‘I Suddenly Lost My Sense of Smell and Taste:’ A Local COVID-19 Patient Shares Her Story

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As crises mode fizzles out,  COVID-19 still hasn’t completely left us yet. As the world reopens and the light on the other side is ever more present, it’s still important to take precautions to avoid another wave of cases. Spreading awareness of the ever-growing list of symptoms is one way we hope to help our community. One anonymous patient reached out to share her story with Hoboken Girl to shed some light on how the virus affected her. Read on to learn her experience testing positive for COVID-19.

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Tell us about yourself.

I’m a 31-year-old woman, and I live in Hoboken. 

What do you do for work?

I am a marketing manager at a vitamin company. 

When did you first feel symptoms?

March 26th. 

What were they? How severe/mild were they?

The first thing that happened to me was that I suddenly lost my sense of smell and taste. I actually had just poured myself a glass of red wine. I took a sip and it felt like I was drinking water – I thought something was wrong with the wine! At this point, loss of smell and taste wasn’t a confirmed symptom, so I was worried but not too sure. I ended up not fully regaining my sense of smell and taste back for 2 weeks – I knew it was back when I could smell my coffee brewing one morning, two weeks later. It was a feeling I’ve definitely never felt before.

My other symptoms were: I had some fatigue and had a headache that felt like severe sinus pressure – in my nose, forehead, and the back of my head. These all started the day after I lost my sense of smell. 

I never lost my appetite, didn’t have a fever, and didn’t have a cough. It felt like a mild cold. 

Read More: ‘COVID-19 Hit Me Hardest Neurologically:’ A Local COVID-19 Patient Shares Their Story

When did you decide to take a test? What made you decide?

So, my situation is a bit unique. 

I took a test on May 9th that came back negative for an infection. I took the test because I was going to say hi to my sister and her newborn baby {from a distance} and I had anxiety because of my previous symptoms — wanted to be completely sure I was negative. 

I was then tested for antibodies on May 20th, and my test came back positive for IgG, which most likely means I previously/recently was infected with Covid-19. 

How do you think you contracted COVID19?

I am not sure. Based on the timeline, it seems as if I contracted it the second/third week of March, before the stay at home order was put in place.  

Did you have any difficulty getting tested?

So, I had symptoms from March 26th – March 31st. I chose not to get tested until I started seeing people again since I’ve been taking the stay at home order pretty seriously. By the time I got tested Hoboken was offering the drive-thru test from Riverside medical. I also took part in the antibody testing on May 20th in Hoboken which is where I learned I was previously infected. Both were easy, seamless processes. 

When did you test positive? How long did it take to get test results?

I never tested positive for a current COVID-19 infection, only for the IgG antibodies. 

Did you need to go to a doctor or hospital? Where did you go?

No. I really wasn’t feeling that sick. It’s tough because I’ve actually lost people I know to Covid-19 and also know people who have had BAD cases. My symptoms were fairly mild. Personally, I’ve been way sicker before.

What have you been doing to recover? Are you home?

I am fully recovered. I tested negative for the virus on May 9th and didn’t have the IgM antibodies on May 20th, which means you have a current infection. When I had symptoms, I just stayed home and rested. 

What medications are you taking?

I took Tylenol and Tylenol sinus medication when I had symptoms because I thought I had a sinus infection. I also drank Pedialite to get some energy back when I was feeling a bit weak. I work for a vitamin company so, through this all, I have been taking Vitamin D, C, Zinc, and Elderberry to help boost my immune system. 

Are you still experiencing symptoms? How long have you been quarantining for?

No. I quarantined for 14 days or more when I started developing symptoms, I didn’t really go anywhere until mid-late April. 

Before you found out you were positive, did you go anywhere locally?

I went to CVS to get medication the day after I lost my sense of smell, once I started feeling sinus pressure.  

What have doctors told you since you have to quarantine? Is there a timeline? Will you need to get tested again to leave your house?

My situation here is different as I am no longer infected. I reached out to CityMD after my antibody IgG result came back positive as said I would donate whatever / help any way I could. I don’t think the town has a plan of action yet for those who have tested positive for antibodies / next steps. 

See More: A Local COVID-19 Patient Shares Her Family’s Story

How do you feel the government is handling the epidemic?

I’ll talk about our local government. I think Hoboken is at the top of the game with how they have been handling it. We have free testing AND antibody testing – you don’t even need insurance to secure a test. Both done outside in safe environments and the processes to get a test were so easy. We get daily text updates with information about the virus and everything the city is doing to help. No one else I know is getting access to these types of resources so quickly. People are shocked when I tell them I know I am negative and have antibodies and got these results on the same day. It’s comforting and I believe knowledge is power especially when it comes to your health. 

Do you have any advice for someone who thinks they’re positive?

Go get tested. Especially if you live in Hoboken – it’s so easy and reassuring. You get your results almost instantly. 

Is there anything else you can share to help ease our readers’ minds or inform them of at this scary time.?

Again, I believe knowledge is power. They are offering testing to Hoboken residents with or without symptoms. And I believe any resident has the chance to sign up for the antibody test. I would do it so you know where your health stands and you can feel some reassurance. 

Have a COVID-19 story you’d like to share with us? Email us at hello@hobokengirl.com!

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Corinne is a Jersey girl who has always loved to write, create, and make people laugh. Always the “comedian” of the friend group, she's a stand up comic and aspiring comedy writer. She studied communications/film and media at the University of Miami, with a minor in both psychology and exercise science, but now she’s living in downtown Jersey City. Singing and playing the guitar and piano are her favorite hobbies when she’s not writing, working out, or going to comedy shows.