And just like that, I was positive…

By, Tami Webb

Day 1, Wednesday, October 14

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted much on social media more than photos of the cutest grandkids on the planet or memes that I thought were funny. Today I decided to tell you my journey over the last 32 days.

Day 1, Wednesday, October 14, I was notified that I had come in close contact with someone with a friend who had tested positive for CoVid. This was our worst nightmare as it meant the kids had to stay home and Dan had to stop working. Also, all the help we receive for our severely autistic/blind son, Jason, would not be able to come to the house. (That’s approximately 45 hours a week of therapy and respite care.) I isolated in my bedroom immediately when I found out. This also meant that my son, Peter, his wife, Tori, and my adorable granddaughter, Esther, who all lived with us (between selling/buying homes) were also quarantined with us. (Here’s the ripple effect) My son’s business had to shut down as well as my husband’s business. Which affected another son, Lucas, who works with Dan, and my son’s family. Dan was basically looking at 24/7 Jason care. No one has ever done that by themselves for 3 weeks… ever!

Symptoms started that first day – cough, then low-grade fevers, painful muscle aches worse than I have ever felt and headaches. Day 2 I got a test and of course it came back positive. Here we go!

No one else in the house seemed sick and we were sooooo thankful for that! The blessing of having Peter and Tori in the house to help with meals and the teens and even give Dan a break by driving Jason around on the tractor was amazing!

O2 levels dropped during episodes of difficulty breathing.

My symptoms continued and grew worse by the day. I could barely get out of bed, I was struggling to breathe, my O2 was dropping into the 80’s, my eyes felt like they were being pierced through with needles from behind, and my hair was falling out. By Sunday evening, Day 5, I was on my way to Bronson ER. I got fluids and some anti nausea med for the dizziness and nausea. My O2 stabilized (92/93) They said there was nothing else they could do, THIS WAS COVID. So I went home and went back to bed. Over the next week my symptoms didn’t change much except that the worst of it began to cluster (painful, shallow breathing, temp spikes, my body went limp, couldn’t move). Day in/day out this was my life.

Coffee, my favorite blanket, crisp fall air, and a campfire are good for the soul.

There were a few days that I was able, with help, to make it down the stairs and outside to breathe the fresh air. Dan even made a campfire for me to drink coffee by and feel like a person again. My family sat on the other side of the fire and we could chat.

We have a camera system set up because of our special needs son. It has been my window to the family eating meals, celebrating two birthdays, and watching the kids do school.

Day 15 I was spiking fevers and the cough that had mostly subsided in week 2 came back bringing all sorts of stuff with it. The burning in my lungs was fierce, fatigue, difficulty breathing kept getting worse. I called the CoVid triage line on Day 19, November 1 (yeah, I waited too long). They got me into a CoVid Clinic right away. I got a zpack, steroids and an inhaler to treat my new lung infection. (seriously?)

My family had a worship night in our library just outside my bedroom. The presence of God was just the refreshing wind my spirit longed for.

At this point I want to state that I have always been a pretty healthy person. I had NONE of the pre existing conditions that would point to this severe of CoVid!

The coughing and mucus slowed as I got through the zpack but I found I needed to use the inhaler more and more. My breathing wasn’t getting better! I was averaging about 6 episodes lasting 10-20 min each a day. November 6, Day 24, I had 12 episodes in 3 hours. Dan was scared. I was scared. I begged him not to take me to the hospital. I cried because it’s awful to be alone in a hospital room when I felt so scared. I knew though, that the episodes were getting closer together. So off to the ER we went. Dan was really hoping that they would let him in as he wheeled me up to registration. Nope. They immediately took me to a triage room where I began to have the worst episode yet. They moved me to a room. I could barely breathe and yet I was shallow-breathing fast. I felt like I was working hard to breathe but never feeling that I was getting enough air. In the thick of the commotion, they took my blood for tests… what happened next is foggy. My feet, legs and hands went numb and I couldn’t talk. Pain radiated through my body, mostly in my chest and lungs, which unfortunately, Morphine couldn’t touch. The Morphine did, however, slow my breathing so I could begin to talk with the doctor. I found that I was retaining Co2 and that accounts for the weird numbness in my limbs. I called Dan and put him on speaker phone so that he could “be with me”. I really needed him to hear the doctor and reassure me that I was going to be okay. CT scan was next, to check for blood clots in the lungs. No clots, but what they found were Ground Glass Opacities, scar tissue where CoVid had already left its imprint in both of my lungs. This is what the pain was. Doc said (again), “There’s nothing more that we can do… this is CoVid.” Then he added, “You’re young and otherwise heathy, so you should come through this okay.” … he said I was young! (Smile)

