Elmira, N.Y. (WETM) — Four days after being tested for the coronavirus, local businesswoman Dee Reid received the call that she had COVID-19.
Reid initially struggled with the idea of sharing her story but decided to do so in hopes that she could give some insight on the virus.
Two weeks ago, Reid thought she had the flu. She then realized it was something much different.
“A lot of the symptoms are very similar to [the flu] in the beginning with the fever, the chills, the aches, things like that,” Reid said. “Physically I’m drained and very fatigued. You know, my lungs are going through a process right now. That’s kind of where this is settled. My day tends to start pretty good, and then as the day goes on I get pretty tired. It’s definitely the fatigue that really is the challenge because you just get really tired.”
Reid also is a severe asthmatic and said the internal feeling associated with the coronavirus is unlike that of an asthma attack. She said it feels as though her lungs are under assault.
“I guess the best way to describe it is like suffocating,” Reid said. “The coughing will set in and then you just feel like you can’t catch your breath and there’s just like a blockage there. So the treatments do help to kind of keep that open and keep that clear.”
Reid’s physician has her on a treatment plan that includes medication and breathing treatments. She also said hot liquids and Vicks VapoRub on the chest helps a lot.
“Anybody who’s asthmatic, you know, they usually will put like albuterol or some type of albuterol into your nebulizer,” Reid said. “I’m doing those about every four hours right now and they do help.”
As of right now, both Reid’s husband Randy and her son Cameron do not have the virus.
“Randy Reid, my ride or die, has been by my side since day one,” Reid said. “I’m definitely quarantined for 14 days. Unfortunately, our son has to stop working. He will be home and Randy’s now definitely home with me, as well. We’re blessed in that we like each other and we can find some humor and find some things to keep us active.”
Reid said she is luckily still able to work from home and get things done. She doesn’t know how she contracted the virus, but she implores community members to stay home if they can.
“Yes, we are a mobile society and we’re used to being out and doing things, but if staying home for the next two weeks—or whatever that period is—keeps you safe and keeps you healthy, do it,” Reid said. “This has not been a walk in the park. There were a couple of times through this process that I thought I needed to go to the emergency room and thank God I didn’t have to. People just need to understand that it’s uncomfortable, but what I have is way more uncomfortable. This is not fun and—without trying to get too emotional—just stay home. It’s okay.”
Reid thanks her family and friends for checking in on her and she prays each day and night that Randy and Cameron stay healthy.
“I love my family, my friends and life,” Reid said. “I am determined to get better and get back to my healthy normal.”