Throughout the past 5 months, I had been very diligent in wearing a mask and following the safety protocols for COVID-19. Being 75 I isolated in the beginning. Then Florida went into shut-down of “non-essential” healthcare practices such as my acupuncture. When we opened again, the office followed the CDC guidelines, although I did encounter people without masks at the office, and when I went to the store.
I have to admit, after some months of staying healthy, I had decided that I was not going to get the virus. I was basically healthy. I had no pre-existing health conditions and was on no medications. I was taking immune-enhancers.
I don’t know how or where I contracted it. I didn’t have the classic symptoms, eg. cough, fever, runny nose, loss of sense of smell taste, etc. I just woke up one morning and didn’t want to get out of bed. Two cups of coffee didn’t make any difference. I dragged myself around throughout the day and canceled my schedule for the rest of the week. That week was one of almost continuous sleep. My whole body ached. I had shooting pains in my head. I didn’t want to eat or drink.
I did manage to get tested for COVID; however, the results were to be 10 days away. I called my nurse practitioner. She recommended that I be seen in the emergency room of a particular hospital that was seeing the most COVID patients and where she felt I would get the best care. I took a taxi to that hospital. They said my blood pressure was 70/40 (normal is 120/80) and admitted me immediately. They were able to get COVID test results in 2 hours. I tested positive and was placed in isolation.
Throughout those two weeks, I was moved to 5 different rooms. The hospital was admitting so many people with the virus, they were on a bit of overwhelm. They were opening more rooms and having to move their staff around. I was just wanting to sleep. One of my nurse’s aides, a young man named Tommy, was very straightforward. He said, “This virus wants to kill you. It will make you want to just lie there. You have to fight. You cannot just lie there. You have to make yourself move! You have to make yourself breathe!” I remember hearing Chris Cuomo saying the same thing on a TV interview.
The doctors suggested I let them treat me with the anti-viral, Remdesivir. I agreed. I also agreed to Convalescent Plasma. They are both given IV. Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine were not suggested, nor would I have agreed to that treatment. I was also on a steroid and oxygen.
This virus tends to go from no or mild symptoms to moderate symptoms to severe symptoms. This can happen very suddenly.
This virus tends to go from no or mild symptoms to moderate symptoms to severe symptoms. This can happen very suddenly. In the beginning, the body doesn’t recognize it is being attacked by the virus. It moves from the nose and throat to the lungs. When it hits the lungs, the body suddenly realizes it is being attacked and over-reacts with a vigorous immune response. It is this immune response that seems to throw the body into a healing crisis. When I went into that phase, I was placed in ICU. I was placed on a respirator. The respirator was miserable but gave me 50% oxygen. This is not a ventilator. I didn’t want to go on a ventilator but would have if I had needed it to save my life. Thank goodness the respirator worked. I made it through the healing crisis and was moved out of ICU in two days.
I was discharged from the hospital after my two-week stay. I am eternally grateful to the doctors and staff for their attentiveness and excellent care. Two of my nurses were in their 20’s. They were both recovering from having COVID. They were both still feeling a lot of fatigue and not yet normal. Whatever money these caregivers receive, it is not enough for what they do, I assure you. They are my heroes and angels.
Another important piece of my survival and healing were my friends, loved ones, and healer colleagues. I had so many prayers coming my way. I felt that the staff was receiving them as well. I am a witness to the fact that prayer works.
It’s a good thing that we have a short memory for misery. What I do remember most are the love and the miracles. I am so grateful to be alive!