Dudley Family Photo

The Dudley family — from left, Tim, Madalyn and Christine — have all been dealing with Christine's positive COVID-19 diagnosis. Despite the difficulties, Christine's message is positive — 'you can recover from this.'

It started with a headache. A few body aches.

Christine Dudley, who lives at Woodson Bend with her golf pro husband, Tim, and 17-year-old daughter, Madalyn, figured she had the flu when these symptoms popped up last Saturday. Or maybe she was exhausted from a business trip she had taken the previous week.

"I had been gone all week and I was tired," Dudley said on Friday. "I had also been around some people who had the flu — so I thought that was a real possibility."

By Monday, Dudley had been tested for the flu. That came back negative. After being urged to be tested for the COVID-19 virus, she did so on Wednesday. By 6 p.m. on Thursday she received an email confirming she was the second Pulaski countian to test positive for the corona virus.

While Dudley says her bout with the COVID-19 bug has been anything but pleasant, there is a silver lining: She is recovering. And most people who contract it will be OK.

"I'm already improving. There's a positive aspect to this — if you get it, you can recover," Dudley said. "I am recovering."

When Dudley first started feeling unwell, she retreated to bed and tried to weather the storm. When the aches were joined by fever and chest pressure, she realized she checked all the boxes for the corona virus.

"I was high risk because I had been traveling in a high-risk part of the country," Dudley said. "I had already decided to quarantine for two weeks anyway. But I was urged to get tested because of my family and the people we have been exposed to."

Dudley noted that, for example, she had to contact the parents of kids who joined her daughter for her birthday party last week.

"The effect that it could potentially have on the people who have been exposed is difficult, especially for a teen-ager," Dudley said. "I hate it for her."

Dudley said the most concerning symptom is the chest pressure.

"I still have some chest discomfort and we're monitoring that," Dudley said. "It's not uncommon to develop some pneumonia with this virus. We know that could happen.

"Otherwise there have not been too many symptoms that have been significant," Dudley added. "Not much of a cough and not a bad sore throat. Just aches and a bad headache — and the chest discomfort."

Meanwhile, another Pulaski County woman who was tested for the virus on Monday said on Thursday she is still waiting for the results. She received an email Thursday afternoon saying the results should be available this weekend.

The patient, who did not want her name shared, was tested at Fast Pace, and the test was sent to Lab Corps to be analyzed.

"It's been a frustrating two days," the patient said, who was told her test results would be available in 72 hours. 

Like Dudley, this patient said she started feeling ill on Saturday. Since she had been in contact with people who had been traveling, she started making inquiries and learned Fast Pace could do the testing.

"I called Fast Pace and after I gave them my symptoms, they suggested I come in," the patient said.

The patient said she was immediately taken to a room isolated from other patients and got a more detailed list of symptoms, which included a sore throat, aches, fever and chest tightness. After testing negative for the flu, she was swabbed again for COVID-19.

"It wasn't a painful procedure, but it definitely wasn't comfortable," the patient said. "It was slightly worse than the flu swab.

"Fast Pace was incredible. There were not any upfront costs," the patient said. "The only thing that's unfortunate is that the test didn't go to a state lab, which is reporting 24-hour results."

The patient said her husband was also suffering from similar symptoms but has not been tested. They are currently in self-quarantine mode.

"This is really all you can do," she said. "My symptoms were nothing that would normally cause me to seek emergency care. There are no meds they can give you — although they did offer cough medicine, and antibiotics just in case I was negative for the virus."

The patient said Thursday she was resting. "If I'm active, the cough seems to come back. I'm just taking it easy.

"I would urge anyone who feels they might have this to seek care — just call ahead first to see if you fall within the Center for Disease Control testing guidelines," the patient added.

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