You are probably tired of the subject of Covid, but I wanted to share my experience having Covid-19 earlier this year. Before you get worried, thankfully I didn’t get it too badly! Obviously, everyone’s experience having Covid is very different, so I wouldn’t describe my experience as a typical Covid experience, nor a particularly unusual one, but it’s just ONE experience. I personally find it really interesting to read or hear about other people’s experiences with Covid-19, so I’m sharing mine in case my readers find it interesting too.
I caught Covid for the first time at the end of July 2022. Catching Covid was somewhat of a surprise to me, as I had been exposed to Covid several times before and not caught it. I’d thought I might have some kind of natural immunity, or indeed that the vaccines were doing their job. This may well have been the case, but the immunity may have worn off a little, or been less effective against whatever variant I caught. But there’s no use speculating on how or why I caught Covid because I’ll never know. The fact is I caught it! Here’s what it was like for me.
How I found out I had Covid-19
The day I tested positive, I woke up feeling pretty normal but with just a bit of a sniffly nose. This is not unusual for me as I am quite a runny-nosed person in general. I own a cat and sometimes I just breathe in a bit too much cat hair which I think causes that. That was my first explanation for needing to blow my nose more than usual that morning. I thought nothing of it.
I think I did have a small bout of coughing that morning too but again, I thought nothing of it as that occasionally happens to me and I felt pretty normal otherwise.
It was in the late afternoon that I became aware that I was still blowing my nose a lot, and I started to feel hot. That’s when I thought, “Maybe I am coming down with something?”. I decided to do a lateral flow test just in case, but I can honestly say I was not expecting it to be positive. At that point, I thought maybe I was coming down with a cold, but I didn’t think I had Covid. This is partly because, as mentioned, I had been exposed to Covid before and avoided it, and partly because I associated Covid more with throat and cough symptoms rather than a runny nose. I just took a test to rule Covid out.
To my surprise, as soon as the liquid travelled up the lateral flow test, the red T line immediately showed up! It was a clear positive result. I remember sitting there feeling a little stunned that I actually had Covid. And then thinking about the implications and what I should do next.
In retrospect, I realised I had been feeling a little ‘off’ the day before as well, but not enough to raise any alarm bells. I’d had a slightly dry throat and been feeling a little tired. I do wonder whether a lateral flow test would have shown up positive on that day if I had tested, especially as it was such a strong positive when I tested the next day.
What did I do after testing positive?
Thankfully, Covid-19 came at a convenient time for me. Not that getting ill is ever convenient, but I got it at a time when I had next to nothing booked in my diary over the next week. It would be easy for me to stay at home and rest, away from other people, because to be honest, that is what I would have been doing that week anyway. I had just come to the end of a busy few weeks and I was thankful that I had not caught Covid a week or two earlier, as that would have messed up a lot of plans!
The first thing I did was to contact people I had seen in the last few days and let them know that I had Covid. Then I contacted the few appointments I had for the next week, to rearrange them. I live with family and at that time they were away staying at a holiday flat they own. They were due home in a couple of days, so I got in touch to let them know that I had tested positive for Covid and that they might want to stay away for longer. They decided to do so. I’m glad the timing worked out so I was able to avoid giving Covid to my family!
I can’t really remember what I did for the rest of that day. I know I still felt fine and able to function as normal – I just felt hot and had a runny nose.
How my symptoms progressed over the next few days
The next day, I felt really tired. I still had a runny nose and a very slight cough, but my main symptom on that day was tiredness. I managed to do things around the house but all day I just could not wait to go to bed. I also had a very mild headache that was worse when I moved or blinked my eyes, or moved my head suddenly. I rarely get headaches so this was unusual for me, however, it was mild. I also had quite a low appetite although I was still able to eat.
Over the next couple of days after that, I still felt tired with a slight headache, but not as much. I still had a runny nose and a slight cough which were worse at night. After around day 4 since testing positive, my runny nose cleared up and my cough got gradually better with just occasional bouts.
At around day 4, my body started to feel achy, especially in my arms and legs. This was only mild at first so it didn’t bother me too much. I did some gentle exercise hoping that would help, but it didn’t really help much. Over the next few days, the achiness got gradually worse, peaking on days 8 and 9 after testing positive! By then, most of my other symptoms had gone, but my legs and hips really hurt to the point that the pain kept me awake at night.
I was scared that Covid might have done some lasting damage to my body, and that the aching legs might be here to stay, especially as I felt I should be over the worst of the infection by then. The only thing that seemed to ease the pain was a hot bath, so I had several of those.
I tried going for a walk (I live in a rural area and I stayed well away from other people) because I thought that might help get rid of the aches. This turned out to be a bad idea as my legs felt increasingly weak throughout the walk and I struggled to make it home! I had to lie down and rest for a while after that.
Thankfully though, the next day the aches started to fade away and by day 11 since testing positive, they had pretty much gone, never to return again. I was very thankful for this!
What did I do while I had Covid-19?
I was fortunate enough that I was still able to function pretty normally while having Covid. I was mostly just more tired than normal. These are some of the activities I did while I had Covid:
- Laying down and reading.
- Watching films – I watched the Hunger Games series.
- Preparing and eating meals. I didn’t have much appetite but I tried to eat normally to aid my recovery.
- Looking after my houseplants.
- Light exercise including some walks in the later stages.
- I had a Waitrose delivery – I left cardboard boxes outside the front door and a sign on the door to explain that I had Covid and could they please put things in the boxes for me.
- General admin and household tasks.
- Video calls with friends.
- Practicing the piano.
Related post: Things To Do When You Are In Self-Isolation
When did I test negative?
I did a test nearly every day while I had Covid. This was probably unnecessary but I was curious to know exactly when I’d test negative. I was getting a strong positive result every day until about day 8 since testing positive. After that, the line got fainter and fainter every day. By day 11 after testing positive, there was still a faint line, and by then I was frustrated because I felt fine and I wanted to go out and do things.
On day 12, I finally got a negative result! I took one more test on day 13 to confirm this and it was indeed negative. After I’d tested negative, the only remaining symptom I had was an occasional cough for the next week or so.
Below is a photo of all my tests, in order. It’s not a very clear photo, but they were all positive apart from the last two.
An overview of my symptoms
These are all the symptoms I can think of that I experienced while having Covid-19:
- Aches and pains especially in my legs
- Mild headache
- Runny nose
- Mild cough
- Feeling hot (only in the first day or two)
- Low appetite
There were a few ‘typical’ Covid symptoms that I personally didn’t have. I didn’t have a sore throat at all, even with the cough. I also didn’t experience any change in my sense of taste or smell. It’s clear that symptoms vary from person to person, and they would also depend on what variant you have.
Have you had Covid-19?
I hope you’ve found this post interesting or useful in some way, whether it’s to compare your symptoms with somebody else’s or to get an idea of what to expect when having Covid. Obviously this is only my experience and it could be that your experience with Covid is totally different, in a better or worse way.
I am fortunate in that Covid wasn’t too bad for me. Overall my symptoms were pretty mild and manageable, although the worst one for me was by far the achy, painful legs. Thankfully, I didn’t develop long Covid or any lasting symptoms. However, Covid-19 is still something to take seriously because I know people who had it much worse than me or are experiencing long Covid. Therefore I believe it is still a good idea to take sensible precautions, such as mask-wearing in crowded areas, to protect yourself and others. To anyone who has lost a loved one to Covid – I am deeply sorry for your loss.
Have you had Covid-19? If you feel like sharing your experience in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you. It would be interesting to see how our experiences compare. Also let me know if you have any questions about my Covid experience, as there may be details I forgot to include here.
Wishing you all the best health!