“These were the worst weeks of my life ...” Diary of an American who died because of the coronavirus
Florida resident kept a detailed diary throughout her fight against coronavirus
PJ McClelland, a resident of the American city of Brandon, Florida, was only 37 years old when she was diagnosed with coronavirus infection. On the same day, she began to write a detailed diary on her blog. Here is what it says :
... Yesterday I was tested for the virus, because my neighbor got sick, and I have ALL the symptoms. In Hillsborough County, a verification code is required for verification. Testing is carried out only in Ray J (at our football stadium).
In the first tent, they give me a surgical mask and a coronavirus information leaflet, check my name and phone number to call with the results.
In the second tent, they told me ONLY to remove the mask from the nose. The lab technician sticks a cotton bud a good six inches into my mouth. Yes, this is really as bad as you currently imagine. And I am all! They will call in a few days with my results.
By the time I leave, there are already 300 cars in the parking lot. I worry that not all of them will be checked today ...
I have a positive result on COVID19. I have already contacted everyone who has contacted me and now also needs to be checked.
I'm getting worse every day. It feels like I have migraine, bronchitis and flu at the same time.
If you are sick, watch how fast your temperature rises. If it reaches or exceeds 102 ° (approximately 39 degrees Celsius - approx.ed) , go to the hospital! Please PLEASE keep social distance and #StayTheFuckHome !!!!
Do not worry about me. I am relatively young and healthy. I myself worry about the people I met. It pains me to think that I could infect them.
I was prescribed azithromycin. This is the only drug currently recommended by the Department of Health. The mood is good, I feel good at home.
The temperature rose to 102.2 (a little over 39 Celsius - approx.ed ). I called Brandon's hospital and asked if I should come. While waiting for half an hour on the phone, chest pain returned and shortness of breath appeared. The nurse told me to hang up and immediately call 911. When the ambulance arrived, the paramedics wrapped me in several blankets. They said that they would not provide any medical assistance in the car, but they would just deliver me to the hospital.
The hospital immediately isolated me. The temperature decreased, but the chest pain intensified noticeably. I got an ECG (normal result) and a chest x-ray (waiting for the result).
Everyone here is afraid of me, but I do not blame them for it. The doctor is friendly. But the nurse is not. She acts like I intentionally brought her a virus.
Everything is fine with me, except for the high temperature. Oxygen is low, but they don’t give it to me additionally.
30th of March
Okay, I lied. Because of severe chest pain, I was prescribed computed tomography. There has already been a line, I try to be patient. It’s also very cold for me.
I did CT with contrast. Oxygen has risen to 94%. The results of X-ray and CT came - everything is clean. I was taught to use an inhaler and sent home.
My case is the first confirmed infection in our area, and I REALLY worry. NOBODY from the medical staff did not have the proper protective equipment. They did not have N95 masks. On the door of my house three ads were immediately posted with the inscription: “Call. Do not come in". And my phone number.
I'm exhausted. I’m sleeping all the time. I alternate water and Gatorade (drink - approx.) Constantly, but I still feel dehydrated.
Mr. olovnaya hurts much stronger today. It is almost unbearable. I have some caffeine, sometimes it helps.
This week I was lucky to make an appointment with my psychologist. Last night I was freaking scared: the inability to breathe would scare anyone. The incompetence of the nursing staff at Brandon's hospital further increased my stress.
I really didn’t think they would let me out.
A few words said to me by the nurse and doctor last night:
Nurse. Where is your dropper? Me: I do not have it. Paramedic said that they would not be able to provide me with medical care. Nurse. Fine! Now I have to do it! Doctor: What exactly do you want us to do for you, ma'am? Me: I would like to stay alive.
I had rather severe chest pains and shortness of breath, so I called the hospital. The nurse I spoke to said that I should start using oxygen immediately. And she added that while I can speak normally, I do not need to come to the hospital.
Finally I managed to get some sleep, but not enough. I feel like I haven’t slept for a week, the feeling that I sniffed out a mountain of cocaine (I have no idea how it is).
