‘You’re Putting Your Life in Their Hands’
I'm Chris Edmonds. I'm originally from Brookings, live in Estelline, still work in Brookings, work at Larson Manufacturing. I've got an amazing wife and three beautiful kids. So, whenever I'm not at work, I'm still at work, so...
How did your COVID-19 symptoms start?
My throat hurt, you know, I felt really kind of weak like you do if you're just, like, super sick, and then kind of, like, body aches and sores almost like if you went and hit the gym really hard one day and the next day your muscles were kind of telling you about it. That's kind of how I felt, and so it was already...you know, mid-afternoon on Sunday by the time my wife and I kind of discussed, "Hey, maybe you should get tested." So first thing Monday morning, went in and got tested.
When did you seek treatment for COVID-19?
I kind of felt the brunt of it, to be honest. I had 10 straight days where my fever didn't break, and hot and cold flashes, and couldn't get off the couch. So I didn't actually submit myself to Brookings Hospital until that following Wednesday after I got my positive test. It was almost a whole week mainly due to stubbornness I suppose or thinking that something was gonna...that it was just gonna turn around, and it didn't.
How were you admitted to Brookings Hospital?
I drove myself from here to the clinic, and not even five minutes of being at the clinic with my doctor, they called an ambulance and an ambulance came over. So they did the EKG, they tested my heart rate, tested how much oxygen I'm getting, giving me oxygen while doing all this, but then kind of backing the oxygen off and kind of putting it back on just to kind of see where I'm at.
How was your stay at Brookings Health System?
I don't really remember much. They didn't wheelchair me up to where I was at. They bedded me up to where I was at. And I didn't leave my room for five, six days that I was here. So I really didn't know where I was at in the hospital, but the nursing staff was super nice. I carried over a weekend so, for the most part, I had the same day nurses, I had the same nighttime nurse. They're just really nice, really personable. They can come in and talk to you, always asking if you need something. So, for me, I felt like I'm the get up and do it myself kind of guy. So, like, I can't get out of bed because I'm hooked up to all this stuff, and I couldn't breathe yet for the first few days. So it's, like, "Hey, I just need water." Like, "I'm just thirsty." And, you know, they suggested doing the propel stuff that you put in there. That was amazing. That was the first thing I tasted in, like, four days was that propel. And so, like, I was, like, "Yeah, I'm just...you know, if you can keep mixing that for me," you know, and eventually I just kind of went from that to just drinking straight ice water when I was here.
How were you able to keep in touch with your family?
I would talk to my wife and my kids, really the only people I would talk to while I was here. She was able to grab my tablet from work, somebody from my work got it off my desk and brought it to her. So I was able to talk to her and FaceTime with her and the kids and let them know how it was going. It had to have been weird seeing, like, the tubes and whatever else like that.
How is your recovery?
If I were to run from here to that elevator, you know, I'd be out of breath, which wouldn't be too far behind where I would have been anyway. But a little bit more, you know, sometimes I'm still a little winded, going up the stairs. But I'm sure that after a while that will kind of go back to normal. I can play with my kids. I can before, you know, when I came into the hospital to the emergency room or whatever, I could barely walk. I was walking like a 90-year old man with a cane, you know, taking short steps, because I'm taking short breaths. And you can't do that much physical activity. And so, I would say I'm, like, 99.7% back to normal as far as how I feel.
What advice do you give to others who may think they have COVID?
Don't hesitate. You know, if you feel like there's something, you know, go get checked out. Kind of like I was saying earlier, rule it out, because in that time where you're kind of in limbo of thinking, "Well, it could just be a cold or maybe it is COVID," you know, you're out and about, and you're places like the grocery store, you're at places at work, you know, passing somebody on the street, you could be passing it on to somebody and not knowing. So I think it's worth it to yourself for one, but worth it to others too, you know, to kind of just be cautious of that and just get checked out for it.
What did you appreciate most about your care?
They're not disconnected from you. They wanna know how you're doing, you know, to make you comfortable. They ask a lot of questions about, you know, yourself, your life at home, like, how's that, and it kind of brings up a two-sided conversation. It's not just a one-sided. So, not only are they getting to know you and you're getting to be familiar with them, but it's kind of the same on the other side. And so by the time you leave there's, like, a great connection. It's like you almost made a friend.
I mean, you're putting your life in their hands, to be honest. Like, I couldn't move from my bed, this person's taking care of me. So, like, there's a trust there. So I'm trusting them to take care of me, and they're trusting that I'm gonna tell them what's wrong if something's wrong. And so there's kind of that too. So I would definitely say, you know, what I appreciated most was definitely the connection with the staff that I had while I was here, and, of course, the fact that they knew, you know, from there's so much not to know about COVID-19, but they knew from treating so many people that have, you know, come and gone through here as far as gotten treated and things like that, that they've been able to help that they're, like "Okay, well, this is where you're at." And this is...you know, they were able to set those goals, and they helped me get there is the biggest thing too. So they know what they're talking about, they're able to help. So that's...I felt comfort in knowing that.
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