In September I caught what I thought was a stomach bug. It persisted without improving for a week. I had zero respiratory symptoms. However, my wife developed a bad cough. I took her to get tested, and got myself tested too—she was positive, but I wasn’t. Problem is…I developed a cough the next day. I got tested again and was positive too this time. Still, other than continuing to have loose stools, I didn’t feel that bad. The cough was only mild, and the nausea had subsided to just not having much appetite…until that weekend. All at once the nausea returned, with vomiting, and the cough became way worse. I decided on Sunday, Sep 26, to go to a clinic on Monday. Monday, I awoke with shortness of breath, so it was off to the ER instead. They admitted me. I was then in the hospital the next six days on oxygen. I was never in danger—never needed a ventilator, never was in an ICU. It was on my second day in the hospital that I posted my last article. Being on a COVID ward stinks in that you can’t have any visitors…and you know your family is at home freaking out/scared for you. Visiting the sick in the hospital is therapeutic for both the patient and the visitors. It was probably actually harder on my wife and son as I slept 12 hours or more a day. That was interrupted, of course, by the IV antiviral drug, the steroids, other drugs to keep me from having blood clots, and other things. Sleep was also interrupted by vital signs taking and breathing exercises. On the sixth day, I was allowed to go home. By then, my blood oxygen levels stayed steady as long as I was in bed. However, getting up to use the bathroom was like running a 100 meter sprint; and I couldn’t take more than a couple minutes of standing before needing to sit again. I was prescribed home health and oxygen to use when I needed to be up and around. It never materialized. I instead spent the first week out of the hospital on my back in bed. I have my own pulse ox monitor, so I could check my oxygen levels at any time and carried around a Boost canister just in case. (Boost is 10 liters of 95% aviators oxygen in a can. It’s for use as needed in high altitude camping. I sent my wife to a sporting goods store the evening I got home to get it. Continuous breathing of it would last about 5 minutes—plenty to get back to the bed from anywhere in the house.). After about 10 days at home, I started being able to gradually increase my activity. I can now walk a mile. It’s not the 5 mile mountain hikes I’ve enjoyed on vacation, but it’s progress…and I will get there. I’ve been able to return to work. By the time I get home, I’m not up for much other than dinner and TV, but that too is slowly improving.
During the whole thing I never once ran a fever. I never lost my sense of smell. I still enjoy all the same foods and drinks as ever except: I can no longer stand sodas, any of them. With sugar or diet, they all taste like drinking syrup. Oh, well, small loss.
I am very glad I got vaccinated. I would very likely have been much worse off otherwise. My wife never needed hospitalization, very thankful for that—and had also been vaccinated. Likewise my teenage son was also vaccinated and never got sick at all.
Thanks to everyone for their positive thoughts on my behalf.