Never in my life have I felt such attention to myself. I even cried a few times because of this. Maybe I will have to stay in quarantine for another 25 days, but I haven’t communicated so much with people for the past 10 plus years.
I want to say THANKS TO ALL HEALTH CAREERS AND ALL OTHER WORKERS !!!! I hope that you are all as safe as possible, and I wish you all love and light.
Sorry, but there will be no sun and roses. Cough and headache are worse. I'm damn exhausted, but can't sleep. I share this only because I think: people should know what “minor symptoms of a cold in a few days” mean . I have never felt so sick. I am writing this through tears ....
The voice is coming back. Hurrah! But the cough is terrible. Chest pain decreased, as did temperature. I promise that my next post will be more optimistic!
As soon as I recover and be safe, I will embrace all of you, bastards. I have parties with an overnight stay and with hugs. But the thought that I can’t touch people for at least another 25 days is frustrating.
The inhaler definitely brings me relief. For those who asked, I was not prescribed chloroquine.
I'm tired. She woke up at three in the morning, panting. I could not breathe. I had to take an inhaler and xanax, because I experienced a terrible panic attack. I called my mother, she reassured me. Gods, how I love her! Today was the worst day. Wheezing, shortness of breath and an almost constant cough.
Huge greetings to my brother Ronnie, who came to visit me and stayed in the backyard. WE WERE 6 meters apart ALL TIME !!! It was wonderful to see a native living person.
The hope that this will end in 14 days is long gone ... Dr. Fauci said that some people will be “seriously ill in a few weeks.” I am one of them ...
I have run out of all the medications that are needed. I called the doctor and asked if they could give me something to alleviate the symptoms. I was told that they save chloroquine for "really sick patients." But if I COME to them, then they could prescribe something else. This is an hour and a half ride in one direction, and I barely have enough strength to climb the stairs to the bedroom.
The doctor said that I should be on oxygen 24/7 until I have other symptoms. He also said that, apparently, I would be very ill for several weeks (I suspected that, but still ...).
I again asked for a chloroquine recipe, as it was approved by the FDA today. He said that they give it only to patients in the intensive care unit, for which, essentially, all hope is lost. Although I would really like to receive this medicine, I’m still very, very grateful that I am not in this position.
The last thing we discussed was this: if the situation continues to deteriorate, do I want to be put on a ventilator (this is damn scary). I asked if they save or just prolong life. He said the odds are 50/50. I was always a strong-willed person and always trusted my health. I do not want to take any emergency measures. However, she chose ventilation of the lungs (hoping, of course, that this would not come to that!).
5th of April
I did not quit smoking completely and smoke up to ten cigarettes a day. Before I got sick, I smoked an average of about 40. I consider this a victory. I have no idea why I can’t fall asleep ...
I woke up panting from vomiting. I am awake and very exhausted.
Yesterday I saw on the news that from 100 to 250 thousand people would die in the United States if we did not keep social distance. I said this before, but I will say it again: # STAYTHEFUCKHOME !!!! I still see people on my friends list who don’t take it seriously. Listen, stupid bastards, do you want this? !!!
The doctor ordered Zofran for me at the pharmacy and they will deliver it to me tomorrow. It doesn't make me sick at all, but it only costs $ 0.82, so hell yes.
This afternoon I took a pretty decent nap. And she began to wheeze less. Thanks to the inhaler! The doctor told me to go to the hospital if it gets worse, but I will try to avoid it, if at all possible.
Sorry to end on a sad note, but the doctor spoke again about mechanical ventilation (which is unlikely, but possible). I decided that I would not use this device for more than two weeks. I have a will to live. It is VERY unlikely that I will need it, but a decision must be made right now.
Today there has been a serious turn for the worse. I wheeze, I have a cough and low oxygen. I called the doctor, he prescribed Levacvin, prednisone and a nebulizer with albuterol every six hours.
I’ll end up on a happy note: my cousin, whom I never met or even talked to, asked my friends to pray for me. I am an atheist, but the thought that almost a hundred people send me love and prayers made me smile.
