I don't know when or if I will ever be the same, but I am grateful to be here.
I had hoped my case would be as mild.
“By day 10 my breathing became so labored that my husband took me to the emergency room.”
I am a 52-year-old woman, wife of 33 years and I have 4 children and one grandchild. At the time I became ill I was a little overweight, but I had no known co-morbidities. I had been working too hard and my diet could have been better and I credited that would make my susceptibility to a more severe case of Covid. On August 9th I woke up in a pool of my own sweat. My youngest daughter had what I thought was a sinus infection and recovered in a few days. In retrospect, I believe that she had Covid. I began a 10-day quarantine with the only human contact being Face Timing once a day with my husband when he came home from work. I suffered severe muscle aches, fever, and exhaustion during this time. I had hoped my case would be as mild as hers or at least not bad but by day eight.
Even though my other symptoms were now gone, my breathing became labored. We had tried to get hydroxychloroquine from front-line doctors, but it didn't come in time. By day 10 my breathing became so labored that my husband took me to the emergency room. It became evident that I would need to be admitted, as my oxygen was extremely low, but our local hospital was full so I was transferred to Piedmont Atlanta. (This was when the Delta Variant was at its highest in our community).
Shamed and Ridiculed
Immediately, from everyone from the paramedic to hospital staff, I was shamed and ridiculed for not being vaccinated. It was ironic to me that as the paramedic was telling me I needed to be vaccinated he also mentioned that his son had a seizure right after his shot. One nurse basically told me that I, and people like me, the unvaccinated, were responsible for the deaths of nurses. What I was going through- not knowing whether I'd live or die- was made unbearable by the hospital staff at this hospital. They were impersonal, cold, and cruel in the way to interacted with me. Out of the dozens and dozens of staff, there were only two members that treated me with any sort of compassion.
"I was not given the option of a female staff member bathing me instead."
I was improving the first day I got there but an infusion of Remdesivir was started when I was admitted and slowly things started to worsen. I was not allowed any visitors and was isolated most of the day, every day. My husband who was trying to advocate for me by phone was now sick with Covid as well. Thankfully his was not as severe as mine. The third night, in the middle of the night, I was bathed, unannounced, by two men in a freezing room. The experience was humiliating. I was not given the option of a female staff member bathing me instead. I later found out the thermostat had been set at only 60 degrees. The nursing staff did not come to turn up the heat for hours despite my pleading with them and multiple calls. I shivered for hours. My oxygen the next day started to dip and my blood pressure dropped. I was told I was a fall risk and was not allowed to get out of bed without assistance. The problem with this was that assistance rarely ever came despite multiple calls and pleading. I'd wet the bed waiting for them, constantly. I sat in my own urine for hours, day in day out. They finely set up some sort of contraption to catch it so they wouldn't have to deal with changing my bedding.
I Gave Up
“I thought my lungs were going to explode.”
I begged every doctor I saw, for days, for vitamin D3, vitamin C and Zinc. They refused to give me the D3 saying there were no studies to show it could help. I was given Vitamin C and Zinc for two days and that was it. One evening my oxygen dipped so violently that a tech came in and put me on high-flow oxygen. I thought my lungs were going to explode and I begged for him to stop. He then cut my wrist to do an ABG (aerial blood gas). The next thing I know my room was full of people and one woman, in particular, was screaming at me to agree to go on a ventilator. I said I didn't want to but she was relentless. She carried on for what felt like forever. I couldn't talk but as I felt myself leaving my body or losing consciousness I nodded. I gave in to her bullying. I was weak and tired with no one there to advocate for me I gave up.
When I came to, in the hallway being rolled to the ICU, I noticed I was not vented, which was a miracle! I fully expected them to do it. The treatment in ICU was a tad bit better but not by much. Within a few days, it was determined that I could be admitted back into a regular room. I was not out of the woods but by this time my oxygen was started to improve. Not coincidently the Remdesivir had been discontinued. When I looked at my records later I noticed that I'd been dosed with 6 infusions rather than 5. Day 4 was when I took a turn for the worst and I was told later by the head nurse of the floor I was, when I lodged a complaint, that day 4 is when all Covid patients take a turn for the worst. I am still wondering why no one is asking why that is or why no one is investigating it?
Finally At Home
Back in a regular room, the neglect continued to the point that I decided that if I was going to die I wanted to do it at home where I'd be loved and cared for. I demanded to be discharged. Somehow I passed their walking test and the doctor of the day decided to let me go home. I was on oxygen for 6 weeks, at home, after my discharge. I finally made enough progress to come off of that as well but I am now suffering from what is called 'long covid'. My opinion is that what I am suffering from is Remdesivir poisoning. I don't know if I can prove that but that is what I believe. I am healing but 5 months after the ordeal it is slow. I have a constant cough and am left with stress incontinence. I am exhausted most of the time, my joints hurt, I have lost 50% of my hair and I find it difficult to concentrate. I am not sure how much of this is due to Remdesivir or the spike protein from Covid or if it's a combination of both. I also have severe trauma from the treatment I received at the hospital. I don't know when or if I will ever be the same but I am grateful to be here. Thank you for letting me share my story and I hope it will be helpful to others.