Recovering from coronavirus in self-isolation

A man we previously reported on who has type 1 diabetes and is recovering from coronavirus has been documenting his condition on a daily basis.

Andrew O’Dwyer tested positive for the virus after returning from a skiing holiday in Italy.

Since landing back in the UK, the 52-year-old has been self-isolating and decided to keep a diary of his symptoms to help others understand what it is like to have coronavirus. The insights he’s given have been widely reported on.

Starting from Sunday, March 1, it is said that he felt fine during the first few days of his isolation.

However, he did find out that two of the 24 people he was holidaying with had become unwell and were in hospital.

On day four (Wednesday, March 4) he contacted the NHS 111 helpline and a nurse was sent round to test him for the virus.

But it was not until he had been back in the UK for a week (Saturday, March 7) that Andrew learned he had tested positive for coronavirus, making him the 17th person from his group to have developed it.

He said: “I received a call from a consultant at St George’s Hospital in London who confirmed I had COVID-19. I knew all along I was probably positive and that confirmed I had done the right thing from the start. I was the last one in the group to get my results.”

The next day (Sunday, March 8) he started coughing intermittently, but it was not until day nine that the fever started.

He said: “I could feel it rising and by then I was feeling physically quite ill. The sporadic coughing fits were becoming more frequent and were lasting for longer. I was having 15-20 bouts of coughing and I was struggling with my breathing.

“Just before 6pm, my temperature had reached 38.2C and the coughing wasn’t abating. At 6.30pm I decided to call 999 for an ambulance because I couldn’t catch my breath.”

However, he did not end up going to hospital and a couple of hours later he began to feel better.

The next day (Wednesday, March 11) he said he felt “absolutely fantastic” but by the evening he started to feel poorly again.

Andrew said: “Someone from NHS 111 called to do a welfare check because I’m a diabetic. I told them about my fever and the coughing. They decided that they would send someone to do an assessment at my home. At 2pm they turned up in an ambulance in full hazmats, and decided to take me to St Helier Hospital to be checked over.

“When we arrived, they couldn’t take me in for some reason. A nurse came out to speak to me and by that time I was well. They sent me home and told me to continue to self-isolate.”

By this time, he said the coughing was starting to impact his sleep, describing it as an “involuntary cough that has you on all fours retching”.

By Friday, March 13 Andrew said he felt back to normal. Recovering from coronavirus, Andrew is now urging people to take the condition seriously, but not to panic.

For more information on the Coronavirus and diabetes, you can read our updated page on the outbreak here.

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