A nurse from Colorado who has been battling her way through a coronavirus infection described the ordeal as much worse than she expected.
Lisa Merck, an Air Force veteran, shared her experience with local media from self-quarantine at her home in Crested Butte.
“It’s nothing like I expected,” Merck told KDVR. “Yes, I have coronavirus. I didn’t go out and get it on purpose.”
Merck said she does not know where she contracted the virus, but thinks it could have been during a work trip and extended vacation in Hawaii.
“We were on buses, trains; we were on planes having fun,” she said. “We went to a medical conference over there and on the day we were going to leave, I had little sniffles. That’s it.”
“We got back and my muscles ached, my bones ached and my joints ached really bad. It felt like someone was stabbing me with an ice pick and I was like, ‘I wonder if I have the flu.'”
Merck, an advanced practice nurse, said she contacted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after flu tests came back negative and she continued to suffer from recurring fevers, but health officials reportedly determined she did not meet the criteria for coronavirus testing.
“I felt really short of breath, I felt very fatigued,” Merck said. “Finally, on Sunday night, I told my husband, ‘I need you take me to the ER. I don’t feel well whenever I stand, I feel like I’m going to faint.’”
Doctors order a coronavirus test and Merck’s results returned positive on March 11.
She estimated she has lost around five pounds in the past weeks due to nausea, but is slowly getting better.
“My biggest things are I’m feeling really short of breath,” she said. “I’m feeling exhausted but I’m definitely getting healthier.”
Merck is currently in isolation, along with her husband, until at least March 22. She must register two negative tests at least 24 hours apart to be considered fit to reenter public life.
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