Hey everyone, this is Julie and today’s podcast episode is going to be personal. It’s been a while since I’ve done podcast, but for those of you guys who follow me on this feed, you know that I am the most inconsistent podcaster ever. So it’s been kind of a crazy couple of weeks, I had my digital Insider’s mastermind at the end of May. And that was the first time really getting together with a group of people post COVID. And, of course, I got sick with a cold afterwards.
And then what seemed to happen is I don’t know if mercury went into retrograde or what but I had a string of sort of medical emergencies in my family for the next several weeks. You know, obviously, me getting sick wasn’t a big deal. It was just annoying. But then my husband hurt his back and ended up in the hospital, my daughter had an ATV accident. We had an ambulance at our house twice in one week, which was really fun. Then, my son graduated high school, he got really sick because it was the first time he had hung out with a bunch of people. Then we went to Disney World, Eden got sick, William got sick, and then Ellie came down with COVID.
And for those of you who have been following me for a while, I spent an entire year really following a lot of the top scientists and epidemiologists on the COVID pandemic, and even running a Facebook group giving daily takeaways as it was going. And I have to say that I really had kind of run out of words to say about it, I had run out of worry, you know, I had gotten vaccinated. And I just told myself, it was time for me to kind of move on, you know, when I stopped posting takeaways, and I stopped following the scientists, and I really wanted my children to get vaccinated, but I am divorced and couldn’t get my ex husband to agree. And so they weren’t vaccinated. So when Ellie came down with COVID, all of it kind of came screaming back.
And so I’ll just tell you my story. This is my this is my running with COVID, you know, and on Friday evening, July 2, Ellie was laying on the couch and said, Mom, I’m cold. She had no symptoms other than just feeling cold. And so I took her temperature and it was over 101 degrees. And I said, Okay, get a mask on, go get in your bed. We had company over we had my sister and her husband and her three unvaccinated kids. There’s a lot of people in the house. We isolated her immediately. And on Saturday, she had a low grade fever. She had Tylenol and Advil, so it wasn’t a big deal. She had no symptoms other than this fever. In fact, I started to think maybe this was an ear infection, a UTI, possibly Lyme. You know, we live in the woods. And so on Sunday morning, I went to go wake her up and she was crying in her bed, her fever was back up over 101. And she was coughing, and said, Mom, it hurts to even move my fingers.
So I don’t know, what prompted me to just all of a sudden decide maybe this is COVID. But that was my first thought, even though I’d sort of kind of put it out of my mind. And I ran to CVS, and I purchased one of those at home kits that binocs now it’s the Abbott at home kit, I would encourage you to get a couple that wasn’t that hard. You just read the instructions that are really isn’t that hard. And it was positive within I don’t know, minutes, they say don’t read the test for at least 15 minutes between 15 and 30. And within five it was just blaring pink. Obviously, this was sort of my nightmare coming true because I had spent basically 18 months in some modified or extreme quarantine I had, you know, taken my kids out of school. And even still, I could not protect Ellie.
And I knew that she would probably be okay. But still it was like okay, not only does my child now have a serious virus, but I am her primary caregiver. Her dad is not vaccinated, I’m going to have to continually come face to face with what was one of my greatest anxieties. And in full transparency when the pandemic first started back in March of 2020. I was a wreck. And I struggle with anxiety. I have an anxiety disorder. And now here I was like, basically like hey COVID Nice to meet you. So and not to mention the fact I had other kids to protect but you know I didn’t react the way I thought I would I was actually quite calm, which was funny, because in the anticipation of it for the last year, I was freaking out. So I think that this sort of lesson that keeps coming back to me over and over and over again is that anxiety tells you you’re not going to be okay. It creates this agitation or this fear of what it’s going to feel like when that nightmare scenario comes true. But then when that nightmare scenario does come true, the grace and the strength that you need is there, the adrenaline is there and you’re able to navigate it way better in reality than you are when you’re anticipating it. And it’s just another sort of reminder of how worthless anxiety actually is.
So, for the first three days, so Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, we did everything that you’re supposed to do at home, we kept her isolated we I used to mask when I went in and out of her room, always wash my hands. When I left the room. I checked her O2 twice a day, I checked her temps, we did the Tylenol in the Advil, the vitamin C, the Mucinex, all that kind of stuff. And her O2 stayed at 98, 97, Sunday and Monday and then on Tuesday it dipped into around 96. Still, though not problematic if you’re if you know anything about O2, as long as you’re over 95 It’s fine. But there’s just this little voice in my head that said, I’m noticing a little bit of a shift. Her temp was slowly coming down each day was no longer up at 101. So a Wednesday morning when I woke up to go in. I was expecting, you know, a 99 fever I was expecting O2 to hold steady. And instead what I found was Ellie with a temp of just about 103. She was nauseous. She was feverish, she was coughing. She was having kind of a lot of gastrointestinal issues. She had a runny nose, and she was not okay. And her O2 was around 93. And I called the pediatrician and the pediatrician wouldn’t see her inside, it was like 90 degrees that day.
