Thinking about a topic for tonight’s post I stumbled upon a great idea: How about ME? ;) I’ve been reading a lot of posts and tweets about what COVID-19 is like. Suffering from it, that is. And to tell the truth, it sounds a lot like what I go through every day with sarcoidosis, on steroids. (That there be an inside joke. Sarcoidosis. On steroids. Steroids being the main, if not the only treatment for it. Ha. Sigh. Ahem! Anyway…)
I am NOT making light of COVID-19, nor am I saying it’s no worse than sarcoidosis. It clearly is. I’m just saying that there are similarities. Here’s what I mean.
- Dry, hacking cough that you think will never stop: check.
- Think that dry, hacking cough might break your ribs: check.
- Leaves you exhausted and out of breath: check.
- Feeling so tired you realize that before you got this thing, you only thought you knew what tired was: check.
- Makes your throat, head, and chest ache: check.
- And if you had the energy and opportunity to go to a movie, the side-eye glances and stares you’d get would make you want the floor to open up and swallow you: check.* Heck, when I have a coughing fit (multiple times a day, or hour!), even my dawg gives me the side-eye and moves away from me. I don’t get no respect.
One glaring difference is that I do not normally need a ventilator in order to breathe. However, I have needed one in the past. I was intubated at the end of 2017 and that’s something I never want to go through again. Having a plastic tube rammed down your throat is NOT pleasant. They may not ram it down your throat but that’s what it felt like to me during the three weeks I had to endure it. And since I was not unconscious the way most people are during the ordeal, I can tell you that it is an AWFUL thing to go through. Without mind-altering drugs I could not have stood it. But those mind-altering drugs bring problems of their own. Did I mention the mind-altering part? Oy! Not pleasant at all!
But with COVID-19 even the ventilator is hardpressed to do the work for the lungs because of the way the disease affects the lungs. At least they were able to use the ventilator (and more steroids than I’d ever taken in my life!) to get my breathing stabilized.
And this is one reason I am, not terrified, but really, really, really being really, really, really careful about staying away from other people right now. You see, I take Prednisone to suppress my immune system. Yes, to suppress it. My immune system is attacking my own body. Sarcoidosis means inflammation to the point of causing necrosis in whatever part of the body it affects, and in my case that would be the lungs. So I’m susceptible of catching whatever goes around, and my lungs are already a mess and functioning not well at all.
So getting COVID-19 might just do me in. And that would seriously conflict with my plans. I do not have time to be flat on my back for months and that is what I think COVID-19 would do to me in the best case scenario. Worst case, I’d never get to finish that myriad of books in my to-be-read queue, and I’d never finish all those music projects half-finished in my tiny bedroom studio. And I’d never get my tiny bedroom studio moved into the back bedroom where it could resemble (somewhat) a real (bedroom) studio. And artroom. And library. And office.
And I haven’t even sampled a fraction of all the booze in my liquor cabinet! Horrors! What a waste!
There’s so much more I could write about the joys of sarcoidosis and I will at some point, but this was a post about the similarities between it and COVID-19. Maybe you can see a little of why some of us might not want to go overboard in our reaction to the Coronavirus, but we are a bit terrified of it, too. I’m not shaking in my boots, but I am being cautious. I do not want to end up in the hospital.
And since I’m in my sixties now, I also not want someone to slap a DNR on me or refuse me needed treatment because they think I’m not a worthwhile ROI. Those things might not happen, but the fear when you’re totally helpless and vulnerable in a hospital bed is REAL. And I don’t want to go through any of that again. But with sarcoidosis I probably will. With COVID-19—I don’t even want to think about it. (Then maybe I shouldn’t write stuff like this, huh? Yeah, well.)
Thanks for reading. I hope you’re enjoying your visit. Until next time, whoever and wherever you are, may the Lord bless you and keep you, and keep you safe and well! And may the peace of Christ be always with you. +JMJ+
*Well, if I were someone else, maybe. I tend to get annoyed and stare back. I can’t help it if I cough almost constantly. My portable oxygen machine makes noise, too. So get over it, people around me. [I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like to have people around me!] The alternative is for me to not breathe. Not much of an alternative from my point of view. Oh, and the people who ask me if I’m a smoker? Everything I think of in reply is something I shouldn’t say.
Images: Image of ventilator from Wikimedia Commons. It doesn’t look exactly like the one I endured but it’s close enough.
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