September 21, 2023

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Our Terrible Finish To 2022: COVID, Two Hospital Stays, and Close to Loss of life By Saline

11 min read

Y’all! I can’t imagine it’s been two weeks since I’ve been right here, and it’s even more durable for me to imagine that we’ve already arrived at 2023. To say that these final two weeks didn’t go as deliberate could be the understatement of 2022.

It began the Tuesday after I posted our ultimate grasp rest room earlier than and after on Monday, December nineteenth. I had deliberate to spend Tuesday gathering all the bills and sources for our rest room in order that I may submit that information for you on Wednesday. Then Friday, I deliberate to wrap up 2022 with my normal year-in-review submit. After which I’d spend the subsequent week enjoyable, watching tacky Christmas rom-com motion pictures, consuming, napping, and gearing up for the brand new yr.

Effectively, clearly, that’s not what occurred in any respect.

Issues began to veer astray once I awoke on Tuesday the twentieth with my head pounding, and my total face, neck, and shoulders aching like I had been in a automotive accident. I didn’t assume something of it, actually. I assumed I had simply slept unsuitable, so I took some Advil, waited some time for that to kick in and among the ache to go away, after which tried to go about my day.

However issues actually took a flip when Matt began feeling unwell. After I get sick, that’s one factor. However when Matt (my husband who has M.S. and offers with general muscle weak spot and fatigue as a traditional a part of life) will get sick, that’s a complete completely different ball sport. And because the day went on, he obtained worse and worse, till round 4:30pm, when he was so weak that he couldn’t raise his arms, couldn’t open his eyes, couldn’t maintain his jaw closed, and subsequently, couldn’t converse.

I ended up calling the ambulance to come back get him and take him to the emergency room round 5:00pm on Tuesday, they usually handled him within the emergency room till 2:00am. I stayed with him the entire time, whereas additionally beginning to really feel actually sick myself — extra aches and pains, chills, and many others.

They lastly admitted him at 2:00am, and after about half-hour of “a lot of paperwork and questions” (because the nurse put it), I used to be lastly in a position to go dwelling, deal with our canine Cooper, seize a blanket and pillow, take a ton of dietary supplements, nutritional vitamins, and Tylenol, and head again to the hospital. I returned about 3:30am, and was in a position to sleep till about 7:00am when the physician got here in. By that point, I used to be feeling wonderful, except for a stuffy nostril and a minor dry cough.

That they had run all types of assessments on Matt, however couldn’t discover what should be blamed for him to be so weak. He had scary hypertension, however Matt’s blood stress skyrockets on account of illness, not as a reason for it. However nonetheless, all assessments got here again unfavorable. No COVID. No UTI. No nothing. They stated that he had simply gotten actually dehydrated, so after just a few extra hours, and Matt seemingly doing a lot better, they discharged him and we went dwelling.

After we obtained dwelling on Wednesday night, Matt appeared to be fairly okay. However on Wednesday night time earlier than we went to mattress, he was scared and didn’t need to fall asleep. He stated he was petrified of getting sick and having to return to the hospital. I assumed he was simply overly drained (hospitals aren’t nice locations to get relaxation, in any case), and wanted sleep. So after sitting by his bedside, praying with him, making an attempt to be encouraging and calming, till about 2:00am, he lastly determined he was able to attempt to sleep.

Thursday morning, we each awoke early, and issues appeared regular. However as soon as once more, as they day went on, Matt obtained actually weak. Then he obtained higher. Then he obtained weak once more.

This curler coaster went on for the subsequent three days, and by Saturday afternoon, he was nearly again to the purpose the place he was on Tuesday once I referred to as the ambulance the primary time. He was nonetheless saying that he didn’t wish to return to the hospital, so realizing how a lot IV saline helps him when he will get like that, I made a decision to name and make an appointment with a neighborhood cell IV remedy place.

