Crohn’s Flare or COVID-19?

In the midst of this pandemic, all of us with IBD have to be extra vigilant with taking the proper precautions to avoid being infected with COVID-19. I don’t need to remind you of how delicate our immune systems are and how we have to do everything we can to keep our immune systems healthy and ready to fight infection.

My current precautions to boost my immune system with Crohn's

A couple of precautions I have been taking in order to keep my immune system healthy are: taking probiotics, Vitamin D, Zinc, drinking tons of water, eating healthy, getting sun exposure/fresh air, and doing light exercise. So far these have proven to keep me feeling well and I’ve been sticking to it.

However, life always throws you curveballs as we all know. Sometimes our routines get bombarded and compromised due to unexpected events. In the last month, I have been completely off my routine. 

The beginning symptoms of a cold

I had to travel to attend a family member’s wedding which ended up turning into a mini-vacation. I then purchased a car, right when I came back from being out of town from the wedding which involved more traveling, as the car was not located in my city. By the time I came back home to get back into my routine, I felt a tickle in my throat and was starting to sneeze.

I am lucky in that I never catch colds, even after being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and being on immunocompromising medication. But on the rare occasion that I do, they always start the same way. A tickle in my throat and sneezing.

When these symptoms started happening, I did not panic. I didn’t think I contracted COVID because nothing felt out of the ordinary. I had been so stressed and busy, and not taking care of myself that it was normal for me to be catching a little cold.

Within a day, I in fact had the onset of a cold. I was blowing my nose, was slightly congested, and was sneezing.

Just to be safe I quarantined and just focused on working from home and taking DayQuil. After three days I was feeling so much better. I just knew it was a cold. 

Worried about COVID with the onset of a fever

Until the unexpected happened, on the fourth day, I got a fever. It happened in the evening as I was getting ready for bed and I started to really not feel well.

I took my temperature, and lo and behold, I had a fever of 102. I panicked. Oh geez, I have COVID.

Immediately I went to urgent care to be tested. I did three different tests. One was a rapid test and I was to know the results within 20 minutes. The other two would take 48 hours to find results.

Within 20 minutes, I got my first results. Negative! Whoo-hoo! I felt so much better. I was discharged and was to await my results for the other tests in the next two days.

In the meantime, I was so confused as to why I had a fever. The little cold I had, seemed to feel so much better and I just couldn’t understand why the fever came. Then it hit me.

The fever was caused by a Crohn's flare

I had cheated on the previous two days. I had pizza and lots of pizza for two days in a row. Wheat and dairy are trigger foods for me. And that’s when it dawned on me, I’m in a small flare. Whenever I begin to flare I get a fever. And typically they are of 101 or 102. Yup, I’m in a flare.

The following day, I was extremely diligent with my food choices. I also upped my supplements and water intake. The fever went away within one day and the following day I got the results back from the urgent care. Negative.

So no I did not have COVID, it turned out my Crohn’s was flaring.

Have you had a scare throughout this pandemic? Have your Crohn’s symptoms flared which made you feel you had COVID? Share below!

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