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I tested positive for COVID last month, mid-August 2021. With a 103.1 fever, my daughter took me to the ER, but since my oxygen levels were presumed normal at that time, I was advised to just go back home and qurantine instead, and take some Tylenol for the fever. My symptoms kept getting worse, so I ended up coming back 2 nights later to the same ER and that’s when I finally got admitted for having low oxygen, a 101 fever, and pneumonia. I was on the 7 North wing of Mayo Clinic’s Covid unit. It’s a very traumatizing experience having to struggle and gasp for something as simple as air, just clawing at anything for some oxygen, and this triggered further panic attacks, paranoia, fear, confusion, lots of painful chest tightness.. it was heartbreaking to even think that this is where I was going to take my last breath and leave my husband, my children.. the rest of my family behind.

On top of fighting through the Covid pneumonia, I also have Psoriasis which is an autoimmune disease and it was wreaking havoc on me internally also. I received a few iron and blood transfusions because my deficiency and also low Hgb. I was very close to being put on a ventilator, but luckily kept on the high-flow oxyxen machine instead with a non-rebreather mask. Eventually I was weaned off the high-flow oxygen and used different masks and nasal canullas instead. I was also told by one of my doctors that there might’ve  been a hidden blood clot somewhere in my lungs also; received negative CT scans a few days later.

I was just discharged from the hospital this past Sunday. 2 days prior, i failed my Home Evaluation in which a Respiratory tech watched me slowly walk around (with and without the use of a walker) in a small area of my room by myself. She wanted to monitor my respiratories on a low oxygen setting but unfortunately I was out of breath and resulted wirh a 7 liter bump up. I am home now with an oxygen machine, which is a blessing for me to have and to also have survived Covid Pneumonia. A large portion of my lungs was damaged by the pneumonia and now very badly scarred and scratched, so it will take some time.

– Maureen Figuerrez, Florida