A COVID diary - Part 1

 


It was bound to happen one day, but after dodging it for 3 years, it's my turn to get the Spicy Cough. I had just gotten over a bronchitis...

I'm five times vaccinated, and all those shots prepared my body to handle the infection in the most efficient way possible and minimize symptoms. This is part one of, uh... I don't know... maybe two, three, at most? I'm six days post-diagnosis and the infection is still running it course, so plenty more can happen until I'm fully recovered. All the planned gear reviews are on hold until I can actually think straight and play somewhat properly.

Moral of the story: get vaccinated.

T-4 - Wednesday, January 18th

It seems my bronchitis finally went away. The course of antibiotics I've been prescribed is finished, and I have no symptoms anymore except a nagging, slightly wet cough. All of my COVID tests were negative, including the one I took this morning (you can never be too safe these days).

T-3 - Thursday, January 19th

Went back to the gym this afternoon. I can certainly feel the two weeks I could not go because of the bronchitis. There was this dude at the gym who look like he got run over by a freight train. Hunched over, walking slowly, doing only 3-4 reps of every exercises, and the bags under his eyes were so big he needs a porter to carry them around. He was wearing a mask, so I stayed as far away as possible. He didn't clean any of the machines he used and quite frankly, he should have skipped the gym today...

T-2 - Friday, January 20th

Went shopping after work today: Costco, Wal-Mart, and Sleep Country. I desperately needed a mattress and get rid of the sofa-bed I've been sleeping on for the past year and a half. Got a Bloom "mattress-in-a-box" that I brought back from the store. Now I just need to get rid of the sofa-bed. I'll get a platform later and just do "luxury camping" with the mattress on the floor for a few weeks. Bronchitis seems to be gone for good, but the slightly wet cough is still there. It's a lot better than it was Wednesday, though.

T-1 - Saturday, January 21st

As every Saturday morning, I went to take breakfast with mom at the restaurant. After that, I went shopping again to Long & McQuade then to the mall, where I got some delicious "Perfect Peach" tea from David's Tea. I tried to contact a few charities to see if they'd take a gently used two places sofa-bed. It's not looking good so far.

D-Day (or is it C-Day?) - Sunday, January 22nd

0200

Woke up at 0200 feeling... weird. I'm not exactly sure what's going on, but I had a slight fever (about 38℃, and was feeling like my head was in a vise. I don't like that. Maybe it's because my window was closed and it got too hot/stuffy in my bedroom, so I slightly opened the window and went back to sleep.

0630

Woke up still feeling weird. Bedroom is now fresh and comfortable, but fever is still there. Throat is slightly itchy too, and cough is bit worse than it was. Decided to skip the gym today.

0830

Showered and got dressed. I felt slightly confused. Fever is still around 38℃, so I took two acetaminophen 500mg (paracetamol, for those outside of North America), and one GeloMyrtol. Took breakfast in my office and tried to work on a side-project for a few hours, but instead aimlessly watched YouTube videos as concentrating on anything was nigh impossible. I had fever chills most of the afternoon and generally felt like crap.

1600

Extreme fatigue started to set in about 1h ago. Lovely. I literally didn't do anything today, but I feel like I ran a marathon. Fever is still there at 38.4℃. The chills got worse, and now strange muscle aches started mainly in my legs. I feel like I've been run over by freight train. Waitaminute...

1615


Well, shit.

I checked one of the official symptoms list (the one from Canada.ca), and I'm 11 out of 14. Yay. Because I'm living with my elderly aged no spring chicken venerable parents, I busted out gloves, masks, and disinfecting wipes and promptly isolated myself in my bedroom after disinfecting the common areas. I ordered more gloves and masks, some vitamin D gummies (because if I have to take vitamins it better be a fun experience), and a Bluetooth/wired headset that was in my cart from a previous visit in the Amazon app (maybe I'll do a headphones review at some point). I need a nap now.

T+1 - Monday, January 23rd

It's Monday. I woke up at 0200, generally feeling like crap. Headache and pressure were replaced by a pretty intense brain fog, but the fever is still there albeit closer to 37.5℃. I made another COVID test, just in case yesterday's one was a false-positive.

It was not a false-positive. The test line was red before the buffer even reached the control line. It was also a LOT more red than the control line (which was normal-red) after 15 minutes. So yeah, I'm definitely pregnant infected. Woohoo.

I sent an email to whoever at work needed to know about me being sick, took two acetaminophen and a GeloMyrtol, and started working from bed. Since concentration is difficult and I'm getting tired just by being awake, productivity was not that great even though I managed to work 11 hours (from 0630 to about 1730) since I needed to talk to a colleague who wasn't available until 1645. Lunch and dinner were light, and I went to bed early, after my evening dose of acetaminophen and GeloMyrtol.

I decided to stick to that, medication-wise: two acetaminophen 500mg every 6 hours (giving me the maximum daily dose of 4g per day), and one GeloMyrtol twice a day (morning and evening; although one can take it up to four times a day according to the instructions on the package). It kept the headache, muscle soreness, and fever under control, while the GeloMyrtol made sure I wasn't congested too much (and smelled like a eucalyptus tree).

T+2 - Tuesday, January 24th

Woke up at 0200, again. Brain fog and tiredness are now extreme. Concentration is difficult, almost impossible. Smell and taste started to go at around 0700, and were completely gone by 0900. Nose and sinuses were clear, so it's not because these are blocked. I did some experimentation, and I couldn't feel the sourness or the spiciness of foods so it's not only a taste thing; there's a neurologic thing in there as well. I kept a sacrificial pack of Sour Patch Kids nearby to test if/when my senses would come back. Fever is almost gone as my temperature mostly varies between 37℃ and 37.5℃, but there are still spikes at 38.3℃

I managed to work from 0630 to about 1130-1200, after which I was exhausted. I had my TV going in the background with some Adrian's Digital Basement videos so I wouldn't just fall asleep on my laptop, and I like to think that it helped. I'll be doing that for the rest of the week, I think.

