The following article was written by DeLand City Commissioner Jessica Davis on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, about her bout with COVID-19 and her continued struggle with the new coronavirus disease.
Around May 7, I began feeling like I might have been coming down with a common cold.
Whenever I feel like I am about to have a cold, I start preventative measures. I told myself I would continue my home remedies of tea, soup, over-the-counter medicine, and if I wasn’t feeling any better, I would go to the doctor the Monday after Mother’s Day.
On Mother’s Day, May 10, I was extremely fatigued — none of my methods were working. I mustered up enough energy to show gratitude and appreciation to my husband and daughter, who were doing their best to cater to me.
They brought me breakfast in bed. I ate what I could, and then took a nap. For dinner, my husband ordered take-out from a restaurant and brought me dinner in bed, and I opened up my cards and gifts from them.
I pretended to be feeling okay, because my daughter was so excited to give me the necklace that they bought me, and she had been keeping the surprise from me for a few days.
URGENT CARE, THEN THE HOSPITAL
I went to the Florida Health Care Plans urgent-care office on Monday, May 11 and requested a COVID-19 test. I had a cough, shortness of breath, fever, body chills and fatigue.
The nurse advised me to drive around back, where I would receive a finger prick to take blood to see if I had COVID-19. If the test was positive, I couldn’t come inside, I was told; if the test was negative, then I could come inside so staff could see what was wrong with me.
Some 15 minutes later, the test was negative, so the nurse brought me in through the back door to see the doctor.
The doctor gave me a quick examination and determined I had bronchitis. I was prescribed medication, and was relieved that the doctor said I didn’t have COVID-19. I was optimistic that the medicine would have me feeling better in five days.
Five days later, I was not feeling any better, so I went to the AdventHealth DeLand hospital on May 17, and advised them of what was going on with me. They took a chest X-ray and determined I had pneumonia. I was prescribed another five-day regimen of medication.
I went home to finish taking the medicine, but I still felt like I did not have just bronchitis or pneumonia. Still, I did as the doctor said, and took the medicine as prescribed.
My symptoms were causing so much discomfort at night for me so instead of sleeping like everyone else in my house, I was on the Internet looking for whatever article I could find on the symptoms I was experiencing. I read articles about how the finger-prick test was providing patients with inaccurate readings.
The article I read during my late night research that made me become worried and the most alarmed was an article about the youngest 25 people who died from COVID-19 in Florida.
In the article, many of the patients were my age, 36, or close to it, and were diagnosed by their doctors with bronchitis and pneumonia.
BACK TO THE HOSPITAL
I drove myself back to the hospital the next morning, May 21, and became a little more forceful with medical staff. This was my third visit in front of a doctor. I demanded a COVID-19 nasal-swab test.
Each nurse and each doctor had a different opinion on my care and what should be done.
One doctor was extremely understanding and felt like if the test came back positive, he wanted me to stay overnight so further exams could be run. The test came back positive, and a different doctor said, “I would not have admitted you, and would send you home to self-quarantine, because it is not like we have a vaccine.”
The medical staff’s priority, in my opinion, was COVID-19 patients in critical condition and in need of oxygen. I was experiencing shortness of breath, but not enough to require oxygen.
I was admitted into the hospital, where I spent four days. No visits.
Thank God for FaceTime and smartphones, so I could communicate with my family.
Daily, the medical staff would discuss discharging me. The reason I was not discharged sooner is because during one of my chest X-rays, the pneumonia had gotten worse — I had fluid in my lungs. The fourth day, the fluid was not seen in my lungs, and I was discharged from the hospital on Sunday, May 24.
In an attempt to keep my family safe — especially my husband, Mario Davis, 36, who is a kidney transplant recipient and our daughter, Marissa Davis, 8 (who all have been testing negative for COVID-19 and have no symptoms) — we decided as a family I would self-quarantine away from our home.
The first night in self-quarantine I felt alone. The reality of having COVID-19 hit me like a ton of bricks, and I immediately began having anxiety attacks. I was unaware I was having an anxiety attack, because I had never had one before. Turns out, an anxiety attack has similar symptoms as COVID-19, with shortness of breath, among other symptoms.
Lately, I am doing much better with controlling the anxiety attacks, and I am sleeping a little better.
On Monday, June 1, the Florida Department of Health gave me a nasal-swab test to see if I still had COVID-19. I got my results on Wednesday, June 3, and I am still positive.
I was advised by medical professionals I can still test positive for a while. While I am testing positive, I will remain in self-quarantine and away from my family. I will test weekly through the Florida Department of Health.
There is no cure for the coronavirus so I am only taking vitamins to help build my immune system. Once I test negative and have this virus behind me, I will continue to take these vitamins, because it is something that my body needs anyway. Beating COVID-19 solely depends on you and your immune system.
Today, I feel much better than I did when this first started, and I feel like my symptoms are improving. I still have some struggles, and ask my supporters to continue to keep me in their prayers.
I am grateful to those that have been praying for me, and those who sincerely want to see me beat this deadly virus that has claimed the lives of so many. I pray for peace for those families grieving the loss of their loved ones to COVID-19.
There is a lot of misinformation out there about the virus, and scientists are still learning about COVID-19. It doesn't matter who you are, your race, your gender or your age — this virus can affect you. The virus is still spreading, so I encourage all of you to continue practicing social distancing and all other COVID-19 preventive measures.
Self-quarantine has taught me a lot — and self-care is the most valuable lesson that I have learned. The world around you will keep going, whether you’re dead or alive. So, I choose to live, to, focus on my health right now, and to pray for continued peace over our country as we fight the coronavirus and the injustice around us.
Thank you to my family, friends, the medical staff, my church family, Volusia County Schools, the community, the City of DeLand, and my supporters for keeping things moving forward in my absence.
Please continue to be safe, and God bless you all.