If you have been reading my posts lately they have been saturated with a gloomy cloud of bad news that keeps following us. Believe it or not, this week life knocked us down yet again with all 4 of us testing positive AGAIN for Covid.
Last weekend Jake kept mentioning how exhausted he was. He spent every free moment napping, sleeping for 12-14 hours each day and still woke up talking about how tired he was. If I am being honest, I was not a trophy wife through that. I was running on 3-4 hours of sleep a night and hearing him whine day after day while taking on caretaker 100% of the time his complaints were becoming a point of contention. I was also getting over a cold and helping Malachi through his low grade fever. I snagged him the earliest doc appointment I could (Wednesday at 3) and tried to help him be as responsibility free as possible until then.
I took Malachi to the pediatrician on Monday where he was tested for Covid and RSV and in the process she did spot an ear infection so he started antibiotics. Both tests came back negative on Tuesday and we continued to monitor the fever (we were 6 days in at this point), which was staying low grade.
Tuesday night was a rough one and I finally got the kids both in bed and laid down in their bedroom at 4:00. I had been coughing and each time it woke up Malachi so I had been sleeping on the floor. About 45 minutes later I heard a faint noise coming from across the house, and Levi heard it as well and started screaming. I didn’t want him to wake up Malachi so I unhooked his g-tube from the pump as fast as I could and snatched him up and out of the room. I followed the moaning sounds into the kitchen and found Jake laying halfway in the master bedroom and halfway in the kitchen completely motionless on the floor. I asked him what was going on and he said “Call 911, I need to go to the hospital.”
I quickly called 911 and tried to figure out what was going on. Jake had gotten up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and started to feel woozy. He tried to make it across the house to get me and passed out in the process and when he woke up he was unable to move and could only see black. I checked his oxygen while we waited and it was fine but Jake was unable to even sit up. The EMTs finally arrived 30 long minutes later and came in to assess him. His blood pressure was dangerously low and as they were trying to figure out what was going on Jake started to pass out again. They loaded him up in the ambulance and took him to the ER. I packed a notecard with the medications he was currently taking and a timeline of this sickness he has been recovering from for the last 5 weeks. I also put down my name, phone number, and his social security number so they could contact me with updates in case he was unconscious.
Malachi stayed asleep through the situation and Levi was wide awake after they left. I got him calmed back down and back to sleep about the same time that Malachi woke up. Jake called me about that time to fill me in on the tests they were running (CT, X-ray, bloodwork, viral panel, etc). A few hours later he texted “Covid positive” and I was completely dumbfounded. Jake had already had Covid in late February and it was a legit Covid case- nothing mild.
I immediately gloved up and started disinfecting the house but in my heart I knew it was futile…we had already been exposed through the weekend with him. But the task took my mind off of things so I sanitized and prepped the basement for his quarantine. The hospital hooked him to some IV fluids and got his discharge papers ready shortly after lunchtime. I didn’t know how else to get him home so I loaded up the boys and a fresh mask for Jake and headed to pick him up.
I got him home and helped him into the basement, then washed my hands and got each of the boys out of the car. As soon as I carried Malachi in I could tell he was rapidly declining. I took his temp and he was at 103. At that point Levi was acting normal, but by sunset he also was running a high fever.
I had picked up some rapid at home test kits from the drug store while we were in town waiting on Jake to get discharged. I tested both boys and not surprisingly they were both positive. That night was incredibly challenging, as Jake was alone in the basement, fearful he would pass out. I put a baby monitor down there so I could watch him closely. I offered to move him up now that the kids were positive but he said he was more comfortable down there. The boys were burning hot and fever reducers weren’t budging the fevers. And I was running on maybe an hour of sleep from the night before. Everything just hit SO INCREDIBLY FAST! I set up camp with the kids in the living room and we did the best we could that night. I started notecards for each, trying to keep track of everyone’s medication routines. In addition to fever reducers and now added vitamins, each one of us is on at least one prescription antibiotic for the crud we have been dealing with leading up to this. Add into that Malachi and Levi’s regular medications. On our worst days I administer 45 different medications throughout the day.
I had antibodies from round 1 of Covid and also am fully vaccinated (since March). I was so hopeful I could stay virus free but by Thursday it was clear that was not the case. I administered a home test kit Thursday evening and was positive. By Friday the virus and sleep deprivation caught up with me and I was really struggling. Jake was slightly better but still struggling. Levi and Malachi were still randomly spiking fevers back up, and Levi was not holding down any feeds. We both lost our taste, smell, and appetite and a mental fog covered us both.
