COVID-19, a Love Story…
Today is Monday, May 25, 2020. It is the first 24 hours in weeks when I have no fever, headache, vomiting, sweats, shakes, extreme fatigue, trouble breathing, and overwhelming pain...just to share some highlights of my recent experience with COVID-19. I vow never ever again take for granted opening my eyes from sleep, moving my limbs, and being able to take a breath.
And I would like to thank all the amazing people in my world who have been there helping fight this relentless virus. Especially my wife, Patty. We have been together for 30 years and our love and devotion to each other has shown in all aspects of our lives. We have faced challenges most would find insurmountable, always pulling together to overcome adversity. We’ve built an amazing life together. I always knew that if I was ever threatened, my amazing, strong, tough, bold love would battle even the most challenging foe!
It broke my heart watching such a virile woman bow to this virus.
Patty’s body went down first. When we were tested and our results came back COVID-19 positive, we were told, from our symptoms, we’d have mild cases. All we could do was try and keep each other as comfortable as possible and treat the symptoms with over-the-counter pain, cold, and flu medicine while staying hydrated and nourished. Easier said than done.
It took ALL I had to help my wife through this invisible, potentially deadly virus. Some days, love and compassion were all that helped me put one foot in front of the other. Our doctors advised us to stay out of the hospital if at all possible and to keep fighting. However, there were still a few times we came close to dialing 911.
Then, a week later, I went down. All I could do was watch helplessly as Patty struggled to take each breath. This virus is relentless. It feels like it rips you open, turns you inside out, and then tries to squeeze the life out of you. And they called this a mild-moderate case! Yes, it sounds very dramatic, but it was extremely frightening. People need to share the anguish and suffering they went through to help others understand how devastating this illness is.
Hearing the one you love gasping in pain while trying to get a breath is harrowing.
Then, amazingly, Patty tapped an even deeper level of strength not only to continue fighting for herself but to do so while caring for me. The only way I knew how to thank and honor her was to also try and find the strength to continue fighting. I believe our love for each other helped make our recovery possible.
With every breath and step I take to get stronger and reclaim my life again, I will never again take for granted my wife, family, loved ones, and community.
Originally, I wrote this as a love letter to my wife. I wanted to try and express my gratitude and appreciation. However, here and now, I want to say you can help fight COVID-19. You are not helpless. The greatest scientists and doctors in the world tell us COVID-19 is a real, devastating, incapacitating, and sometimes deadly virus. They recommend we adhere to a few safety precautions such as social distancing, hand washing, and wearing face masks to help keep ourselves and the world safer.
There are not yet any vaccines or medications that can prevent or cure this virus. We hope that by sharing our experience with others we can create awareness about the effects COVID-19 has on victims with mild-moderate cases. Also, it never hurts to occasionally be reminded how far a little compassion, integrity, honesty, and human decency go. We advocate for strong, intelligent leadership to focus our attention and better utilize our existing resources to defeat our common enemy.
Each of own personal constitutions, support systems, and tons of love and luck are what is making a difference in surviving COVID-19. So, please remember our story when putting on the mask, washing your hands again, or social distancing start to become a nuisance.
We cannot afford to become complacent or naïve; too many lives depend on us. We will only survive by taking turns breathing for each other when necessary and believing.
And this is still a love letter to my wife…
Carole Ramos is a local resident and CAMP Rehoboth member, who wants readers to know both the danger of Covid-19 and the support it takes to survive it.