Hi, dear friends. A report on what's been going on since I last posted before Christmas:
Christmas Day my daughter lost her sense of smell. Boxing Day all the rest of us, bar my grandsons, manifested some symptoms of Covid infection. All small – a slight cough, and/or a bit of fatigue, or runny nose, loss of smell, bad taste.
That's the way it stayed for all – except for me and my married daughter. From Boxing Day till I was admitted to hospital on Wednesday 6th January I had an unrelenting headache and unrelenting nausea. And super-sensitivity of my face and head – even a sheet brushing against my face was jarringly painful. Lying down on the pillow was painful, but exhaustion demanded it.
Hard to emphasize enough the depth of the nausea – I managed maybe a small carton of custard a day. Tea, coffee, milk tasted bad and I could not face them. Later on even water was an effort.
We all tested positive by January 2nd. All doing well except me, but I thought I could stick it out as I was already eight days infected. But by Wednesday 6th morning I realized that if I didn't get to hospital I was going to die, struggling to get enough oxygen from my breathing. No ambulances available, so my daughter and Susan brought me to Craigavon Area Hospital A&E.
I did not notice, as I had not been looking in a mirror for a while, but Susan tells me my face was taking on a purple shade, and my lips blue.
The doctors put me on IV fluid immediately and listed me for admission to a Covid ward when one became available. The nausea remained, but the headache went within an hour. Blessed relief!
The consultant came to see me next day, when I was on the Covid ward. He had started me on heavy duty steroids, antibiotics and Remdesivir. Maybe something else too, but I can't remember.
I had been on 1200 Ibuprofen daily for my arthritis, and he said he just hates to hear any Covid patient being on anti-inflammatories. So I stopped them. Now that I'm home, I can review my needs with my GP.
I started treatment on 10ltrs of oxygen. That gradually reduced to 6, 4, 3, 2 and zero by the day before my release. Let me emphasize this for any who think the dangers from Covid-19 are exaggerated. The mortality figures are in the context of having everyone who needs hospitalization for Covid-19 getting it. But what if so many are so quickly infected that the hospitals are overrun? When you ring for an ambulance or even get driven to the A&E, they can't admit you or treat you?
I am certain that had I not got oxygen and IV fluids on that Wednesday morning, I would have lay on my couch as my oxygen levels steadily dropped – until my heart stopped with the struggle. That applies to everyone who had to be admitted to hospital for their Covid infection. No oxygen treatment available – they die.
My last two chest x-rays showed some Covid pneumonia remaining, but no increase. So the Dr was happy to release me last night, and I was delighted to be going home to my wife and daughter.
He told me it will take a few months to recover. And that it is important neither to overdo it, or do too little. The danger of Covid clots remains, so gentle exercise that keeps up blood circulation, and steadily improve lung function. Had my first stroll just now, about 50 metres. Lovely to breath the fresh air and feel the circulation working!
My married daughter was admitted to same hospital a couple of weeks ago, with suspected Covid clot in her leg. Scanning showed no clot, but small clusters of small clots in her lungs. Despite testing negative for Covid, they treated her with the same drugs as me. And she was released home last Monday – still testing negative. They suspect a Covid-caused inflamation in her leg, that was so light that it left only the effects, with no Covid remaining.
I had many thoughts as I lay or sat on my Covid bed over these two weeks. Maybe I will share some of them later. All I wish to say now is my deepest appreciation to All the staff – the nurses and doctors, catering and cleaning staff, physio’s, etc. They are working short-staffed and are over-worked, all day in fitted PPE that is warm even on the colder days and hot the rest of the time. Fatigue would normally tend to short tempers and disputes, but not one did I see in my fortnight among them. Working diligence 100%. And the care on top of that. Remarkable.
I give thanks to our heavenly Father for His provision through them, and pray for them that they and their families will be protected from infection. Quite a number have caught it and are recovered, but the dangers to their families means extra levels of precautions when they go home from shift.
Thank you to all who sent their good wishes and prayers by Messenger and to Susan directly.
Psalm107:1 Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
⏭Ian Major grew up a heathen Protestant, was converted at 17, and lives out his Evangelical faith as a Baptist. He was a pastor to prisoners from 1980, full-time from 1991 till 1998 when most of his flock were released by the Belfast Agreement. He is now 70 and glad of the free time to read and interact with many on social media.