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My COVID Story

Updated: Sep 14, 2022

Two weeks ago, I was driving into work on September 1st and listening to a song by CeCe Winans called “The Goodness of God.”


As I was listening to this song I had an overwhelming sense of gratitude. While I believe that gratitude is essential to living a fulfilled life, I had a pretty good reason for my gratitude on that morning. On September 1st of 2021 I was released from the hospital after nearly dying from Covid. I wrote my Covid story last December, but I’ve only shared it with a few close friends. I am sharing it with you today. It’s a five-minute read if you'd like to read it. I hope that it encourages you. See below:


I’ve had a number of people ask me to share what happened in August when Covid came close to taking my life, so I’m sharing my story with those of you who cared for us and prayed for me when my health was in question. I don’t presume that anyone needs or wants to hear my story, and my experience doesn’t approach the heartache of those who have dealt with debilitating illness for years. So please don’t assume that I think my story matters, I’m simply choosing to share it with those who may want to hear it.


On August 10th my son Reese and I were working out in the basement as had been part of our weekly routine. About twenty minutes into my post-workout rest, I experienced intense body chills that overwhelmed my body. I had never experienced anything like it, so I went straight to bed, wrapped myself in a blanket and assumed that I was dealing with a fever.


The first couple of days of sickness were pretty minor. I had a low-grade fever, but I was able to function and work from home. When I tested a few days later, the results confirmed that I had COVID. My symptoms were pretty manageable at that time, and I was frustrated over the fact that my work schedule was being impacted.


By the 16th of the month my symptoms got a lot worse and Marianne convinced me to go to the hospital. I checked into the Immediate Care Facility at Northwestern Hospital in Huntley and they made me wait over two hours before they took me in. I was struggling to sit up in the chair in the waiting room, so I went back to my car to lie in the driver’s seat and waited for them to call.


By the time the Immediate Care facility took me in, my fever was over 104 degrees, I needed oxygen, and they told me they could not treat me. Not only could they not treat me, they told me I needed to check myself into their emergency room, but I could not walk through their hospital because I had COVID. They said I could call an ambulance to take me two blocks to the Emergency Room or I could walk the two blocks in their parking lot.


For some reason they were unwilling to put me in a wheelchair and walk me to their Emergency Room, but they were willing to let me walk with a 104-degree-fever and a lack of oxygen.


I walked the two blocks to the Emergency Room, but my fever was so high that I was delirious. Fortunately for me, one of my clients who works for Northwestern recognized me, recognized something was seriously wrong, and helped me get to the ER. In the Emergency Room they sat me within two feet of numerous other patients while I waited for the staff to see me. I could not walk through their hospital, but Northwestern was perfectly comfortable letting me sit within two feet of the other patients waiting to be treated.


Unfortunately, Northwestern’s Emergency Room was in no greater hurry to care for me than the Immediate Care facility. I waited another hour and a half and began to pass out in the waiting room. So I walked out of the waiting room and laid in the grass outside the hospital. When security came to find out what was wrong, the hospital finally took me in and administered an IV. When the IV bag was fully depleted, I was told to go home.


I really struggled with the Emergency Room doctor when I asked him about the protocol for COVID patients. He told me “There is no protocol,” gave me a Spirometer, told me to work on my breathing and suggested that I come back and check myself in again if I got worse.


I was terrified to go home that night because the prior two nights were filled with drenching night sweats, hallucinations and nightmares because of the fever and lack of oxygen. The doctor reiterated that there was no protocol for COVID, told my wife that he observed “something viral going on in his lungs” and it was time for me to leave.


I proceeded to get worse from there. The next few nights were no better than the prior two.

When my brother came to visit that Friday night, I could barely make it to the front porch. He tried to convince me to go back to the hospital. Given my first experience with Northwestern, there was no way I was doing that again. However, the next morning I needed to get up from the couch to go to the bathroom.


