“I Suffer From PTSD From the Traumatic Experience”: A Local COVID-19 Patient Shares Their Story

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During uncertain times like these, it can be hard not to maintain a positive outlook on life. While the COVID curve has been flattened, it has not disappeared, and so the future remains somewhat unpredictable. One woman from North Bergen is pushing through the frightening experience of COVID and bravely sharing her story with the world so that others can find comfort in not being alone. 24-year-old Kathia K. Osorio reached out to share her story with Hoboken Girl.

Where do you live?

North Bergen

What do you do for work?

I’m a recent college graduate. Before I got sick with COVID19 I was working in social media marketing.

When did you first feel symptoms?

I first felt symptoms on April 3rd, 2020.

What were they?

My first few symptoms that indicated there was something wrong were my sore throat, fever, headache, and a slight cough. Within a week I was sweating profusely every day while also feeling a mixture of hot and cold. I had a hard time breathing and was frequently out of breath. My fever was a low-grade, but it persisted for about a week and then my symptoms progressed with anosmia {loss of sense of taste and smell}.

When did you decide to take a test?

I decided to get tested when my parents started showing symptoms as well. We knew something was off with how severe these symptoms were getting and how rapidly. We were tested two days after the first day of symptoms, so on April 5th.

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How do you think you contracted COVID19?

My parents are essential workers that could not quarantine from the beginning and we believe either parent was the one to contract the virus and spread it to each other.

Did you have any difficulty at the testing center?

Yes actually, there were difficulties booking an appointment to get tested. Because our first few symptoms were very mild, we would have had to wait three weeks before getting tested with an appointment. The only solution we found was to get tested at Bergen County Community College. We {my parents and I} stood in line, in the cold, in our car from around 2:00 AM until the site opened at around 9:00 AM. The car line length stretched for hours. We were one of the first ones waiting on the car line and were lucky enough to get inside. I will note that the medical professionals have really been working tirelessly to keep us safe and I want to take the time here to thank them.

When did you test positive? How long did it take for results?

We got our COVID positive results on April 7th, therefore we waited only two days for our results. It was grueling to wait, even if for two days, as the symptoms were only getting worse.

Read More: A Local Doctor Shares His Own Preparation for Schools Opening In the Age of COVID-19

Did you need to go to a doctor or hospital?

My parents did have to go to the hospital multiple times for depleting oxygen levels, severe muscle, body aches, difficulty breathing, etc. On one occasion, my father was diagnosed with pneumonia. We went to Englewood hospital every time. In between hospital visits we were able to have telehealth visits with our primary care physician. We had regular weekly telehealth appointments with him to monitor the virus.

What have you been doing to recover?

Unfortunately, I lost my job when I got sick with COVID so I am unemployed at the moment, but that means I have been home recovering. For the first few weeks I had to be bedridden for the most part and though I’ve slowly gotten better, there are now health issues I am facing after testing negative for COVID. I am recovering with an optimistic heart and I have even shared my own story on YouTube channel via a video titled “My Traumatic COVID-19 Experience” that you could watch here. This has definitely been a way of healing for me and has given me an opportunity to share my story and all the ways that COVID affected my life in hopes to spread awareness and help others in the same or similar situations.

What medications are you taking?

While I was in the midst of COVID I was taking azithromycin (antibiotics) and acetaminophen (pain and fever reliever). Those seemed to be the most helpful medication the doctor prescribed.

Are you still experiencing symptoms?

It is four months later and I have difficulties and complications with my health as a result of COVID. I no longer have the typical COVID symptoms {fever, sore throat, cough, etc.}, but I am dealing with terrible aftermath both mentally and physically. I suffer from PTSD from the traumatic experience after almost losing my parents to the virus and unfortunately losing a dear family friend to it. I also still have anosmia, which I won’t fully recover from for the foreseeable future, along with GI issues, and nose bleeds due to my mucus lining being invaded by COVID, etc. I have been quarantining since March 17th and continue to do so.

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

No, I, fortunately, have been quarantining since March (way before being diagnosed positive) and continue to do so.

What have doctors told you since you have to quarantine?

I had to get re-tested four times after my initial COVID positive {five times in total} until I produced a negative result. The doctor has given me the okay to leave my home as I am no longer contagious. I only leave my home to routinely grocery shop and to go to doctor appointments.

See More: ‘This is Day 14 That We Haven’t Left the Apartment:’ A Couple with COVID-19 Shares Their Story

How do you feel the government is handling the epidemic?

I think that there is more the government could be doing to effectively handle the pandemic. Things like keeping nonessential businesses closed in order to reduce unnecessary spread {gyms, amusement parks, etc.}, stricter mask mandates since this has been proven to effectively reduce the number of cases in various countries, and financially helping those in need {small businesses, immigrants, college students, low-income individuals, etc}.

Any advice for someone who thinks they’re positive?

The best advice I can give is to let individuals that think they’re positive know that they are not alone. There is no shame in getting tested and letting everyone they’ve been in contact with know that they may have been exposed. There is value in being empathic and caring enough about our communities to let them know this information so they can get tested and potentially save lives. If you think you are positive, listen to your symptoms, and monitor them. Schedule telehealth visits with a doctor if possible!

Is there anything else you would like our readers to know?

If there are any readers that are experiencing COVID right now, I want to let them know that they are not alone, and although the future seems uncertain and bleak, we will get through it together! Make sure you are wearing your mask and practicing social distancing! It is our only hope to really beat this virus.

Do you have a COVID-19 experience to share? Email us at hello@hobokengirl.com.

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Victoria is a fourth-generation Hoboken native, BNR in the Mile Square and part-time in Jersey City. Through playing softball for fourteen years, playing the trumpet for the Hoboken High School Redwings Band, and graduating from New Jersey City University, these two cities have a special place in her heart. When she isn’t Style Assisting or volunteering at Symposia Bookstore, Hoboken Fire Museum/Hoboken Historical Museum, she’s exploring everything the Concrete Jungle has to offer. You can catch her at art exhibitions, local festivities, traveling, diving into a new book, thrifting or indulging in some form of arts and crafts.