Went to bed early after a very light dinner.

T+3 - Wednesday, January 25th

Got woken up by my alarm at 0530 today. At 0700, everything started to smell and taste like skunky cigarette smoke. Have you ever tasted yerba mate? In case you haven't, it tastes like a wet ashtray. Imagine that, but ten times worse, and with a skunky component here and there. It's not that pronounced for now, but it's there enough that it's annoying. I did make sure the house wasn't on fire, just in case. No more fever spikes, and body temperature stays below 37.5℃ most of the time, now.

Productivity is down the drain today as the skunky cigarette/wet ashtray taste and smell is getting quite strong to the point where I'm having nausea. Gravol Ginger were added on my medication list. As a direct consequence of that, lunch and dinner were very light today. Brain fog started to lift and I was able to concentrate a bit better. Extreme fatigue is still there and as annoying as that weird taste problem. I'd rather have no taste and smell at all.

I managed to work from 0630 until about 1230-1300, after which I took a nap until 1730. I ventured to my office to pick up my Plex (there's a review pending for that) and a instrument cable so I can play bass. I then watched YouTube videos until 2230 because I napped for too long this afternoon and couldn't fall asleep.

T+4 - Thursday, January 26th

Woke up somewhere between 0200 and 0300 because of that damned skunky cigarette/wet ashtray smell and taste. Intensity varies from time to time. One moment it can be almost gone, then the next it can be overpowering and nauseating. It makes it even harder to concentrate, and the fatigue is still there. No amount of sleep and napping seems to make it better. Fever seems to be under control, and my body temperature varies between 36.7℃ and 37.4℃.

Sacrificial pack of Sour Patch Kids still tastes like a wet ashtray that was sprayed by a skunk, and I get absolutely no sourness and spiciness feelings from any food. Meals are getting quite sad and depressing as it feels like eating cardboard, except much, much less tasty. I did manage to eat a bit more than the previous days, which is good. I also lost about 8kg (17.6lbs) in less than a week. That's insane...

Managed to work from 0700 to about 1330. I was still excessively tired after just a few hours of work, but it seems to get better much faster after I stop and take a break for a bit.

I'm not as tired and fatigued this evening as I was the rest of the day. I managed to stay up until about 2200 without having taken a nap this afternoon. I did play bass for a bit this afternoon, and I really enjoy my Plex as it doesn't bother anyone when used with headphones. Speaking of headphones, my ATH-M50xBT2 are great and I love them very much.

T+5 - Friday, January 27th

Woke up at 0050 and absolutely could NOT fall back to sleep. I may have dozed off at around 0500, but not enough to have any significant impact on my tiredness. Today was mostly an "I did not sleep well" tiredness and not entirely a COVID-induced fatigue. No fever. Body temperature stayed stable at around 37℃ all day.

Smell and taste started to come back! I could only pick up very strong flavors in the morning, but it got better as the day went on. Dad went to get McDonald's, and I could taste the onions, a bit of the pickles, and the French fries. The rest of the flavors were very faint. I could taste a hint of apples from the apple turnover, and it was great. The Sacrificial pack of Sour Patch Kids now tastes something! Sourness and spiciness are still very faint, though.

Worked from 0630 to 1230, after which I decided to call it a day because of the very short night I had. Tried to call a few more charities to see who might want my sofa-bed.

Well, no charity wanted my sofa-bed so I called 1-800-Got-Junk for them to pick it up. I didn't expect them to come pick it up today... Yes, I did disinfect everything and I did stay away when they came by. The crew said the sofa-bed was in great shape and they'll try to donate it to charities in the area. Hopefully someone will accept it. That whole operation was bout 250$ in total, but now I can use a proper mattress.

Gustave-Approved™ mattress

With the sofa-bed gone, I cleaned up the bedroom to remove the dust and cat hair that was under it and I let the new mattress "inflate" and take back its shape for about 4 hours. I then put the mattress protector and sheets on and promptly fell asleep in it. Doing all that plus a load of laundry (because obviously the correctly sized sheets where not cleaned yet) made me excessively tired, to the point I had to catch my breath a few times. I think that'll be a long lasting side-effect of getting the Spicy Cough...

T+6 - Saturday, January 28th

Woke up at 0630 this morning. Still somewhat tired, but I did sleep a full 10½ hours last night. I don't think I moved at all. That new mattress is so comfortable I didn't want to get up.

Symptoms are much lighter today. Smell and taste are still only about 30% back. The Sacrificial pack of Sour Patch Kids taste a bit more sour than yesterday. I can now also taste chocolate and some tea. I was able to detect a slight hint of the honey I put in my morning tea. Spicy foods are still hit-or-miss, and those that are hits are very very faint. There's still that nagging skunky wet ashtray smell and taste that shows up once it a while...

I was able to shave this morning. It tired me more than I thought it would. I planned on doing all my laundry today, but I had to stop halfway through because just bending down to put the stuff in the washing machine was difficult. The extreme fatigue is almost all gone, and replaced by what I'd qualify as "excessive activity-related fatigue". No fever for a second day in a row. Body temperature is still steady at 37℃, ±0.03℃. I think it's getting better.

In order to try and not exhaust myself too much today, I decided to write a blog post about my experience with the Spicy Cough. I've spent 4 hours on this post in total, and yes, I am now tired. I need to eat something, and take a break for some time. I'll see if Gustave allows me back in my bed...

Stay safe!



Header image by Freepik.

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