Aug 10, 2020 Latest post:
Aug 15, 2020
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place.
Our COVID-19 family illness began on July 18,2020.
Our son Matthew, age 17 3/4, received notification that he had been inadvertently exposed to Covid.
Laura immediately contacted her work and stopped doing direct patient care. We all went into complete quarantine. Wesley and Laura were fortunate to be able to work from home.
On July 19, Matthew developed classic symptoms. He knew how serious this could be for his dad. He isolated himself in his bedroom and did not leave his room for nine and a half days, other than a trip to our PCP for testing on July 20. He was determined to protect Wesley. His illness was moderate. He finished out his three full credit summer school classes from his bedroom. On the day of his Spanish II final exam, he was so tired he forgot he even had a test. His teacher contacted him, he rolled over in bed and took the exam on his laptop, and then immediately went back to sleep. By the time his covid test result returned positive on day 10, he was fully recovered and out of quarantine.
Laura’s symptoms started on July 20. Mild at first, then escalating to moderate. Her workplace made special arrangements and thoughtful colleagues covered her scheduled shifts at hospice house. She continued to do call from home for the hospice nurses. Laura fully recovered on about August 1st, other than a remarkable loss of taste and smell.
Wesley’s mild symptoms started on about July 24th. We were suspicious that he had Covid on July 27 when he spiked a fever. The first seven days of illness were mild to moderate. He continued to work full-time from home, quick nap during his lunch hour, extra sleep at night. Daily low grade fevers, usually at night.
On August 2, Wesley’s condition changed enough that we purchased a portable 02 monitor but we were reassured that his sats were decent.
On August 4, with a fever of 102.4, Wesley finally agreed to stop working and rest. His symptoms gradually escalated with every possible covid symptom appearing.
We consulted frequently with Wesley’s MS specialist, and other providers involved in his care. We followed all outpatient treatment evidence based guidelines.
On August 8, Wesley spiked a temp of 102 and was clearly getting dehydrated. We went to an excellent free standing emergency department and had a comprehensive evaluation. He obviously had covid, but testing was done just for confirmation. Decent bloodwork and urine results. Chest X-ray showed viral pneumonia consistent with covid. IV fluids and IV nausea meds were given. The ED doctor was awesome and advised us to stay the course at home.
Later that night, as we got home from ED, Wesley’s temp rose to 103.7 and he dropped his 02 sat to 85%. We immediately called the ED back and we were told that home oxygen therapy was the next step.
By the grace of god, and some exceptional co-workers, we had home 02 in place within 45 minutes. Wesley felt great improvement, temp improved, and he gradually began to eat and drink. We monitored his vitals every 1-2 hours and consulted frequently with a virtual hospitalist physician and a wonderful nurse practitioner.
Sunday was a roller coaster. Wesley looked and felt decent from 6 am-11 am. He then developed a high fever that would not break despite maximal meds and ice packs. We spoke with multiple physicians. At 4 pm, Laura told Wesley that it was no longer safe for him to remain at home. He was exhausted and at risk of respiratory collapse. Laura’s close friend, a nurse manager at CVMC, spoke with Wesley and confirmed that he met criteria for hospital admission.
At that point, we travelled by car to CVMC on portable 02 for inpatient care.
Through all of this, we have had exceptional support from family, friends, neighbors, healthcare professionals, utter strangers, and our amazing work families at Doosan Portable Power and Carolina Caring.