DeLand City Commissioner Jessica Davis shares her journey of coping with COVID-19
BY JESSICA DAVIS
SPECIAL TO THE DAYTONA TIMES
Around May 7, I began feeling fatigued and felt like I may be coming down with a common cold. Whenever I feel like I am about to have a cold, I start doing preventative measures and start taking over-the-counter cold medicine.
I told myself that I will continue my home remedies of tea, soup, over-the-counter medicine and if I am not feeling any better, I will go to the doctor the Monday after Mother’s Day.
On Mother’s Day, I was extremely fatigued and none of my methods was working but I mustered up enough energy to show gratitude and appreciation to my husband and daughter who were doing their best to cater to me.
They brought me breakfast in bed and I ate what I could and then took a nap. For dinner my husband ordered take out from a restaurant and brought me dinner in bed and I opened up my cards and gifts from them.
A negative test
I pretended to be feeling OK because my daughter was so excited to give me the necklace that they bought me, and she had been keeping the surprise from me for a few days.
I went to Florida Health Care urgent care doctor’s office Monday, May 11, and requested a COVID-19 test. I had a cough, shortness of breath, fever, body chills and was fatigued.
The nurse advised me to drive around back where I would receive a finger prick to take blood to see if I have COVID-19. Fifteen minutes later, the test was negative, so the nurse brought me in through the back door to see the doctor.
The doctor provided me a quick examine and determined I had bronchitis. I was prescribed two medicines to help with my bronchitis. I was relieved that the doctor said I did not have COVID-19 and was optimistic that the medicine should have me feeling better in five days.
I was not feeling any better, so I went back to the DeLand AdventHealth hospital on May 17 and advised them of what was going on with me. They took a chest X-ray and determined I had pneumonia.
I was provided medicine that I was supposed to take for five days. I went home to finish taking the medicine, but I was still feeling like I did not have just bronchitis or pneumonia. I did as the doctor’s said and took the medicine prescribed.
My symptoms were causing so much discomfort at night for me so instead of sleeping like everyone else in my house, I was on the internet looking for whatever article I could find on the symptoms I was experiencing.
Demanded a swab test
The next morning, I drove myself back to the hospital on May 21 and became a little more forceful with medical staff. This was my third visit in front of a doctor. I demanded a COVID-19 nasal swab test. Each nurse and each doctor had a different opinion on my care and what should be done.
One doctor was extremely understanding and felt like if the test came back positive, he wants me to stay overnight so further exams could be run.
The test came back positive and a different doctor said, “I would not have admitted you and would send you home to self-quarantine because it is not like we have a vaccine.’’
The medical staff’s priority, in my opinion, is COVID-19 patients in critical condition and in need of oxygen. I was experiencing shortness of breath but not enough to require oxygen.
Hospitalization, then quarantine
I was admitted into the hospital where I spent four days. No visits. Thank God for Face Time and smartphones that I used to communicate with family. Daily, the medical staff would discuss discharging me.
The reason I was not discharged sooner is because one of my chest X-rays showed the pneumonia was worse and I now have fluid on my lungs. The fourth day the fluid was not on my lungs and I was discharged from the hospital on Sunday, May 24.
In attempt to keep my family safe, especially my husband, Mario Davis, 36, who is a kidney transplant recipient and our daughter, Marissa Davis, 8, We decided as a family I will self-quarantine away from our home. They have been testing negative for COVID-19 and have no symptoms.
The first night in self-quarantine I felt alone. The reality of having COVID-19 hit me like a ton of bricks and I immediately began having anxiety attacks.
I was unaware I was having an anxiety attack because I had never had one and an anxiety attack has similar symptoms as COVID-19 – the shortness of breath, etc. I am doing much better with controlling the anxiety attacks and I am sleeping a little better.
Still testing positive
On June 1, the Florida Heath Department took a nasal swab test to see if I still have COVID-19. I got my results on June 3 and I am still positive. I was advised by medical professionals I can still test positive for a while.
While I am testing positive, I will remain in self-quarantine and away from my family. I will test weekly through the Florida Department of Health.
There is no cure for coronavirus, so I am only taking vitamins to help build my immune system. Once I test negative and have this virus behind me, I will continue to take these vitamins because it is something that my body needs anyway. Beating COVID-19 solely depends on you and your immune system.
Today, I feel much better than I did when this first started, and I feel like my symptoms are improving. I still have some struggles and ask my supporters to continue to keep me in prayer.
I am grateful to those that have been praying for me and sincerely want to see me beat this deadly virus that have claimed the lives of so many. I pray for peace for those families grieving the loss of their loved ones to COVID-19.
I chose to live
There is a lot of misinformation out there about the virus and scientists are still learning about COVID-19. It does not matter who you are, your race, your gender or your age this virus can affect you.
The virus is still spreading so I encourage all to continue practicing social distancing and all other COVID-19 preventive measures.
This self-quarantine has taught me a lot and selfcare is the most valuable lesson that I have learned. The world around you will keep going whether you’re dead or alive.
So, I chose to live, focus on my health right now, and pray continued peace over our country as we fight the coronavirus and the injustice around us.
Thank you to my family, friends, medical staff, church family, Volusia County Schools, community, City of DeLand and my supporters for keeping things moving forward in my absence.
Please continue to be safe and God bless you all.
Editor’s note: As of June 9, Commissioner Jessica Davis was still in quarantine. She needs two negative results from the Florida Department of Health before she is released from quarantine.