Tom Grider

First post: Mar 31, 2020 Latest post: Apr 10, 2020
Chronology of events: 
March 19 Tom developed a slight cough. No other symptoms. Good appetite.
March 20 - slight cough and low-grade fever. No other symptoms. Good appetite.
March 21 - slight cough. Fever a bit more elevated. No other symptoms. Good appetite. 
March 22 - no fever; no cough. No other symptoms.
March 23 - no cough. Fever 101.6. Still good appetite. No other symptoms.
March 24 - no cough. Good appetite. Fever hanging out around 101-102.2
March 25 - no cough. No complaints. Good appetite. Fever still hanging out between 101-102.4
March 26 - Complained of feeling very weak and didn't want to eat. Fever between 101.6-102.4. 

Throughout the week we treated the fever with Tylenol only as per current recommendations. He only had a slight cough the first few days, then nothing but a fever. And had a good appetite all the way through Thursday March 26. 
March 27 - First thing in the morning fever of 100.4 and still no appetite and feeling weak. 

Recommendations from his doctor's office throughout the week was to keep him home and keep giving plenty of fluids. Do not go to ER unless he became very short of breath and/or appeared to be in respiratory distress. 
I have never been very good at following orders when my gut is telling me otherwise. I took him to the ER Friday morning based on other medical advice (not from his doctor), they immediately discovered his oxygen was low and started him on oxygen right away. They gave him the covid test. They also did a chest Xray which appeared to reflect what they had been seeing with individuals who are positive for COVID 19. 

His test results came back Monday, positive for the coronavirus.

Over and over we heard that the primary symptoms of Coronavirus are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Please do not think you have to have all those symptoms because, besides the initial very slight cough, he only had a fever and absolutely nothing else. And the medical advice was don't go to ER unless he has shortness of breath. We were even told don't go to ER unless he is in such respiratory distress that he can't complete a sentence without having to take a breath. My thought is he would not have survived if we had waited that long. 

They started him on the regular oxygen that you see all the time, then quickly progressed to a non rebreather mask (NRB) (you can google it if for more info). The medical team discussed with us his chances of survival if he went on the ventilator. We were told that due to certain risk factors, his chances of survival on the ventilator were less than 30%. Those risk factors are 1) his age, 2) a high BMI, 3) diabetes, 4) sleep apnea (or any lung disease at all, such as asthma or COPD). We all decided that he NOT be put on a ventilator as we believed he had a better chance of recovery without it. When his daughter Yvette shared information with his medical team about the success they had seen at her facility with patients using the Airvo oxygen delivery system, he was immediately switched from the NRB to the Airvo (on Monday). 

His test results came in on Monday, positive for COVID 19. Since his results were positive he was eligible to receive the malaria drug you've probably heard about which has been showing good results for many people. As of Monday evening his condition has showed gradual, baby steps of improvement, and today (Wednesday April 1) has been the most positive day of all.  

I share all of this so that you all will know the symptoms may show up different for different individuals, and if you know something just doesn't seem right at all, try your best to get evaluated. In Tom's case, I knew having a fever for a week with no other symptoms, then suddenly becoming very weak was just not right and I'm so glad we did not sit around and wait on him to go into acute respiratory distress before going to ER.

Maybe this info will help someone. Please be safe and take care of yourselves and your loved ones.

Love, Mary