First of all, Happy Easter to all of my family & friends. I can’t tell you how BLESSED (and for those that know me well, “blessed” is a word that I don’t use lightly) that we are to have the love & support of everyone in our lives, especially in light of what we all have been living through over the past few months.
Whatever your religious or spiritual beliefs are, know that Dear Hubby (DH) & I are grateful that your love, your positivity, your well-wishes have found your way to us.
We’ve always lived our lives believing in the concepts of Karma (“What goes around, comes around”) and the Golden Rule (“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”), and I feel as if we’re totally “cashing” in on some of that “good.” So again, THANK YOU.
With that said, I don’t have positive news to deliver today. DH developed a cough yesterday and his temp was 102.9 this morning; though he had no shortness of breath (SOB) or difficulty breathing (dyspnea). We did a video appointment with the on-call physician from his PCP’s office. She recommended that since DH has other underlying medical problems, that DH should go to The Mother Ship’s drive-thru COVID-19 Screening / Testing.
When we got there, they checked to see how his oxygen levels were at; since he was hovering at 89-90% (“normal” is anything 90% or higher), he was sent to the ED where he was eventually placed on 3 liters of oxygen and was sent for a chest x-ray.
That chest x-ray? It showed pneumonia. And it won him an admission to The Mother Ship on one of the COVID-19 medical floors. Although his COVID-19 test is still pending as I write this, they are treating it as if he does have it, including starting him on the treatment guideline of hydroxychloroquine + azithromycin.
So there you go. I brought COVID-19 home to my husband. Which officially makes me the Worse. Wife. Ever.
Okay, okay … I know I’m over-exaggerating here. Logically, I know that this could have happened regardless of my chosen profession or where I work, but bear with me as I try to work through my emotions as I sit at home, while my husband lies in a hospital bed less than a half mile away.
Remember … these posts are *MY* way of coping with this COVID-19 Crisis. So hear me out.
I feel guilty. I’m the one who brought COVID-19 into our home. I’m the one who first had symptoms and — though I self-isolated from DH — I *still* managed to pass it on to him. Yes, I know I wasn’t “officially” tested for COVID-19, but it doesn’t take rocket science to know that if my symptoms walked & talked like a duck then it likely *IS* a duck.
How could I have passed this miserable virus to DH? How could I give him the same head & body aches that I had? How could I pass on those fevers from h*ll while simultaneously feeling like I was lying in a bed of ice in the middle of winter? How could I let the same person — who is admittedly the chef in our household — lose his sense of taste & smell?
Blame it on the whole Filipino Catholic thing … but I feel absolutely HORRIBLE for bringing this home to him. And I suspect that many of us Front Line Healthcare Workers feel the same way.
But I also feel angry. So. Stinkin’. Mad. Two weeks ago (today, in fact) when these symptoms first started, DH & I followed the guidelines for self-quarantine at that time. I took over the master bedroom & 1st floor bathroom, while he stayed in our den, slept on the couch (his choice, not mine), and used the upstairs bathroom closest to his home office. I wiped down everything that I touched in the kitchen & other common areas and he did the same. Separate dinnerware, separate meals; separate everything. We didn’t touch, kiss, hug; we were basically separated from each other in our own home. And because of that, there was NO REASON for either me or DH to wear a mask in our home … Especially since we were never directly face-to-face from one another AND we were always a room or more apart from each other. That was the guidelines … Two. Weeks. Ago.
And for the most part, it *still is* for a household that has someone sick with COVID-19 or even suspected COVID-19. (See first link below.) Last week there were changes to those guidelines.
Last week (April 8, to be precise), the CDC strongly encouraged that *everyone* start wearing cloth masks, along with staying six feet apart from another when in public. (See second link below.)
It was also just LAST WEEK that Headquarters issued an email stating, “The CDC says it is reasonable for all health care workers to wear a mask if they are not able to adequately maintain a social distance of 6 feet from one another. This includes wearing them in break rooms, hallways and other common areas.” Prior to that, Headquarters had NO recommendations about wearing masks in common areas or when having to walk through the halls. A mask wasn’t considered “necessary” unless of course, you were feeling “under the weather” or you were in the “high risk” category for COVID-19. Because why use precious PPE if it isn’t necessary? Especially when direct caregivers needed the limited amount of PPE available more than other healthcare workers?
