LEWISBURG, Pa. — Over the last 10 months, more than 22 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Many of you are included in that number, as is Newswatch 16's Nikki Krize.
Many people describe their COVID-19 experience as a bad flu. Others must spend time in the hospital. What we are learning is coronavirus affects everyone differently, including Nikki.
According to Nikki, she did everything right. She wore a mask, washed her hands, and social distanced. But on December 6, Nikki found out her cough and cold symptoms were more than that. She tested positive for COVID-19. For the next two weeks, she stayed inside her apartment with her birds Cinnamon and Sugar.
Nikki's boyfriend and some kind friends left food and care packages outside her door. She took advice from family members and friends who had already had COVID-19. But Nikki found it difficult to do anything. Walking across the room was a chore and made her very tired. Her worst symptoms were congestion, cough, fever, and headache. Nikki lost her taste and smell for about a week.
Nikki had up and down days. Just when she thought she was better, she woke up with symptoms again. She sometimes gets out of breath and still gets dizzy.
"It's primarily categorized as a respiratory type of a viral illness, but we know that COVID has a lot of other manifestations within the body," Dr. Alison Brodginski said.
Dr. Alison Brodginski is Geisinger's northeast director of infectious diseases. She did not treat Nikki but offered advice. She says it's common for people who are recovered to still have lingering symptoms.
"Would there be a role for you to see a cardiologist or a neurologist perhaps? Could it be somebody who continues to have a progression of their respiratory symptoms even after they recover from COVID? We want to make sure we set them up with a pulmonologist," Dr. Brodginski said.
Nikki said she is lucky. Her experience with COVID-19 was by no means a walk in the park, but she had it better than a lot of others. She never had to go to the hospital. And for anyone going through what Nikki experienced: what worked best for her was plenty of rest and drinking hot tea.