I am in the high-risk category for Covid-19 for a condition I was diagnosed with before I was one, asthma. Because of this I have been cautious and taken all the precautions I could to prevent contracting the disease.

Then on July 1st my health changed. No, I did not get Covid-19 then, but while trying to get supplies to a student in an essential services field to help continue their education, I rolled my ankle causing soft tissue damage. Due to previous soft tissue wounds I knew I heal slowly from this type of injury, one taking over two years to heal. Due to my spine problems I knew I could not use crutches. I borrowed my mother’s wheelchair.

As a result, I started working even more remotely where I could not walk or travel easily. I did pickup orders from the grocery store. I had extremely little contact with anyone.

On the evening of July 22nd, I knew I felt off. By the next morning I knew I was sick. After calling, I was advised to take a Covid-19 test. I took the test as soon as I could and recall thinking that the test wasn’t so bad. The personal was obviously stressed and didn’t tell me much. I was able to drive away immediately.

The result came back negative, and my doctor decided to put me on an antibiotic where there were symptoms that were clearly bacterial. After trying one and switching to a second antibiotic where there was no improvement, the bacterial symptoms were gone.

However, I was not better. The remaining symptoms where ones commonly associated with Covid-19. My doctor instructed me to take a second test. When the second test was administered it was much worse, much more invasive than the first test had been. This test was administered on August 12, 2020 a full 20 days after the first test. This test the personal was much more engaged with me, gave me much more thorough instructions, and the test was extremely invasive. One of the personal’s parting words were to let me know how leave “when I was ready to drive.” It took a couple minutes before I could.

The second test’s results also came back negative.

I discussed with my nurse practitioner’s assistant what symptoms where bothering me most, which he had requested. I informed him of two. First, breathing difficulties which I stated was not like when having an asthma attack or like when I have had bronchitis or pneumonia. Second, concentration problems I am having. When I try to concentrate too much (especially on my writing) my head will feel like it is buzzing, and if I ignore this warning sign I will start to tremble until I am not functional at all.

My doctor’s decision was to diagnose me with asthma. The condition I’ve been diagnosed with since before I was one. And that he had prescribed a refill inhaler for the week before.

I could say a lot on what I think of this diagnosis, but I will leave it at I do not believe my doctor listened to me. Finding a doctor who will listen and diagnose based on symptoms is a challenge now. Doctors are under huge amounts of stress. They are treating more patients and lacking information on this disease for many reasons including that the disease is new, there is a lot that is not known yet and, like the rest of us, they cannot hold their normal conferences to learn from each other.

As of today, I have been ill for 46 days.

While the bacterial symptoms were treated with the antibiotics, the rest have not lessened in this time. Instead I have some days which are my new normal and some days which are much worse, but I am not improving noticeably.

I believe the first test was done incorrectly. I know that the tests have a high false negative rate. Everything I research my symptoms line up with Covd-19. I believe I did manage to contract the disease through community spread and that I am in a long-haul recovery.

I have been extremely lucky. While the symptoms are being persistent, they have not been extreme. Still, I would encourage everyone to take precautions against contracting Covid-19. The disease is new. Doctors don’t understand it yet. You do not know how your body will react. It is not worth the risk.

In part I believe this because of my experience in December. In December I contracted an illness which is the worst I had ever been through in my life. At the time, until I just couldn’t anymore, I wrote a fictionalized series of posts about some of my experience which I titled “The Death Plague.”

My roommate was also sick during this period for a full month. Her experience was prolonged fevers including a point where she had not been out of her bed in three days. I know this because she called me to beg for soup where she had not had the energy to feed herself in days. Something I would not have noticed where we had different work and sleep schedules.

At the time, we both knew the symptoms we experienced where atypical for the flu and were not bacterial. The more we have learned about Covid-19 the more certain we have grown that the atypical symptoms match up with Covid-19. Including the fact that my roommate is still experiencing symptoms we have learned other long-haulers experience from Covid-19.

I don’t know what my recovery will look like from here. I have been largely quiet on my experiences up to now. Reasons for this include the uncertainty of what I had, a complete lack of energy to deal with anything beyond what I had to, the extreme difficulty I have writing, skepticism from others, and more. I’m sharing now because I want others to know they are not alone, and because I want to remember.

I believe that I am in a long-haul recovery from contracting Covid-19 in July, and I believe I had the disease in December 2019 as well.

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