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COVID in the House


Rower Michelle

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Well I suppose it was just a matter of time before this happened, Tim just tested positive for COVID.  Probably work exposure. Yesterday he felt like he was coming down with something and this morning the tell tale sign of not being able to smell coffee popped up.  I had an at home test kit, which in the process of trying to activate we learned the test kit had been recalled.  So we went to the Minute Clinic and got the news.  
 

I called my oncologist and they are setting me up for a COVID test on Monday.  Meanwhile while the KU team is deciding on whether or not to start monoclonal antibodies his doctor just called in a bunch of prescriptions.  Tim was vaccinated and this is considered a breakthrough case. 
 

I had the booster In October and hope all goes well so in the meantime any prayers good wishes and juju is appreciated. 
 

Michelle

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Michelle,

Sorry to hear this news.  But you do have the booster and are otherwise healthy so you continue to take care of yourself.  In the meantime you're already on my prayer list, but I'll throw a few extras out daily for you.  Please keep us updated.  I can tell you that when my son had Covid he was home almost two weeks with it (early in the pandemic) before his wife called me and I got her to take him to the ER.  He was positive and she and my grandson were negative.  I'm praying for the same for you.  

Lou

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Hey there,  thank you for asking.  Initially I was very concerned about Tim’s rapid increase of symptoms but within five hours of starting the (albeit) controversial Ivermectin protocol, he felt absolutely fine.  It was so weird.  He still has no sense of taste or smell.  We’re told that could take weeks to come back. 
 

Thus far, I feel fine.  I have a rapid COVID home test kit in hand and I’m scheduled to go to the hospital for a Covid test on Monday afternoon.  It’s a little nerve wracking waiting to see how this plays out.  However I suppose that’s something we are all used to (sort of). 
 

Tim got a call from his co-worker at UPS, evidently there’s an outbreak there from the seasonal help. 

I’m told to be on the lookout for symptoms for the next 21 days.   Wasn’t exactly how I was planning the holiday but at least I feel fine right now. 
 

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Michelle,

I've seen a few doctors talk about Ivermectin and frankly (like many other drugs) while they aren't quite sure why it inhibits viral replication it does seem to do the job cheaply and with no (yet) notable side-effects. I want all your tests negative and if not that then your symptoms mild, easily controlled and a quick and painless recovery.  

Lou

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Good morning friends, Quick update: the weekend was uneventful.  Hubby doing well other than not having any sense of taste or smell.  We’ve already started the “smell” training with coffee and essential oils.  I don’t see the point in waiting- we all know waiting gets us nowhere fast.  
I have my test this afternoon and continue to feel fine. Yesterday was gorgeous, I got out for a five mile trike ride.  
 

Tim has one more day of Ivermectin which has had no side effects.   He’s got a few more days of Prednisone and I’ve gotta tell ya that while I’m extremely grateful for his good health-the steroids make him hungry and irritable.   I’m living with a real life Jack Burns- couldn’t been a lot worse so hopefully this will all be over with by Friday when the quarantine period ends.  
 

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Good news all around Michelle.  I've asked my doctor about Ivermectin (in the event I get covid) and she said that the medical group she works for has a standard protocol of Monoclonal Antibody treatment, but she said she wouldn't rule out the Ivermectin as being good in slowing down the viral progress.  I guess that's her way of avoiding controversy.  Regardless, I'm so glad to hear that your hubby is feeling better and that you are fine.  Even better than an effective treatment is not needing the treatment at all.

Lou

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Thank you for posting about this, Michelle. I'm glad things are working out. Selfishly, it is also good to know we can face Covid and get through it. Fingers crossed that things continue in a positive direction. Also, who knew Ivermectin was a real treatment? Not me. 

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Hi All,

My results posted to MyChart this morning as “not detected” which I think is medical speak for negative (but we don’t want you running around with the victory lap until day 14).   I have a routine appointment on Friday with the onc so I will ask if I need to be retested.  
I have no idea how I didn’t get this— could be a confluence of a number of things.  
 

Hubby continues to do well, no taste or smell yet so we hope that comes back in the next few weeks. 
 

In some ways this experience was more stressful than scans- at least I know the process and my oncologist is on the ball.  Having the PCP not be responsive is bitterly disappointing especially because we moved to KU Internal Medicine at the beginning of the pandemic.  We thought the care would be better at a major academic center, maybe that’s true but if we had waited another hour before starting this COVID cocktail the next trip would have been to the local ER.  

Carry on.   

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I'm glad that it is working out so far.  I remember when my wife got covid and my daughter and I had to stay with her in a small room in the ED for 10 hours because she had become so delusional.  Needless to say I went through the next two weeks getting tested and, as you said, the waiting and testing can feel like it is never going to end.  Hang in there and  just keep your distance.  As I've gone through this LC journey I drop anybody that isn't reliable.  I'm not telling you to, but perhaps a PCP that is more responsive may be a good idea to consider.

Lou

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Definitely agree with you Lou!   We’ve lived in several states and for some reason the PCP community here is terrible.  We’re on our fifth one in 11 years.   That’s before our life got so  medically complicated.   Here’s to the search for number 6! 

