Adam’s doctor contacts me in the morning, Adam needs some clean clothes and some toiletries, I get together some bits and pieces, I put a big piece of paper in the bag with Adam’s name and ward on it, I dont know if there is a procedure in place, I was just told to take a bag to reception. I drive to the hospital, I haven’t driven since I took Adam to hospital, memories of that journey pop into my mind. I get to the hospital and park as close as I can, the walk to the front entrance makes me breathless.
The reception is closed, I’m not sure what to do, then I see someone I know. We talk at a distance, talking is making me catch my breath, I’m trying not to cough, but I can’t help it, shoving my face into the inside of my elbow, take a deep breath.
Its making me uncomfortable being in the presence of someone else, although we are more than 2 metres apart, I am still wary, what if I am still shedding the virus? They agree to take the bag from me and to deliver to the ward, they can see I’m struggling, we kind of do, a not so secret service exchange of the bag, on the floor, so we dont come close to each other. I leave the hospital, I’m tearful, I’m breathless, I’m exhausted, I’m coughing, I just want to get home.
My buddy is annoyed that I went out, I’m under strict instructions to stay on the sofa today, I have nothing else to give, the trip out has exhausted me.
Netflix offers up an interesting series on zombies called Z Nation, its completely different from The Walking Dead. So far I’ve seen a zombie baby, a zombie that is talking and they run really fast as well, I fall asleep to the sound of zombies groaning and fighting noises.
I wake up after 4pm and message Adam, he video calls me back, he wants me to eat, the fridge contains out of date fresh food, I can’t face clearing it out; I open the freezer, I dont even look at the food, I won’t be able to cook it, what if i fall asleep and its starts burning, I can’t smell anything. The cupboard has tins of soup and beans, I don’t want any of that, I find some dried pasta and a tin of tuna. It’s exhausting standing in the kitchen and a real effort just to boil some pasta. I can’t taste anything, it’s just soft mush, but I’ve eaten.
Adam video calls me to make sure I’ve eaten, he tells me that he has been struggling a bit with his breathing, his chest feels bad and he has been laying prone. He is back on IV antibiotics, he may need to go back to ITU and the doctor told him he will be sedated and intubated this time. I update Boris’s best friend group, Adam’s brothers response ‘FFS’, I call Adam’s mum.
It’s a set back that we didn’t want to hear, its hitting us all really hard, how many twists and turns can this virus take. Adam and I keep on exchanging messages through the night, I press ‘continue watching’, the zombies shuffle and run on, we all fall asleep in the end.
I wake up in morning, extremely conscious that I am being watched, the cat has taken up a position on the bed really close to me, I can’t help but be suspicious that I am going to be on the sharp end of a paw. Blinking heck, she didn’t have her dinner last night, I’m lucky I haven’t been marched down stairs at ‘spider’ point.
Adam is still the same and he hasn’t had much sleep, as his vital signs were closely monitored over night. He tries to get some sleep now.
I’ve had a video call with one of my friends, I’ve discovered when I talk on the phone I cough more, do I breath differently when talking? am I taking deeper breaths causing me to cough? have I spent too much time not talking and now my body is going what the heck? have I now formed a habit? when is this going to stop? My friend and another suggests I contact my GP, to see if there is anything else I can do, especially with the debilitating aches. All information suggests that this is a 7 to 14 day illness, this is going on a bit, I’ve been concentrating so much on Adam and I have kind of forgotten about myself.
I’ve also noticed that I am quite tearful, this isn’t me at all. I kind of avoid emotional things, well things that make me cry. I haven’t seen certain films because I know they will upset me, that that rules out all films that have animals in them. I’ve never seen Bambi, Dumbo or Lion King, I didn’t make it through The Land before Time, I can still hear that little kid crying out for The Champ, ET ruined my childhood, dont get me started on The littlest hobo. I’m just not used to all this crying.
Adam called me, the doctor has been, he does not know what they said to him, he is a little confused, I think it’s to do with him being tired, I just know he probably nodded all the way through a conversation with a doctor, without knowing what was being said to him.
I call the ward and speak to the nurse and explain that Adam didn’t have a clue what was being said to him. Thankfully she has time to go through his notes and is able to give me an update. The outreach team have been to see him this morning and they will returning later to check on his progress. His recent chest x-ray shows that the left side chest is worse than the previous x-ray, this is why he is back on IV antibiotics. Chest physiotherapists have seen him and have managed, through Adam doing exercises to remove some gunk from his lungs. Adam is able to maintain his oxygen saturations 98/99% when he is laying down with oxygen, but as soon as he is upright, saturations drop. I update Adam and Boris’s best friend group of the nurse’s phone call. Adam is frightened that he will go back to ITU.
