After not feeling so well last week, I was beginning to wonder. Do I have COVID? I felt warm, had a dull headache, felt fatigued, and my throat was getting sore. This all was very concerning. I’ve always prided myself on how rarely I got sick, but I had to be honest with myself in that moment. There was no doubt I was sick. The first symptoms were extremely mild. Little headache and a slight tickle in the back of my throat. I went off to bed thinking almost nothing of it. Then around 2am that night I woke up nearly sweating and couldn’t fall back to sleep. I was so hot and restless and uncomfortable that I must have lied awake in bed until 6am before I could fall back to sleep. It was not good.
After waking up and doing a thorough self-assessment, I was beginning to worry. As I went over my symptoms, I noticed some overlap with the symptoms of COVID. Did I have COVID? Or even worse, did I bring it to my parents? I was visiting my parents at the time for Thanksgiving. But after quarantining myself and testing negative for COVID several times before visiting, my family and I were convinced that I was safe to join them for the holiday.
That morning, all the symptoms I was feeling were: Restless sleeping, headache, sore throat, fatigue, feeling warm. Although I was physically feeling warm, I monitored my temperature closely throughout the next couple of days. And as it turns out, I never got a fever. I never got above 99 degrees. So this was becoming strange to me. Because it felt like I had a small fever and a headache that lasted 3 days, but no real sign of fever from a thermometer.
For two days it was bad. I was still able to perform everyday activities and was even able to work out every day. But the feeling I was walking around with was uncomfortable. For my workout, I used our stationary bike in our basement. I wanted to continue to work out if I could. I like the philosophy of “sweat it out” whenever I’m not feeling great. It usually always work for me and makes me feel better. And it did. But this time the effects were only temporary. I would feel great while I was working out and for about an hour or two after, but once that high went away it was back to headaches and sore throats.
After about day 3 of confusing symptoms I looked in the mirror and opened my mouth. I wanted to see my throat from the inside that was causing me the discomfort. And immediately I noticed my tonsils swollen and red. Sorry to gross you out, but there was also patches of white puss forming around them as well. After some quick research from medical sites, I came to the conclusion that what I had was not COVID, but tonsillitis. That made much more sense. I never was convinced it was COVID since I had no fever, no trouble breathing, or no chest tightness and these were the most probable symptoms. But tonsillitis, that made much more sense. I had swollen tonsils with white puss patches around them, I had slight fatigue, and headache. These were the main symptoms of tonsillitis. Other symptoms also included fever and restlessness. Although I never officially had a fever, I did feel warm and woke up sweating one or two nights, so maybe I had a very mild fever. It had to be tonsillitis.
I’m in recovery at the moment. As it turns out, tonsillitis can actually go away rather quickly on its own. However, if symptoms don’t go away in a week, then you should see a doctor. I’m not out of the weeds yet, but by Day 4 my energy was back and I didn’t have a headache anymore. I did however, still have a slight sore throat, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as it was. I also still had white puss on my tonsils. But me feeling better was a great sign.
Here are my tips for tonsillitis. Take Aleve or Ibuprofen for the headache and for the inflammation. The white puss around the tonsils comes from the tonsils becoming infected. As they become infect, they get inflamed and discharge this white puss around them. To fight some of this inflammation as well as the headache, take some Aleve or Ibuprofen. You will especially need it at night to help you sleep. The next step would be to drink as much water as you can. Staying hydrated is crucial with any illness. Try drinking some hot tea with honey. My favorite is green tea during the day and chamomile before bed. A salt water rinse twice a day is also great for getting rid of the bad bacteria in your mouth. Do this twice a day. Once after waking up and once before bed. I would also advise to work out if possible. Try and get a sweat in if you can. But if fatigue and discomfort is too much to handle, then don’t push it. If you are able to get in some exercise then your body will thank you for it. But it is not necessary. On the flip side of that, make sure you get plenty of rest and stay away from others. Tonsillitis isn’t very contagious unless saliva is swapped or you sneeze or cough close to someone. But it’s still better to be safe and keep your distance and stay clean.
If you think you’re sick, it doesn’t necessarily mean you got COVID. We forget there are lots of other illnesses in the world out there besides COVID. If you start to get symptoms, get tested. Then do some research online to pinpoint what your symptoms mean. Or the easy way would be to just go see a doctor. Stay healthy out there everyone.