Struggling with COVID
By A. Ray Lee
In late November, COVID slipped into my life, disguised as a seasonal allergy. It was only a nuisance until it suddenly slammed into me like a blitzing all-pro linebacker viciously sacking an unprotected quarterback.
Had I indeed been on the gridiron, there would have been no need for me to have been escorted to the sideline medical tent for evaluation. No amount of medical therapy or equipment adjustment would have been able to get me back in the game on that day.
Instead, we headed for Urgent Care.
After various swabs and blood samples had been collected and analyzed, a cautious doctor stood across the examination room and hastily confirmed that which now had become obvious before leaving me in the care of a compassionate but over-worked nurse.
When she had completed my discharge papers, she escorted me to the front desk, where I was given final instructions and an appointment for an infusion treatment was scheduled.
A pleasant check-out individual took the papers and smiled when she noted my snow-white hair. In a matronly way, she said, “Don’t worry, sweetie. You have been vaccinated, and you will be over this in a few days.”
A computer glitch delayed the scheduled infusion for 48 hours while all the symptoms of COVID intensified.
When the time came, the medicine was infused by a solicitous nurse who cared for my well-being. As she completed the procedure and wheeled me to the curb where Laura waited to pick me up and bring me home, she offered these parting words of encouragement: “You will feel much better in a few days. Cases are much lighter for those who have been vaccinated.”
I came straight home to bed, where I remained for many of the following days as the symptoms of COVID intensified. It seemed a jackhammer was loose in my head, and I ached all over from its pounding.
My temperature settled around 100 degrees. My blood oxygen readings were unsteady. My nights were restless and troubled as I slept in fits interrupted by nightmares and crazy dreams.
I lost my sense of taste and could stomach only a little of my morning coffee. My appetite disappeared, and over the next 10 days, I lost eight pounds before my weight stabilized.
After five days of what appeared to me to be worsening conditions, I headed to the emergency room seeking some relief.
After two hours of tests – EKG, X-rays and more – IV fluids and antibiotics, a doctor determined I had developed pneumonia on top of COVID-19, but she decided my numbers were good enough to be sent home with 10 days of strong antibiotics.
Her parting words were to be patient and that I would eventually feel better.
Mentally I added, “After all, I’ve been vaccinated.”
It has taken more than the “few days” everyone kept promising, but I am slowly beginning to feel better. I no longer tell Laura to quit telling people I’m having a good day.
I’m not ready for the gridiron yet, but I am slowly getting there.