That means that back in the *beginning* of March when COVID-19 first started to hit Detroit, no one (except for those providing direct care to COVID-19 / Suspected COVID-19 patients) was required to wear a mask.
Flash-forward now to the *end* of March (3/30), and I become a Suspected COVID-19 healthcare worker. Six days later (4/4), DH now has Suspected COVID-19. Seven days from then (today 4/12), DH is admitted to the hospital.
So yeah. The fact that I *probably* should have been wearing a mask from the moment Detroit became a COVID-19 “hotspot” is what truly makes me angry.
Which — earlier today — led me down a rabbit hole of negativity with the following thoughts:
- Headquarters should have been recommending this from the beginning AND providing staff with adequate PPE, even if it was a plain surgical mask
- The entire healthcare system in the US should have been more prepared for this pandemic MUCH SOONER by having enough PPE, ventilators, and other medical supplies available
- The US Government should been involved EARLIER in this pandemic before it even reached US soil, and finally
- Both US Healthcare and the US Government should been quicker and MUCH more open to learning from the other countries about what has / has not been working.
I mean … aren’t we, as a nation, supposed to be one of the brightest and most advanced countries? I could go on and on (and on) about how I think US Healthcare Industry and our federal government has failed miserably, but I will hold back. Well … At least for right now. While DH is in the hospital. Where I can’t visit him. And hold his hand or help ease some of that anxiety that comes from being alone in a frightening place. (But once this COVID-19 Crisis is under control … then, try and stop me!)
Because really … at this juncture, why waste my energy on how ANGRY I am? And how negative I could become? For now, I just want to keep as level-headed and calm as I can, so that I can be there for DH when I’m needed.
Whew. Rant over.
And … as I re-read what I’ve written, I realize that I’ve come back full circle to the whole Karma / Golden Rule thingy:
I can be anxious and feel guilty and scream with anger about this whole situation. But I won’t. (Give me a few days on the whole guilt thing though, because … well, Filipino Catholic!)
Because I truly believe that if we give out positive vibes, then we’ll get positive vibes in return.
Which we’ve already received. In Spades.
To leave on a happier note … here’s a few serendipitous things that have occurred since just this morning:
- Our incredibly professional and big-hearted nephew (AKA supplier — er, Prescription Deliverer), was one of employees stationed at The Mother Ship’s COVID-19 Drive Thru … and, since I can’t physically be there for DH, Tyler has been awesome at helping to relay messages / deliver items to him.
- The Hospitalist (Attending Physician in lieu of his PCP, who doesn’t come to the hospital) happens to be a great friend of mine, and is someone that DH has also met. We couldn’t be happier (and I couldn’t be more relieved) to be assigned to her, as I’ve personally worked with her and she’s is just simply AWESOME, both as a physician AND overall as a person. (Love you Susan!)
- Our next-door-neighbors ONCE AGAIN left us (well, really just *me* at the moment — sorry DH!) an entire Easter Dinner care package. I mean, really?! Who does that?? Obviously Elizabeth & her family does! Thank you SO much for the delicious meal!
- Today is the first time I’ve been out of my house for the past 2 weeks, and that fresh air felt wonderful … I told my SIL Janet that I felt like a 9-year old girl who got her first Big Girl Bike and felt that first bit of freedom
- And while I was out, I figured poor Kirby Krackel deserved a little freedom as well … so I took him to a local park and walked him around its perimeter (wore a cloth mask the ENTIRE time, too! 🥵)
In spades, I tell ya … 🥰
AND AS A REMINDER … Stay safe out there, people!
- Six feet apart, people. SIX. FEET.
- When out in public, wear a cloth mask (save the *real* masks for the healthcare workers!)
- And — for the love of all those Essential Workers out there that WISH they can — STAY. HOME.
Time for bed now … this Keister is done with this year’s Easter 😂🤣