Diary of a sick black woman: Coronavirus 2

Well, that escalated quickly

It had been my intention to keep a running diary of how I felt and how things were going through my suspected Coronavirus scare but you know what they say about good intentions. This post will be about Sunday 22nd March. I am writing it in retrospect because there was no was I was able to write at the time but before I jump ahead I’ll continue.

After my restless night/morning, I had a few hours more sleep and then got up for the day. My temp had gone down again and I wasn’t achy anymore. I pottered around the house, did a few bits and then went to see my mum for Mothers’ Day. Wait! Wait! Wait! Before you lynch me you have to know the way I did it. My mother is 69 years old and living on her own. She has four children and I don’t think she has had a mothers day in 50 years where someone didn’t come and spend time with her. So, I gathered my Ferrero Rocher and the plants I had bought her for her garden and I got into my car and drove to her house. I set everything up in the doorway then rang the doorbell and rushed back to my car (Knock Down Ginger Flash-backs). Mum looked out the upstairs window first because she will not open the door, but she was real happy when she saw her gifts. I sat in my car a little down the drive while she stood at her door and we had a chat before I left her to it.

Not to be left out my daughter gave me the most amazing mothers day presents which included tokens for a candlelit dinner with your daughter, pedicure and a massage to name a few. It was all going okay. On the way back from mums I got a flat tire. I was annoyed and waited for the RAC to come. The car was parked just outside the house and so I was sitting in it waiting for them to come talking to my friend on the phone. I remember telling him that my aches were coming back again and I felt hot and I wanted to go in and check my temperature.

When the RAC guy came and I tried to get out to help him he looked at me like I was the start of the Zombie Apocalypse and said “You sit down, love. I’ll sort this out” It wasn’t sorted, however, and I went back into the house around 8:30 pm. This is where things get a bit wavey. I think I took my temp and it was high but I was really tired and I just wanted to lie down. I lay in bed but I remember my daughter irritating me. According to her she was taking my temperature and checking on me but I was just muttering that I wanted to sleep and to call the ambulance tomorrow.

My temperature had risen to 38.3 degrees. My daughter tried to call 111 but couldn’t get through and so followed the symptom checker online. It told her to call 999. She told them that I was really hot, what my temperature was and that I had been coughing since around 10 am. I didn’t even realise. They asked her to put the phone near my mouth so they could listen to my breathing. I still had no idea what was going on and was feebly trying to fight her off and get her to let me sleep. But the 999 operator could hear my lungs wheezing. An ambulance and a paramedic were dispatched.

The paramedic who came was Issac. In the ambulance there came Paul and Georgia. All of whom were dressed in protective clothing. There were so many people, I didn’t understand why they wouldn’t just let me sleep. They checked me out. My temp was near 40 degrees by that time and my heartbeat was irregular. My breaths per minutes were about 113 and my blood sugar was 9. Everything was going crazy way too fast. The paramedics believed that I was having a really bad reaction to the virus. They thought I was showing early signs of sepsis. Paul immediately put me on high flow oxygen and got me into the ambulance, Georgia, bless her, got me to Kings College Hospital in around 6 minutes flat with lights flashing and sirens blaring.

As we were entering the hospital Paul held my hand and said to me, “There are going to be a lot of people and a lot going on but they are all there for you. You’re safe” I’m glad he said that because it was really overwhelming. They were pulling off my clothes, hooking me to machines and putting in IV’s. I was still in and out of it but I knew I was in pain and I was scared. I felt so weak and vulnerable. My biggest fear was that I was going to forget to tell them something important. I needn’t have worried. My daughter had packed a bag with a few clothes for me (including two bras. If there’s one thing we don’t need during this time its a bra!) and had packed all the meds I regularly take. She had a list of all my medication as well as the Saxenda injection I have through private prescription. She even remembered to tell them about my Sickle Cell Trait was was more important than I knew.

As Sunday slipped into Monday I had two nurses come to my bay in resus and tell me that I was doing much better and was being moved to A&E Majors. I nodded and went back to sleep it was all I could do to keep my eyes open for those few seconds. I had no idea where this journey was going to end but it had escalated pretty fast. I was worried and exhausted and there was nothing more I could do but wait.

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