inside the Belly of the Beast

As best I can figure, I had a stroke on July 26 of this year. I started to bump into immovable objects and tumbling to the ground. I naively thought it was simple vertigo, but two days of clumsiness from hell convinced me to call 911. The paramedics took my blood pressure which was astronomical and they took me to Cedars Sinai hospital where I spent a week before being moved to a rehabilitation hospital.

On admittance to each faciity, I was tested for Covid and once inside, i was treated as a stroke patient.

About two weeks into my stay at the rehab hospital I got tested for covid again. The following day a nurse came into my room and said, "I have some bad news. You have covid. We will be moving you to another floor tonight."

JUST before midnight a platoon of personnel swarmed into my room and frantically loaded up my belongings and rolled my bed to the quarantine floor. From then until my discharge from the rehab hospital a week or so later, i was given exactly zero treatment for covid. My rehab continued inside my room with what I later learned from one of the therapists were volunteers as no one was required to get near me. They all wore what looked like haz-mat suits over their scrubs. Upon leaving my room, each person took off their outer garment and stuffed it into the garbage can.

I had no gripe about these measures to keep my alleged infection from spreading. But i did get pissed off upon watching a Pfizer commercial on the TV set in my room that said, "If you test positive for covid, don't wait." It went on to push the Pfizer pill for early treatment. On one of the rare and very brief visits from an MD, I mentioned the commercial, and asked what treatment I would be getting. He said, "You have no symptoms other than diarhea and I've ordered a stool sample test. There's a variant of covid that attacks the digestive system." That was news to my nurse when I mentioned it to her. Eventually the "hat" receptacle was put into my toilet and the sample went somewhere. And a day or so later another "hat" showed up and was taken away once it caught another sample. I never heard another word about the stool samples until I got another crack at the MD a few days later. By then all I wanted was OUT. I asked him, in my experienced lawyer voice, "What if anything did you learn from the stool samples?" He kind of rolled his eyes and said, "Nothing."

What that meant is open to multiple interpretations. In context the topic of our conversation was when I would be allowed to go home." He vaguely implied that my quarantine period of ten days might be conducted at home.

The lawyer in me was thinking about this obvious narrative: they give me covid in their hospital and then use that as an excuse for locking me in their jail to gouge the insurance coverage. I also began to think I would die in the hospital from hospital infections like my case of the shits which was real unlike my "case" of covid which has still never induced any symptom at all.

Suddenly on a Monday morning, I got a cellphone call from my wife who had just gotten a call from my "Case Manager" in the hospital telling her to come and get me. Once she got there we got a hurried briefing from a nurse on my aftercare regime that took maybe ten minutes.

To the extent my positive covid test reflected anything in reality, since they tested me negative on the way in, the only way I could have caught it was from the hospital environment. Their only priority from that point on was isolation.

I want to add that all the therapists, nurses and lower ranking workers were great -- conscientious and supportive, nobody other than the MD tried to shame me for beibg un-vaxxed. The rehabilitation therapy and education was excellent and I continue to improve in my condition due to the exercises and techniques they taught me. OTOH, the institution itself was a nightmare.

More detailed account to follow once my typing improves. As of now I'm using hunt and peck, rather han Gregg typing.

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QMS's picture

before the reaper came. A hospital would probably be the last place I would choose
to get better. Hope your recovery improves.

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You are still with us. That shouldn't be a miracle, but it is!
You are kickin' it with two fingers!

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snoopydawg's picture

Strokes are so damn scary because we never know what the extent of the damage will be. And yes that Covid protocol stole over $2 trillion from Medicare and Medicaid. More money if someone dies from it then if anyone is saved.

As for strokes…there but the grace of dawg….

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9 users have voted.

It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

and a bad case of bill padding, but that's just a cynic talking. It is becoming widely accepted that a worldwide epidemic of paranoia is responsible for an 11 - 18% increase in non covid deaths.
It is really terrible that health systems worldwide are destroying themselves out of fear of what for almost everyone is a bad cold - if that.

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On to Biden since 1973

@doh1304 that were literally hard to swallow, including one tablet of potassium about the size of an almond.

They had schemes to help the medicine go down, like dissolving that icky potassium pill into apple sauce. double icky! The pills destroyed what little appetite I had. I figured the pills were giving me the shits.

I lost at least three inches from my waist as all my pants are now way too big for me and fall off. We bought a new pair of jeans from Amazon, accurately guessing that my waist was down to 34 inches, the skinniest I've been in about 50 years,

I look all shriveled up now.

I can walk a quarter of a mile now and I cook dinner for us each night. My left hand, which was useless when I started physical therapy, is functional and I can pick small objects up with it and put them where they belong now.

My voice sounds weird but I am working on that.

This and my last few posts are therapy, the first practical benefit from 20 years of having a message board jones!

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8 users have voted.

I cried when I wrote this song. Sue me if I play too long.

Sorry to hear you've been through the ringer.

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6 users have voted.

I am so glad you are OK. Please take all the time you need to rest and get well.

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usefewersyllables's picture

The only thing better than having medical stuff go well and resolve issues, is not having the issues to begin with…

I used to be a scuba diver, and took an undeserved decompression sickness hit. I ended up with a gas embolism that landed in my brain, and that’s a stroke in any language. Had partial paralysis and loss of proprioception on my left side, and couldn’t *swallow*, and it was scary as shit. However, they knew I was bent, so they got me into a recompression chamber for a couple of Navy Table 6 dives. That resolved all my symptoms (with the exception of persistent numbness in one little patch of my left buttock- which is actually kinda useful for getting stuck with hypodermics).

The reason I mention this is that I’m going to be doing hyperbaric oxygen therapy for the knee surgery I just had. Having experienced it personally, I know that it can work. It is late in the course of your injury, but you still might consider asking your doctors if it would offer you any benefit. I’ll be using it for soft-tissue this time, not neuro, but I already know that it’ll speed up my recovery. It is really pretty magical. Just a thought…

Hang in there, and all the best. I’m certainly pulling for ya!

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Twice bitten, permanently shy.

@usefewersyllables @usefewersyllables @usefewersyllables I'm in between medical providers leaving my old job's insurance plan which finally runs out September 30 and Medicare/Kaiser that kicks in October 1. Ill ask about it once i get a primary care doc.

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I cried when I wrote this song. Sue me if I play too long.

Sima's picture

And still posting! Be well!

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If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so