The secrets of people who never get sick | Health & wellbeing | The Guardian

An ambulance came but said her oxygen levels were OK. She tried to treat herself with natural remedies. When eating raw garlic and whole chilli peppers, she remembers thinking it was weird that she couldn't taste anything. And she was tired. After two weeks, some of the symptoms lifted but they just seemed to be replaced with new ones.

And that pinch turned into what felt like a sort of fire," she says. I thought I was having a heart attack. She called and they advised taking paracetamol. They said it seemed to make the pain disappear for some people though they didn't fully understand why. The paracetamol worked but almost as soon as that pain went her stomach and throat began to burn "like fire" when she ate. Doctors thought she had an ulcer.

It wasn't until later that gastric problems were recognised as a symptom of the virus. About six weeks in, Monique started having burning sensations when she urinated and pain in her lower back. The doctor put her on three different rounds Very Narrow Garden Sheds Code of antibiotics before deciding it wasn't a bacterial infection. Monique cut herself off from social media.

Even listening to podcasts was difficult because any mention of Covid would make her anxious and affect her breathing. A self-confessed news junkie, now she couldn't face it. She was afraid that if she went on social media she would see post after post of dead bodies. She found solace in online shopping but even entering a dress size in the search tab brought up horror stories about new symptoms of the disease.

After a while she asked a friend to fill her in on what had been happening in the world. One of the first things she learned was that a higher proportion of people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds were dying. Monique is mixed-race and she was scared. One day she was lying in the bath listening to a podcast when the two white hosts casually mentioned that a lot of African Americans were dying from Covid And she reflected on the fact that the majority of people she had relied on lately had been members of minorities - the Uber drivers who took her to appointments, the hospital workers, the people in the corner shop where her food came from.

As weeks went by, some symptoms swapped out for others, getting more and more bizarre. A pain in her neck was accompanied by a strange sensation in her ear, like a packet of crisps being crushed in someone's hand. Her hands went blue and she had to rush to a warm tap to try to bring the blood back into them. The doctor later asked if she had taken a picture, but it had been the last thing on her mind.

She got strange rashes all over her body or her toes would go bright red, sometimes she would wake up with stabbing pains in different parts of her torso. One night, as she was talking to her friend on the phone she felt the right side of her face drop. She went straight to the mirror but her face looked normal. She was worried she was having a stroke but the doctors found no evidence of one. She's had strange sensations all over her body too.

Sometimes it feels like someone is grabbing her leg with their hands or hairs are being dragged across her face - even inside her mouth. She spent a lot of time trying to explain what was happening to doctors.

Often she only had a five or minute call in which to try to relay everything that was happening in her body and it wasn't enough. She squirms as she tries to summarise how she was treated. She's reluctant to criticise staff of the NHS, many of whom have given her excellent care but she says the system isn't working for people in her position. It was nine weeks before Monique could get a test for coronavirus. During that time, she was terrified of passing the virus to someone else.

Government advice said to isolate for seven days or until symptoms went away - but what if they never went away, she thought. Her flatmates devised a system to avoid contact in the house - they each had a spot on the fridge they'd use to pull it open. One day she went to get some fresh air at a park near her house with a friend when a small child ran up close to her. Monique jumped up to get away from the toddler.

The mother was indignant. Monique tried to explain, she wasn't afraid of getting infected, she was afraid of passing the virus on. Sick people should stay at home, the mother told her. While friends went out of their way to help her, Monique could tell that others were getting fed up.

None of what was happening to her made sense to anyone. Finally the UK government opened up testing to anyone showing symptoms. She was thrilled but there was a catch - the only centre she could find was a drive-in and she didn't have a car.

One friend did step up and give her a lift, and the fact that he put himself at risk in the process isn't lost on her. At the testing centre she expected to be reassured by nurses and doctors but instead it was staffed by soldiers, their khakis soaked on a sweaty day in June. As she stuck a cotton swab up her nose it struck her how young they were. From an unwillingness to confess how much her intimacy with Mr. Darcy had been over-rated, Elizabeth had never yet answered Mrs.

Gardiner's long letter; but now, having that to communicate which she knew would be most welcome, she was almost ashamed to find that her uncle and aunt had already lost three days of happiness, and immediately wrote as follows:. You supposed more than really existed. But now suppose as much as you choose; give a loose rein to your fancy, indulge your imagination in every possible flight which the subject will afford, and unless you believe me actually married, you cannot greatly err.

You must write again very soon, and praise him a great deal more than you did in your last. I thank you, again and again, for not going to the Lakes. How could I be so silly as to wish it!

Your idea of the ponies is delightful. We will go round the Park every day. I am the happiest creature in the world. Perhaps other people have said so before, but not one with such justice. I am happier even than Jane; she only smiles, I laugh. Darcy sends you all the love in the world that he can spare from me. You are all to come to Pemberley at Christmas. Yours, etc. Darcy's letter to Lady Catherine was in a different style; and still different from either was what Mr. Bennet sent to Mr.

Collins, in reply to his last. Elizabeth will soon be the wife of Mr. Console Lady Catherine as well as you can. But, if I were you, I would stand by the nephew. He has more to give. Miss Bingley's congratulations to her brother, on his approaching marriage, were all that was affectionate and insincere. She wrote even to Jane on the occasion, to express her delight, and repeat all her former professions of regard. Jane was not deceived, but she was affected; and though feeling no reliance on her, could not help writing her a much kinder answer than she knew was deserved.

The joy which Miss Darcy expressed on receiving similar information, was as sincere as her brother's in sending it. Four sides of paper were insufficient to contain all her delight, and all her earnest desire of being loved by her sister.

Before any answer could arrive from Mr. Collins, or any congratulations to Elizabeth from his wife, the Longbourn family heard that the Collinses were come themselves to Lucas Lodge.

The reason of this sudden removal was soon evident. Lady Catherine had been rendered so exceedingly angry by the contents of her nephew's letter, that Charlotte, really rejoicing in the match, was anxious to get away till the storm was blown over. At such a moment, the arrival of her friend was a sincere pleasure to Elizabeth, though in the course of their meetings she must sometimes think the pleasure dearly bought, when she saw Mr.

Darcy exposed to all the parading and obsequious civility of her husband. He bore it, however, with admirable calmness. He could even listen to Sir William Lucas, when he complimented him on carrying away the brightest jewel of the country, and expressed his hopes of their all meeting frequently at St. James's, with very decent composure.

If he did shrug his shoulders, it was not till Sir William was out of sight. Phillips's vulgarity was another, and perhaps a greater, tax on his forbearance; and though Mrs. Phillips, as well as her sister, stood in too much awe of him to speak with the familiarity which Bingley's good humour encouraged, yet, whenever she did speak, she must be vulgar.

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