And so we were driving and of course, her pediatrician is still where we used to live. So it’s like a 40 minute drive. And so we’re driving the 90 degree heat she’s nauseous as all get out, and we got to the pediatrician and we’re in the parking lot. And my gas tank goes to almost empty. So now my fuel light is on. And they’re having me sit in the parking lot with the AC running in my car for like 30 minutes. And I’m like, I’m gonna run out of gas. So I had to turn the car off. And now Ellie is like, Mom, I can’t be in the heat. So here I was, I had a picnic blanket in the trunk, I grabbed the picnic blanket, set it up over underneath the tree. And Ellie was laying down and out comes the pediatrician and full PPE, gear out under the tree to give my daughter an exam in the heat to see what to do. And it was just a very, very surreal moment, I think right at that moment. I flashback to like every Facebook conversation and comment that I had ever had with any kind of COVID conspiracy theorist and anti-masker, anti-vaxxer. And I was just furious. I was so furious. And I felt like, this is exactly what I was, what I was trying to communicate to people about COVID for that year was that this is a serious virus, even if you are a healthy teenager with no pre existing conditions.
So the doctor, listen, they looked at her O2 was 93. And she looked at me and she said, this is the sickest kid we’ve seen in months. I was like, “That’s awesome, great.” And she told me that she was not quite at that cost to be admitted to the hospital because 93 is still kind of on the verge. But that now I had to check her O2 every hour and if it dipped below that we would have to go. So I brought her home. 40 minute drive home, and I started checking her every hour and by 2pm her 93 had gone down to 92.
So he went to the ER and in the ER, they hooked her up to the monitor in her the monitor at the ER was about 95 so they I thought okay, they’re not going to admit us, you know, maybe my pulse ox is a little extra trigger happy or what have you. And her fever was down because of the Motrin. And so the nurse was kind of like, I’m not sure like she’s really sick, but I’m not sure it’s enough to keep her so they came in to do an X ray. And the mental game of sitting there with Ellie with just a little surgical mask on when they’re all coming in with PPE was so stressful because I was like, oh my god like I’m just like licking COVID for fun over here and all these people are coming in all decked out. And I know why and I know the protocol and everything but there was just a lot of mental games I had to play with myself to kind of keep my To keep me in the game here.
So they came in, they did the X ray. And my hospital does like text updates. And so within 10 minutes after the X ray, I got a text that says your child has been admitted to the hospital, even though no doctor had come in yet. And so I thought, Well, okay, shit, this is, you know, they looked at her X ray, and it wasn’t good. And at that point, the doctor came in said, we’re going to do an echo, we’re going to do an ultrasound, we’re going to draw blood. And I thought, Okay, well, whatever they saw on the X ray, you know, kind of set things in motion. So sure enough, the doctor finally came in and said, she has the classic, classic COVID lungs, classic pneumonia for COVID, the glassy opacities, or whatever they say, on her X ray, you know, it’s crazy, just looking at her X ray. And then remembering all the X rays that I looked at on Twitter for the last year. And I was like, that’s exactly what they were warning me about.
So she was admitted. And they told me that I couldn’t leave. If I wanted to stay with her. I had to stay and couldn’t leave. Of course, I was not prepared for that. And I said, Well, I need to go home. I need some things. I also need to sleep. Also not sure that spending 24 hours a day, in a hotel room, or a hospital room with someone who has COVID is such a good idea. So like I was going to go home and sleep and then come back and they said, “No, you can’t.” So now we were in this sort of horrible, like, no win situation. And I talked to Ellie and I said, Honey, you know, keep you on FaceTime. Let me go home, and see if I can sneak into the hospital and break the rules.
And so I left her that evening, around 10 or 11, she fell asleep. And the next day, things sort of escalated her O2 dipped down into the 80s. They started Remdesivir they started Dexamethazone, they ended up giving her Lovenox for clots, they did a CT scan, and she spent Wednesday to Sunday in the hospital. She did need oxygen, she’d never needed a ventilator or anything like that. And she’s home now. And she’s doing better her fever has been gone for quite a while, but her cough persists. One of the interesting things is that what we think of when we think of COVID, you know, it’s a disease that affects the entire body, from you know, hair falling out to nausea, diarrhea, heartburn, to messing with your hormone cycles, you know, getting your period like completely at the wrong time. So there’s dizziness, breathlessness and all that kind of stuff.
And so I feel incredibly grateful that Ellie is okay. I feel grateful that we happened to get COVID at a time when the hospitals weren’t overflowing with COVID patients, and we were able to get the care that we needed. And none of the other six children that were in the house have shown symptoms. So I you know, I understand everyone is tired of COVID. But it’s still here, it’s still among us. It’s still dangerous. And at the timing of this recording the cases, the case counts are actually going up in the United States. And this is because we have a large swath of our country that is not vaccinated. And even though a lot of people are like, Oh, well, it’s the tale of two countries, the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, what’s really happening is the virus is continuing to mutate in the unvaccinated population.
And so this is just sort of my PSA, that number one, pay attention, it’s not over number two, your kid can get sick and can land in the hospital. And three, if you are the kind of person who struggles with anxiety, let this be a lesson that once you are in the situation you fear you have strength and that you didn’t know you had which means that anxiety is really not preparing you for the moment. It’s really just depleting you for the moment. So as always, I appreciate you all and I will talk to you soon.