I thought I was prepared for Covid but unfortunately there were gaps in knowledge.
I didn’t realize the hazards of Remdisivir. I didn’t know about the Patient’s Bill of Rights or the Right to Try Act.
Roland Was Getting Worse
“The nurse asked if we had been vaccinated and when I told him no, he replied, “That was stupid..”
My name is Peggy Stodola and my husband is Roland. We both had Covid in July of 2021. My husband is 74 years old, and I was just shy of being 73. Roland was on a low dose of blood pressure medication and cholesterol medication. I was on medication for cholesterol, reflux, bone density, and hypothyroidism. I had been taking the following protocol to boost my immune system for over a year: Quercetin, Vit. C, D3, K, Zinc, Tumeric, magnesium, probiotics, melatonin (I also take a multivitamin, B complex, and Tart Cherry). My husband was only taking Vit. C and D3, and 81 mg aspirin. After much research and prayer, my husband and I made the decision to not take the jab.
I thought that I was prepared to deal with Covid, but unfortunately, there were many gaps in the knowledge I had. I didn’t realize the hazards of Remdisivir. I didn’t know about the Patient's Bill of Rights or the Right to Try law. Thanks so much to Senator Bob Hall for shining light on what’s happening in our state and around the country.
On Saturday 7/17/21 in the morning, I started experiencing symptoms: Tiredness, scratchy throat, achiness, no energy (felt run down). That afternoon Roland complained of being tired and having a scratchy throat. I checked my oxygen and temperature and it was normal all day. I doubled up on my Quercetin, took my regular vitamins and supplements, and drank lots of water. On Sunday 7/18, we both had coughs and congestion. We continued to monitor our oxygen and temp. which was normal all day. Roland complained of loss of taste and smell. Neither of us had an appetite but did eat bananas and eggs. We were both taking Mucinex and Tylenol as needed. We were getting very lethargic.
On Tuesday 7/20 I tested positive for Covid. Roland was tested and his test came back positive on 7/21. I started Ivermectin on 7/20 (5-day regime). Roland didn’t want to take it. The next 5 days were pretty much a blur and we both slept a lot. I made myself get up about every hour and walk and swing my arms in big circles and drank as much water as I could. On Saturday 7/24, I took my last dose of Ivermectin. Roland finally agreed to take the Ivermectin (his last dose was on 7/28). I started feeling better and realized that Roland was getting worse. Very difficult to get Roland to eat or drink anything. I was afraid he would be dehydrated and need to go to the hospital. His oxygen level never went below 92 and he had no fever.
On Wednesday 7/28, Roland continued to refuse to eat or drink enough. Tried Gatorade, Pedialyte, water with electrolytes, and bone broth. He would eat a banana each day. He had a couple of bites of Wendy’s chili. He ate eggs a couple of times. Had some soup. We scheduled a telemed conference with his primary care doctor and the first available was Saturday 7/31. On Friday 7/30, Roland was weak and not stable. That afternoon he stood up and started to walk but bumped into the coffee table and fell. I called 911 and EMS came. They were able to get him up and put him in a chair. Checked him over (he had an abrasion on his left forehead; he fell on both of his hands) and I asked him if he wanted to go to the hospital. He refused and they left. They were at the house for less than 10 minutes.
On Saturday 7/31 was the telemed conference with Roland’s PCP at 10:45. Roland’s oxygen had dropped to 89, still no fever, no shortness of breath, or tightness in his chest. Dr. advised us to go to Baylor Plano ER. We arrived at the ER at about 11:15. The triage nurse took us to a small office and put Roland on Oxygen (no rooms available). He asked if we had been vaccinated and when I told him no, he replied, “That was stupid.” About 40 minutes later we were moved to a room. Someone came in to draw blood. Roland was very weak and unable to respond to questions. A nurse came in and said I couldn’t be back there so I went out to the waiting room. My daughter was also there. Around 2:15 my daughter went back to the room to check on Roland. She found him with his phone in his hand and he was trying to call me. He still had his street clothes and sandals on, and his feet were hanging off the end of the bed. He couldn’t push himself up. My daughter helped him get in a better position. I went back when she told me this. He had no blanket or sheet on, and the bed was soaked in urine. Looks like they left him a couple of urine bottles which he must have tried to use by himself, but he didn’t have any strength to do it on his own. I asked for a nurse to come in. It took a few minutes and she came in and I told her his bed was wet. She said, “I checked on him about 30 minutes ago.” They came to take him for a CT scan and x-ray. He got a room (410) at about 4:40.
