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Bay Area coronavirus survivor describes hallucinations, strange dreams

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — A Bay Area woman who survived coronavirus describes hallucinating and having strange dreams while barely being able to breathe during her fight with the virus.  

Teresa Rodriguez flew back to the Bay Area from Hawaii on March 12. 

On March 22, she lost her sense of smell.

At first, she said because she was strong and healthy, she thought she would be fine. 

But with every day, she said it got worse and worse. 

“Within the week I was sipping for air,” she said. 

She called her doctor who said there’s nothing they could do for her and there was no medication that would help other than an inhaler. 

“The second week was the worst,” she said. “Every day I started with the hallucinations. The really weird dreams.”

She said she never had a fever but she couldn’t move her body. 

She described having an itch on her arm but she was so weak, she couldn’t lift her other arm to scratch it. 

She said the hardest part was not being able to breathe and the immense pain she felt in her lung.

“There was one moment I felt I was in the trunk of the car, just taking little sips of breath. Just to get oxygen into my lungs. It’s like shards of glass are in your lungs. It’s really, really painful,” she explained.

She also said the worst parts were at night. 

“I would have dreams of being held underwater suffocating,” she said. “I would wake up trying to catch my breath and because my lungs were so filled with the virus, I couldn’t catch my breath. And that was the hardest part, knowing I’m here with my daughter.”

Rodriguez was quarantined in her house with her 8-year-old daughter, who fortunately never tested positive for the virus. 

She thanked her her friends for helping her get through it. She said they often dropped off food at her house for her and her daughter. 

“It takes a village to help someone with COVID-19,” she said. 

Rodriguez also credited San Francisco Mayor London Breed for shutting down the city as early as she did. 

She said if Breed wouldn’t have shut down the city when she did, she would have visited her brother whose wife just had a baby and also her mentor who lives at a retirement community. 

“I personally would have infected 20 to 30 people…it gives me chills,” she said. 

She’s been officially COVID-clear for a week but she said she still has difficulty breathing and pain in her lungs.

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