It’s been 21 days since Angie Lima first started feeling sick, and she still gets winded after a long conversation or a trip up or down stairs.
She said her symptoms started with a dry cough. And within just a couple of days, she also suffered from fatigue, debilitating headaches, loss of appetite, chills and night sweats.
“Every time I’d breathe in, it felt like somebody was stabbing me with a knife. So you couldn’t really catch a good breath,” Lima said.
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She called Magnolia Diagnostics for a nasal swab test and went home. Within 24 hours, she got word she’d tested positive for COVID-19.
For 15 days, she stayed isolated in her bedroom.
While her husband worked, her three kids helped prepare meals they dropped at her door. Still, she avoided all interaction with her family during that time.
“It’s lonely. It’s scary. You know, every night you go to bed and you wonder whether you’re going to wake up the next morning because you’re just scared to death,” Lima said.
At times, Lima said she was tempted to go to the hospital. But unless it became absolutely necessary, her doctors discouraged it.
After talking with multiple doctors, she was encouraged to take hydroxychloroquine that had been prescribed to someone else in her house. They also prescribed her a Z-Pak.
Within three days, Lima said it became easier to breathe.
“In my story and my journey, I feel as if the medications helped. I feel as if I would’ve probably been hospitalized without it, but that’s my opinion,” Lima said.
The experimental combination recently received emergency FDA approval for treating COVID-19 after studies showed some benefit.
The Texas State Board of Pharmacy, however, has put new restrictions into place to prevent doctors from prescribing the drug for anything other than its intended use of treating autoimmune patients.
It’s a move that came after pharmacies experienced shortages and patients with diseases like lupus were unable to get the medication they depend on.
Now Lima’s sharing her story in order to quell fear of friends and neighbors worried about infection, while also encouraging people to take the warnings from health officials seriously.
“I did everything I was supposed to. I was cleaning with Clorox 24/7 and washing hands and I did everything. I do not know how I got this. I have no clue. But when it hits, it hits and it hits hard,” Lima said.
Lima is in her early 40s with no underlying health risks. She said she lives an active and healthy life.