Patient or Family Member

Alone and afraid

From Oshawa, ON

Wed Apr 28 2021


My story starts December 2019. Joe is 83 year old man who I share house with along with my son . I am on disability and cannot afford my own house so we are forced to share which isn’t easy as my son has autism and ptsd . Anyway joe enjoys getting out and going on trips with his friend Len they are more like brothers than friends . Every year joe and Len go Black Friday shopping in the states and are usually gone a few days . Everything seemed ok they did their shopping and came home . Exactly one week after getting home I had to call ambulance for joe because he couldn’t breathe. Hospital said his heart rate was irregular he had slight fever and oxygen was low . They sent him home saying possible copd . A few days later I started not feeling well started with sore throat and some tightness in my lungs something didn’t feel right . I saw my doctor but he couldn’t find anything wrong at the time said I was probably just starting to come down with something and to come back if I got worse . Over the next week breathing got harder had low fever congestion felt like I was getting chest infection. I went back to doctor where they did lung function test and mine was at 60% doctor prescribed inhalers which seemed to help a little . Then it all changed I woke on December 26 at three in the morning unable to breathe. I thought at first it was asthma attack but inhalers didn’t help at this point joe is still sick now I can’t breathe and my son is saying his head feels like it’s going to explode . I call ambulance and after tests they aren’t sure what’s causing our issues. They treat my son for migraines and give me antibiotics and send us home . I get much worse and basically don’t remember much about the next few days as I’m pretty much out of it . If I lay down I stop breathing so I sit up in chair to sleep. I have no energy lose smell taste and hearing have vertigo vision changes . It feels like my throat has been slit and I’m breathing through a tube that has been filled with jello . All my energy is put into breathe in breathe out if my focus is diverted at all I stop breathing it’s terrifying. I can’t even form words because I have no air . I keep going to doctors who of course have no idea what’s happening to us . All of my sons organs become inflamed they even think he’s having an appendicitis at one point which was impossible as he’d already had it removed. For over a month I didn’t know if I’d live or die . I called family and was dismissed made fun of for thinking I was going to die . I called adult protective services to take of my son should something happen to me . I slowly started getting better but because they didn’t know what was causing my lung issues best guess was severe asthma I was still afraid that I’d never get better. By then people started talking about covid and I felt relief because I finally knew what we had had . Joe and my son recovered quickly but I didn’t I was left with inflammation fatigue hearing issues etc that would flare up. Caring for my son and joe was very difficult I couldn’t cook or clean the way I used too . IThen in December of 2020 one year after my story began we got covid again . Joe and Len went shopping even though I didn’t want him too when they got back they needed help and I was having flare up at time so my son helped bring stuff in . He came in very upset said that he was never helping again because when he went to get stuff from car Len had come up behind and was breathing on him . With my sons autism he does not like people close to him and with covid it’s even worse . Joe and Len thought nothing of this and thought we were over reacting. This was December 24th December 28 my son starts not feeling well complaining of chest pains which I think is just anxiety. Then joe starts saying he things he has allergies December 29 we get tested because we are all now starting to get symptoms it comes back negative so I assume flare up or something else but then joe tells me Len called and says he’s really sick can’t breathe and basically has all covid symptoms two days later he is found dead from covid . We at this point know we have covid again have lost smell and taste have fever and short of breathe . I call ambulance and at hospital they find us positive for covid . They send us home and say to come back if things get worse . My son has covid much worse second time he is more like I was first time and is terrified he’s going to die . I call ambulance again this time they are rude don’t even want to take us because we have covid . Once at hospital they don’t let us inside tell us we have covid there is no help or treatment to go home . Tell us to take taxi because I have no ride or help . For three weeks we suffered no knowing if we’d make it with no help from anyone again. It’s now been four months since we had covid twice and We still have fatigue headaches, phantom smells, irregular heart rate short of breathe etc. Once covid gets you it doesn’t let go

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