A quick blog on what I had during the Corona virus outbreak. Maybe it was COVID-19, maybe it was just flu, but I’ve never had something quite like this, so I thought I’d just write up my experience here.

About me – I am 38, male, good health and fitness (a keen mountain biker, climber, runner), I eat a healthy vegetarian diet and have no underlying health issues and don’t usually catch whatever is floating around, or if I do, I have lower or shorter symptoms than most.

Day by Day Symptoms

Day 1 – Friday 20th March 2020

I was at work, and just towards the end of the day I started with a slight cough. I didn’t really think anything of it, just drank more water. By the evening the cough was persistent and dry. I kept feeling a prickle in my throat – a bit like what hayfever does to me when the pollen on trees comes out – around March, but this felt slightly different, but similar to that. I felt tired so had a very early night, and then started shivering in bed. I slept OK but for a long time -maybe ~10PM – 8AM without waking up, which is unusual for my normal 7-8 hour good night sleep requirements.

I called 111 in the afternoon of this day – they advised self quarantine and no need to visit a doctor or hospital at this point. I agree with this – I don’t think being around other ill people would be a particularly good idea, and if the symptoms do not worsen, then I would only be a burden on what is I can only imagine a slightly stretched health service.

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This is my story of my permanently blocked nose.  First, a bit of background – I suffer from hayfever, and have done since my late teens.  I seem to get affected quite early in the year, from about March until July/August time.  I haven’t found one specific cause yet, but certainly flower and grass pollen are bad, and so are certain crops such as rape.  Oddly enough if I am exercising I don’t get affected during the exercise – I can ride through a rape field and not be affected at all, but if I have to stop – suicide.  Instant swelling of my eyes and sinuses, and my throat very quickly becomes dry and rough.  I find taking loratadine daily really helps my symptoms.

Since late last year off and on I have had long stints of a permanently blocked nose.  Sometimes both nostrils are 95% blocked, sometimes just one 100% blocked, and sometimes the other.  I had been putting it down to a string of head colds I had developed, which weren’t really head colds at all – they were post excercise flu type colds (the body fighting for recovery leaves your immune sytem depleted).  I solved this by taking Acidophilus Plus pro-biotic tablets from Holland & Barrett.

So I visited the Doctor about the blocked nose and he was convinced it is allergy related, so he recommended Otrivine adult nasal spray (xylometazoline) and Beconase aqueous nasal spray (beclometasone).  I had tried just the Beconase before and it was pretty useless – because my nasal pasages were so closed it had little effect.  I explained this to the Doctor and he said that was correct – use the Otrivine first as it is a decongestant, and then use the Beconase 10 minutes afterwards, or however long it takes for the nasal passages to clear.  I will admit I was dubious about the sprays, but gave it a try anyway, and wow what a difference the Otrivine made.  One quick sniff in the morning and my nose is so clear I can breathe properly again until about mid afternoon.  I wish I had gone to the Dotor earlier!