It almost feels like confessing to having an STD, but I tested positive a week ago for COVID-19.

By the time I'm back on the radio, I will have missed at least 12 broadcast days. I'm out a ton of money, but every day I stop to think just how grateful I am. I've been able to convalesce in the comfort and safety of my own home.

That isn't to say it's been mild or easy. The first two days were nothing but a pounding, inescapable headache, intense muscle aches and difficulty breathing. I was legitimately scared for my well-being. I felt majorly sorry for myself, too. I did everything right. I wore my mask everywhere, highly limited the places I went and the people I saw, and I obsessively washed and sanitized my hands. But in the end, I wasn't so lucky.

The unfortunate fact is that many of you will suffer through COVID-19 before the pandemic over, whatever that means. COVID-19 very well may be a new flu that mutates and circles back every year. Although I will say it's been a very long time since I've gotten the flu because I take a flu shot every year. You better believe I'd be willing to take a COVID-19 vaccine too, because this majorly sucks.

I'm obviously no doctor, so take my advice with a grain of salt. But I do want to pass along some things that have worked or are currently working for me as I get a little better every day.

Muscle aches/twitches/itchiness. I cannot recommend topical CBD oil enough. It's like it rubbed all that bad stuff away, right away. CBD oil has been my little miracle that's allowed me to be comfortable enough to fall asleep. Speaking of...you gotta sleep.

Sleeplessness. This was strange for me as I can usually fall asleep quickly and easily, but the discomfort and disrupted sleep schedule made it difficult for me. Melatonin works wonders for getting me to sleep, and if I'm really desperate, one Benadryl helps tremendously.

Can't taste or smell. Unfortunately, there's not much to do about this one. I'm slowly recovering my sense of taste, but I still can't smell at all. I'd recommend having some good food textures around so you to eat. You must eat to get the energy to get better. I invested in protein-fortified juice smoothies from the produce section. Of course, I couldn't go to the store, so I ordered Market Street for delivery. It's contactless and easy, so get the supplies you need to stay hydrated and nourished. DRINK WATER.

Nutrition. I've been taking the holy trinity of vitamins religiously. While I don't know if it's actually helped, it certainly hasn't hurt to take Vitamin C, D3 and Zinc. I'm also drinking a couple ounces of Kefir a day, and I've started taking Elderberry supplements as well.

Don't freak out. This is easier said than done. I've cried and screamed (much to my sore throat's chagrin) and worried myself sick, mostly about money more than my health, which is honestly ridiculous and focusing on the wrong thing. Staying as relaxed as possible helps your body recover. Reach out to people who love you. Let them console you, let them mail you cookies (thank you grandma) and let them send their love your way.

If you think you might be sick, get tested. It's actually really easy and free. Just go to doineedacovid19test.com, follow the instructions, and know your status in a few days. It seems that rapid tests are currently nearly impossible to come by in Lubbock. I was unable to procure one, but the longer test was free and more irritating than painful.

Most importantly, know when to go to the ER. According to doineedacovid19testcom:

Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:
  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face
*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.

I'm an asthmatic, so I had to make a decision about what level of not being able to breathe meant it was time for me to go to the ER. Those first two days were dicey, but since my inhaler helped, I stayed home. Not necessarily recommending that, just relaying my own experience.

Take care of yourself, Lubbock -- we need you.

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