For Kristen Henshaw of Loganville, once was not enough when it came to battling COVID-19. She got over the first bout, just to come down with it a second time.
“I tested positive for COVID-19 at the beginning of January. I isolated, dealt with the symptoms, and tested again 10 days later. That test was negative….yay,” Henshaw said. “Just to be certain, and to protect the people I care for, I tested again the following week and was again negative!”
But unfortunately that was not the end of the story. Henshaw is the owner and fitness instructor at Fitness Kula, LLC and had been open once gyms were allowed to open again after the initial shutdown, taking care to ensure she complied with the regulations. So during her January bout with COVID-19, she had to shut the studio down, but she was ready to get everything back open. After testing negative twice, she was about ready to do that.
“I wanted to reopen the studio on Feb. 1, and so out of an abundance of caution, and because I had been ‘out and about,’ I again tested again on Jan. 30,” Henshaw said.
Two days later, she got the results back.
‘My test results were….positive,” Henshaw said. “All of my testing is lab testing – more reliable. I have experienced new symptoms, including headache, GI issues, congestion, and fatigue….and weird ‘phantom’ smells and tastes. I’ve consulted with a trusted medical professional, and it would appear that this is, indeed, a new infection. That’s NOT a ‘conclusion,’ but it would point in that direction. The new symptoms after testing positive indicate this is not a ‘false positive,’ or a ‘positive’ after the initial illness, because of the two ‘negative’ tests in between.”
And, Henshaw says, this second bout was actually worse than the first.
“My headaches were more severe and the fatigue was more difficult to overcome. I also had some more congestion than the first round,” she said. “I actually know several people who have gotten the original strain twice…..a college friend of mine and her husband, another college friend of mine, and a karate acquaintance of mine who had it early on in March and got reinfected some months later. The new strains are apparently causing more reinfections. The reason I posted my experience and am so transparent about what’s happening with me is that I want to HELP and encourage people to be more careful with their health and the health of others. It’s not about ‘causing fear.’ It’s simply about using caution and good sense, and to not be complacent about our health and that of others. I’m a relatively healthy person who exercises, eats well, and takes vitamins and nutritional supplements to stay healthy. Yet, here I am, dealing with this thing a second time in a fairly short turnaround. I would also like to stress that this is not a ‘definitive conclusion,’ but an educated hypothesis based on the fact that if it were the same initial infection, it is unlikely I would have had two negative results in a row after initial recovery, then a positive result along with ‘new’ or ‘reanimated’ symptoms.”
Henshaw has now again tested negative and hopes to reopening the studio next week, but plans on continuing to take precautions because she knows first hand that just because you’ve had it once is not a guarantee that you’re not going to get it again.
“I take this virus very seriously because I care for people that are considered ‘vulnerable.’ Thank God no one in my family contracted this virus. Everyone tested ‘negative.’ I quarantined and isolated and we had an action plan on how to care for ourselves if we ever had it, and it worked great,” Henshaw said, adding that she is optimistic about opening the studio again next week. “The headaches have gone away, the congestion has cleared up, but I still have lingering fatigue which I’m working on living with and overcoming in order to conduct fitness classes.”