These Days

Coronavirus Commuting

I don't know about everyone else but sometimes when I wake up in the morning I forget about everything that's going on and then reality hits me like a ton of bricks. I'm not complaining, far from it as I realize how fortunate I am to be able to be home at this time with my husband who is also working from home. So we found out earlier this week that with public health as the priority New York remains on PAUSE through April 29. We had kind of resigned ourselves that this would happen so we've made peace with it.

I've managed to keep my anxiety in check for the most part. I'm not going to lie that at times when I think about the seriousness of it all on a global level, it does freak me out. Of course it doesn't help how cases have escalated in NYC recently. With every sneeze or scratchy throat feeling, I wonder if I could be sick because I did make a  number of grocery runs back in the beginning of March and had to sit it on one grand jury session where I was in close quarters with 19 other people. And my husband and I have both been dealing with seasonal allergies.

So I'm actually convinced that I had a mild case of COVID-19 in the middle of March. At first I just chalked it up to seasonal allergies because of the sneezing and coughing fits with a runny nose that it usually brings. But when I started feeling off and experiencing bouts of dizziness and a low grade fever, it felt like something else. I also had a fairly serious case of allergy eye where my right eye swelled up so much that it was almost shut. Claritin relieved my symptoms to some degree but not completely and I was having gastrointestinal issues which had me throwing up at least one meal every day for a period of 4 days. I took it easy, got more rest, ate carefully and loaded up on liquids, zinc and vitamin C. After about a week, I felt normal again. We also think that when my husband was virulently ill with the flu back in February that it may have been a form of COVID-19 because he had a really high fever and severe body aches that incapacitated him for a week and a half. He looked and felt like death. And this spread through his department at work like wild fire over a span of 2 weeks. We're both fine now and we hope to remain that way. Holding out hope that the medical community will find out that once you've had the virus and recover, that you can develop some sort of immunity to it.

So the thing that had been keeping me up at night lately was this pain in my left arm that started off fairly mild and progressively got so debilitating that I was experiencing constant stabbing pain that pretty much immobilized me and my husband had to help me with the most basic of things because I couldn't use that arm. I used a massage gun and my TENS unit for relief and I took the strongest OTC pain reliever I could find whenever I couldn't take the pain anymore but it got to the point where that wasn't working anymore. I couldn't see my primary care physician because she has been working on the frontline of coronavirus care (Thank you!) and the earliest I could schedule a video visit with someone from het office would be the end of April.

So my husband and I decided to look into my issue ourselves by listing down all my symptoms and trying to figure out where the pain was originating from and after doing some self testing we concluded that I had a pinched nerve in my neck. Just to be sure I set up up a tele-visit with a doctor through my insurance and after going through everything the doctor agreed with my assessment and was able to make some suggestions which I immediately implemented. I also ran it by my acupuncture doctor who also thought that made sense. After that I started watching some physical therapist run channels on Youtube for exercises that could help. When I started doing them and noticed a difference right away, I was pretty sure that had to be it. I've been diligently doing the exercises and the pain has subsided more with each passing day. I've also figured out the motions that trigger my pain and tried to avoid them. One of them involves not sitting for too long in front of my computer. It's not completely gone yet but at least it's gotten to a point where it is manageable and I'm able to sleep through the night for the most part again.  This is not an ideal situation and I wouldn't recommend self diagnosing but in this case I had to make do. I normally would've have just gone to see my doctor right away and I probably will get this checked out once life resumes. I count myself as fortunate as I'm still doing better than most people who've caught the virus. We just have to make the best of things for as long as we have to right now. Stay home if you can!

Illustration: Kera Till


  1. Hi, Rowena! I am sorry to hear about what you've been going through. I am relieved to hear that now the pain is manageable and also that you and your husband might already recovered from the virus. This could mean you guys have antibodies and won't require vaccines when they are available. I think the antibody test might become more important than the COVID 19 test in the coming days. I feel stiff and lacking energy in general so I am trying to do my home yoga session more regularly. Please continue to take good care of your self. Wish you Happy Easter! <3

  2. Nobody really know when this COVID-19 virus thing started exactly so it is entirely possible you had a mild case of it and got over it without knowing about it. I think that's more a common occurrence than we know or suspect. Both me and my husband were sick this February, I never took any sick days despite fever and a painful throat because I'm used to working sick and that was before anyone suspected that the virus was her. Maybe it was just some other virus, maybe not- it's hard to tell. Maybe we will know more about it in the future. In any case, it is possible to catch it again so we must all be careful and at all times.

