Updated: Mar 27, 2020
So I have been sick for about 6 days now I think. Yesterday was when I knew I could get into real trouble from this. My lungs burn like fire and while I can breath, it takes some effort. The cough is terrible. You feel like you have all this stuff in your lungs and the instinct is to get it all out, but no matter how much you cough nothing but a tiny bit of super thick crap comes up.
I have been screened by both my doctor and the covid-19 screener for my area. The screener is an MD but has no idea what to do with someone who might actually have the virus! Thank god for Dr. M., my doctor. When I talked to the screener it was a disorganized mess. All my medical data was available for her to look at but at first she just glanced at it. When I called her she just tried to rush me off the phone. She was like, "Hmm your relatively healthy and..." I cut her off there. I said, "No, I have a heart condition, asthma, a thyroid disorder, borderline diabetic, and an auto immune disorder." I had to walk her through my medical file while she verified everything. It was like she didn't know how to read it! Once she finally figured it out and screened my symptoms she changed her tone. She told me she was calling the hospital where all of us are supposed to go to get tested and looked at by a doctor to assess our condition and to start driving in. We live about 40 minutes away from the main hospitals in our state.
So my husband and I were in the truck when the phone rang again. It was the screening doctor. She told us that when she called the hospital to let them know we were inbound, they told her they can't take covid-19 patients! No separate entrance, no negative pressure rooms, nothing! So the screener told me she called another hospital and told me to go through their ER! To sum this up, the medical doctor who was put in charge of screening people for testing and telling us where to go, had no idea what she was doing! The hospital she was told to send us to had no idea they were supposed to get ready to take us! How the hell does this happen? I keep asking that question. I have been asking it for 8 weeks now! The screener told me she's pretty sure I have covid-19, she knows that I am high risk, she knows how dangerous it is for me to go into an ER because I could infect everyone there, and she has no idea what to do with me!
About 3 minutes after we got off the phone with the screener for the second time, the phone rang again. THIS time it was my doctor, Dr. M. Apparently when I called the office and spoke to the nurse who transferred me to the covid-19 screener, he decided to call Dr. M. and let her know as well. I am VERY grateful he made that call. Dr. M. screened me again. She got a good listen to one of my coughing fits as well. She explained that unless I need oxygen or intubation to stay the hell away from the hospitals! There is no treatment for covid-19 anyway so If I have covid-19 I am risking everyone there. If I don't have it, I am at risk of getting it! Of course once I thought about the fact that the bloody screening Doc tried to send me to a hospital that didn't even TAKE covid patients, I agreed with Dr. M.
I already have an oxygen monitor here, thank god! So we can watch my O2 sat. My husband and I are on house quarantine by Dr. M's order. She sent in a ton of medications to the local pharmacy and we got a relative to go pick them up and drop them on our porch. Dr. M decided to treat me for everything, in case this ISN'T covid-19 and we talk on the phone once a day while watching my O2. If it drops below 88, I am to be taken to the hospital. So far it hasn't gone below 92.
So here I am. My doctor, and I both know damn well I have this thing. The dry hacking cough, severe lung pain, and low grade fever are like a neon sign over my head. My oxygen isn't too low but it's definitely lower than it should be. But here I am on 14 day "self quarantine", sick as a dog and no testing. A note was sent into my husband's work from my doctor so at least he won't get fired! WooHooo! Gotta appreciate the little things right?...but I have no idea what we are going to do for money in a few weeks. He is going to call unemployment tomorrow and try to figure out what can be done to get us through. I could be sick for weeks with this thing and as long as I am, he can't leave the house.
My husband started coughing today too. It's not anywhere as bad as mine but it just tells us what we already knew. I have been locked down in this house for several weeks, but my husband works in a small mental health hospital. He must have gotten it there and brought in home to me. I showed symptoms sooner because of all my health conditions. That means it's already in the facility where he works. And there will be no testing, no tracing, nothing done at all. There are elderly people there, and his coworkers have been traveling to NYC and NJ for fun regardless of the virus. All the precautions we took didn't matter because the people around us didn't take them as well. Now I have a nice "mild" case of fucking pneumonia and a doctor who is just having to wing it with me! I have been in and out of hospitals all my life. I know damn well what this fire in my lungs is. WHATEVER virus I have, I have pneumonia brewing in my lungs. So I am taking a z-pac (5 day antibiotic they are giving covid-19 patients to prevent secondary infection), and prednisone has been added to my daily asthma medications as well as prescription cough medicine. Dr. M and I talked about the steroid as there are rumors about it making some people worse but she doesn't dare leave my asthma untreated. We will take it day by day I guess.
I really feel awful but I am going to try to document things as they go on. There might be something that can help someone in all the details. My head is a little messed up with the lower oxygen rate. It's not bad but it takes me a little longer to think and I am a bit dizzy. I have to make sure to move slowly so I don't fall on my butt. My throat hurts but it's not like cold and flu kind of hurt. It's lower and feels more aching and swollen than burning. I don't know if that makes sense but it's the best I can do. My left lung hurts more than my right. Both of them mildly burn as I breath, in the mid lung area. When I cough it sounds like whooping cough and nothing really comes up. The pain when I cough is severe. Both lungs feel like a freight train is going through them when I cough. My fever has not gone above 100.6F and while I feel like crap in general it isn't like anything I have ever had before. I had 1 day of nausea and diarrhea but that's it. I am keeping a close watch on my heart because it is acting up more than usual. I have SVT so I am used to rapid pulse and palpitations but I am getting them a lot more often since day before yesterday.
To sum it up, I am stable for now but it's anyone's guess what will happen from here. I could get better or I could get much worse. Obviously all my other work on this project is on hold for a while. It is taking a lot of concentration and will power just to write this up. I do apologize if there are any errors or anything doesn't make sense. I feel like I am not on the planet so bare with me. Continue to prepare and use infection prevention, but most importantly STAY HOME if at all possible. All it takes is one encounter with a person who isn't taking precautions and then all of yours are out the window.
To all the amazing friends I have made over the last 8 weeks, I love you guys so much! Please stay safe and keep fighting. I am down but I am not out of this yet and I have no intention of being so! I will update when I can. Stay safe.