Supplemental #hcldr blog by Joe Babaian

I am taking the opportunity to write up this update on my #COVID19 journey even as I have just started the long road to recovery both physically and emotionally. I hope this helps you or someone you love.

This isn’t my normal style to post – but YOU NEED TO KNOW. I want you to hear this from ME – #COVID19 kills, it’s not going away and the holidays are going to be devastating. Have you seen the Texas cases? Yea. If you aren’t careful and don’t take things as seriously as I may suggest, well, you’ve been warned from someone YOU KNOW PERSONALLY, and I am not here to mince words. It spreads like a thief in the night and you are NOT IMMUNE. One moment, lives change forever.

Some have played this pandemic down. For those, you are WRONG, period. Get it?

I walked into Next Level Urgent Care on Sun, Dec 6th after having a 99.8 F +/- fever for two days. Anyone who knows me, knows I am TYPE A, MASK ALWAYS, PRO-SCIENCE, & NOT A RISK TAKER. BOOM, positive test. I still felt OK and went home with some meds to help with headache and sniffles. I was monitoring my 02 levels with a pulse oximeter – Do you have one? GET ONE. My O2 was at 97 as usual—-UNTIL Wed, Dec 9th at 5pm. My levels dropped to 86 FAST and I felt this was it. My breath was shallow and not fulfilling. Respiratory distress wrapped my chest like a glove and wouldn’t let go. The sense of doom told me to get to the ER NOW. Monica took me, they X-Rayed and CT-Scanned me within 20 minutes of arriving. I had severe and deteriorating #COVID19 pneumonia in both lungs, I was admitted immediately.

It was all a blur after that. So many tests, pokes, blood draws, worried faces, specialists and care. Somehow, I got lucky to live in Houston and Fort Bend County. Memorial Hermann Sugar Land and my doctors were able to start me on an FDA Emergency Use Authorization Antiviral called “Remdesivir” – this alone was a five-day special IV treatment that has been seen to help some severe COVID19 cases when caught early before being intubated on a full respirator. They filled me with powerful steroids to tell my immune system to stop attacking my lungs. I was given Heparin blood thinner daily to prevent risk of heart attack and stroke that often result from the COVID19 infection (your blood becomes “sticky” and then it’s game over).

And all this time, I was on the lifeline of oxygen, always watching my numbers wondering if things were improving, stalling, or….. Each beep was TERRIFYING.

I was being monitored 24/7 and only, by your choice – grace from God, luck, and or Fate, I stayed out of the ICU and didn’t need to get intubated. Many patients HERE IN SUGAR LAND, TEXAS were not so fortunate.Now I am home, weakened like an old guy, slowly, ever slowly resting and doing my breathing treatments, being careful to not over-exert since my lungs will need lots of time to recover and moving too fast stops my in my tracks. I have the love and support of family, dozens of friends, and so many good people. I’ll get better, I am certain.

But please, hear this from me, I left nothing out. I want YOU to be here with me also and not have you or your loved ones EVER have to go though this.

Love to you all, Joe Babaian, Sugar Land. #hcldr

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