On the morning of July 7th, I woke up with a cough that caused great pain; its force almost made me pass out . I told Mike it was time for me to go to the hospital. I needed to wash my hair, so I got up to take a shower. It took an hour because I had to climb down the stairs. Each step seemed almost impossible. Poor Mike walked backwards to help me down.
Once we reached the hospital I felt great relief. UCI (University of California Irvine). I had never been to this hospital because our insurance is with St. Joseph. My son’s friend is a doctor who is head of the emergency room, so it was my decision to go there. From the triage to my release, the care that I received there was phenomenal, The personal touch of everyone caring and serving my medical needs can only be described as agape love.
I am a true, red-blooded American. I love my country and now have a deeper appreciation of how diverse we are. The team of nurses and doctors represented so many different countries but now they are Americans just like me. Thank God they answered their calling. So gentle was one of the nurses that she French braied my hair. Many of the staff shared their powerful testimony of their personal lives and I, of course, shared Jesus.
I do not particularly care for the word “placebo” or what it represents. My oxygen had dropped from 83 to 73; now it was time for the professionals to take over my care. Once I was settled in my room, I received a call from an infectious disease specialist informing me that I qualified for a study with a drug that had been around for more that 50 years. This trial drug was being used for patients like me to bring a speedy recovery from COVID. I wanted nothing to do with this, so I called Mike, and both he and Mikos, felt that I should be part of this research. I was too weak in mind to understand the ramifications, so I agreed.
The following morning the specialist walked into my room with papers for me to sign and a battery of questions. I was basically being interrogated; the questions went from, “Did you take a steroid before arriving?” I could not remember what day it was, let alone if I took this drug. Again the doctor retorted, “Why did you take that steroid?” I wanted to scream, “Please leave, and let me rest!” But I was subdued and remained in control. When I got a coughing attack, the doctor jumped back and almost melted into the wall. The coughs were always followed by tremors as I tried to get my breathing back to normal. Now the doctor wanted to know the cause of the tremors. “Why do you have tremors?” I wanted so badly to answer, “Because I have COVID, you idiot!” He took another look at his paperwork and he asked, “Do you still have lichen plantus?” “I answered yes, I’m currently suffering an oral outbreak.” “Maybe you’re not a candidate for this study after all, and besides you could just be receiving the placebo.” Without any explanation, I never saw this doctor again.
I was receiving so many calls and text messages, but I could not talk and texting was taking too much energy. I called my daughter Sonja and she quickly took care of this. Sonja proved to be the best advocate; she arranged for the doctors to FaceTime whenever they called. I asked her to call my friends in Nepal and Croatia for prayer. I had her contact the team friends who are powerful prayer warriors, my Bible study group, my sisters and brothers and all of my close friends. My sister Norma was in charge of calling our cousins. I had an army praying for me. One of my friends, Susanna, fasted and prayed. Cindy prayed for 24 hours. She said God gave her the grace to do this.
I knew that once Mike left the room I would not see him for several days. I knew how my family was feeling, and all I could do was cry. In between praying the Rosary, I begged God for healing. It was a living nightmare! Several times after my vitals were taken I felt Jesus touch my hand; sometimes it was a squeeze on my fingers or my hand. This experience removed all the fears, and I was able to rest. It was five days and four nights, before I was released.
It is I who say to you, Do not fear,
I will help you.
Though Mike had a five-day break as a caregiver, what he did for me when I got home was done with the love of Christ. I was too weak to climb the stairs, so I had to sleep downstairs. Sonja researched and found a recliner that would serve as my bed. Mike came down at odd hours to check on me. For the next week and a half, Mike made all of my meals, took my vitals and did all the cleaning. The only thing that was missing was Holy Communion.
I texted my friend Clair from St. Norbert and asked her if she could bring me Communion. Clair is still bringing me daily Communion. Mike was struggling trying to take my vitals; then I remembered that Clair is a nurse! Much to Mike’s relief, Clair was happy to take on this duty. On Sundays my neighbor Adele brings Communion to me along with a lot of goodies.
I suffer from an autoimmune disorder that developed after getting a flu shot. I endured hundreds of open, unsightly wounds for two-and-a-half years. The COVID-19 vaccine would trigger another outbreak. I can never put this in my body, but I am elated that Mike was vaccinated. You see, with me it’s personal not political.
Dear Lord, I thank You that I am on the road to recovery. I am forever grateful for all those who prayed for my healing. Please know that you can depend on me for prayer. I pray for all those who are in the midst of their battle. Lord, heal them and bring them closer to You. I pray for the thousands who lost their battle to this virus. Bring peace to their families. Lastly I thank God for my family, who bombarded heaven on my behalf: Mike, Mikos, Sonja, Jenny, Russ, Maddie, Wil, Lucas and Jacob. Family is the best medicine.