Some ask what medications and doses I am taking. These medicines are for specific symptoms. I do not want to give advice that can ultimately be harmful or fatal.
My heart hurts for everyone who works now. We must not forget about the employees of the gas station - they are in the same danger as the employees of grocery stores, if not more.
If your children become bored, ask them to write thank-you cards to healthcare providers. This will be useful for both children and doctors.
Today was my worst day. If not for the nebulizer, I would return to the hospital.
Everyone I talked to is 100% healthy. My breathing recovered to 75% of my lung volume. Thanks to the old gods and new ones for my nebulizer!
Last night I had a nightmare. I will not go into details. I’ll just say that I fought for my life. I pray and do not believe that it was an accident. I'm afraid to fall asleep again.
The cough is relentless. Still looking for a heart rate monitor.
About 11 pm I received a cough medicine for $ 27, but I would gladly have paid a lot more! This thing is divine nectar from the Goddess of Breath.
I have 3 friends who have identified positive tests. I send them rays of love and light. If anyone gets a positive result, bring your ass to my house! You can come to relax in my patio with me. The Department of Health assured me that it was safe; my patio was large enough to socially distance itself. This is the only help I can offer right now. Please feel free to contact.
The therapist calls me every day. He's great!
I coughed nonstop. Literally. I could not breathe. Almost at all. Just a sigh between coughs here and there. I have a constant panic attack. I lost my peripheral vision. I know that you will ask why the hell I did not call 911. I do not know if it was due to a lack of oxygen, fever, exhaustion or something else, but I was extremely confused / disoriented. I can’t explain exactly how terrible the test was. I just wanted to breathe, and I could not. It was, without a doubt, the scariest thing that ever happened to me.
The doctor said I should call 911 immediately if coughing and wheezing come back. He also said he was worried about pneumonia, so he would send me for a chest x-ray.
I have a lot to say and very little time. I slept only 45 minutes, I again had a nightmare. Absolutely exhausted and damn afraid.
Although the frequency of coughing has decreased, the pain from it is not like anything I have ever experienced. This makes sleeping almost impossible.
Remember me, I love you all. However, nothing can replace a hug for me; you know how much I love hugs. It's been 24 days since I had physical contact with anyone. And now, under the new direction of the health department, quarantine will last another 7-9 weeks. I will not be able to leave the house, except for only a trip to the doctor or hospital, otherwise I will face arrest without bail. But apart from the CVS pharmacy that serves patients with COVID19, I didn't go anywhere.
The doctor prescribed me cough medicine with codeine! I just took the first dose and really hope to get some relief (and sleep!). He also found a laboratory that exclusively serves patients and patients suspected of being infected. If I don’t have a sharp improvement by Thursday, he wants me to do a chest x-ray and get a blood test to check for pneumonia. I seem to be getting high quality medical care.
Need A Break and Catz Italiano not only brought me all kinds of goodies, but also sat (very safe, 22 feet and masked) with me on the back porch for an hour and a half. I knew that I needed to see people, but I didn’t even realize how much it was needed ... In fact, I feel calm for the first time since it all started. I am almost happy. I will never be able to thank any of you for the love that you showed to me at this darkest time for me.
A cough medicine with codeine really helped. This is a huge victory. I still have a long way to go, but I think everything will be all right. Tomorrow I am going to donate blood and take another X-ray. I will report the results as soon as I receive them.
April 9 (day 21 of illness)
I can say with confidence that these were the longest and worst three weeks of my life. I have to survive another 1-3 weeks. Then another 6 weeks of quarantine. I know that I have already said this, but it is worth repeating: I am one of the lucky ones. I still do not claim that I came out of the forest because I saw too many cases when people recovered in the morning and died the next night ...
I THINK about the energy that will be needed to take a shower and go to the pharmacy. I’m sure that I’ll sleep well tonight. Lol
I love you all!
This is the last post by PJ. She died two days after leaving this record.