My symptoms started Sunday, January 2, 2022 with a sore throat. By Monday, I started feeling slight body aches and had nasal congestion, which -- to me -- merely indicated a run-of-the-mill cold. Even with the “overload” of COVID information, COVID did not even enter my mind as a diagnosis because I was fully vaccinated and had gotten the booster shot. Unbeknownst to me, my husband -- while out at a pharmacy to pick up filled prescriptions -- decided to pick up a couple of COVID test kits. Luckily, he happened to be there just after a delivery arrived, as test kits have been hard to come by.
While I truly believed that I only had a cold, I figured -- what the heck -- there’s no harm in testing. Low and behold, a bright pink line appeared next to the blue control line indicating positive for COVID! Wait, what?! I was NOT mentally prepared for that result. I spent the last two years thinking COVID was a death sentence for me due to my CF condition and now had to contend with this horrendous viral infection. That said, I remained calm and decided to take a second test because -- as careful as I thought I was -- there was still a possibility that I may have contaminated the test. Surprisingly, the second test also revealed positive for COVID, which confirmed it for me -- I had COVID. My husband and stepson (who lives with us) tested negative. Ok, so now what?!
Although my symptoms were minor, I knew that could change on a dime, so I reached out to my CF care team to notify them of my diagnosis.
Not surprisingly, because I have a superb CF care team, my doctor immediately informed me about this new anti-viral drug called Paxlovid that was developed to reduce the severity of COVID symptoms. It was, however, only available in select pharmacies. Good thing I called ahead because the first [local] pharmacy I called was all out. My next option was a pharmacy 40 minutes away. My CF team sent the prescription there and -- luckily -- when I called, the pharmacy still had some available. My husband picked it up first thing Wednesday morning. The dosage was one pill twice a day for five days.
I think the medication worked at reducing my symptoms and I did not experience any setbacks in my lung function. The only lingering symptom I experienced was a metallic taste in my mouth, which lasted several weeks, otherwise I was pretty symptom-free. My husband, on the other hand, started getting COVID symptoms a week later and ultimately tested positive. He faired a bit worse than me and his symptoms lasted about two and a half weeks. Unlike me, my husband did not get Paxlovid, so I would have to surmise that the medication worked as expected. Although testing positive for COVID and then letting my care team know wasn’t top of mind when I felt that all I really had was a common cold, I am so glad I did take the test at the end of the day!
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