My Covid-19 experience: A Daily Diary

At the very beginning of January 2021, I tested positive for Covid-19. Unnerved by the knowledge and wanting to track my journey, hoping to see a daily improvement in my symptoms if they escalated, I started logging a brief, daily diary.

Isolation day 1

Mum got her Covid test result back this morning – positive. Now our family all has to isolate for the next 10 days according to track and trace. I have mild symptoms, I’ve had headaches for a few days but didn’t think much of that. I have now lost my sense of taste and smell. Not feeling 100% but not feeling ‘sick’… waiting on my own Covid result…

Isolation day 2

Back to work after the Christmas Break! Today, I received my own positive covid result. I’ve had headaches on and off today, but trying to ignore them. My legs feel a little heavy which is very strange. It feels like covid is making its mark on me today.

7:30 – Feeling woozy in the head with definite weak legs

9:00 – Time for bed, feeling very woozy and overall not very good. It’s strange how quickly this seems to be setting in.

Isolation day 3

Woken up with a stiff neck an I’m feeling very tired. My working day went fine, felt a bit woozy here and there and occasionally my legs felt very weak walking around the house. Almost feels like when you have the flu and your legs just won’t work properly, but it comes and goes and is not as bad as ‘flu legs’.

Watching a Joe Lycett stand up film to lift my mood tonight and it’s definitely working, but laughing leaves me a little breathless – not cute. Still feeling rubbish overall really.

Isolation day 4

Today was a struggle to get out of bed, I’m glad I set an early alarm because I snoozed it about 6 times. Got up, showered and straight into fresh pjs to feel comfy. Feeling similar to last night. My chest feels tight and heavy and walking from the kitchen to my bed has me feeling very out of breath. I feel very woozy in the head and I’m really struggling to look at a laptop screen. It feels like both the room and my eyes are spinning. Sat in PJs in bed with a hot water bottle on my feet and trying to work mostly from my phone when possible (luckily I can do that).

It feels like there’s lots of ice inside my chest. Speaking isn’t easy because it makes me feel out of breath and the cold feeling is painful.

7:00pm – Work done, feeling rough, dizzy and a sore throat. I’m breathless on walking around and my chest still feels strange. It’s very unpleasant, but no ‘covid cough’ at all. I still feel woozy, it’s not a headache but a very drunk, dizzy feeling. I shall be lying down for the rest of the night.

Isolation day 5

Woke up feeling rubbish, not feeling well enough to concentrate or go about a normal day so i’ll have to take a sick day, it’s really not going to be possible to work feeling this way. It sounds like I have a hoarse voice, but else nothing new or major to report. Chest is better than yesterday but not 100% and the woozy head is making itself known. The plan is to stay in bed all day and keep warm with a hot water bottle.

Isolation day 6

Woke up feeling worse than yesterday. I’d say that yesterday was probably my ‘best’ day. Which isnt a great feeling.

10:30 am – The woozy head feeling is back with a vengeance. Very hard to explain but it’s essentially that feeling when you think you’ve drunk too much alcohol and know you’re going to be feeling it tomorrow. I feel very drunk and not in a good way.

9:00- Stayed in bed all day, couldn’t sleep at all due to the pain in my head, its not really like a headache. I desperately want to go outside for a walk and I’m feeling very weak and sorry for myself. This is rubbish *insert sad face emoji*.

Isolation day 7

Feeling really tired today. Got out of bed about 12:45 to make myself a cup of hot water! Today I sound quite full up with a cold. A runny nose is one of the symptoms associated with Covid-19 and I’ve occasionally had it for the past few days, but no other ‘cold’ symptoms have come of it. Still no cough at all which must be a good sign in some way. Sense of taste and smell are here to stay which is good, I was worried it would be long lasting. The feeling of an icy chest is now gone and hasn’t come back. My breathing doesn’t feel 100% which is very strange, but it’s improving.

4:00pm – Started to feel a woozy again. Similar to yesterday but not as bad. Early night and off to bed.

