How I kept Myself out of the Hospital with Covid-19
I started March all full of VERVE and ready to celebrate the wins we found, big and small, during a year of covid. Covid had other ideas.
In early march, Senior Son/Thing 2/The Dictation/Tbone got covid. I began my routine of wiping everything down with Clorox, sequestered him to his room, and making soup. This is easy. I got this. I’m a mom. I will not get sick and he will be fine.
You can see how the universe responded in this video mashup.
I’m sharing my covid experience NOT because I want sympathy, but because it scared the crap out of me, and I learned some important things as well as made a list of important items you should ALWAYS HAVE ON HAND IN YOUR HOME. Covid, flu, whatever…the list is in this post.
I started with symptoms about 48 hours after kiddo tested positive. The very first thing I felt was fidgety. It was a pre-cursor to a fever, but I simply could not get comfortable. I’ve spoken to a bunch of people who have also had it and they mentioned the same feeling. Himself had a terrible headache on top of the fidgeting.
By the next morning, I had a fever. Achy and still fidgety. Got a rapid test at our local CVS. Negative.
IF YOU ARE OVER 40 DO NOT GET A RAPID TEST!!!! They are HIGHLY inaccurate over age 40 but CVS isn’t checking.
The fever continued for the next 21 days. Most days were around 101ish, until it went to 104.
I never lost my sense of smell or taste (thank GOD). Cough, fever, aches. The headache didn’t come until around day 19.
So, ultimately I had two more covid tests at urgent care. Both also negative. Doctor says “it doesn’t matter. The CDC says if you have symptoms and a person in your home tested positive, you have COVID.’ I am not a conspiracy theorist about this virus, but this makes NO sense. She also told me I would need to isolate for 14 days AFTER my last registered fever (not true)…and this is where the advocacy part comes in.
I asked her for a chest X-ray. I felt very strongly with a fever getting HIGHER, I had pneumonia. She listened to my lugs and definitively said I did not have it. This was a Saturday evening.
Sunday I messaged my PCP (TBH I had forgotten this was a thing or I would have done it earlier). I requested a chest X-ray, a phone call, and a virtual appointment late afternoon so I could get the X-ray completed. Pneumonia. She prescribed a combo of two antibiotics and albuterol to keep my lungs open.
Advocating, Communicating, and Preventing the Worst Symptoms
*if shoppable items, the photo at the bottom of the blog will take you to the list*
Comfort items–the things that helped discomfort and basic symptoms
- Be Kool Patches. Help headache pain and fever. We keep them on-hand year round.
- Mucinex. Cough suppressants are a BAD IDEA with covid. When you aren’t coughing you aren’t getting the GOO out which can turn to pneumonia.
- Gatorade. Water is better, but I ended up pretty dehydrated and G2 was my go-to electrolyte.
- Popsicles. Many. I didn’t have a terrible sore throat (many report it), but I had zero appetite and it felt good to eat something cold.
- Vicks shower bombs.
Health Monitoring items:
- Ear or forehead thermometer. Much more sanitary.
- Pulse Oximeter. This was new to me in 2020. Both my kids have asthma so COVID could be very bad. It was recommended to have this on hand to monitor oxygen levels. Here’s why it is important–anything consistently below 85% should take you immediately to the ER, We all read about people ending up on ventilators with this virus and here’s the reason why. Even without a pre-existing condition like COPD or Asthma, this should be monitored. I had dips to 79 (briefly. Was in touch with the doctor and used albuterol to right the ship) and sat at 85 exactly one day. It was KNOWING this was an issue that prompted me to demand the chest X-ray and albuterol. I am not asthmatic generally, but I knew something was very wrong.
Severe Illness advice and items:
Unfortunately, the original combo of antibiotics didn’t work. I was switched to the oral version of what a pneumonia IV bag would have if I was at the hospital. (side bar, have lots of probiotics and yogurt around for any time you need these meds). We have a dear family friend who is a pulmonologist and his group has been dealing with covid for a year. If you get very sick with this or any other respiratory virus GO TO A PULMONOLOGIST. He understood everything about what was happening to me such as
- I got blood work. I had a condition called Lymphopenia. According to his specialty, it is 100% consistent with COVID-19.
- Some people do not shed the COVID-19 virus. I am one of those people. I was never going to get a positive result because of it, though the blood work showed this marker.
- We had a nebulizer (a machine to administer albuterol via a ten-minute treatment vs. an inhaler). I always felt, when the boys were little, it was a far better way to use the medication. This was confirmed by the doctor for cases like mine. Between monitoring my pulse ox and using the nebulizer as needed, he credits me with keeping MYSELF out of the hospital and off a ventilator. I linked on via amazon in the event you, reader, find yourself in need of it. It is cheaper than our insurance cost was.
Please share your own experiences in the comments, or ask my anything about it. This post is really just to get some information out FAST because I think it is so very important.