Local tells story about COVID-19

A local recently told her story after contracting COVID-19.

Heidi Newlin tells her story in her own words.

“I want to share my virus experience with you because I believe it can be a learning experience for us all. Remember, this is my experience, and I am not a medical expert.

On Friday, September 11, I woke with a fever and a bad headache behind my eyes. I started medicine that day. My symptoms improved along the way, but I lost my sense of smell and taste, had low energy and lost my appetite.

After being sick for about a week, it moved into the stomach flu phase of my illness. I had all of the symptoms of the intestinal flu. It was unlike anything I have ever experienced in my life. After several days of pain and not eating or drinking, I decided it was time to go to the hospital. Even though I was taking more medicine, I did not believe I would improve without more care.

David drove me to Enid Integris Bass on Tuesday, September 22. He saw that I got admitted, then he drove back to Cherokee. I was unable to have visitors because I tested positive again for the virus. Treatment of my symptoms began and I quickly improved.

On Thursday, September 24, my treatment took a turn to include heart issues. My nurse, Donna, came flying into my room with her “superhero cape” (gown) on backwards and saved the day!  The problems, I believe, were already there. Now we had evidence on record. God had the best plan for me! I was released from the hospital on September 26.

I owe a huge thank you to Niki Lewis-Wyatt, P.A.-C, Dr. John Schrader, Dr. Chen, my wonderful nurses, and all of the staff at Enid Integris Bass for going beyond the call of duty. Each and everyone one of them gave me top quality care in the midst of this nasty virus. I want to thank them for the sacrifices they are making to improve the lives of their patients. May they and their families be protected from the virus as they continue to battle on the frontlines.

Let me share more about the health care workers who are graciously serving others. Each time someone entered my room, he or she put on a new gown and head and shoe coverings. They were already wearing masks, face shields, and possibly goggles. The new gowns they were wearing were hot and making them sweat. Gowns and head and shoe coverings were removed in my room before they stepped back into the hall. There were several COVID-19 patients in my hallway.

The actions of the staff were very deliberate, well-planned out, and well-executed, even though their “virus armor” made their work even more challenging. They were not stand-offish or “social distancing.” They delivered warm, wonderful, personalized care and did not hesitate to go out of their way to meet my patient or personal needs. They served me with a smile, kindness, and asked “Do you need anything else?” Several of these dedicated workers had already experienced COVID for themselves. These special people also expressed genuine concern for the other COVID-19 patients in their care, some of which were in intensive care.

We all have pandemic fatigue. I would love to be able to see my family and show them love. I would love to be able to console people who have suffered losses. I would love to celebrate marriages and births without the shadow of the virus looming overhead. I would love to take part in activities! I hope to celebrate the holidays with my family! I want life to be normal again!

I am sharing these details with you because I want to make you aware of this virus.  IT.   IS.   REAL!!!!  Some people may experience light symptoms. Others of us may suffer the less severe strain of symptoms. Other people suffer the more severe strain of the virus which includes breathing problems.

Please, be considerate and respectful to family members, friends, and community members as you go through your day.

Please, wear a mask and wash your hands to protect yourself and people with whom you may come in contact.

Please, keep a safe distance from people.

Please, don’t shame people for having the virus. It didn’t start with us.

Please, quarantine every day recommended when necessary.

Please, allow people to decide for themselves if they are comfortable in participating in activities.

Please, be patient and understanding with the decisions made by the school or other groups. They are doing their best to protect everyone.

Please, think of others first.

Please, be kind!

It will take each one of us to beat this as a community.”

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