“The Spirit of Yahweh will rest upon him,
the Spirit of Extraordinary Wisdom,
the Spirit of Perfect Understanding
the Spirit of Wise Strategy,
the Spirit of Mighty Power,
the Spirit of Revelation,
and the Spirit of the Fear of Yahweh.” Isaiah 11:2 TPT

Trusting God through this hasn’t been easy. It’s an emerging skill for me…

Home again I went. I decided I needed a new approach, a new mindset. I was letting CoVid symptoms control me and bring fear to me. I needed to let God lead me to knowledge and wisdom. I needed to find out what was going on and what others were doing to lessen symptoms. I was connected with a friend from years ago who has had CoVid symptoms lingering since April. (7months!) This was an amazing blessing! She said what I have is called “Long CoVid” or “Long Haul CoVid”. She directed me to Facebook groups where people share their journeys and what worked for them. Joining this group showed me I’m not alone in my symptoms and that CoVid manifests in soooo many ways – different in every situation! Thousands who have had awful CoVid symptoms ranging from 1 – 8 months are sharing what works for them and encouraging others.

Jason and Michael were able to go back to school after the health department cleared them, the first week in November. Then… Day 22, November 4, two and a half days later, Jason’s principal called. They were going 100% remote. I was stunned! (insert tears here) Dan had been planning to finally go back to work, and get a much needed break from the difficult 24/7 Jason care. (One can only sing “Old McDonald has a Farm” so many times till your mind turns to mush.) After weeks of up every night with Jay, he was exhausted!

Today, Saturday, November 14, Day 32 I remain very weak, shaky, and in bed everyday. I’m still experiencing episodes everyday. My hair is still falling out and low grade fevers, painful fatigue, brain fog, ringing in my ears, swollen lymph nodes, and sore throat persists. I have started taking supplements for my immune system, heart, mitochondria, and pulmonary system. I’m doing what I learned.

Gratefulness

In the beginning it was difficult to be grateful. I was worried about the teens, Jason, and ESPECIALLY Dan (as he is STILL taking care of Jason). But about a week or 2 in, I started seeing the good that God was bringing our way. Things like this:

  • God loves me and is meeting our needs.
  • Dan & Jason (especially) didn’t get it.
  • The way the kids have blessed us.
  • Facetime with the grandkids and family.
  • Prayers of those who knew I was positive.
  • People who brought food.
  • My Pastor came to see me and prayed over me! (3 days without headaches)
  • Family that lets me rest and heal.
  • Encouraging texts from friends and family.
  • So much grace.
  • Friends sending me healing vitamins and fresh produce.
  • Our help for Jason (therapist and respite) have returned! Thank you, Jesus!!!

So why did I want to tell you all this?

  1. So you know my journey and if you’re a praying person, you can pray for us and anyone you know with CoVid.
  2. Because I have learned that there are so many who still think CoVid isn’t real. (Mind blown) One in twenty people who are getting CoVid, get it as serious and worse than me with symptoms persisting for months. If I knew in October what I know now, I would have been more careful even with my close friends. I want to encourage you to be careful during this holiday season. You may not realize that you are carrying it. One of our children lost taste for a day the same week I tested positive and had a headache for a couple days. Honestly, we brushed it off because the symptoms were basically nothing! He still rode mini bikes every day and showed no fatigue or any sick-like symptoms. (He never drinks enough water, just give him ibuprofen.) He tested positive. The only other member of the family besides me to test positive. (We believe he got it the same day as me.)

So my journey continues. I will update again. Looking forward to someday reentering life.

If you made it this far, wow! Thanks for taking the time to read. I’m so thankful for all the love that has been poured out. I’m thankful to my family for the way you serve me every day I’m in bed. I love you! I’m thankful to Dan for the unimaginable sacrifice you have made and still make for your family. We feel so loved! And I am thankful that I have a Savior who loves me.