At 6:45 I received a call from Dr. Nassi (hospitalist) with the CT scan results: he had no head issue from yesterday’s fall. They x-rayed both of his hands and there was no fracture. The chest x-ray showed pneumonia in both lungs. I asked if it was viral or bacterial. Dr. said probably viral. He was on high-flow oxygen and they would treat him with antibiotics and steroids. He may be given Remdisivir. His sodium level was low. I asked if they knew whether
Roland had the Delta variant or the original Covid 19. He said that they don’t test for that, but they are “assuming that 90% of the new cases are Delta, but they are not tracking that information.” He went on to say that we “quite likely” got the virus from fully vaccinated people because they are the ones carrying the Delta variant.
I was able to talk to Roland. The “isolation room” had a special air filtration system which was very loud and interfered with the ability to have much conversation. He was very weak and it was hard for him to talk. I asked if he had any dinner. He said he was going to look at the menu. On Sunday 8/1, I talked to Roland early and asked what he had for dinner. He said he didn’t know how to order the food, so he had no food at all yesterday. I talked to Kathy (day nurse) and asked her to help Roland order food. I had her add our children’s names to the list of family members who had permission to talk to the staff. Kathy told me Roland’s on steroid pills and he needs to lay on his stomach or side (she said I need to remind him of that). I asked if I would be getting a daily call from the doctor or nurse with his status. She replied that since he’s an adult and he’s conscious they expect him to convey to family members whatever the doctor says to him. I asked if they could call me when the doctor is in the room so I can hear what he was saying. Kathy said that wasn’t possible because of the noise from the filtration system. I told her that Roland is confused and disoriented and when I asked him if he had seen a doctor yet this morning, he said “several” but he couldn’t remember anything that was said. I asked if I could have permission to come to be with him since I had recently recovered from Covid. I was told that was against hospital policy. Kathy said she would ask the doctor to call me (I did not hear from the doctor).
Push for Ventilator
“Told him he was my mighty warrior and I expected him to fight!”
On Monday 8/2, Roland was taken for an ultrasound (checking liver and other areas – no blockage, no cancer). Kathy said he had a bad night. He was sitting in a chair and oxygen flow was reduced from 8 to 3. He was coughing a lot but Kathy said that was good. The respiratory therapist worked with him and his vital signs were good and sodium was better. He was on steroids and Remdisivir. PT got him up to sit on the bedside toilet. but he was still too weak to walk. I kept reminding him that he needs to lay on his stomach and on each side – try to move around. He was still confused and agitated.
Around 1:00 pm Dr. Nassi called and told me that he was very concerned. Roland was on 11-12 liters of oxygen and they increased the steroid. He advised me that we needed to have a family discussion about possible intubation. He said he needed to advise me that 80% of patients put on a ventilator do not survive. I asked Dr. Nassi if I could get permission to come to see Roland (again explained that I had recently recovered from Covid and I would sign any type of release, etc.). Again, I was advised the hospital would not allow that. An infectious disease doctor was supposed to be coming by. I never heard anything about whether that happened or the result.
My daughter came over around 1:15. She called to talk to Nurse Kathy who said that Roland was only on 3 liters of oxygen and was sitting in a chair and eating. [Big difference from what Dr. Nassi had just conveyed to me when he was preparing us for the likelihood that Roland would be put on a ventilator.] With the help of a friend of ours who is a nurse practitioner, we attempted to have Roland moved to a different hospital. Unfortunately, there were no empty beds available. Very disappointing because we were not happy with the treatment at Baylor Plano. This friend advised that the nurses should be assisting Roland with the “proning” and not expecting him to do it on his own or for me to be the one to remind him to do this. On Tuesday 8/3 at 8:00 a.m. Roland called and wanted to know the doctor’s name and phone number. He wants to tell him that he wants to be released to go home!
At 11:46 still no call back from the nurse. Dr. Nassi called at 12:35 and he said he thought Roland was doing better yesterday afternoon and today, and he seemed less confused. He was on 5 liters of high-flow oxygen, his sodium was a little better and his liver enzymes ok. He mentioned that Roland may need to go to a long-term acute care hospital. He would consider him to be relatively stable at this point. [All of this dramatic change just seemed to happen after my nurse practitioner friend and her doctor husband both spoke with Dr. Nassi about Roland’s condition!!! We went from being ready for a ventilator to “doing better.”]