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Michelle 

Happy to here your Tim is doing better. Same thing happened to us , wife tested positive about a year ago and I tested negative. Hard to understand how this nasty virus picks and chooses

 

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Needless to say this whole experience has been super stressful, even with Tim on the mend, there’s major barriers to return to work- he must produce a negative test in order to return.  KU says that’s not what the CDC guidelines indicate and it’s possible to test positive for the next 90 days.  His doctor has written a letter so we’ll see if that will work. 
 

Next challenge is actually finding testing appointments.  There are no at home test kits to be found-anywhere and all the testing sites are booked.  I did find an appointment at the County Health Department this morning but we won’t have results until Monday or Tuesday. 
 

I had two doctors appointments this week myself, one for palliative care to address fatigue and the other with my oncologist for routine labs.  Good news there the labs look good and we’re on track for scans in early February.  
 

I just finished organizing all my food to take the Alectinib and now I know I’m completely overwhelmed.  I totally spaced this morning and completely forgot to take my medicine.   I’m not freaked about it because the half life is 30+ hours but I am troubled that I let myself get to this point.  
 

I don’t think want to sound like I’m complaining or that I’m ungrateful in any way however Tim has been terrible patient— he’s been really difficult to deal with, I’m sure prednisone doesn’t help the Dr Jekyll/ Mr Hyde syndrome.  

The quarantine caused us to scramble like crazy, canceling contractors for repairs/remodel as well as all the other stuff 

I will be glad to put this chapter behind and now I will go into super diligent mode because it’s been about a year since I missed a dose of therapy.  All the usual fail safes didn’t work.   Thanks hearing me vent this out….

Michelle 

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Michelle,

You are going through a super stressful situation.  Worried about your husband...also about it spreading to the family and then thinking about returning to normal and on top of all that pile you can't even get testing as their calendars all seem to be full.  Holy Mackerel!!! If that was me I'd be on a rooftop with a peashooter shooting people that pass by in the butt (with peas of course)... But all kidding aside, take a deep breath.  Do what you need to get your meds back on track and give yourself some grace.  You were caring for and about others, you weren't some neglectful person.  BTW, we men are terrible patients and I don't know why.  I think it's something we're born with, but science has yet to find a confirmed cause.    

This chapter will be behind you soon, so please practice some self-care (is that trite?).  Everything you are experiencing can be normal in situations like this.  I won't share what happened when my wife had Covid, but let's just say I'm not the most patient person when it comes to bureaucracy and I had to make some amends after the ER situation... and compared to me you are a Ghandi.  :)   Hang in there my Lungevity Sister.  You're doing fine and it will work out.

Lou

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Michelle, you know that missing one dose will not be harmful. People on targeted therapy often have to stop temporarily for one reason or another (surgery, radiation, etc.). Don't beat yourself up, you've been going through a hellish situation. I don't think I could have done it by myself. Give yourself some grace and take some time to breathe. 

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Thank for for the words of encouragement and support!  I took it easy yesterday.  In reflecting upon the last week, I realized I manage a crisis well until I crash.  I recognized the crash coming, took a Xanax and then the next morning was a little spacey ergo missed targeted therapy.      I did manage to get my "fun appointments" rescheduled for hair, color and message.  

Tim's covid test came back positive again yesterday so he will have to be retested. I will have to start looking on Monday for appointments again.  Monday begins the administrative pile of work--- I've got missing prescriptions that CVS has "shortages" of and need to help Tim with UPS HR paperwork.  (I have a masters degree and have trouble making sense of it!) 

The Teamsters Union has some very strange rules for part time employees: if you do not report to work for the week then there is no health insurance.  I'm not sure if any of my doctors appointments last week will actually be covered but at least it wasn't scans.....  

There is also a chance Tim could get fired because he won't have enough hours worked to qualify for STD and has no sick time available to him.   This I have a hard time imagining because UPS has an impossible time hiring people in the first place.  As it is, the seasonal help is bused in from the prisons and that's where the covid came from in the first place.   

With a little breathing room next week and no doctor's appointments we should be able to tackle some of this....   What you really don't hear about much in the news is the complications that occur in your life post covid.  It takes a while to get things back on track....  

 

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Michelle,

Good to hear that you are getting things back in order (as much as you can right now).  Especially those things that are self-care oriented.  At this point UPS would be dumb to fire anyone sick with Covid.  Especially since, when that person returns their chance of reinfection is much lower than un-vaxxed and vaxxed folks.  Please check on the insurance though.  It seems odd that someone would be penalized for sick time.  And you're correct, people rarely talk about what it takes to get your family back to normal after Covid or any serious illness for that matter.  It's true that Tim can continue to test positive until his body has fully cleared the virus, but hopefully that won't be too long.

Lou

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I’m just rooting for everything in your life to normalize. You have more than enough mayhem with lung cancer. 

Praying Tim gets well—tomorrow. But, in any case, you know my closing…

Stay the course. 

Tom
 

 

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Michelle - 

That's more than enough to cause you to crash. I'll say what you already know: prioritize your care. Your husband will continue to improve (unless you smother him because he's a bad patient) but you know it doesn't take much to a lung cancer patient down. Between COVID and appointments and the holidays, it is easy to get overwhelmed and run down. Sending healing thoughts - 

 

P.S. I know about husband-patients. Mine complained that I "brought the wrong car" when I picked him at the hospital following emergency surgery. Ugh.

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