My Experience with COVID
Last updated: March 2022
Despite knowing it was more than likely inevitable, I caught COVID. I believe this is actually my second time, however, the first time wasn’t confirmed. It was too early in the pandemic to be tested. This time around, there was no denying it. I took a saliva test which confirmed what I already knew.
Although I’m sure most people were/are concerned about catching COVID, living with a rare and delicate illness like myasthenia gravis (MG) significantly amplifies that anxiety. Not to mention that a lot of us, including myself, are immunocompromised which is even more concerning. This is my story.
How it started
Everything started out fine. Fine for a "normal" case of COVID that is. The first night I had the type of scratchy throat that keeps you up all night. I knew from that something serious was probably on the horizon.
Much to my surprise, I actually woke up the next day and didn’t feel awful. I was definitely more tired than usual and chose to stay in bed to fight off whatever it was I had brewing. I knew from experience with illness and MG that rest is the best medicine.
By 9 PM that next evening however, the fever started creeping in followed by intense body aches and chills. Although my fever didn’t get above 102.8 throughout that night, it wouldn’t go down with the first round of Tylenol. It took double the dose over a couple hours before it finally lowered a bit.
Concerned about a flare
At this time, I was concerned that my MG would flare as it usually does when I get sick. Luckily, those symptoms seemed to be nowhere in sight, for now.
By day 3, I felt awful. Fever, chills, body aches, headache, sore throat, cough, lack of appetite, nausea ... you name it. I had it. Still, MG symptoms weren’t present. What a relief, I thought. Maybe I was out of the woods. I probably spoke too soon.
It wasn’t until day 4 that my eyes began getting very droopy and my double vision set in. I felt slightly weak when standing and walking too. I did notice a little trouble swallowing by that evening as well.
It still wasn’t as bad in comparison to other illnesses in the past, so I felt a sense of temporary relief. My breathing remained stable and I would do the single breath test to make sure.
Day 5 resolved most of the COVID symptoms and was the best night sleep I had had since the symptoms began. Despite that, MG symptoms progressed though. I felt pretty awful. My body felt incredibly weak where I had to take frequent breaks from standing and just being on my feet.
My vision was relentless and the air hunger started. I decided, with the previous advice from my doctor, to increase my dose of prednisone for a couple days to see if that helped.
By Day 7, I still didn’t feel the best and knew it would probably take some time for my body to heal. I knew from experience that it takes my body a few weeks to get back to my baseline after recovering from an illness. That was the bad news. The good news is that my symptoms didn’t get worse. I managed to avoid the hospital which was my biggest fear.
Sharing my experience
I know that everyone’s experience is completely different and it’s best to avoid getting COVID all together; as best as you can within your control that is. It can be very dangerous for us.
That being said, I hope that my story and experience calms some of the anxiety we face about getting it. We are a lot stronger than we think!
My most frustrating MG symptom is _____.