I am telling you, this is the year of ‘do I have it or don’t I?’. Every time I feel ill, a tickle in my throat, a headache, a cough, a sniffle, tiredness, or no taste to food, I wonder ‘Is this covid-19?’ ‘Should I isolate from my family?’ ‘Will I be the reason for my family member dying?’. I am so paranoid when I have any of these symptoms or if someone has them. It’s like we are in a movie. Who can we trust?! Looking suspiciously at others…well, I do, I’m not sure the others do.
Honestly, I thought I had the virus about eight months ago. I had some of the classic sypmtoms. At the time I was living in Japan. I had been out a lot, working online, but doing volunteer work. Still, I had begun to avoid being around people as much as possible. I had basically become somewhat antisocial with my friends.
Then on…hold on let me check the date I started posting my symptoms on my Instagram…[10 minutes later]…Oh, it was on March 22, 2020. So, I started feeling off some days before. I did what I usually do, that is take care of my health at home. my delicious chicken soup, ginger tea, garlic, vegetables…OTC medicine. When that does not work, I resort to the professionals.
My home remedies did not work. I lost my voice, cancelled my online classes, went to the clinic, was diagnosed with laryngitis, and was given a prescription. Now listen to this! I take my sick self over to the pharmacy (drugstore). Submitted the prescription and my health insurance card…Wait let me type exactly what I wrote on my Instagram:
Why do I have coins in a container? Well, it turns out I have laryngitis. So I went to fill my prescription. While waiting I noticed a pharmacist or assistant pull her mask down, use her hand to rub or wipe her nose. Then she pulled her mask back up and stood there waiting for the next customer. Needless to say, I was horrified, horrified!
I got my prescription, then went to pay for it. Who did I see waiting to cash me out? Ms. Nose-wiper! She took my money and gave me my change. Well, I immediately sanitised my hands!
Now, I’m home, coin purse in the laundry and my coins washed and sanitised. And, drinking some homemade chicken and vegetable soup so I can take my meds!
I went to the doctor with laryngitis, I may have left with Covid-19. Ugh!
So that was it. From that day on, my health went down hill. There was the scratchy throat, the low-grade fever and a bit of coughing. Then a persistent headache, stuffy nose, persistent coughing that robbed me of my ever-loving sleep! The pain in my throat to just swallow. Then one night I really had a fever that was 37.9 degrees celsius (100.2 degrees F). This was on March 25th. The good thing is, think I still had my appetite. For a foodie, for me that’s a good sign. I went to the doctor…a different doctor.
They separated me from the general patients, did a blood test, and prescribed a tonne of medicine. But no diagnosis of covid-19. Mind you this was during a time when Japan was not eager to test anyone. The 2020 Olympics was still on the table… So, draw your own conclusion. This was my feeling six days later:
Day 6: So sick of feeling sick. Feel like no progress has been made. I don’t know which of my current symptoms is worse, the coughing that won’t let me rest, the having to get up to remove stuff off my chest, the occasional blowing of my nose or the need to be medicated so these blimey symptoms would just chill so my body can get the rest it needs to heal. I wish they’d test me so I know if this is really ‘laryngitis’ or covid-19. If these symptoms don’t improve by Monday morning, I’m going to insist on getting that horrid test, so I can know what I’m dealing with.
So of all the things that coud have bothered me in during this sickness, this is what got me! Foodie through and through, right?
Day 7 (I think I’ve mixed my days up): Last night was rough…no, no fever or anything like that. For the 1st in a very long time I had 0 appetite. That worried me. The last time I can remember losing my appetite was when relative said something to me over ten years ago. As a foodie, losing interest in food is a terrible thing. I felt like I was 8 again being forced to eat whatever unpleasant healthy food my grandmother had put in front of me.
I made it through, I finished the dinner, because it was the only way I could take the meds to calm the symptoms. Of note, I haven’t had a fever since Thursday, and the crazy temperature was only on Wednesday. Anyway, the loss of appetite and coughing bothered so much that I called the covid-19 number… apparently my symptoms don’t really warrant concern. I guess if we weren’t in the era of ‘Covid-19, the pandemic’, I would just think it’s another one of those colds I get each year. I had been pushing myself for about month now, and not getting enough sleep, so, I was bound to get sick. So, what am I going to do? I’m coming after you, rona/cold/flu! Whatever you are, taking away my appetite is my last straw! You are dead! I shall destroy you!
Apparently, a few days later, Iwas feeling better because I posted a video of some pickled or salted lemon peels that I made. These are delicious, by the way. Oh, no, I am wrong. So as I scroll up my Instagram post, I realised that I was still feeling lousy. I want you to also note that during this time I was supposed to work at an English camp where the money had been deposited to my account, and because I got sick and was not sure if I had covid-19, I returned the money. #screamedinmypillow moment, but how could I keep the money when I hadn’t done the job. My post on March 29 was:
Day something: I have stopped counting. I had hoped to see/feel some improvement, but nada, nein, nothing! I had the 2nd week of English spring camp, and I do not think I could risk it for myself or others. At this point, I don’t know if I just have bronchitis or covid-19. While, there’s no cure or treatment for it, at least if one knows, then one can safely stay in to not cause any harm to others. I will call the health ctr responsible for my area to request a test. Ugh! The test is murder! The process is similar to how they test for the flu here – stick something up your nose and scramble your brain around. Well, that’s what it feels like. My symptoms at this point: dry cough, a couple of mornings ago the cough was so violent I almost threw up, actually I did. There’s also pain in the chest from the coughing, but I can feel a heat/pain radiating from the centre out – I feel a little like Iron Man with that thing in his chest. Plus my heartbeat is just been pounding away.
Now, I know that finding out won’t help me because there’s no vaccine, but I think it’s very important for accurate reporting of what’s really going on in Okinawa. I can’t even speculate where I could’ve picked this up from, if I even have it (drama queen much). I was quite busy out doing volunteer work (thankfully solo) 2 weeks ago, plus I was fatigued, which made my health vulnerable… I was still able to do what I love, cook.
Well, I have drawn tthis out long enough. My doctor did give me the letter to take to the hospital for the test, because I INSISTED. When I went to the designated hospital, I was made to wait outside until they were ready for me. They interviewed and ran some tests, except the covid test (what an absolute surprise there). My lungs were X-rayed and blood was drawn. I guess because I had not been overseas or had contact with other foreigners, I was low risk. However, many Japanese HAD the virus, it was already IN the country. So, go figure. #facepalm
I went back to my apartment, and a few days later I began to feel better, but not great. It took a month or two for me to feel as whole as any imperfect human can. Coincidence or covid? I still do not know. So why did I bring this up? Ugh, this is already too long, so I will talk about that another time. Ciao!