Freddie Freeman woke up in a pool of sweat.
Otherwise, he felt fine. A day after he first felt a fever, he awoke on Friday, July 3 feeling mostly normal. His temperature, 102 degrees the night before, was down to 98.2. Waiting on the results from a Covid-19 test administered the night before, Freeman was unable to report to Truist Park that particular day. Instead, he put together a little workout at home, equipped with some throwing, hitting and running.
By 2 p.m. that afternoon, everything changed.
His body temperature bega to climb. Aches and chills came over him. By Friday night, Freeman’s temperature rose to 104.5 degrees, scaring him into thinking he might need to go to the hospital. A couple of minutes later, he checked his temperature again and it fell slightly to 103.8. If his temperature crossed the 104-barrier a second time, Freeman said he would have probably started making some important phone calls about his situation.
Freeman received his Covid-19 test results that night, which concluded he was positive for the virus. While teammates Touki Toussaint and Will Smith also tested positive for Covid-19, those two have been asymptomatic the entire time.
Freeman, however, was seriously concerned with his own well being when the virus was wreaking its greatest havoc that Friday evening.
“I said a little prayer that night because I’ve never been that hot before,” Freeman said. “My body was really, really hot. I said, ‘Please don’t take me.’ I wasn’t ready. It got a little worrisome that night for me.”
Freeman took some Tylenol and NyQuil to help fall asleep and woke up the next morning at 7 a.m. He was thankful his fever fell to 101.5 degrees. The temperature gradually dropped to where he was in a range between 99.3 and 100.4 degrees on Sunday night.
By Monday, his fever finally broke, with the aches and chills evaporating. While his conditioned improved, he wasn’t through with the virus just yet.
From the ensuing Monday through Thursday, Freeman dealt with sinus issues. He would stand and then feel dizzy. He was regularly fatigued. He lost his sense of taste and smell. On Thursday, July 9, Freeman started feeling ill again and took a nap. It was after this nap that he felt a return to normalcy.
“When I woke up from the nap I told my wife Chelsea, ‘I feel absolutely great. 100 percent,’” he said. “‘Get me carbs though. I need carbs.’ I ate some Italian food and I have felt perfectly fine since (last) Thursday. (Saturday) is my ninth day without symptoms.”
Freeman said his wife and aunt also caught Covid-19. His aunt came down with a tough case similar to his. His wife, however, lost her sense of taste and smell but only dealt with minor body aches.
Freeman said he’s technically unsure of how he contracted Covid-19 but has a guess as to how it happened. Before traveling back to Atlanta, he invited family to his California home for a get-together on Friday, June 27. A family member came down with symptoms two days later but was never tested, which is why Freeman isn’t completely sure if that’s where he contracted the virus.
At the same time, on June 30, a day after he traveled back to Atlanta, Freeman took a Covid-19 test and was negative.
“I don’t know if I somehow caught it in 36 hours and it popped up,” Freeman said. “We don’t know how (the virus) works. We don’t really know 100 percent sure how I got it.”
Having read that people have tested positive for Covid-19 for multiple months after contracting it, Freeman was surprised to record negative tests this past Tuesday and Wednesday. He found out those results Friday morning. Following a trip to the doctor and an examination of his cardiovascular system, Freeman put forth a full workout Friday and met with reporters via a Zoom call Saturday afternoon.
Freeman said he lost only one pound throughout the ordeal and has been able to maintain his strength. The plan is to take 30 at-bats over the next five days and see if he can work through some of the natural soreness since he hasn’t been able to play baseball in such a long time. With the Braves’ 60-game season-opener against the New York Mets around the corner on July 24, Freeman is hopeful he will be able to play, although that’s not a guarantee just yet.
“We’re going to try,” Freeman said. “That’s the whole goal, for me to be ready on Opening Day.”
(PHOTO: Freddie Freeman spoke to reporters on a Zoom call Saturday afternoon / screenshot)