At 2:30 pm, Chaplain Betty arranged for a video chat with Roland. He looked good and sounded stronger than yesterday. Nurse Stephanie came in the room while we were on the video chat, and I asked if Roland had done proning today. She advised me that “we don’t do that here.” She told me that PT walked Roland to the bathroom today. He’d been sitting in the chair quite a bit and had walked around the room with assistance and was currently on 5 liters of O2. I kept reminding Roland every time I spoke with him that he needed to spend time on his stomach! I also kept reminding him how important it was to get nourishment. Told him he was my mighty warrior and I expected him to fight!
Hospital Transfer Denied
“At 1:43 I was told that Roland will be transported at 4:00 pm today! Praise the Lord! At 2:40 I was called and told that there would be no move at this time..”
On Wednesday 8/4, at 6:55 am Roland called and asked “What’s the plan for today? Am I going to move?” I told him that we’re still working on it. He said that he’d like to see the doctor more (just pops in for a minute). Roland went on to say that “they get aggravated with me” “they fuss at me for trying to get up” He forgets that he needs to call them. He said that he needs an advocate. Breaks my heart that I can’t be there with him. At 9:20 am I left a message for Annabel (Patient Relations person) and at 11:00 am Roland called. He hadn’t eaten and he wasn’t hungry. I encouraged him to call and order food and told him how important it is for him to regain strength. He needs to eat whether he’s hungry or not. No one is checking to see that he orders or eats meals! I told him I could bring food to him if anything sounded good. Nothing sounded good. He just wants to leave the hospital. I asked if PT and RT had come in yet, and he said they had.
At 12:00 Dr. Nassi called and told me that Roland was on 11 liters of high flow oxygen. Chest x-ray showed no change. He told me there would be a different doctor seeing Roland tomorrow and for the next several days.
At 12:49 Charsy (Social worker) called to explain she would be handling paperwork for Roland’s transfer from the hospital (transfer to another hospital or to rehab). She said she would let me know if/when the transfer would happen. At 1:43 Charsy called and said that Roland will be transported at 4:00 pm today! Praise the Lord! At 2:40 Charsy called to tell me that there would be no move at this time.
AT 4:41 Dr. Nassi called and he understood that we were wanting to move Roland if that would give us a better comfort level. Yes, I told him, we would have a definite better comfort level in a facility where I knew I could get answers and be advised of what was happening daily. He again mentioned the need to prone and said they couldn’t make Roland do it since he had his free will. I had a phone call with Anabel (Patient Relations) and explained all of my concerns. She advised me that she would be passing this information on to the appropriate department heads (ER and Covid unit). I told her that Nurse Stephanie told me that the Covid unit at Baylor does not do proning. I shared with Anabel that my nurse practitioner friend told me that proning was standard practice for Covid patients and they do not leave it to the patient to decide when and how to prone. They actually assist the patient in proning and monitor how long and how frequently they are in the prone position. Anabel acknowledged that proning was part of Baylor’s protocol since the onset of Covid. I said that they must have a training issue if I’m being told by one nurse that they “don’t do proning here.” Other nurses are telling me to remind Roland to be prone, but no one seems interested in assisting him with this protocol that is proven to be helpful with Covid pneumonia patients.
On Thursday 8/5, at 7:30 a.m Roland FaceTimed. He’s very frustrated and just wants out of there. He can’t get up, and there’s no one to help him. He buzzed and buzzed before someone came. He kept saying he just wants to get out. My nurse practitioner friend mentioned that it would be helpful if the nurse would make a pillow roll (or towels) and it would make it easier for Roland to prone. At 8:30 I left a message for Tram (day nurse) and at 9:45 Roland Face Timed and asked me if I could try to contact someone in authority. He desperately wants to leave. I explained to him what we were trying to do.
Last Dose of Remdesiver
At 11:15 Tram called and said that Roland was on 11 liters of oxygen. He had a rough night. He had eaten breakfast and was now proning. His doctor for today would be Dr. Strawman and at 1:00 I called Roland. He said his “equipment is all messed up.” No other explanation. He said Tram worked on it but it was still messed up. He said that he had proned for about an hour. I called the nurses’ station and talked to Alex. He said that the charge nurse had been in Roland’s room and he'd check on the equipment issue. My daughter and I took a “goodie bag” and a plant and balloon up to the hospital. I was surprised that I was allowed to take it to the 4th-floor nurses' station. The bag had pictures, some candy, cards. At 1:35 Charsy called to provide me with info about rehab facilities.
