'Like nothing I've felt before': Halifax woman on her experience with COVID-19
'One night my lips were actually blue and then my skin was getting white and blotchy'
At first, Halifax's Emily Dwyer thought she had seasonal allergies or maybe a sinus infection. The 26-year-old had a runny nose and sensitive eyes, and was sneezing occasionally.
But the next day Dwyer had extreme body aches, chills and felt sick to her stomach — and knew it was much more serious.
"It was like nothing I've felt before," she told CBC Nova Scotia News at 6. "And so I said, 'OK, this is a lot more than just a head cold.'"
It turns out she had COVID-19.
Now she is sharing her story about what it is like to be sick with the virus.
"I think everyone's at risk and that's kind of why I reached out ... so that people could see that it does happen to real people," Dwyer said Tuesday.
Ribs felt 'three inches tighter'
Dwyer said she knew she needed to get tested once she lost her appetite and felt a dryness in her throat. After she was assessed by 811, she went to the hospital for the test on March 18, which came back positive the next day.
Every day, she said, a public health nurse would call to check in and track her symptoms.
"One night my lips were actually blue and then my skin was getting white and blotchy," she said. "And so I mentioned that to my nurse and so immediately she was like, 'OK, that means you're not getting enough oxygen you need. You need to go to the hospital and kind of get checked out.'"
She went to hospital and was given an X-ray to check for pneumonia, which "luckily" she didn't have.
Dwyer said it was hard to take a deep breath and she had a lot of chest pain.
"The best way I can describe it is my ribs felt like they were like kind of three inches tighter than they normally are," she said.
Dwyer said she is still on the mend.
"The virus takes a really long time to kind of get into your body, as I've learned," she said. "So I still have a little bit of a cough, a little bit of head congestion, but I'm definitely better than I was."