    It is great you were proactive about the whole chronic pain thing and managed to figure out what it was and had a doctor confirmed. I'm in a lot of pain right now too due to scoliosis (I have a rather bad case of it) that sometimes causes my spine to pinch on one of my nerves and it is very painful. I must admit that I neglected exercises because I was exhausted working from home all day. I will try to get back on track with back exercises this weekend (it's a non working weekend for me finally). Stay safe and have a nice weekend. I sometimes freak out thinking about the global aspect of this whole situation but then I remind myself there is only as much as we can do.

  3. Praying for good health for you.

  4. How scary you might have had it! It's good that you are well even if you did have the virus, it doesn't sound nice at all with the chest pain and difficulty breathing. We keep thinking every cough or sniffle might be the start of it, haha! But we are being safe and staying home and we are able to get tested if we think we have symptoms so we would be able to get care right away if we did have it, I think!

    Hope that you are having a lovely Easter weekend :)

    Away From Blue

  5. Rowena, I'm glad that you're feeling better. This virus has people on edge. I was reading something a few weeks ago about people may have had Covid 19 and not realize it. Stay well my friend. Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

  6. Hope your arm heels soon and you're staying safe.

  7. Oh my gosh! crazy what's been happening to you this year in terms of health:( I'm really sorry to hear about all the illnesses but am glad to hear that your pain has been alleviated a bit. At this point, what you did with self-diagnosing was the right thing to do. (((HUGS)))) And fingers crossed that you and your hubby have the antibodies now. So heart-breaking to see what's been happening in NYC:(
    BTW, around the beginning of the year when I was going through some health stuff, my eldest and hubby also got super sick. They never get sick, but they ended up having high fever, that time, that was when the news of covid was just trickling down the news. I honestly think they both got it, so I'm hoping that they at least have developed some immunity to it (fingers crossed). My husband still works as he's an essential, so it's really scary, but what can you do? Sigh....
    Anyhoo, here's to an end of all these craziness in sight, my friend. XOXO

  8. Oh Rowena, sounds like you and hubby had a bit of a rough go health wise but I am glad you are feeling better now or at least the pain is not as severe anymore. I am grateful that Canada is handling COVID-19 well and in BC the line is flattening but I worry about the future, how do we bounce back from this?

  9. Thanks God you could have a telematic visit with the doctor. It's unbelievable what it's happening,... in Spain we have been one month already locked down.
    Anyways, I send you all my strength to fight anxiety :)
    have a nice easter day!


  10. I'm sorry you and your husband have both been sick, and I really hope your arm gets better. It's amazing that your husband was able to find the cause by research, sometimes the internet really is helpful! xo

  11. It's terrifying because when people are injured/sick due to non-COVID-19 related issues, it's hard to find medical help without potentially exposing yourself to the virus (my friend had to go to urgent care last week to get stitches and there were other people in the waiting room who were sick). It's great you were able to get a tele-conference call with a doctor and that it doesn't seem so serious. I hope your pinched nerve heals up soon!

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  13. I am happy to hear that you have been able to somewhat manage the pain. I count my blessings because we have doctors in my family and my sister is also a military nurse so I am always thankful. I hope that you both get rest and take care. Hopefully, the world will be able to resume in a better place in a few weeks or so.

  14. It is scary times in NYC right now. I'm so heartbroken for it when I turn on the news and hear the devastation taking place. I'm no doctor but it really does sound like your husband may have contracted coronavirus back in Feb, those pains sound like the tell-tale signs no? Glad to hear he recovered somewhat quickly and that it didn't pass onto you either. I've definitely been feeling the paranoia when I go to work. I have allergies too which mainly consist of sneezing and a runny nose. The last week the mornings have been pretty bad and it's too easy to let your mind wonder to the what-if's. Australia has been fairly "good" in terms of controlling this, but we're now moving into the colder months and I am not entirely sure just how well we have been managing this. We will find out soon enough, but seemingly hoping for the best


  15. I am glad you figured it out and hope you find relief soon. And yes thinking about the ramifications of this situation is very scary. It is a bit overwhelming. I guess all we can do is take it one day at time...

    Allie of

  16. It's good to hear that your pain is decreasing with each day, but it must have been frustrating to diagnose and treat it initially.
    My husband thinks he may have had COVID too in January! He went to a global retreat and tons of people were sick. One colleague later had antibodies to COVID-19 as well so it's definitely possible. I hope we did all have it because i'm worried about my kids. We hope to visit NYC some time but who knows when!


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