Everyone knows this is a hard time with socializing. Five weeks ago, I started with an odd sore throat that came in the morning and only at night. Nothing to really complain about but I was aware of it. The chills came in the beginning along with absolute exhaustion to the point of two days going to bed during the day and actually slept for at least two hours, which is not me.
Did I have a fever? I’m embarrassed to admit, I had three thermometers and none worked. I felt feverish and had a day with a long sleeve jersey on with a sweater and an afghan around me. Guess that says it all.
The worse was and still is shortness of breath. When I eat, I have to stop and take breaths and the same as talking on the phone. I went to my primary less than a week into it with fear of the Coronavirus. He felt I didn’t fall into that category and couldn’t order the test! Why? I didn’t travel out of the country and wasn’t with someone with the virus. Could I have been near someone in a store that had gone out of the country or didn’t know themselves that they were coming down with the virus? I don’t believe that should be the questions as much as the symptoms. How and why are thousands of people being tested and I’m overlooked?
Not having a fever at the time, my condition was blown over and sent home with an antibiotic which did nothing to cause me to return one more time. I was put on a different antibiotic that gave me nausea and diarrhea. Nice results to deal with so the medicine was stopped. You do realize antibiotics do nothing for a virus?
A week ago, I entered Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, Massachusetts per my cardiologist to make sure my heart was fine. I’m a heart patient with a pacemaker, have diabetes, and I’m seventy-eight. Nice category! They strongly felt I needed testing but they didn’t do it at the hospital. I was told to call the Hotline. After talking to them, they said to insist on a test because I had too many signs. Again, I got a no from the doctor. My heart doctor's office can't believe I wasn't being tested.
The hospital was an experience with the atmosphere of doctors and nurses wearing masks and the place was empty. My husband was not allowed to enter the doors. He had to drop me off at the curb and went home. He felt terrible about this action. I walked in the door stopped by two nurses at a desk, they usually put a mask on you but I had one, ran a thermometer across my forehead. Checked me in with questions, went to a chair with two nurses with masks to take my vitals. My B/P was over 200. That was enough to scare me.
They put me into a room that was not connected to the emergency room. It looked like a doctor’s office changed into a patient room. The door stayed shut. I found out later that’s where they put patients they think might have the virus. A doctor with a mask covered with a plastic shield came in the door. I had blood and urine tests, an X-ray, and an EKG. Thank God my heart was fine. She couldn’t tell me if I did or didn’t have the virus. The hospital did not do testing but advised me to call my pulmonary doctor Monday; it was a Friday.
Today, I have a telephone appointment with my pulmonary doctor at noon. The nurse at his office called yesterday to ask me questions on my health and was shocked no one tested me! Where I go from here with his result, if he finds one, I don’t know. All the professionals say that if I’m tested and have it, I would be sent home to rest, which I’ve done for 5 weeks. But, I would know if I did or didn’t. That is important to me knowing with socializing. I have only been out for the two doctors' appointments and the hospital visit. I'm reading, writing on the computer, and doing puzzles.
What have I done to protect myself? I live with my husband and fear him getting this. So far, he’s been healthy. Hopefully, five weeks makes him safe. I wore a mask in the apartment, we sleep separate, washed my hands constantly, used Lysol wipes on the computer keyboard, mouse, telephones, door handles, light switches, appliance and cabinet handles, coffee pot, toaster, and anything I might have thought needed to be sterilized.
My husband has been a lifesaver with grocery shopping every two weeks. He wears a mask going out. He cooks and does the laundry down the hall. We live in a residential location with forty-five families.
Like everyone, Easter has been canceled. It was a time of joy, laughter, and fun mixing in with family members. Churches are closed, stores, medical centers don’t see you, appointments are canceled, and our cities are ghost towns. It’s a way of life we hope to never see again.
The President was told this was coming in January. Maybe if he had taken this situation and the danger of it seriously and prepared, the hospital's employees wouldn’t be completely exhausted with no supplies for themselves and patients and we never would have had this many deaths.
I end with thanking all the emergency and healthcare employees in hospitals, the fire departments, and the people coming together to donate and make equipment and masks for the workers. They not only care for the sick but the dying. Some have risked their own lives and some have died to save us.
My condolences to the families that have lost loved ones or who have been hospitalized with the virus, and with the grace of God, came home. I hope we learn to keep up sanitizing when this is over and to never take our health system or our own health for granted. Mostly, to continue to pitch in and always give help to a stranger when they need it. We will have a better world with love and unity.