September 29, 2023


New Estate

Our Terrible Finish To 2022: COVID, Two Hospital Stays, and Close to Dying 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 tougher for me to imagine that we’ve already arrived at 2023. To say that these final two weeks didn’t go as deliberate can be the understatement of 2022.

It began the Tuesday after I posted our ultimate grasp lavatory earlier than and after on Monday, December nineteenth. I had deliberate to spend Tuesday gathering the entire bills and sources for our lavatory in order that I may submit that data for you on Wednesday. Then Friday, I deliberate to wrap up 2022 with my customary year-in-review submit. After which I’d spend the following week stress-free, watching tacky Christmas rom-com films, consuming, napping, and gearing up for the brand new 12 months.

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

Issues began to veer off beam after I awakened on Tuesday the twentieth with my head pounding, and my complete face, neck, and shoulders aching like I had been in a automotive accident. I didn’t assume something of it, actually. I believed I had simply slept mistaken, 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. Once 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 recreation. And because the day went on, he bought worse and worse, till round 4:30pm, when he was so weak that he couldn’t elevate his arms, couldn’t open his eyes, couldn’t maintain his jaw closed, and due to this fact, 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, and so they 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 house, care for 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 fantastic, excluding a stuffy nostril and a minor dry cough.

They’d run all types of exams on Matt, however couldn’t discover what was making him to be so weak. He had scary hypertension, however Matt’s blood strain skyrockets because of illness, not as a reason behind it. However nonetheless, all exams got here again destructive. No COVID. No UTI. No nothing. They mentioned that he had simply gotten actually dehydrated, so after just a few extra hours, and Matt seemingly doing significantly better, they discharged him and we went house.

After we bought house on Wednesday night, Matt appeared to be fairly okay. However on Wednesday evening earlier than we went to mattress, he was scared and didn’t need to fall asleep. He mentioned he was petrified of getting sick and having to return to the hospital. I believed 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, attempting to be encouraging and calming, till about 2:00am, he lastly determined he was able to attempt to sleep.

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

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

The nurse bought right here at 4:30pm (inside 90 minutes — spectacular for Christmas Eve!), however when she took Matt’s blood strain, it was too excessive for her to provide him an IV. (They’ve sure parameters for blood strain numbers that must be met earlier than they can provide 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 known as the ambulance once more. And as soon as once more, they got here and bought 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 attempting to deliver his coronary heart fee and blood strain down, whereas additionally operating different exams.

Simply earlier than 11:00pm, the physician got here in and mentioned that Matt had examined optimistic for COVID, in order that’s most likely what was making the entire weak spot and mind fog. They had been going to confess him, however they wanted to get his blood strain to a sure level earlier than they might do this.

In order that they gave him a unique blood strain medicine, and nearly instantly, he had a response to it. His face and arms bought beet crimson, his blood strain 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 medicine, and whereas the nurses appeared utterly unfazed by it in any respect. Matt was scared and depressing.

They lastly admitted him, made a notice of the allergic response to that medicine in his data, and gave him extra saline. It took about an hour for the response to that medicine to put on off. After that, Matt appeared to cool 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 significantly better.

Once we awakened on Sunday morning, Matt appeared fantastic. The physician got here in and advised us about his remedy plan. He was going to modify Matt from regular saline to one thing known as lactated ringers. He was going to proceed the blood strain 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 provide him Tylenol for his slight fever. All of it appeared fairly customary, and all day Sunday, Matt appeared like he was nearly again to his regular self. He ate each chew of meals that they introduced him, and whereas he was nonetheless feeling a bit weak (which 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. Once I bought again, Matt was nonetheless feeling good. The remainder of the day was fairly uneventful. He ate each chew of each meal they introduced him. We each napped a bit. After dinner, I bought us a snack out of the merchandising machine, and we watched Frasier till we went to sleep that evening. I figured he was doing so properly that they’d most likely ship him house the following day.

Then on Monday morning, every thing modified. I woke as much as the nurse coming in to examine 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 due to this fact, couldn’t converse in any respect), was having labored respiration on the exhale. His face and complete head had been beet crimson and fiery scorching to the contact.

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

My thoughts instantly went to the response he needed to the blood strain medicine. I knew this wasn’t COVID. This was a response to one thing that they had 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 she or he went over every thing that they had given him. I advised her to cease the blood strain medicine and see if that may make a change as soon as it labored its method out of his system. After just a few hours, nothing had modified. He was nonetheless the identical near-catatonic state.

Matt saved attempting 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 attempting to say. On three events all through the day, I did handle to make out what he was saying. And every time, he mentioned, “Will I die?” Discuss ripping my coronary heart out! As a result of fairly truthfully, I didn’t know.

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

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, and so they wanted to unravel it. However it doesn’t matter what I did or mentioned, 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 attempting to determine what the heck had gone mistaken, and what he was reacting to. By that time on Monday night (after I ripped the medicine 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 at all times responds properly to) to one thing known 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 crimson and fiery scorching to the contact, however so was his left arm. His complete left arm…the place the IV was going into his arm!!

I known as the nurse on responsibility and had him flip off the IV instantly, after which requested him to provide 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 truly perceive him (for the primary time that complete day).

And by 1:00am, he was laughing and joking round with me. And he additionally cried. He cried lots, 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 fantastic (apart from his blood oxygen being a tad bit low and needing supplemental oxygen for a few days as his physique recovered and bought stronger), and he was completely fantastic the remainder of his hospital keep.

Matt was lastly discharged on Thursday, and ever since then, we now have been stress-free and attempting 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. Each day is somewhat bit higher than the earlier one.

So suffice it to say that the tip of the 12 months 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 need to hibernate for per week. I really feel emotionally and mentally drained. This isn’t fairly how I needed to start out the brand new 12 months. 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 was making 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 most likely nonetheless be in that very same catatonic state, and they’d have simply thought it was a extremely dangerous case of COVID.) I’m grateful that we’re again at house the place we will 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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