COVID CHRONICLES Day 5

Wednesday, March 25

So. This is how yesterday started.

Day 14! (see Day 2 for explanation). I am officially out of statistical danger of developing symptoms. And, yes, I kissed my wife on the lips! (see Day 4). I definitely dodged a bullet here. We’re more self-sufficient, though the small refrigerator we bought is defective. Still, glad to take some burden off the family. We’ll be talking about the extent to which I’ll continued to be quarantined in our area or may have a little more latitude to get things for the two of us.

I’ve been discussing mainly the good news about my wife’s symptoms. And the fever and cough are gone. But we’re now associating some of the other things she’s been going through directly with the virus. Add nausea and vomiting to your list of symptoms. Also, a feeling of chest constriction, which she’s monitoring.

Then, because the scriptwriters for 2020 SUCK, this.

Text to my family:

“[My wife] has been experiencing increasing chest tightness and shortness of breath to the extent she felt compelled to call her doctor. I am taking her to Stanford to be evaluated. This is what they worry about in the later stages. Basically, they want her to come in NOW rather than wait for a possible acute situation. Better safe than sorry. We’re not sure whether they will let me in. I’ll keep you posted.”

An hour and a half later:

“We’re here. They are waiting for an exam room to open up. In the meantime they’re giving her an EKG. They will allow me to go in. But them I’m stuck and can’t leave until she does or is admitted. Good thing I’m prepared!”

An hour later:

“They’ve ruled out anything serious. Her oxygen is good, heart is fine.”

A half-hour later:

“Everything seems good. They’re going to take a chest x-ray, take some blood and set up an IV. Doesn’t sound like she’ll be admitted. Doctor said over-all she looks good.”

The editor in me SO wants to go back and fix the two “take’s” and “good’s.” It a sickness.

“Labs and xrays look good. Just waiting for one more to come back. Then we should be released.”

What’s with the “good” again?

“This is apparently typical [to the virus]. We’ll be discharged shortly. Don’t expect any other news tonight. All in all, glad we came, glad we don’t have to stay!”

We moved to the coast a couple of years ago. But Stanford remains her medical provider. So, we drove an hour there. Stanford Hospital has an incredible new emergency facility. We were told to come with a sign so they would immediately know my wife was positive for the virus (see above). We drove up and she was greeted and taken through the list of questions by two gowned and masked nurses. We waited in the car until there was a room available, then she was wheeled through a special entrance directly into the COVID-Positive area.

Each treatment room is closed off with separate air system. Everything was done in the room, including bringing in the rolling x-ray machine. Only a nurse and the technicians (all masked and gowned) came into the room. The doctor talked to my wife by cellphone standing outside the room. They really have this down pat.

We learned from the doctor that they are seeing both the vomiting and chest-tightness/shortness of breath as fairly consistent late-stage symptoms of COVID-19. She encouraged my wife to come back if her breathing becomes labored. We have an inhaler and attachment to pick up tomorrow from the pharmacy.

Back home after a long and stressful day. One with a happy ending. But one that demonstrates how quickly things can turn with this virus.

Stay healthy, my friends.

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Wynn Hausser

Wynn Hausser

Professional Communicator, Change Agent & Nonprofit Specialist. “COVID CHRONICLES” documents life under pandemic. Also write on sports, politics and life.