EDWARDSVILLE — When an email from the Illinois State Dental Society recommended for dental offices in the state to shut down for two weeks starting March 17, Glen Carbon dentist Dr. Briana Oller’s thoughts were on her patients at Simply Smiles.
“I was very scared. I was very nervous for my employees. I was nervous for my patients, who I wasn’t going to be able to serve. I was nervous for myself. How was I going to be able to make the bills of my business and the personal bills,” Oller said.
Those fears became secondary when Oller, 42 with no underlying issues, was diagnosed with coronavirus on March 30 after battling a headache, fever and loss of taste and smell. She was tested on March 26, nine days after a headache started.
“We don’t know where I got this. We have no clue,” said Oller, who hasn’t traveled outside the country. “We now know I’ve had my symptoms since March 17. We believe exposure occurred sometime around March 13 somewhere in the community because my mom is also positive for the coronavirus. She has followed a similar timeline but started a day later than me. The last time we were together was March 13. It is in our community and it has been this whole time.”
Oller has been recovering from her home with her two daughters, who haven’t shown any symptoms.
All of Oller’s symptoms have subsided except the fever, which is hovering around 100.5 degrees. The highest it reached was 101.9 degrees.
“I’m getting stronger every day and it’s no longer up and down like it was. The breathing is so much better. I feel like the worst part is beyond me,” Oller said.
Late Thursday morning, Oller used a 10-minute Facebook video to share her emotions through the journey. As of Sunday afternoon, it has been viewed approximately 69,500 times and with over 2,800 shares.
“It actually was very hard for me to post because I’m a pretty private person, but I was compelled to tell my story to help spread awareness,” Oller said. “Besides my vulnerability and raw emotions, I worried about spreading fear. With that being said, I felt people knew me better that because I’m an extremely optimistic person. I can find positive