COVID-19, coronavirus
Patsy Clapp, 74, survived COVID-19 while under treatment for bone marrow cancer. She commended the attentive epidemiology specialists from the Houston Health Department for aiding her recovery. (Photo by Cody Duty, TMC News)
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“That’s an interesting complication of this illness, that you can lose your sense of smell—and I did.”

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Voices of the COVID-19 crisis

“That’s an interesting complication of this illness, that you can lose your sense of smell—and I did.”

2 Minute Read

Patsy Clapp, 74, a COVID-19 survivor who overcame the virus at home while fighting bone marrow cancer, spoke to TMC News on April 15, 2020.

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My first floor is living room, kitchen, dining room. I thought about moving to the first floor because it was so exhausting to go up and down my stairs. I thought: I can just sleep on my sofa.

It’s just exhaustive fatigue.

When my internist checked on me Tuesday after I had been diagnosed, she asked me about my appetite and then she said: How is your sense of smell?

I had to get up out of bed and I went around thinking: What can I smell? I went in and sprayed perfume on my wrist that I’ve been wearing for 40 years and I couldn’t smell it at all.

Then I came downstairs. Like I said, my appetite had returned and I was cooking something. I opened up a jar of minced garlic and I couldn’t smell a thing. I opened up a container of chopped onions and couldn’t smell a thing. I mean gone. My sense of smell was absolutely gone.

It is returning now. I think it’s probably about 30 percent, but that’s an interesting complication of this illness, that you can lose your sense of smell—and I did.

Patsy Clapp, 74, survived COVID-19 while under treatment for bone marrow cancer. She commended the attentive epidemiology specialists from the Houston Health Department for aiding her recovery. (Photo by Cody Duty, TMC News)

I had this illness that’s sweeping the nation and killing everybody, particularly the elderly.

The only thing that scared me is that all of these people were dying. That’s all you heard on the TV. What do you do when you’re lying in bed listening to the TV? … It’s usually people like me who have an underlying condition … that don’t make it.

God discovered me as a child and my faith really sustained me. It’s always been important in my life and I feel like I had God’s hand on my shoulder the whole time. I did not become fearful. I never knew the panic that could have set in. … I felt like I could fight it. God had me.

Patsy Clapp, as told to TMC Pulse Assistant Editor Cindy George

 

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