The nurse obtained right here at 4:30pm (inside 90 minutes — spectacular for Christmas Eve!), however when she took Matt’s blood stress, it was too excessive for her to offer him an IV. (They’ve sure parameters for blood stress numbers that need to be met earlier than they may give an IV.) Matt was feeling even worse by that point, so he was extremely upset that he wasn’t going to have the ability to get the IV saline.

By 6:00pm, he was proper again to the place he was on Tuesday, so I referred to as the ambulance once more. And as soon as once more, they got here and obtained him, and took him to the hospital. We had been within the ER room for a number of hours whereas they had been giving him IV saline and making an attempt to carry his coronary heart fee and blood stress down, whereas additionally operating different assessments.

Simply earlier than 11:00pm, the physician got here in and stated that Matt had examined constructive for COVID, in order that’s in all probability what should be blamed for all the weak spot and mind fog. They had been going to confess him, however they wanted to get his blood stress to a sure level earlier than they might try this.

So that they gave him a special blood stress remedy, and nearly instantly, he had a response to it. His face and arms obtained beet purple, his blood stress and coronary heart fee elevated to scary ranges, and his pores and skin felt fiery scorching. I sat there watching, feeling utterly helpless and freaked out, whereas watching him have this scary response to remedy, and whereas the nurses appeared utterly unfazed by it in any respect. Matt was scared and depressing.

They lastly admitted him, made a word of the allergic response to that remedy in his data, and gave him extra saline. It took about an hour for the response to that remedy to put on off. After that, Matt appeared to quiet down a bit and begin feeling higher. I stayed in his room the entire time, and by the point we went to sleep, he was feeling a lot better.

After we awoke on Sunday morning, Matt appeared wonderful. The physician got here in and advised us about his remedy plan. He was going to modify Matt from regular saline to one thing referred to as lactated ringers. He was going to proceed the blood stress meds (not the one he had the response to, clearly). He was going to start out him on a course of steroids to assist him breathe higher. He was going to offer him Tylenol for his slight fever. All of it appeared fairly normal, and all day Sunday, Matt appeared like he was nearly again to his regular self. He ate each chunk of meals that they introduced him, and whereas he was nonetheless feeling a bit weak (that means that I needed to feed him and assist him drink water), he was speaking, laughing, joking round, and many others.

I figured he was out of the woods, and was in good fingers, so because it was Christmas Day, I felt snug leaving for a few hours to have Christmas brunch with my household. After I obtained again, Matt was nonetheless feeling good. The remainder of the day was fairly uneventful. He ate each chunk of each meal they introduced him. We each napped a bit. After dinner, I obtained us a snack out of the merchandising machine, and we watched Frasier till we went to sleep that night time. I figured he was doing so properly that they’d in all probability ship him dwelling the subsequent day.

Then on Monday morning, every little thing modified. I woke as much as the nurse coming in to verify Matt’s vitals. I heard her asking him questions, however he wasn’t responding. That appeared unusual to me, so I sat up and checked out him, and he was nearly utterly out of it. I imply, in a close to catatonic state. He couldn’t transfer, couldn’t maintain his eyes open, couldn’t maintain his jaw shut, couldn’t transfer his tongue in any respect (and subsequently, couldn’t converse in any respect), was having labored respiration on the exhale. His face and complete head had been beet purple and fiery scorching to the contact.

I used to be freaking out. How may he have gone to mattress the night time earlier than feeling simply wonderful, solely to get up feeling and searching like this???

My thoughts instantly went to the response he needed to the blood stress remedy. I knew this wasn’t COVID. This was a response to one thing they’d given him.

However when the physician got here in, he brushed it off utterly. He wrote the entire thing off to “that is simply what occurs with COVID.” That was utterly unsatisfactory to me. I knew it was a response to one thing, and I used to be so livid that nobody appeared in the least fazed by his sudden in a single day change.

I requested the nurse about all of his medicines, and he or she went over every little thing they’d given him. I advised her to cease the blood stress remedy and see if that might make a change as soon as it labored its means out of his system. After just a few hours, nothing had modified. He was nonetheless the identical near-catatonic state.

