News from the Home Front: Still Down & Out

Day Eleven. I’m still running intermittent fevers as high as 101.8; still having chills & body aches. And I still have no sense of taste smell, which leaves me with no appetite whatsoever (which SUCKS for a foodie like me). And if there was a way to unscrew my head so this stupid headache would go away, I totally would. To top it off, I’ve started to have these intermittent coughing spells that leave me breathless for a little spell. (No ongoing SOB, I promise.)

And now Hubby is officially down & out as well. He started having high fevers up to 102.0 on Saturday and has been consistently in the range of 100.0-102.0. Minus the cough, he’s pretty much had all the same symptoms I’ve been experiencing. He spoke with his PCP, who (surprise!) directed him to manage his symptoms at home.

As for me … Seeing that it had been over a week, this past Monday I scheduled an e-Visit with my PCP. I asked, once again, to get tested for COVID-19, at the insistence of literally Every. One. In. The. Universe. And — as expected — was informed that a test isn’t necessary at this time, especially given that Employee Health did not recommend that I receive one.

Which, BTW … let me just say that I must have gotten the RUDEST person at Employee Health, who answered my question with another question: “And why would you want to get tested?” Followed by another question: “What good would getting tested do?”

Believe me, I know why it doesn’t matter if I get tested or not (see previous post) … but sheesh, empathize much?

And for the record, to answer both of those questions: Well, peace of mind would be a nice reason to get tested, but it’s not a necessity. HOWEVER, as my SIL pointed out, wouldn’t it be nice to collect the DATA for further research? I mean, God knows that I’ve never in my life wanted to be considered a statistic (ask any of my high school friends), but in this COVID-19 Post-Apocalyptic World, any sort of data is knowledge. And knowledge is fuel to understanding how much better we can fight this battle. Wouldn’t you agree? (I know GI Joe would, since he’s always talking about how “knowing is half the battle” … just sayin’ 😏).

That said, as I’ve told Every. One. In. The. Universe. I know why I won’t be given the COVID-19 test: There are a limited number of tests available and they need to be administered judiciously. Unfortunately there are no absolutely clear guidelines on who should & should not get tested. However, what *is* CRYSTAL CLEAR is that if a person is suspected to have COVID-19, then the person should be treated as having COVID-19.

And what is the treatment for COVID-19? Symptom Management. Which is the treatment for ANY virus (influenza anyone?). Tylenol for the fevers & aches. Lots of fluids to keep from becoming dehydrated. And rest … lots of rest. At home. Isolated from the rest of the world. To contain this stupid virus. (STAY HOME.)

Unless of course you develop shortness of breath. THAT’S when you need to be concerned. And THAT’S when you need to go to the hospital to receive further treatment that you can’t provide on your own: supplemental oxygen therapies followed by ventilator-assisted breathing if that doesn’t work.

Again, I’m very lucky that I haven’t been having difficulty breathing (despite the stupid cough). I’m also lucky that, despite both Hubby’s & my underlying conditions, our symptoms have not worsened.

But it has been over 10 days since I started to exhibit symptoms, so I made another call to PCP’s office today. During the e-Visit on Monday (which, BTW is all by email), my PCP had stated that if I still had symptoms after 10 days, then it may be possible that I have developed bacterial upper respiratory infection (URI) as well, since viral symptoms tend to dissipate within 7-10 days of first exhibiting them. So after speaking directly to her this morning, I have now been started on antibiotics. And since Hubby already had a “stand-by” antibiotic prescription from his PCP, I’ve had him start on them as well.

So … Questions?

No, I didn’t ask about starting on hydroxychloroquine … the supposed “miracle drug.” First of all, despite what’s being touted in the news, this medication is NOT the cure-all for COVID-19. Second of all, the COVID-19 patients I had (prior to being sidelined) had all been placed on this medication along with an antibiotic; and, while there was some improvement, I can’t say that this practice guideline (hydroxychloroquine + azithromycin) was a runaway success. That said, I just don’t think there’s enough research studies (with control groups) out there to show that hydroxychloroquine has “clear therapeutic efficacy” in the treatment of COVID-19. At least that’s supposedly what had been touted by a top-level economist (with an apparent medical degree from Google University) in our nation’s capital. 🙄

Yes, I can have both COVID-19 and a bacterial infection. (In fact, many of the patients in our unit had both COVID-19 and some sort of bacterial pneumonia.) Two different “bugs,” so to speak. Except one (bacterial) can be “killed” with antibiotics (for the most part), while the other (viral) cannot. The only way to get rid of a viral infection? Symptom. Management. (And supportive care, if necessary) So yay … I’m now officially treating myself TWICE as nice! 😂

No, I can’t return to work yet. Still have to be symptom-free for > 72 hours before I can set up an appointment with Employee Health. I’ll be honest, the longer I’m away from the hospital, the more apprehensive I am about returning. Not that I don’t miss my awesome co-warriors and want to be there to support everyone else … It’s just that I get *exhausted* thinking about what awaits for me when I return. Or maybe I’m just exhausted because, well … COVID-19.

As it is … it has taken me the entire day to write this little piece and I’m FRICKIN’ worn out! But I wanted to update everyone, as I am STILL so amazed by how much love and support I have received from around the world. 🥰❤️🥰

I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all the texts, messages, memes/gifs I’ve received from everyone. They make me laugh, smile and feel nice & warm (not in the sweats/chills way, either!).

Please know that I’ve read every single one of them and I apologize if I hadn’t responded back individually. Thank you especially to my family for checking in on us daily and delivering us food & provisions. Thank you to my next-door neighbor (shout out to you, Elizabeth‼️) for our surprise care package on our front porch.

And thank you to my nephew Tyler, who has become my supplier — er, I mean my prescription delivery man for the last couple of days. Again, Hubby & I feel so BLESSED to have you all in our lives. 🙏🏼❤️🙏🏼

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Friendly Reminder that We Can’t Control EVERYTHING

Anyway … I hope to keep everyone updated here when I get the chance … and who knows? Maybe next time I update, I’ll be back at the Hospital Front.

Until then, stay healthy & happy … and STAY HOME.

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