Hi. I’m Heather. I’m glad you’re here. Before I start, I need to put out this disclaimer.
Please know, I am not a doctor. Please do not take anything you read in this blog as professional, medical advice. This is just my COVID story and how I got through it. I highly advise you to find a physician you trust, someone who is willing to help and go the extra mile as your advocate. Please don’t listen to only me and the info in this blog. Although I believe you will find it very helpful. So here we go…
My story starts out August 12. My daughter who is a senior in college was getting ready to start her last year of nursing school. She calls and says, “Mom, I feel like I have a lump in my throat and I can’t breathe.” I advised her to go to urgent care in Norman. She did. The doctor told her they thought she was having an allergic reaction to something. They gave her a steroid shot and told her to keep watching it and to take Benadryl if it comes back. No COVID testing was done at the time. A few days later, she calls. “Mom, I’ve lost my sense of taste.” She has COVID. She didn’t want to stay at school and expose her roommates further, so I told her to come home. Any mother would want to watch their child. I was no different. This is most likely where the exposure started. But who really knows.
Now, I must point out. My daughter is fully vaccinated. The rest of my family is not. She did not want to get vaccinated either, but she is in nursing school and it came highly recommended by the school. Now I believe it is required. But she’s vaxxed. Still got COVID. But she did do very well with the virus. She’s young. Has youth on her side. And she’s in AMAZING health and one of the fittest people I know. And quite possibly the vaccine could have helped her. Who knows? I also want to point out, this is not a blog about the vaccine. I will not get deep into that discussion. I have chosen not to get it for many reasons, but I will not push those reasons upon any of you. I do now personally know 7 individuals who have had the jab, who are COVID positive right now, and have been just about as sick as me. But again, it’s your body. It’s your choice. You do you! No judgement here. I would appreciate the same from you.
Moving on. Daughter does well. Quarantines for 10 days. Heads on back to school. My husband and I do well. We kept our distance from her the entire time. I sent my husband to the lake for most of her being home to protect him as he has underlying conditions. She wears a mask constantly in the house and stays in her room or out on the back porch. All good, right? Wrong. A couple weeks pass. I’m still doing good. But by August 29, things started to change. I took a home test and I’m positive.
Once positive, I do what anyone would do. I send my loved ones away. “Stay out of the house until I’m recovered.” I put on my comfiest pj’s, crawl into bed with my arsenal of Vitamin D, C, Zinc, Baby Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and anything else I can think of to help me recover. By the next day, I’m in pretty bad shape. I can’t lift my head off the pillow. I’m running a low grade fever, my cough is progressing. It’s serious. And it happened fast! My nurse daughter, worried, says I need to be monitoring my pulse ox. I didn’t even know what that was or how to monitor. She gets on Amazon and orders me a pulse oximeter. Once it arrives, now I understand. At the time, I’m reading somewhere between 90 and 95. A normal level of oxygen is usually 95% or higher. But, my situation changed quickly.
During all of this, I am beginning to think I need more help than I am getting. I first call my internist. I speak to his nurse. I ask what I should do. No protocol. Just, “Call us if your cough gets worse and go to the ER if you need more help.” I move on. I find a functional medicine doctor. I do a Televisit with him. He was very informative about the MANY therapeutics available. But based on my current state, he only prescribed me Ivermectin. I gave the Ivermectin four days, but I just kept getting worse. So I keep looking for more alternatives.
I was then led to another physician. Same philosophy as the functional medicine doctor. He basically gave me good advice, but nothing more than I had already heard. Fluids, rest, vitamins, all the things. Side note. Both of those functional medicine doctors had very negative things to say about the vaccines. They had been researching for over a year and did not have much good to say. I just listened and soaked it all in and was glad I stuck to my original decision. One thing did stick out. The last doctor mentioned, if you’ve had the jab. Don’t take the flu shot this fall. Please do your own research on that. Just wanted to mention.
By Friday, I’m in distress. My pulse ox dropped to 88. My daughter said. “Mom, we need to get you to the ER.” I refuse. The thought of going to St. Francis and sitting in an emergency room for 17-hours was simply more than my brain could handle. I was too sick. I couldn’t move. I just…couldn’t…do it! She immediately called my husband. He begins to panic. He gets on the phone, calling everyone he knew, out of total desperation to find me some help. He got to a doctor friend of ours. He explained what was happening. He basically said, “Man, you have to call her and tell her to get to the hospital.”
Shortly after, I got the call from this doctor friend. I was in the middle of getting an IV infusion of fluids and vitamins. I was looking for anything to help. This doctor friend and I talked for a few minutes. He said, “Stay by your phone! I will call you right back.” Within 10 minutes I got another call. It’s around 7:00 pm on a Friday night. He said, “Stop whatever you are doing. Get in the car and get over to a place called RespirCare OpenAccess and go see Dr. Mark Boomer. He’s waiting on you and will hold his clinic open.” (Come to find out, this location is the only pulmonary urgent care in the United States.) I listened. My daughter drove me straight there. They were waiting on me and got my right in. This is my first Angel of Mercy.
The clinic first did a COVID test. Still positive. Then, they did an x-ray of my chest. Obvious signs of infection in my lungs, but not pneumonia. From there, Dr. Boomer prescribed Dexamethasone (an oral steroid), Budesonide Inhaler, and an Albuterol Inhaler. I also told Dr. Boomer that I had been trying to get the monoclonal antibody infusion all week, but they wouldn’t approve me because I did not have any underlying health conditions and I wasn’t over weight. He said, “Let’s see what we can do about that!” And with 10 minutes of leaving his office, I got a call from him. He said you will have someone at your house to give you the infusion on Sunday. My second Angel of Mercy!
So, in a nutshell, it was a combo of all of these drugs that made me start to come back to the land of the living. They morning after going to see Dr. Boomer, I was feeling so much better and starting to turn the corner. Literally woke up in a pool of sweat. The fever broke and I literally woke up feeling the best I had all week. That was the steroids working in my body.
I write all of this for many reasons. The first reason is, there are therapeutics available that are saving lives. People need to know. People need to take advantage of them to keep you alive. Second, don’t wait to seek help. Don’t get too far down the line where you can’t fight back. Those people are the ones ending up on a vent in the hospital. That was almost me. If you can get help within the first couple of days, that's the key. Have a plan. My mother even did a Televisit with her doctor to come up with a plan. She's 71. Hasn't had COVID yet. But, we now know what to do. She and we have a plan.
Part 2 of my COVID story, I will provide a detailed list of everything I know. I hope this information will help you. I hope it will help someone you know that’s in distress. Let’s help each other stay alive. COVID does not have to be a death sentence.
Above all, I am grateful to my Savior, Jesus Christ. He never left my side. I am also grateful to my precious family, friends, and everyone who took care of me, called, texted, and DM’d. Your thoughts, kind words, and prayers meant so much. And, I am thankful for the many angels who helped me along the way. You all saved my life.
Stay safe out there. And take care of each other.