Healthcare worker on what she wished she knew before being diagnosed with COVID-19

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Life was very different for Shalia Rivera three weeks ago.

“Our wedding was on March 6, so three weeks ago. Actually from today,” Rivera said Friday.

Since then, Shaila went sharing photos of her honeymoon to sharing photos from her home after she and her husband tested positive for COVID-19.

The words hit close to home for me. You see, Shaila is my sorority sister and just a few weeks ago I was one of the people watching videos from her wedding.

“The day after we got back from our honeymoon I started to feel fatigued. I had generalized muscle aches and it just didn’t feel right,” she said.

Shaila is a pediatric nurse practitioner at a hospital in Miami. She knew the symptoms of the new coronavirus and after traveling overseas she told her work she was going to self-quarantine.

“From there everything got worse,” she said. “I had a fever of 102 to 104. For two days straight my body felt like a truck ran over it and the muscle aches were nothing like I had ever experienced.”

After more than a week of trying to get tested and waiting for results, she got the news, that she really already knew.

She posted about her experience on Instagram on Thursday.

“Please don’t take this health crisis lightly. Sebastian and I are both healthy, active healthcare professionals. Please stay home, take care of yourselves, and protect your community,” she wrote.

These days, Shaila is in good spirits. She said after seven days of the worst symptoms she has ever experienced, both she and her husband started to recover.

“I can’t even believe the stories that we’re going to have for our family and kids one day that we were stuck isolated. These times are unprecedented,” she said. “I think there’s less fear for Sebastian and I going back to work because we’ve had it and conquered it, and we’re not scared to bring it home. Hopefully, we can use these tools to help people everywhere. I hope that I can spread awareness and help people and do the best that we can.”

Now she’s counting down the days until she’s back in the hospital so she can spread awareness and treat patients on the front lines.

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