In December, my wife decided to visit our three grandchildren in Minnesota. Joleen really missed them, and because of such our daughter sent a surprise airplane ticket. I elected to remain behind in Arizona and care for the pets.
I’ve never liked traveling during holidays. I come down with more crud at Christmas and New Year’s than any other time. Because of such, I become a hermit where visiting stores and public gatherings are concerned. Rarely do I venture into crowded places until the holidays are over.
Joleen’s trip was to be 5 days. On Thursday – December 12th, she took a shuttle van from Lake Havasu City to Las Vegas where the flight was to originate. ‘Simon the Pekingese’ and I saw her off at 5:00 that morning. He went through his usual separation anxiety cries.
For the next three days I stayed at the house working on several story compositions, including putzing around the garage. Joleen told me that things were going fine over there. She felt great even though it was much colder in Eden Prairie.
On Sunday -December 15th, I begrudgingly decided to make a Walmart run. There were basic food items needed and I wanted to pick them up before Joleen returned. She was set to fly back to Las Vegas on Monday evening.
When I got to Walmart their parking lot was full. Being so close to Christmas shoppers were out in force. Soon after walking through the door I heard and saw a man coughing mere feet in front of me. He made no attempt to cover his mouth.
I immediately hit the brakes and went a different direction. There were only a few groceries to get so I was not in the store long. Late Sunday evening, I began feeling sick . I was sweating and starting to cough. Medical places weren’t open at that time other than the hospital emergency room.
First thing Monday morning, on December 16th, I drove myself to Urgent Care. By then I was coughing badly and had a 101 temperature. I told the nurse practitioner I thought I was coming down with bronchitis. She diagnosed it as such and gave me a Z-Pak (azithromycin) plus some codeine cold medicine. The woman warned me not to drive while using the cough syrup. She didn’t know how bad I drove without it.
That afternoon, Simon and I headed to Vegas. Having taken a couple of the antibiotics beforehand plus downing water by the quart, I was starting to feel better. I knew I was on the road to recovery.
Picking Joleen up at the airport, she said that she was very tired. Thankfully we’d made plans to spend the night. Early Tuesday morning my wife woke up with a severe cough, aches and pains, plus feeling like she had an above normal temperature. After eating breakfast we started the two and a half hour drive home.
Once back in Havasu, on Friday the 20th, I took my wife to one of the local walk-in clinics. It’d been her idea to wait. I advised her before going in to to ask for a Z-Pak, as I thought she exhibited signs of bronchitis.
“Yes, Dr. Hankins.”, she sarcastically muttered.
A nurse practitioner on duty briefly examined her proclaiming it was a cold and nothing more. When Joleen returned to the car with a prescription for an inhaler to help her breathing I was a bit miffed.
By the following morning she was coughing relentlessly and was so tired she could hardly get out of bed. I told her she needed to go to the ER, but against my wishes she insisted on waiting a few days to see if things got better.
Because she hadn’t shown any improvement, on December 22nd, I took her to another walk-in clinic. A nurse practitioner on duty there diagnosed her with Influenza type-B flu, saying that the previous clinic had not properly tested her for such. This nurse told her to pick up some Tamaflu along with a bottle of cough syrup. Joleen asked this person about perhaps getting a Z-Pak, but the woman said it’d do no good. We stopped by Walgreen’s and grabbed her meds on the way home. I had a bad feeling at this time about how things were going.
A few days later, on the 26th, Joleen was so weak she could hardly rise. Again, I wanted to take her to ER but she was defiantly against such. Joleen insisted on seeing her regular doctor instead. A call was made to that office, with a woman at the front desk evidently sensing urgency in her voice. Thankfully, this medical professional squeezed my wife in.
After a thorough examination, Joleen was given a steroid shot, along with a prescription for a Z-Pak antibiotic and stronger cough medicine. Over the next several days she slowly got better. It took a full four weeks before she was back to normal strength. By this time the novel coronavirus was still practically unheard of in this country.
I definitely caught my illness from a simple Walmart trip as I’d not been anywhere else. One reason I believe I knocked it out it so quick, is because I started a regimen of azithromycin (Z-Pak) less than 24-hours after coming down with the junk. I’ve learned not to mess around when I get sick. Over 30- years ago I tried to tough out a bout of bronchitis and ended up with pneumonia. Never again!
Joleen developed all the symptoms of Covid 19 plus some. Medical facilities in Lake Havasu at that time did not know how to check for it. Testing has now improved considerably.
Joleen said she was in the company of a large contingent of Chinese Nationals while at Las Vegas McCarren Airport. She thought they were heading back home. Joleen believes this is where she picked up the bug. On the other hand, I think she got it from me. We’ll never know for sure and does it even matter?
There are now ways to detect if a person had Covid 19. Neither of us are interested in going in for the test. Perhaps six months from now we’ll change our minds when things hopefully return to normal.
Friends and family knowing exactly how sick my wife was, believe she definitely had Covid 19 and kicked it. Being a cancer survivor with a weakened immune system it was only through the Grace of God that she did. Finally getting that Z-Pak helped as well.
Since that time, many people living in Arizona and other states are claiming they had Covid 19 before it was first reported. If such turns out to be true, the stealthy virus was making rounds long before Kris Kringle hit town.
Regardless on who’s responsible for bringing it to this country one thing’s for sure,
“Don’t blame it on Santa Claus!”