Well, it happened... 9 days ago today, I tested positive for Covid-19. It has taken until today to gather the strength to tell my story, in hopes that I can shed some light on this virus that we know so little about.
One thing to remember is that everyone's symptoms are different. I am about to tell you about mine, but they may differ from someone else's symptoms who has tested positive. I also want to mention that it doesn't matter how healthy or unhealthy a person is. No one is safe from getting this virus. Many people have reached out to me in the past 9 days questioning how I could have gotten Covid because of how healthy I am. Healthy or not, if I was exposed to Covid-19. Once exposed, it was inevitable that I would get it. Where my health has helped me is in my recovery. Luckily, and thanks to my health and fitness, I only had 2 really bad days, followed by 4 days of moderate symptoms. I'm thankful for my healthy lungs and my healthy heart which allowed me to power through this virus and return to almost 100% today!
It all started for me on Tuesday evening, March 17th. I was driving from New York City to Westport, New York where Martha and I had planned to hunker down at her parent's house until things in New York settled down. Little did I know, I was infected and it was about to hit me hard!
I felt fine on my drive, but when I arrived, I know something was wrong. I had a strange tickle in my throat and slight body aches. I certainly did not feel normal. That evening I went to bed hoping that I would wake up and it would all be behind me. Sadly, this was not my reality. I woke up on Wednesday morning feeling worse... but still not terrible. I had a slight headache and body aches. My day on Wednesday was filled with FaceTime workout sessions and even a family movie night with Martha's family that evening. If I know what was about to hit me, I would have stayed far away from from Martha and especially her family, who I inevitably infected in this process. It was when I woke up on Thursday morning that I knew I was in it for the long haul. My headache was so severe that I couldn't open my eyes. My body aches felt internal and sharp. It felt as though my internal organs were being tugged at and manipulated. My fever, which lasted 4 days, sat at 103 degrees and made me even more uncomfortable.
As I mentioned, I had 2 very severe days. These days, my symptoms consisted of a tremendously painful headache, horrible body aches and a fever. My respiratory issues didn't start until after those 2 days. I woke up after 2 days of torture and my headache had disappeared. Even though I still felt that my body aches had not subsided at all, I knew that without my headache, I could be somewhat functional. My cough set in this day, along with a loss of smell and taste. It was hard to take a deep breath without coughing and I couldn't get out of bed without losing my breath. These final two symptoms lasted roughly 3 days. Slowly, all symptoms began to disappear and I felt like my strength slowly returned. All in all, my symptoms lasted about 8-9 days.
I did have one relapse on day 7. My fever and body aches came back for a day. The biggest struggle at this point was the mental struggle of feeling like I was never going to feel better. At this point, I was frustrated and felt defeated, as I'd been isolated to a bedroom in my in-law's house for over a week.
Unfortunately, my mother-in-law contracted the virus. She selflessly took care of me when I was down and out... and paid for it severely! She went through the same sequence of symptoms that I did and is currently on the mend. We did our best to quarantine and isolate, but this just goes to show how contagious the virus is!
The biggest lessons we've learned from all of this is how important it is to stay isolated if you're feeling any symptoms, use separate dishes, separate bathrooms (if possible) and sleep separately. Keep your family safe by keeping your distance as much as possible!
Living in Strange Times
We are all on edge as we watch the world change in a way it has never changed before. I have very mixed emotions about what is happening. I feel scared that my loved ones in Canada will get sick. I feel sad that I cannot leave the US to see my family and friends. I feel nervous that there is no definitive end to our quarantine. My mind is constantly bouncing back and forth between these emotions and at times it feels very overwhelming.
I have made a promise to myself that I will only focus on the things that I can control. I can’t control when the virus will slow down, or when we can come out of quarantine, or when my amazing city (NYC) will start to resemble some form of ‘normal’. What I can control is keeping myself sane and keeping myself healthy. I’m doing my best to focus on what I’m eating, how much exercise I’m getting, the amount of rest I allow myself to have and allowing myself to focus on positive and self-affirming thoughts. This is the only way I can get through each day and not allow myself to spiral into the unknown.
Here are some tricks to stay healthy and sane during these times.
1) Eat to Heal Your Body
Now more than ever, we need to pay attention to what we are putting into our bodies and focus on whole foods that have a ton of vitamins and nutrients. Vitamin C (from a supplement or from citrus fruit) and zinc are two of the most important vitamins/nutrients that our bodies need right now. They are powerful immune boosters and will help us in our fight against Covid-19. Anti-inflammatory foods like garlic, turmeric and ginger are also a must. Eat a ton of fresh fruit and veggies to continue to build a wall between you and this virus.
2) Keep Moving
Keep yourself moving and sweating to rid your body of toxins and to help flush any unwanted germs out of your system. If you are worried about a lack of equipment at your home, get creative! Use soup cans for hand weights and the first step of a staircase for a step-up. There are always options my loves! My online program also has a tons of body weight circuits to keep you moving!
3) Rest Up
Equally as important as any other factor is how much rest you’re getting. If you’re not getting 7-8 hours of sleep, your immune system drops. This leaves you susceptible to picking up viruses. Now that we’re at home, just like you schedule in exercise to your daily routine, schedule yourself an hour or rest throughout the day. It is so very important right now to remain rested in order to keep your immune system intact.
4) Stay Positive
It may seem impossible to stay positive during these times. Find ways to keep yourself happy and motivated each and every day. Some things that I have incorporated are 5- minute morning meditations, calling a friend or family member once a day and writing in a journal to vent if I’m feeling down.
As someone who had Covid-19... and beat the crap out of it, let me tell you that it was no easy task. I'm thankful for my health, which allowed me to have a speedy recovery. Do your part and stay quarantined until told otherwise. Keep yourself and your loved ones safe everyone!! Whether you've had Covid or not, we're all in this together!