At 2:45 I called Roland and he said the equipment was fixed. He said he never saw a doctor that day and he walked some with PT. While we were talking, Dr. Strawman came into his room so he hung up and then called me back in about 15 minutes. He said the doctor said that he was “doing pretty good” and that he was pretty much done with steroids. Roland took this to mean that he would be leaving the hospital very soon.
AT 7:22 I called the nurses’ station and left a message for Tigran (night nurse – male). I couldn’t reach Roland on his cell or the room phone and at 7:46 Jennifer and I headed for the hospital. Tigran called as we arrived at the hospital and advised that Roland was on 10 liters of high flow oxygen. He had been proning today and they were hoping to get him off the high flow tomorrow. He had his last dose of Remdesiver and he’s still getting steroids through IV. He thinks Roland ate well today and he had PT and RT. I asked if they felt Roland was improving and he said yes. I asked if he’s considered stable, and he said yes. He told me that Charsy came by today.
On Friday 8/6, at 8:05 am Charsy called and told me that she has compiled a list of facilities that she will email to me. She talked to the doctor yesterday and Roland is probably not as close to leaving as he thinks. She will see the doctor during rounds today and will ask him to call me. Roland called at 8:18 and he said that things are “goofy around here.” I asked him what he meant, and he said that the equipment needs to be moved. He’s still having issues getting up during the night. He’s very agitated and anxious. At 10:00 I called Roland and asked him if he had eaten. He had ordered food but it hadn’t come yet, and he couldn’t remember what he ordered. Roland was still on 11 liters of oxygen and someone from Nutrition came by to see him today and wanted him to have Ensure. It was clear he was not getting enough nutrition. [He had been in the hospital since Saturday and they are finally noticing that he isn’t getting sufficient nourishment! By the time Roland left the hospital he had lost 20 pounds].
Out Of Isolation!
At 1:40 Dr. Strawman called and said that Roland has been stabilized and is “trending in the right direction.” They’ve “thrown the kitchen sink” at his treatment. Steroids have been decreased. Antibiotic – no more. Remdesivir is done. Still on 11 liters (nasal canula). Roland was proning today when he came into his room. He said they would be monitoring everything through the weekend and would evaluate his condition for possible transfer to rehab early next week. At 8:10 I called the nurses’ station and Vivian, the night nurse, said she just arrived and hadn’t seen Roland’s chart. Respiratory therapy was with Roland now. Vivian would call me back later.
There was no Face Time that day and Roland never called me. I made multiple calls to his cell and his room number. I was worried that he was getting depressed and thought he was never going to get out of there and didn't want to talk to me. I was awake till after midnight but never received a call from Vivian. On Saturday 8/7 at 6:35 Vivian returned my call from last night. Roland is still on 11 liters, but he had a good night. His oxygen level has been 97-98 (with oxygen). At 9:10 I called Roland on his room phone (he never answered the cell). AT
4:00 Evelyn (social worker for the weekend) called and told me that the doctor “has signed release papers” so she needed to know which rehab we had chosen. She said she would make arrangements for transportation from the hospital to rehab. I called Andy (day nurse) and he knew nothing about this. He said Roland was on 8 liters (nasal canula) and had been getting up and doing his exercises. I never got a call from the doctor or from Andy about any release orders.
On Sunday Roland was on 3 liters of oxygen and had been “clinically released” and waiting on rehab to accept him as a patient. Dr. Strawman had been in and said everything looked good and he would see him tomorrow and everything should be set for him to go to rehab. At 4:30 Evelyn called and she said that the doctor wants to keep him through tomorrow to see if his oxygen level stays good. Roland would be taken out of isolation tomorrow and she anticipates that the transfer to rehab would happen tomorrow or Tuesday.
On Monday 8/9 I called Roland and they gave him Tramadol and a lidocaine patch last night which helped him sleep. Roland was tested again for Covid and the result was ‘positive’ but they said he was no longer contagious. At 8:30 I talked to Charity and there was a mix-up and they had no plans to discharge him over the weekend. At 9:20 Roland called and he was out of isolation! I immediately left for the hospital. He looks marvelous! Colleen arrived at the hospital to take Roland to Frisco Baylor Rehab. How glorious to see him, touch him, and talk to him in person! What a glorious day! Thank you, Jesus!