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It was during the last week of January 2021, I started to experience flu like symptoms; fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, and shortness of breath. My primary care doctor encouraged me to get tested for Covid at my nearest ER location. My immediate thought and response was “Why? I don’t freakin have Covid. There’s no way. I haven’t gone anywhere beyond the 4 walls of my home. There is no possible way that I could have contracted Covid.” It was February 4, 2021, when an ER nurse said to me; “Mrs. Peterson, you have indeed tested positive for Covid.” Needless to say, I was stunned and was left to deal with my thoughts and emotions. And just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, on Monday, February 8, 2021; I suddenly felt extreme nausea paired with the worst head trobb I’d ever experienced. I called for my husband and he continously mentioned that he could not understand me. He put on his homemade hazmat gear and rushed into the bedroom. He found me on the floor with a twisted mouth and slurred speech (his words because I had no idea I had slurred speech or a twisted mouth). I do recall him saying “Oh my God, this is not right. I’m calling 911. I was finally able to realize that I was stroking after speaking with the 911 operator and experiencing temporary blindness. Within 30 seconds the doorbell rings and the paramedics are in the bedroom with a stretcher. I’m then rolled out and placed in the ambulance. The paramedic began to ask me all of the necessary demographic questions and I tried to answer as best I could. Before leaving for the hospital, one of the paramedics mentioned to the others if they thought I should be life-flighted to the nearest hospital. At that moment, I knew how serious things truly were. Long story made short, a clot buster medication ulon reaching the first hospital was not going to help me because the clot was too large. I was then rushed to the next nearest hospital for an emergency operation to remove the clot from my brain and attempt to save my life. Because I am still alive to share my story, it’s safe to say, the team was successful. It is now approaching the 1 year anniversary of the most traumatic experience of my 46 years of life and I’m sitting here filled with mixed emotions of anxiety, grief, irritability, gratefulness and appreciation. The grief I feel is felt quite often, I feel as though I’ve lost the person I’ve identified with during all of my years of living. I knew everything about her; allergies, pms frequency, her capability to problem solve and navigate through her career, her ability to multitask like none other. But she no longer exist, she’s truly gone and I miss her tremendously. Therapy? Yep, been there done that. It seemed to help in the moments I’m sitting with the therapist. Everyday in the effort of trying to identify with my new norm, I get extremely overwhelmed, but am still so thankful I’m still here to tell my story in the hopes it will help others. One moment at a time my fellow survivors…one moment at a time.
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