A ‘fit and healthy’ illustrator has revealed how she was struck down with coronavirus – and the daily diary of symptoms she experienced.
Nadia Ackerman, 45, who is from Sydney but lives in New York, said she has always been incredibly health conscious – she doesn’t smoke or drink, is a vegan and works out five days a week, alternating between vinyasa yoga and Crossfit sessions.
But the 45-year-old’s lifestyle didn’t protect her from COVID-19 like she ‘thought it would’, and Nadia said she spent a long 22 days battling coronavirus after going to a dinner party in March.
‘My case was considered mild and it was so rough. The disease doesn’t discriminate,’ she told FEMAIL.
Nadia shared the daily diary she kept as she was struck down with coronavirus with FEMAIL, as she revealed she still has no sense of taste or smell over one month later.
A ‘fit and healthy’ illustrator has revealed how she was struck down with coronavirus – and the daily diary of symptoms she experienced (Nadia Ackerman pictured)
Nadia Ackerman, 45, who is from Sydney but lives in New York, said she has always been incredibly health conscious – she doesn’t smoke or drink, is a vegan and works out five days a week, alternating between vinyasa yoga and Crossfit sessions (pictured in the Himalayas)
Tuesday March 10, 2020
On 10 March, Nadia said she ‘regretfully’ attended an Australian dinner party put on by the Australian Governor in New York to thank everyone who raised funds for the Australian bushfires.
‘There were around 100 people in attendance and we all in very close quarters,’ Nadia told Daily Mail Australia.
‘It was a six-course dinner in China Town and I ate at the table with two other Aussie friends and two other friends who I spoke to at great lengths during the evening.’
Nadia said she left feeling fine and totally unsuspecting of what was about to befall her.
But the 45-year-old’s lifestyle didn’t protect her from COVID-19 like she ‘thought it would’, and Nadia said she spent a long 22 days battling coronavirus after going to a dinner party in March (pictured with coronavirus)
Wednesday March 11 2020
The next day, the illustrator and singer songwriter experienced little issues.
‘I felt fine and went about my day at home as per normal,’ she said.
Thursday March 12 2020
But by Thursday March 12, this all changed.
‘I had an odd dry coughing attack in the morning, which I quickly put down to spring allergies,’ Nadia recalled.
It felt like someone was punching me on the inside, like I’d been kicked by a horse or something.
‘It wasn’t until the evening at around 5pm when the fever hit me hard and fast that I started to worry if something more serious was wrong.
‘I had severe chills, shivering and then was boiling hot and sweating. This was accompanied by a dry cough and a sore chest.
‘It felt like someone was punching me on the inside, like I’d been kicked by a horse or something. Just really sick! I decided to go to the doctor the next day.’
On Friday, Nadia went to the doctor as she had decided, but was swiftly dismissed because her fever was ‘only 100’ and so they didn’t want to test her (pictured at work)
Friday March 13 and Saturday March 14 2020
On Friday, Nadia went to the doctor as she had decided, but was swiftly dismissed because her fever was ‘only 100’ and so they didn’t want to test her.
‘I went home feeling sick with a dry cough, sore chest and severe malaise,’ Nadia said.
She also said she had no appetite and nausea by this time. These symptoms continued into Saturday, accompanied by ‘the worst headache’.
Sunday March 15 2020
By Sunday, Nadia said her symptoms were evolving somewhat.
While her fever had subsided, she still had the cough and the headache, along with no appetite at all.
‘I decided to get out of bed and rally, because my boyfriend had gone down the same way I had and his fever was at 102.5. I knew I wanted to try to look after him,’ she said.
Nadia (pictured with Annie Lennox) said she didn’t realise that coronavirus would strike her down as hard as it did because of her lifesrtyle
Monday March 16 and Tuesday March 17 2020
Nadia said while she felt a ‘bit better’ on Monday and Tuesday, with her symptoms continuing to be less mild, she was worried about her boyfriend John.
‘He was just under blankets on the sofa, sweating, hot and cold,’ she said.
‘But no matter what we did and how much rest and isolation he got, he was getting sicker by the hour.’
She said at this stage she was still showing her pre-existing symptoms, but now had a new one:
‘I can’t taste or smell anything,’ Nadia said.
‘The nausea is even more severe and my appetite is even less.’
‘I couldn’t even walk down the stairs,’ Nadia (pictured) said. She said she was so weak, she didn’t know how much ‘more of it I could take’
Wednesday March 18, Thursday March 19, Friday March 20 and Saturday March 21 2020
The next day, Nadia said she took John to ER, where he was admitted immediately.
Meanwhile, she continued to isolate at home – where she said she was ‘alone, vomiting and too weak to even shower’.
‘I collapsed into bed at home, not knowing I would spend the next four days there,’ Nadia said.
I can’t even walk down the stairs. I’m so weak, I’m not sure how much more of this I can take
‘My neighbours were great, texting constantly and delivering packages and bottles of Gatorade to my door. But my symptoms were back and worse than before.
‘A big thing with the virus is that it seems to turn up and make you sick, and then trick you into thinking that it’s over before it comes back for an even worse second round.’
Second time round, Nadia said the headache was even worse and ‘blinding’, she needed to sleep all day and all night and she was having trouble holding down liquids.
‘I couldn’t even walk down the stairs,’ Nadia said. ‘I’ve been completely floored.
‘I’m so weak, I’m not sure how much more of this I can take.’
Sunday March 22 2020
On Sunday, Nadia hit her lowest point yet.
‘I woke up and had a drink and began to vomit,’ she said.
‘I couldn’t hold down any liquids. Then the diarrhea starts. At 1pm, I called the hospital and was taken to ER, where I was finally tested for COVID-19.
‘At midnight, I was sent home with John, who was still incredibly sick but can breathe.
‘They re-hydrated me with an IV and also gave me nausea meds and headache meds through the IV. I still can’t hold anything down.’
Nadia (pictured Robert Downey Jr) has continued to improve day by day, and wonders when her sense of smell and taste will return
Monday March 23 and Tuesday March 24 2020
On Monday March 23, Nadia said she felt a little bit better.
‘Wow! Could this be true? I don’t trust it because of what happened last time, but I do feel a bit better. I am still weak and exhausted and have no sense of taste or smell.’
On Tuesday, the 45-year-old posted on her Instagram account about her experience with COVID-19.
‘Strangers started contacting me and sharing their symptoms,’ she said.
Friday March 27 2020
On Friday, Nadia received a call confirming what she already knew to be true.
She had tested positive for COVID-19 and needed to continue what she was already doing: isolating.
Thursday April 2 2020
By the second of this month, Nadia said her nausea had slowly subsided and she was finally able to start eating again.
‘I started with the BRAT diet – bread, rice, applesauce and toast,’ she said.
‘It was the same for my boyfriend as it was all we could hold down. But at least we had our appetites back.’
Thursday April 16 2020
By last week, Nadia said while she felt okay, she still has ‘lingering symptoms’.
‘I still have no taste or smell, there are other things that are lingering, but I hope I’ll be able to exercise in the next two weeks.’
Nadia said the abiding feeling she has after having coronavirus is one of relief.
‘I’m just happy to be alive,’ she said.
‘So many people have not been as fortunate with this disease. I count myself as one of the lucky ones.’
Nadia said she has continued to improve day by day, and wonders when her sense of smell and taste will return.