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95 Days and Still Learning

January 17, 2021

Ninety-five days have passed since my first CoVid-19 symptom. It has been a while since I posted and so much has happened in the last several weeks that I thought it was time for an update. Thank you to those of you who have asked how I am doing. Some days are better than others, but nothing like I was before Covid. Other days have been rough, but not as bad as the first month of CoVid. Each day is unique as some symptoms have gotten better while new ones have emerged. Most days I am able to be on the couch in the living room. I’m able to sing “We Will Rock You” and “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” with Jason. Some days I am able to even do some house work, resting every few minutes. I never thought house work would bring me joy, but it’s been nice to get back to something that feels normal!

November and no snow on Michigan. Great for my lungs to be in the fresh air.

 Breathing has been much easier, only slightly labored during the episodes which have persisted (low-grade fever, extreme fatigue, and elevated, pounding heart rate – all lasting 5-10 minutes.)  These episodes have occurred 2-8 times a day in the last month. I still have lung pain when I breathe deeply.  Several new symptoms have been neurological in nature – memory loss (like the names of my kids and my address), dizziness, struggling with word-finding, and tremors all over causing the simplest of tasks to be difficult. I was referred to a neurologist who sent me for MRI’s of my brain and spinal cord, an EEG and a VER (optic nerve test). I’m still waiting on results and next steps. I have started a hyper-nourishing, vegan protocol which has been found to lessen and even eliminate neurological symptoms of autoimmune disease.  It’s my first time to do anything like this, but I feel deeply that feeding my body for healing is exactly what I need to be doing right now. 

Waiting at Bronson for my MRI

The week of Thanksgiving Dan ended up getting CoVid. This was the one thing that we didn’t want to happen! Our worst nightmare! How could we take care of Jason safely, keeping him CoVid-free with both of us sick and barely able to get out of bed? During those weeks when both of us were down, our children jumped in to help. The adults took shifts with Jason (nights & days) because we couldn’t have his normal caregivers in the home. They had to learn all his sign language as well as his behavioral plan, which is complication and intricate. They kept the business going and helped with cleaning. All of the kids have stepped up, helped, and encouraged each other. Even Christmas was completely different. The kids served us and each other all day! (proud mama moment)

Once the second quarantine was finished, Jason’s behavior techs and our faithful caregiver, Megan, all came back to work. So thankful to Lyndsay from BrainTrust and Megan who worked Christmas Eve and Lyndsay who worked Christmas Day!  They both blessed us so much.  Their love for Jason and our family blew me away! So far Jason has had four CoVid tests and every one has been negative! We are so grateful to God! 

Peter after a long night of Jason not sleeping.
Sacrificing their freedom, the adult kids chose to quarantine themselves in order to help us when both Dan and I could barely get out of bed. #thisislove
So thankful for my adult sons and their fabulous wives. They made this season so special even with Mom & Dad recovering.

We have been overwhelmed by the love and generosity of friends and family and even people we’ve never met. There have been meals provided (including Thanksgiving Dinner), Christmas gifts for our family, financial blessings, cards of encouragement, posts and texts to encourage us, and so many have prayed for us and have asked others to pray for us. My friend, Cindy Grimmer, made it her goal to make this the best Christmas we have ever had. She organized a community of loving people to bless us by giving in so many ways. We were humbled and astonished by the kindness and outpouring of love and generosity. Our Christmas was amazing and God has met every need and more. ♥️ I cannot adequately express how good God has been!

Beautiful tree and an abundance of gifts given by a community with generous hearts.

Ephesians 3:20-21 puts it perfectly, “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

To God be the glory!

I continue to learn so much from God through this whole experience. He’s shown me that He’s still there even when I don’t feel Him. He’s shown me what love a community of believers can bring. I’ve learned that there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for. This gratitude and His abundant grace has carried me through the most difficult times during CoVid. I’m still on the road to recovery, but I believe I’m headed in the right direction – following Jesus.

Joy

There can be joy even in the midst of sorrow. Some days joy is overshadowed by the pain, but if I look, it’s there. If I keep my heart open to it through a grateful heart, I will find beauty even in darkness.