One MS Patient's Battle with COVID-19

Laura Barnhardt Corle is an artist and MS patient who lives in Findlay, Ohio. I spoke with her in July about contracting COVID-19 and how she is treating its symptoms.

Laura's paintings

Recuperating from COVID-19

Kim: Laura, you didn’t post much in our Facebook group this year, and recently you told us why.

Laura: I’ve been scarce all year because I had [COVID-19]. Since maybe last Christmas, January, or February. Not sure. But I was tested, not with the nose swipe, but a blood draw sent to Mayo Clinic. It came back that I had antibodies. I wasn’t hospitalized, [I self-quarantined at home], and I’m still recuperating. And it’s July!

The symptoms that led Laura to seek medical attention

Kim: What made you seek medical help?

Laura: I couldn’t get up out of bed until almost when the bank closed for the day. That and way weird out of body experience type dreams. I mean I was an art major during the 1970s, but never did I experience anything THAT psychedelic! I have to admit I was pretty dull for an art major. Never ever learned to like beer. The dream time only lasted about a week—but you DO lose sense of time. I never lost sense of smell or taste — but the week of dream time — my mouth tasted like dirty pennies. I never had trouble breathing or serious coughing. I started to get a headache, sore throat, and stuff.

Other COVID-19 symptoms

Kim: While you were home all those months, did you experience any other symptoms?

Laura: Pinkeye, stye, diarrhea, COVID toes, lack of appetite, many moments of more brain fog than I care to admit. Almost sleep-walking, and so much exhaustion that I honestly didn’t know if it was sunrise or sunset. I had one moment of fever. Didn’t have a working thermometer but I had to race to the bathroom. I got there in time but suddenly sweated so much I felt it dripping off me while also feeling like passing out.

Over-the-counter symptom relief

Kim: Did you do anything to treat your symptoms?

Laura: I took a combo of Sudafed, Extra Strength Excedrin, and 12-hour Mucinex. My doctor and pharmacist said it was an ok combo, I asked first before taking them. And here’s the biggie: Every 4 hours I took a Cold-EEZE, up to 4 times in a row then stopped, and the sore throat, cough, and sniffles all stopped. A day later it began again. So I repeated everything including the Cold-EEZE. I chased it away except for the tiredness and diarrhea part. [I took] baby aspirin, too, because [COVID] also caused blood clots. When they drew blood to test my blood sugar and also test for COVID-19, they had trouble. My blood started to clot in the test tubes while I watched. Oh, and bidets are wonderful!

Kim: Laura, thanks bunches for being so frank about your COVID experience. No Ann Arbor Art Fair this year, but we hope to see you there next July.

Kim and Laura in black and white

Learn more about Laura’s work and how MS affects it.

To learn more about MS and COVID-19, see the references below.

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