Adam’s nurse calls me later in the day after Adam has been seen by various medical teams. The nurse explains that adam has another infection on top of the virus. ITU team have also been to see him and they are happy that he is improving and he doesn’t need ITU intervention at present, as infection markers in his blood are improving. Adam’s main issue that his saturations keep on dropping, if this keeps on happening Adam will have a CTPA (CT scan pulmonary angiogram) to check for a pulmonary embolism. A dietician has been and he has been prescribed ensure drinks four times a day, Adam has no appetite and he struggling to eat just small amounts of food.
Adam loves food, I love my food too, but unlike me, Adam is a rather good cook and baker. Our bookshelf is full of cooking books, he will try and cook anything, I’m a bit of a challenge as I don’t eat meat, but adam manages to adapt recipes for me. One of my favourite times at home is an Adam baking day, the place will look a blinking mess with flour and cooking bowls all over the place, but will smell amazing, all warm and homely. I am the chief taster, as longer as it’s not a meat product and chief cleaner upper. We haven’t had a baking day for a long time, we’ve both been in work.
Boris’s best friend group gets an update about Adam’s current covid-19 twist and turn, we are all quite worried, Adam still has a long way to go, before he is able to come home.
I call my own GP, it’s been 2 weeks since I became unwell with covid-19 and I don’t feel any better, I feel worse, I need to get well, for Adam to come home.
I avoid my GP at all costs, I only go there, if I really have to go there, it’s a new surgery and has only been open for about 18 months, so none of the GP’s actually know me. If I didn’t have type 2 diabetes they wouldn’t see me at all, I think I’ve been in there maybe three or four times in an 18 month period.
I go through all my symptoms, dry cough, headaches, ear ache, muscle aches in arms and legs, lower back pain, breathlessness, unable to taste or smell, no appetite, fatigue and there is probably something else but my mind is not able to find it, ah yes brain fog, I can hear the GP typing.
GP says that they really don’t know much about covid-19, but they are getting reports from the community that people are taking longer than 14 days to recover. The GP talks about breathing and checks if I have any issues, I don’t, in fact my chest has been clear, no adverse breathing sounds, just the dry cough and breathlessness when walking upstairs and some breathlessness on walking, but I’m not doing much of that, its too tiring. She advises me to seek medical attention if I experience any issues with breathing.
My covid buddy contacts me, it’s been confirmed, she has it, she having a terrible time, she has lost taste and smell now, as well as all the other symptoms and her husband is showing symptoms now. This virus creates a domino effect in a family unit, no matter what you do to avoid it, it still takes a grip on everyone it touches.
I message one of my managers to give them an update, I’m getting really concerned about work, I’m one of those weird ones, I absolutely love my job, no I really do, love my job. I go through my conversation with my GP with my manager, she understands my concerns but wants me fully fit and Adam home before I even think about work.
In the morning Adam tells me he is on the main ward and out if the VIP room, he has a couple of other patients to talk to and cough at. He is able to walk a little bit and sits in a chair for about an hour, sitting in the chair exhausts him and his oxygen levels are still dropping when he sits or stands up.
Later in the morning Adam’s doctor calls me to explain that Adam will be having a CTPA later in the day, they are concerned that Adam has a pulmonary embolism. The doctor also asks how I am, I explain my current symptoms and the doctor is aware I have already spoken to my own GP. The doctor advises me to contact my GP again in a couple of days if I still feel the same, just encase I’ve picked up an infection and may need antibiotics, the doctor says infections take advantage of the body when you have covid-19. The doctor also gives me some breathing exercises to do. I am so grateful that the doctor had time to talk to me and give me advice, I wasn’t expecting it at all.
Adam and I exchange messages for the rest of the day, its confirmed late afternoon the he does have a pulmonary embolism, Adam’s a bit upset, I say, but they found it. Adam wants to do a Facebook update, but we need a picture. He sends me a couple of selfies, oxygen mask on, oxygen mask off, we decide to use the photo with the oxygen mask, not for any sympathy, he just looks terribly unwell and the oxygen mask hides most of his face.
One of my friends messages me, she says I have never been so happy that they found a pulmonary embolism.