‘He felt like he might not wake up’: Faces From the Front Lines of Coronavirus

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Jessica Harwick of Wadsworth, 52, had to deal with multiple members of…

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Jessica Harwick of Wadsworth, 52, had to deal with multiple members of her family — including herself — becoming ill with COVID-19.

Her essay below is part of “Faces From the Front Line of Coronavirus,” a series of stories describing the ways in which the pandemic affects caregivers and families throughout Northeast Ohio.

This is her story:

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My husband Jason, 50; daughter Kaelyn, 23; and I all tested positive for COVID-19 recently. My son James, 18, was presumed positive; he had one day of symptoms. My daughter’s case was also mild; she’s still in quarantine (as of Oct. 21).

My husband, the healthiest of us all, got the sickest. He does CrossFit 6-7 days a week, and hasn’t drunk alcohol for a year, but he was asleep with this for days. His fever ran as high as 103.5 degrees the whole time, never going below 101 degrees even with Tylenol. His symptoms were body aches, fever, cough and cold symptoms.

My husband lost 10 pounds from not eating. He said that at one point, he felt like he might not wake up. He should have gone to the ER considering his high fever, but he wouldn’t let me take him. Thankfully, that wound up being OK.

I went to the ER with some chest pain prior to getting my first test back. It took five days for my results, but I knew I had COVID-19. They tested me again at the ER. Both tests came back the next day, both positive. The ER diagnosed me with bronchitis based on my X-rays.

I also slept for days and didn’t eat. I had a fever up to 101.5 with body aches, diarrhea, body aches, terrible migraines and cough.

After recovering, my lasting symptom is extreme exhaustion. An episode of my chronic supraventricular tachycardia (an abnormally fast heartbeat) wiped me out way more than it did before COVID-19. I am still dealing with bronchitis, but it’s improving.

We are mask wearers. I didn’t have my mask on one day when I met with a client and he also contracted it; I’m not sure which came first. My parents visited us one day before we knew (family members had COVID-19), wore their masks and didn’t contract it.

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