid experience mild symptoms and focus on that, rather than worry about the what ifs and maybes. My breathing was been getting worse though.

Thursday evening at about 10pm I got a message from the Covid testing team telling me that my test was negative. However, I woke up on the Friday feeling so unwell, wheezy and my chest and throat really hurting from coughing. The wheezing was quite scary and I felt like I couldn’t fill my lungs properly, and the bottom of my chest was really sore, so I decided to contact the doctors.

My appointment was over the phone due to the current climate with the asthma nurse, who thought that as I tested negative for covid that I probably had a chest infection that was also triggering my asthma. I was prescribed antibiotics and steroid tablets to reduce inflammation in my lungs.

From there on in really I felt worse. The weekend I spent a lot of time in bed, which is quite unusual for me. I’m normally on the go. My chest hurt, I felt wheezy, the cough was dry and crackly and burns giving me a sore throat. The temperature seems to have passed, but I felt so exhausted and on Saturday my breathing was bad even lying down. I felt like I was panting on occasion. I noticed on Friday the heart rate monitor on my watch showed that I had done 2 hours of cardio even though I have been lying down the whole time.

Sunday I don’t think I had a fever, but felt so unwell and exhausted. Just going up the stairs made me feel breathless. I was so hoarse I was struggling to talk. Again I gave up and went to bed in the end, just needing to rest.

Today, I woke up feeling a bit brighter, I have been having headaches on and off. I’m still very breathless and doing too much just makes me feel ill. I started the day doing some work, but I have had to stop and the TV babysitter has been put on.

7th July

I am a bit late with this update this week, as last night unfortunately I was sent to hospital for assessment yesterday evening. My breathing became quite difficult and I was struggling to complete a sentence. After talking to 111 who then sent an urgent referral to my GP I was advised to go to A&E or call call an ambulance. To me, it didn’t seem serious enough to call an ambulance when resources are so stretched too. So we got the children in their pjs and I threw some essentials in a bag and my husband drove me to hospital.

I discussed my negative covid test with the doctor other the phone, but he suggested as there can be false negatives that I treat myself like I am back in isolation again. Which meant we couldn’t ask a friend to look after the children in an emergency. We didn’t think it was the right thing to do. My husband would not have been able to come into the hospital with me anyway.

The operation at the hospital was very slick. I had to wear a mask. I was triaged at the door, assigned a seat to sit on in the waiting room. After about 20 minutes, maybe less, I was taken into an assessment room. They took my blood pressure and oxygen levels and temperature straight away. They also fitted a cannula and took (loads) of vials of blood. My temperature was raised, but my oxygen levels were fine.

After, I was then moved to a cubicle and examined by a doctor for suspected pneumonia. I was sent for a chest x-ray and had an ECG. I also had further oxygen tests. It’s very weird being in A&E with nothing but your phone for company. You can hear the conversations going on outside. The doctor discussing if they think you may need to be admitted or not for oxygen therapy. No one to talk to about it, hold your hand or reassure you. It’s quite a humbling experience.

Everything happened really efficiently and fast. It was clear they have this procedure down for managing during the pandemic and I was really impressed.

Thankfully my X-rays came back as clear for fluid. My heart was strong and there were no concerning infection markers in my bloods. They couldn’t retest me fo covid in A&E as those tests were reserved for people being admitted. So as I had been on antibiotics and steroids for a suspected chest infection for 3 days already, it could be they’re doing they’re job, it could be I just have a normal viral infection, it could be I have covid and last week’s test was a false negative (this is quite common according to the internet). Today, at lunchtime I was retested for covid and now await the results.

Also a big thanks to the team at Frimley Hospital and the Military Covid testing team at Easthampstead who were excellent.

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