Australia has a shortage of testing kits
Australia has a shortage of Covid-19 testing kits, so the criteria to qualify for a test are strict.
If you present at your doctor and don't meet the criteria you are told to just go home and self-isolate.
This July I will be 72 years old, so I am on the wrong end of the mortality rate spectrum for this pandemic.
I've had flu-like symptoms for eight days (today's Saturday, March 21) but don't qualify for a test.
Today, Day 8, is an important day. I carefully read a survivor's account, and she emphasised how normal she felt until Day 8.
On Day 8 pains started in her chest and she suddenly found breathing difficult. That's when things became very serious. She's fine now, which is encouraging.
Over the last few of days, I've had a couple of periods where I think it's suddenly getting worse. Luckily, I've been able to get a grip on myself and logically come to the realisation that it's fear, not the illness which is surging.
As it progressed, I became increasingly alarmed, but I also didn't really want to believe it.
I re-read the qualification criteria for a test:
No, I don't qualify.
Was it just an Autumn-flu?
Then it happened, on Day 5 my 10-year-old daughter woke up with a fever. OK, so I am definitely sick, as she was tired and aching and had sore eyes.
But she had no cough and just a slight fever.
On Day 6 my daughter woke up fine, having slept most of the previous day. I asked if she should go to school - what did the teachers say to do if you had been sick? Did you need to stay home for a while?
Apparently not. She said many of the other children had been sick for a day, like her, and just come back to school. It seems that an Autumn flu is going around.
I wasn't feeling any better - my head and eyes were aching and I had to rest during the day. Nothing though, that qualified me for a test.
I watch the ABC (America) World News each day, and their story on reporter Kaylee Hartung made me nervous.
"What was notable to me as I wasn't having the symptoms that were being so closely associated with coronavirus. I wasn't having any sort of a dry cough. I didn't have any shortness of breath and I didn't feel pressure on my chest," she explained. "So it was easy for me at first to think, this is nothing." - Kaylee Hartung
Perhaps I should present myself at the ER?
I live only 2 blocks from a hospital. Once I literally dragged myself across to ER on my hands and knees. My family was away, and I suddenly had a pain in my stomach which crippled me, I couldn't stand, and I was dripping in sweat.
It was in the evening. I crawled into the hospital, and they thought I'd had a heart attack. It was pancreatitis, and they readied me for surgery. I stayed on a drip for three days waiting for surgery when they announced that the blockage had cleared and discharged me.
During the evening of Day 6, I woke up drenched in sweat. I thought it must be early morning, but it was around midnight.
I didn't know if this was good or bad and started to get a bit wound up about whether I was heading into a serious phase. I walked around the house a bit and tried to sleep, but my mind was racing.
Then I realised that I was creating my own fear - I was fearing the thoughts that I was having not the actual reality. I gradually calmed down and fell back asleep.
Trouble sleeping, again
Day 7, yesterday, I still had headaches and tiredness. My daughter said that she was feeling fine.
When I went to bed - early because I still felt tired - I found myself again falling down the rabbit-hole of fear. Tossing and turning and over-thinking the consequences of me dying for the family.
I hit a peak of agitation and restlessness after about 20 minutes. I started to feel pains in my chest!
What did the survivor mean by pains in the chest? On the surface, deep inside, muscular, when I moved when I breathed? I could feel my heart starting to race.
I took deep breaths and then was able to reign it in with the logic I applied the night before.
I got a grip on myself and sliced off the reality from the fear of the fear that I was creating in my head. And I fell asleep.
Today I feel ok. But the words of the survivor are ringing in my ears:
I had a little bit of a fever, I was a little bit tired. So, it was really hard to accept the diagnosis because I didn't feel physically unwell. (But then her condition deteriorated.) I became very, very fatigued and I had quite intense headaches and a level of chest pain.
For me, it is time to stay calm and rationale for the next two days, and to remain home. Those pains in my neck are no doubt from my own tension. I'm feeling fear in my chest, but I know that's also of my own making.
My heartfelt best wishes go out to all of you that are going through the same thing. Good luck
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Since I was diagnosed at 50 with Type 2 diabetes I've been learning how to do bone-building fitness training which lowers my age. You can too. It's your choice. Walter