On the way back from the bathroom my oxygen level was so low that I passed out and fell to the kitchen floor. When Marianne noticed what had happened, she called 911 to have the paramedics take me to the hospital.


Marianne made sure that the paramedics took me to a different hospital, and because I came in via the paramedic, there was no wait for the hospital to admit me and begin treating me.


I was in the hospital for eleven days, and they treated me with Remdesivir, a steroid and a blood thinner. About half of those days were some of the darkest days of my life. I was really struggling with the thought that God would permit COVID to take my life, and I couldn’t understand why He would allow something like this to take the life of someone He claimed to love.


At the time, I was pretty fit for a 53-year-old guy, and two weeks prior I was confident that my body could work through the virus with a few days of rest. And here I was in the hospital wondering if I would see my family again.


During those dark days, I was not taking calls from anyone other than Marianne and I was not responding to many of the texts. There was however, one person I did pick up the phone to speak with. Marty is a pastor and a friend of mine with a church in Buffalo, New York. For some reason I picked up the phone whenever Marty called, and he called in one of my darkest hours.


When I wasn’t sure if God was going to take my life or heal me, I shared with him my disappointment and confusion and cried with him on the phone. As always, Marty was super encouraging and incredibly compassionate in how he ministered to me.


I also received a link to a message from Collin Smith from another friend of mine who encouraged me to listen to it. The title of the message was “The Dark Night of The Soul” and it was about enduring during times of deep disappointment. What do you do when nothing make sense, and it seems like God is not there?


I don’t know that there was anything profound in that message other than the need to simply trust God when you can’t see what He is doing. From that message, I decided that I would praise God (to the extent that I was able at that time), and recognize that my life was in His hands; and I would seek to accept His will regardless of what He decided to do with my life.


From that moment on, I stopped being frustrated over feeling like I was a pawn, being tossed around by God, and I began seeking to be content in whatever circumstance that God chose to put me in. And my attitude began to shift. Earlier in my hospital stay I was super frustrated with the doctors and the nursing staff, and was not a good patient. From that moment on, learning to be content, I began to treat the hospital staff better, and began praising God regardless of what He decided to do with my health.


I don’t know how to explain what happened, but there was a shift when I stopped being frustrated with God over my circumstances and began seeking to be content in whatever circumstance He chose to have me in. The next time the doctor came in and said I couldn’t be released that day, there was still disappointment, but there was acceptance that this is what God wanted for me, and I needed to praise Him either way.


When the hospital released me on August 31st, they sent me home with oxygen and I weighed 30 pounds less than I weighed in July. My body looked like a hybrid between my former self and the body of a sedentary old man. While I was grateful to be alive, it was difficult to look in the mirror.


I remained on oxygen for nearly three weeks, but began walking the second week of September, trailing my oxygen in the cart behind me. I also set a personal goal to run a 5K by Thanksgiving. I reached my goal when I ran three miles the week before Thanksgiving. I use the term “ran” loosely, but I did get it done without stopping! Considering that I could not climb a set of stairs in early September, I’ll take the 11 minute per mile run and call it a win!


I am grateful that God chose to heal me and not take my life. I am grateful for Marianne who fought for me every day when I was in the hospital. I am grateful for my sons Reagan and Reese. And I am grateful to simply sleep in my own bed at night and have food on the table each day. I could go on and on about the things for which I am grateful, as I have many things to be grateful for…


If I were to contract the virus again, I would try to get the antibodies as soon as possible. I would also try to find a doctor who is not part of the AMA, one who follow the Hippocratic Oath to “First, do no harm.”


Thank you to everyone who prayed for me and Marianne. Thank you to everyone who sent a card or a care package. And thank you to the families who brought over a meal when I was released from the hospital.


We tangibly saw God’s faithfulness in the midst of our trial, and you were a part of that.


Thank you for caring for us,


Jim

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1件のコメント


Guillermo Last
Guillermo Last
2022年9月13日

You are not alone....God Bless You.

いいね!
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