I stood upstairs scrambling to find clothes as my children panicked. I didn’t realize until after the fact, that my husband was scared he would die in front of our children. That’s what he told me.
He was grabbing his chest and struggling to breathe on the small, brown chair in our downstairs living room as I rushed to compose myself and get what we needed to head to the emergency room. He was in a lot of pain.
I don’t think the severity of it all really hit me until I was wheeling my husband into the hospital and then had to leave. Because hospitals are trying to minimize exposure to COVID-19, I couldn’t go into the ER with him. I waited in my car, hoping he would be wheeled out and not admitted for a long stay. I feared he would be left in isolation and I would never see him again. I had to picture my life without my loving husband, raising our children alone. I felt the full weight of the pandemic we are all in and I understood the importance of social distancing. I understood why schools were closed. But understanding didn’t make me feel better. My faith and prayers carried me through the long wait and long recovery. My husband battled a fever and pneumonia for the following two weeks.
During this time, a family friend connected me to a local doctor who offered me comfort and reassurance that I could help him recover at home. My husband doesn’t think he would have received the same level of care at the hospital. This call made a huge difference for my family.
The hospital didn’t test him for COVID-19 because of the shortage of tests and his general good health and young age, but they assumed he had it. He had fluid in his lungs. When they sent him home, I received a paper with minimal information and my husband was too ill to give me much more.
I’m not writing this to make anyone scared, but I do hope my story sheds a light on the seriousness of COVID-19. I hope my story brings us all a little closer and reminds us that even at a distance, we have to come together as a community.
I have talked to hundreds of families over the past few weeks through the calls we are making at Stand for Children Indiana. I remembered the call I received from the doctor during this time and wanted to offer the same comfort and support. As I listened, I heard many families express worry about someone they love catching the novel coronavirus. Others had lost their jobs and were struggling to provide basic needs like food. Many families I have spoken with are anxious about educating their children at home and are worried for their academic well-being. If you’re worried about food, academic support or health and wellness, please visit our COVID-19 resource page. I hope this information helps you through this extremely difficult time.