Isolation day 8

Woke up feeling ok, not great by any means, but better than some days. I definitely have a very blocked nose today. Planning to get wrapped up and have a little walk around the garden.

Midday – I take it all back, there will be no walking. A major headache has set in and I cant really move. I’ve had two 5-10 minute naps throughout the day but I cant seem to stay asleep. My limbs are in agony all of a suddenly and the feeling has almost come from nowhere. I can only describe it as severe aches and pains in my limbs. I cannot express how much of a hard day this has turned into. I am in a lot of pain in both my knees and ankles which feels very similar to strong growing pains. It’s making for a really tough day.

9pm – All day the usual headaches come and go and I can’t concentrate on anything, looking at my phone or a TV makes it worse. This mixed with a woozy head feels very debilitating. All I can do is lie here.

Isolation day 9

Woke up with a mild headache and a painful left leg. While it’s not a nice feeling, its a major improvement on yesterday’s genuine agony.

5pm – Managed to actually get a one hour nap in today which hasn’t happened for a while. My legs feel ok now which is a relief but my head is pounding.

11pm -Finally, my headache has mostly subsided. Keeping topped up with both ibuprofen and paracetamol all day every day but I hope this means I’m on the up?

Isolation day 10?

I’m losing track of days now, this is more strange that the Christmas – New Year limbo period. I think I’m on day 10 of isolation but I’m really not sure anymore. I have 2 days left of isolation left according to NHS track and trace app, but if I’m still experiencing the same symptoms I’ll have to keep isolating.

Woken up with a funny feeling in my left leg, feels like I’m just about to get pins and needles but then nothing happens. Its been ongoing for a few hours so I hope this doesn’t last because its making me feel a little worried. The biggest new development is that today I have I have zero sense of smell. I’ve been using a pot of ‘easy garlic’ to sniff every now as a silly test, on gauging where my sense of smell is at. Today, I can successfully stick my nose all the way inside the jar and smell nothing, this isn’t great. I couldn’t smell my shower gel this morning which prompted me to run for the garlic!

16th January

Hooray! Isolation has been over for few days and I am certainly feeling improved. I still feel quite weak at times, especially in my legs and tired with headaches. I’m grateful to finally be able to go out for a walk around the local park today.

18th January Back to work

My sense of smell and taste completely have disappeared. I don’t want to waste great food so I’m just sticking to really boring basics. Tea, juice, bread, yogurt, rice, mushrooms, you name it, it all tastes the same – like … water?

27th January

Thankfully my sense of taste is back and I’m grateful to enjoy anything chocolate once more. My sense of smell isn’t completely back and isn’t what it used to be, but fingers crossed that improves over the time. I’m still extremely tired every day and getting headaches daily too, its a little rubbish but I just have to get on with it. It’s been a very unpleasant experience overall (obviously), but even though I had some very awful days when I couldn’t get out of bed, I was lucky all things considered. I have seen Covid-19 affect members of my family far worse, which has led to hospital visits and a very stressful and worrying time for us all.

My thoughts and advice

Though a continuous cough was one of the main symptoms heavily publicised a few months back by the government, this will not be present in everyone. Nobody that I know who has had Covid-19 has experienced a continuous cough at all. Based on my own experience, here is a summary of what I personally experienced:

⁃ Breathing not ‘feeling normal’, feeling out of breath with a tight or heavy chest, for me it felt like there was ice inside my chest.

⁃ Headaches, migraines, head pain in new spots that you’ve never felt before

⁃ Feeling ‘woozy’, similar to feeling drunk, hungover or having vertigo

⁃ Runny nose (but not a cold or any cold-type symptoms)

⁃ Heavy/painful limbs similar to flu

-Loss of taste and smell

For me, any symptoms I experienced came and went on and off every day. No two days were ever the same which made it very unpredictable and hard to guess if I was getting better at all. Don’t forget to contact 111 or visit the NHS track and trace app if you think you are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms to help protect yourself and those around you.

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