Post ICU Update

Update 7/17

Last night was difficult. When I left the hospital in the afternoon, I had a final injection of pain medication and felt ok. I was able to have a good conversation with Sophia on the way home, who was able to pick me up from the ICU.

It was extremely difficult to walk from the car to my apartment and I was gasping for air by the time we got upstairs.

I have been so very fortunate to have amazing friends who have been helping me take care of things around the apartment while I had my surprise admittance to the hospital. The cats were excited to see me, and I learned quickly that I can’t bend down to feed them without becoming dizzy and lightheaded.

I can’t do a lot of things right now without gasping for air, actually.

As much as I wanted to sleep in my very missed bed, the doctors told me that I’ll have to sleep sitting up on my couch for the next month or two; partly because of the pneumonia in my lungs and partly due to the GI issues—at least until corrective surgery can be done.

I didn’t sleep very well, mainly because the medicine I have to take makes me feel extremely nauseous and gives a terrible headache. Again, I’m still thankful for having medication and insurance that at least covers most of the bill.

Since I first had Covid-19, my insurance has rejected to cover certain prescriptions. I wasn’t sure what I would owe when we went to pick up my medication. I was lucky that they were all covered without question. Unfortunately, a non-insured person would have paid over $1000.

When I was at the hospital, a few of the staff told me they’ve had patients unable to afford the medications after being hospitalized and they end up right back in the ER or ICU.

Even though I have a senior level position at one of the largest tech companies in world, I have struggled with the stress of making health and financial decisions ever since COVID19. From seeking treatment, going to the ER, taking a leave of absence, calling 911, and using the insurance coverage estimator to figure out if insurance will cover needed procedures and hospital stays–even when you’ve met your max OOP. I cannot even imagine what a single parent, elderly person, or under insured person would face.

And the worst thing about COVID19 isn’t the infection itself. It’s the damage this vascular virus wreaks on the whole body. It indiscriminately damages cells in your nervous, gastrointestinal, lymphatic, integumentary (skin) and God knows what else.

Doctors don’t know how long recovery will take after having this virus nor the extent of new, future issues that will arise as a result of having had covid. That’s the scariest part of surviving this deadly disease.

Again, I cannot thank everyone enough for the encouragement, the very real and tangible support that will help with the outstanding out of pocket expenses, the anticipated OOP expenses and, frankly, to temporarily fill in the gap where long term disability pay will decrease my income and ability to pay all essential expenses while I am recovering.

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