SPARTA, NJ- The story really is not that exciting- and that's a good thing. While the news is constantly reporting about people getting sick and dying, people are also getting better. A Sparta resident has just finished quarantining, having been sick with the coronavirus.
“I feel good,” the former patient said.
This person did not want to be named for fear of having family members and others become ostracized. The former coronoavirus patient is not sure where the exposure happened, but suspected it was after a recent surgery, when immunity was possibly compromised.
The initial symptom was a fever. “I didn’t feel well. I took my temperature and it was 102.”
The grandchildren had been coming to the house during the day to do their school work but after the symptoms developed they had to make other arrangements.
After two days of a 100 or more degree temperature, shortness of breath and a shallow cough for a day, a call was made to the family doctor. They had a video chat during which the doctor confirmed a diagnosis of coronavirus.
The symptom that allowed the doctor to be so certain was the loss of smell. The loss of smell was only discovered when a spicy soup did not taste spicy. A spray of perfume confirmed the sense of smell was gone.
The diagnosis meant quarantine, “in my room for 10 days after the onset of symptoms or three days after the symptoms have cleared, which every is longer.”
The doctor said not to get tested because the treatment would be the same. This means this patient was not counted in the daily numbers of sick and then recovered patients. This patient is over sixty years old, having had a recent surgery and on blood thinners; several indicators that would place someone in the category considered to be at risk.
The quarantine meant not going outside the bedroom and having meals delivered to the room. Aside from “almost going crazy looking at the four walls, it wasn’t bad." Another difficulty was not being able to go to rehabilitation after the surgery.
That will resume now that the illness has passed, if there is a place to go get the therapy.
Questions remain; “Can I get it again? Can I get tested for the antibodies so I know I can go out?”
The spouse and grandchildren are healthy.
“I have plans to go to physical therapy but I will probably wear a mask,” the former COVID-19 patient said.
“I was careful. I did everything I was supposed to do and I’m fine now.”