What is it like to have the virus? Here's a report from Toby Kasavan, a friend of Senior Planet and teacher of Tai-chi and TaijitFit; read more about his lessons on BetterBalanceNY.com.
This whole experience was stressful.
My wife, Anna, is 59 and is in good health; she is a runner and non-smoker without diabetes or asthma; I am 67 with no underlying conditions. I don't use tobacco and will occasionally smoke weed without vapor.
We had started to stay at home and wash our hands often, but we were not wearing masks or gloves. We had no idea where or how we got it. Anna worked in nursing homes, which were closed to outsiders. When she started to cough, I still taught tai chi, although none of my students were ill.
About three weeks ago we got symptoms: Anna first, and me four days later.
We tried to find a way to get tested, but we did not meet the criteria for the test. we have no idea how we were exposed at all. My wife took three weeks to recover; my recovery took a little less and my symptoms were a little less intense than hers.
How it started
My wife, Anna, started to get tired and had a 99.9 fever, which went up and down for only three days. After a day she developed a hard cough. She said it felt like it was settling in her lower lungs. She also had a headache; her sense of taste and smell felt, but was not completely gone. She also had a slight rash on her lower legs. After three days, the fever went away, but the cough continued. The cough and other symptoms worsened over the next two weeks. Slowly she felt better and better and the cough gradually went away. She has had no symptoms for three days now, not even a cough.
Meanwhile, four days after her illness, I developed a low fever of 99.9 for two days. Then a hard, raspy cough came into my upper chest. The cough felt very hard and rasping ̵
Our symptoms differed. Anna had a deep cough that felt like it came from her lower lungs, and her back hurt too; she had some attacks of really deep coughing. I felt like it was grabbing my upper chest with some coughing fits. It was scary and I could tell if it got worse it would be grueling.
How we coped
At the beginning of the symptoms my wife moved to our second bedroom and isolated herself. When I got symptoms we kept isolated from each other (we are lucky to have a two bedroom apartment).
I did the shopping and threw away the trash (with mask and gloves or wash hands when I got back to the apartment). We left the wax for two weeks and then she did it with mask and gloves. We left the house every three or four days. We took NyQuil; it seemed to help with the cough and helped us sleep.
We made sure we were not breathing on each other; we sterilized things we touched and often washed our hands. I felt better than she did, so I was cooking, but we washed our own dishes. We were very careful about washing our hands after touching things the other person touched.
Anna called her doctor several times about a test. The doctor said that even she could not be tested. The doctor advised us to stay away from the emergency room or the hospital unless we had a fever over 102 degrees with real breathing problems.
We isolated ourselves from each other for about 12 days. She spoke to me at the door and her at the other side of the room. Oops, I'm glad it's over !!
Since Anna has fully recovered, she is considering participating in the program to try to isolate the antibodies, but her children have asked her not to go to Manhattan yet, so she is not doing it. For myself, it has not been long enough that the symptoms have been turned away (the cough) for me to qualify for the test of the program.
We feel that we were almost immediately hit by a bus, but missed it and just grazed us.
Note: BetterBalanceNY will offer free virtual classes during the pandemic through the end of May. Details are here.
Here is the schematic; join via Zoom here.
* Tuesday 10 am TaijiFit Flow class
* Wednesday 10 am seated taijiFit Flow class
18:30 hours Traditional Tai Chi Chuan class
* Thursday 10 am TaijiFit Flow class