Matt stored making an attempt to talk to me all through the day, however as a result of he couldn’t transfer his jaw or transfer his tongue, I couldn’t perceive something he was making an attempt to say. On three events all through the day, I did handle to make out what he was saying. And every time, he stated, “Will I die?” Discuss ripping my coronary heart out! As a result of fairly actually, I didn’t know.

He stayed in that near-catatonic state all day lengthy, with me quizzing the nurse about this remedy and that remedy. Round 5:00pm, I discovered that they’d put a drugs patch on his arm. I referred to as the nurse and requested about that. It was one other blood stress remedy, so I ripped that off and advised her no extra blood stress remedy!!!!

It doesn’t matter what I did, I couldn’t appear to get them to grasp that what they had been seeing in him — this sudden change in a single day — was a response to one thing, they usually wanted to resolve it. However it doesn’t matter what I did or stated, all of them appeared utterly unfazed by his situation and his sudden change.

This went on all day and all through the night, as I used to be racking my mind making an attempt to determine what the heck had gone unsuitable, and what he was reacting to. By that time on Monday night (after I ripped the remedy patch off of his arm), I had made them cease all medicines, and the one factor left was the saline.

That’s when it dawned on me that the physician had advised us he was switching Matt from common saline (which Matt all the time responds properly to) to one thing referred to as lactated ringers. Matt had by no means had lactated ringers earlier than. And as I used to be sitting by his bedside, praying and hoping that I may determine the issue, that’s when it lastly dawned on me that not solely was his complete head beet purple and fiery scorching to the contact, however so was his left arm. His total left arm…the place the IV was going into his arm!!

I referred to as the nurse on responsibility and had him flip off the IV instantly, after which requested him to offer Matt some common saline. He turned it off at 10:45pm, after which got here again half-hour later with common saline.

Inside half-hour of beginning the common saline, the redness in Matt’s face and arm began to go away, and the temperature of his pores and skin started to return to regular. Inside an hour of getting regular saline, Matt was talking in full sentences that I may really perceive him (for the primary time that total day).

And by 1:00am, he was laughing and joking round with me. And he additionally cried. He cried so much, as he advised me that he was certain he was going to die that day. He knew he was having a response to one thing, however he couldn’t converse and couldn’t talk in any respect, so he was satisfied that it was going to kill him.

After we each cried and rejoiced in the truth that we discovered the issue, we had been each exhausted and able to get some sleep. On Tuesday morning, Matt was completely wonderful (aside from his blood oxygen being a tad bit low and needing supplemental oxygen for a few days as his physique recovered and obtained stronger), and he was completely wonderful the remainder of his hospital keep.

Matt was lastly discharged on Thursday, and ever since then, now we have been enjoyable and making an attempt to recuperate from the entire hellish ordeal of those final two weeks.

Matt has nonetheless had some residual weak spot, however every day, he will get somewhat stronger. He’ll get there. On daily basis is somewhat bit higher than the earlier one.

So suffice it to say that the top of the yr didn’t fairly go as we had deliberate. And I really feel so NOT prepared for 2023. I don’t really feel relaxed. I don’t really feel prepared. I don’t really feel excited and able to get issues began.

I really feel exhausted, and I wish to hibernate for every week. I really feel emotionally and mentally drained. This isn’t fairly how I needed to start out the brand new yr. However I’m grateful. I’m so grateful that Matt is doing higher now, and he’s nearly again to his regular self. I’m grateful that we discovered what should be blamed for the issue on the hospital. (The nurse actually advised me that if I hadn’t been there, and if I hadn’t figured it out, Matt would in all probability nonetheless be in that very same catatonic state, and they’d have simply thought it was a very unhealthy case of COVID.) I’m grateful that we’re again at dwelling the place we are able to relaxation from our two-week ordeal.

However I’d want one other week earlier than I can really feel enthusiastic about 2023 and leaping again into home-related tasks. 🙂 I’m not fairly there but.

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