I had been updating Facebook as energy would allow and got a message from someone asking for us to contact them about the monoclonal infusion antibodies. There was a center about an hour from us that was offering them without a doctor’s prescription and even though the schedule was full they so kindly offered to contact us if they had anything open up on Saturday. They called us the next morning and we had appointments at 12:00! This was truly a God thing for Jake and I!
I felt safe enough to drive so we loaded the four of us up and made our way there. When we got there Jake was the first to get called out of the car and on his way out he managed to shut his finger in the door. He was in such a brain fog he couldn’t figure out what to do and knocked on the window for me to open the door and release his finger. By the time I figured out what was happening he had opened the door himself and I could tell he was in a lot of pain. I asked him, “Are you about to pass out?” And he shook his head no but as he walked off I could see he was struggling.
By the time he made it to the folding chair he was ready to pass out and they grabbed him ice. Then he apparently thought he was going to vomit so they dragged a trash can over. When he was stable enough they administered 4 subcutaneous shots into his belly with the antibodies and got him safely back to the car. My turn was much less eventful and after waiting an hour for side effects we were released to drive home. Jake said he could tell a difference within the hour. I am writing this about 32 hours after my shot and I feel so much better. Definitely still sick but definitely feel like I am winning the fight.
The boys are so so so tough through this round. It has been MUCH worse than the last Covid they had. They have been miserable, Levi waking up crying multiple times a night saying “Me SIIIIIICK” and burning hot with fever. Malachi’s seizures were out of control for the first 2 days; he was seizing harder and longer than I have seen in a long time. He was depleted of all energy and I was terrified that running these fever reducers so intensely might re-trigger his liver failure yet again.
So as of now, Sunday evening, here is where we are all at:
Jake- last night he had another bad night so we hooked him to a pulse oximeter overnight with the baby monitor pointed at the numbers for me to see across the house. His oxygen stayed above 92 throughout the night and he asked me to plug in the oxygen concentrator just in case. He has a tightness in his chest that was much worse pre-antibodies. His taste and smell is starting to come back.
Levi- is doing really well. Last night he slept decently for the first time in awhile. He has also gone all day only vomiting once, but we are running his feeds very small and slow for now. He has been fever free all day and not required any pain meds. He is definitely tired of being in this house but we are all too feverish to go outside and play.
Malachi- is still struggling. His oxygen levels are staying around 94 and his fevers have been controlled today. His seizures are calming down to his normal and he has been resting better the last two nights and taking naps throughout the day. He has not thrown up at all but has a lot of intestinal issues with this one.
Leah- since Thursday I felt like I had been hit by a truck. Very sore, running fevers, lots of head and sinus pressure. Thursday through Saturday were very bad but today I am feeling like I am on the other side. I am sure the vaccine shortened my symptoms based on what I am seeing with the boys. I have lost all smell, taste, and appetite and today I have been coughing so much less.
Aside from the physical challenges this week has brought, the mental challenge has been so much harder. These past few weeks have absolutely drained us physically, emotionally, and mentally. To have another big catastrophe hit our family is just too much. We have been trying so hard to stay focused on God but all of our attention has been focused on minute by minute care.
This weekend I received a message from a college friend and it had a photo of her mom who is currently struggling in the ICU with Covid and her husband by her side praying. The caption said “They are calling out your crew by name and I had to snap this picture of it. You have been on all of our hearts and my mom keeps asking for updates.”
Seeing the photo took my breath away and bubbled up so many emotions. I showed it to Jake and read him the caption and immediately he started sobbing. He told me that a few hours before he had been trying to pray but didn’t have the energy or mental clarity to formulate words. He said God pressed on him “It is not meant for you to pray over this, but for others.” When I shared the photo it was such a faith moment for him to see others that we have never even met lifting our family up to the Lord.
We have had lots of God moments this week, but right now I need to focus on my family. I hope next week we will be able to share stories of our healing with you. Until then, please continue to lift us up. We are so so so weary. We feel that we are under so much spiritual attack. We need peace.
We have had several people asking for tangible ways to help. Our church family has set up a meal train for our family so our family so food is covered. We have had friends mow the grass, drop off slushees, and bring goodies by. We are so thankful for our support system and have all of our needs currently met. We have never been one to ask for help, and still cringe at the thought, but also recognize that there is joy in helping others. If you want to help out with medical bills from Jake’s hospital ride, surprise gifts for the boys, or a movie rental on Amazon for them you can reach out to me at email@example.com but please know there is no pressure and we are not in desperate need of anything at this time. As I always promise, I will be transparent if we ever reach the point where we are unable to pay our bills. I just know many of you have contacted us about ways to help.