Covid has descended upon our family. Galen and his fiancé first got it several weeks ago now. He contracted pneumonia with his,and I had to take him to the ER once, but with meds, he is on the recovery side and just battling the fatigue and still some coughing.
Ted got it about a week later. No, none of them were vaxed. Ted wasn’t sure the vaccines were safe despite Devin and I being vaccinated without much issue. He hadn’t known anyone who thought it was much more than the flu, and had gotten meds to take in the chance that he did get it.
Well, a week into his wrestle with covid, he went to the Dr who sent him to the ER. He was in need of oxygen, so they sent him home and 6 tanks and a concentrator were delivered. By the end of the next day, we couldn’t keep the flow high enough to keep his O2 stats in any acceptable range and at his request, I took him to a different hospital that a nurse in the prior day’s hospital had said does more aggressive treatments that not all the hospitals are doing. I dropped him at the ER, and was told that if he had to spend the night, it would likely be in the ER as there were no normal beds available. I guess neither that nurse, nor myself had considered that they would have him in the ICU before the end of the night.
On their advanced 70 liters of heated high flow oxygen, he stabilized. At least for that first week. Then, before we knew it, he was put onto a ventilator.
When the doctor called to say that they had put Ted onto the ventilator, I cried.
I left work – it was 3pm and I had already worked my 8 hrs anyway and didn’t want to be crying at my desk. I tried to ask myself what emotions had started me crying. And it was Because this felt like dangerous waters that has so many potential hazards and beyond prayer, I was helpless to do anything.. Because if Ted agreed to the ventilator, then he was tired of fighting on his own and that is hard to think of. Because his odds of not making it out of this now increases more than I wish to think about. I also suddenly felt very alone and wanted to just be home and with Devin and be able to call Galen and Ciara. The boys took it better than I, or at least their front was stronger. Devin made us dinner and we watched a show later all the while my phone blew up from texts and calls I didn’t feel like taking.
When this all started, I had a dream with my college roommates – the twins – and they had asked in the dream what was wrong, and my reply was the standard “nothing”. Becky looked at me and said that I can shut everyone out, as I am prone to do when I’m in emotional pain, or I can share and not be figuratively curled up in a corner.
Words I now try to follow.
Since going onto the ventilator, his condition has worsened. They would prone him for a few days and then flip him over to his back to see if he could maintain his blood gasses – O2/CO2 – only to have to flip him again to his stomach. We were not allowed any visitation throughout as even after the covid restrictions were lifted, they don’t want visitors in the covid side of ICU and there are no beds in the non-covid side.
Turns out, when things get real dire and the doctors start putting into his chart that there is a high possibility of death, that they will bend the rules and let one visitor per day. That is what happened this week. They had maxed out the ventilator settings and treatments, and with no where else to push, they called and said we needed to talk about how critical this all has become.
They actually let both Devin and I visit the first time. Thank heavens we were together in seeing him the first time as he was so unrecognizable, that had either of us been alone and not had the other to hold onto, I think we’d have been a puddle on the floor when the nurse returned.
That was Monday night and I have been the only person to go since then. Since then, they have also flipped him to his back once more and as I try to massage the fluids out of his hands and feet, being on his back and with the head raised a bit, his face is also trending back to a normal look. They stopped the paralytic yesterday to see if he could withstand it. He had held his own when I left last night.
As more friends and family have been notified of this unfathomable situation, it is becoming increasingly hard to keep everyone updated. So, this blog will now be the update spot. I hope that you’ll check here for an update and know I will do my best to put news here. I won’t be putting a link onto FB (except for this initial post), so you will have to come to the blog site on your own.
Thank you everyone for your love and support through this. I know everyone wants to help and do something, but there isn’t much to do except to keep us all in your thoughts and prayers.