arriving at the hospital – eunice’s perspective

On Sunday afternoon on October 18, we finally got to the hospital and I walked Ben into the entrance of the ER. Ben walked over to the counter to get checked in and the security guard stopped me before I could get to him. He asked me if we were both getting checked in and I told him that I had brought my husband to be checked in for Covid and was helping him because he was weak and having a hard time breathing. The security guard told me that I wasn’t allowed in because I wasn’t checking in as a patient and could not stay inside the building as he tried to herd me out of the vestibule into the parking lot. I asked if I could at least say bye to my husband and he refused to let me even catch a glimpse of Ben and wave bye to him.

I left the hospital in distress. I understand completely why the hospital had their policies in place restricting visitors but I couldn’t believe the guard refused to let me say bye to Ben. That really upset me. I really wanted to be there for Ben, to stay with him as the doctors examined him and support him as much as possible. Since that wasn’t allowed, I wanted to at least be able to say bye and tell him that I loved him in person. I went back to my car and waited for Ben to message me with an update. I had no idea if he was going to be admitted or sent home in a few hours. After about an hour, Ben texted me to let me know that he was getting admitted. They had put him on oxygen and his x-rays showed that he had pneumonia.

I headed home but had to pull over into a parking lot before I got on the highway. I could feel myself losing it. I felt the tears fall down my face as I parked the car. I knew I was distraught and was still trying to process what I was feeling and thinking. I was so worried about Ben and my heart was breaking at the thought of leaving him at the hospital by himself when he needed me the most. Finally after about half an hour, I calmed myself down enough to drive myself back home. 

I checked in with Ben when I got home and he was bored but seemed in pretty good spirits with oxygen supplementation. The doctors had put him on Motrin, Tylenol, and oral steroids and that night it was confirmed that Ben was Covid positive. Ben and I mainly talked through text because he was too short of breath to video or phone call even though they had him on oxygen. I spent most of the rest of the day on calls with Ben’s Dad’s nurses since he was in another hospital with Covid as well. I felt better knowing that Ben was doing ok and was communicating fine with me through texts. That night, the girls slept in my bed. Tori was worried about her Dad but tried not to show it. Gwen was a little tired but ok otherwise.

The next day, October 19, Ben seemed a little down. He didn’t sleep well and they started giving Ben insulin because his blood sugar levels were high even though Ben never had diabetes. They had put Ben on higher oxygen because he was coughing a lot when he got up to use the bathroom. By the afternoon, Ben told me he was so miserable with nothing to do. The doctors told me that they had started Ben on remdesivir IV and that the course would be 5 days so Ben would be at the hospital for at least that long. Ben’s oxygen was down to 92 from 97 the previous day with oxygen supplementation. I told Ben that I was really worried about him and of course Ben replied with “I’m fine. As fine as I can get.” Even though Ben tried to reassure me, I could not stop worrying. With my medical knowledge along with Ben’s unusually short two to three worded texts that I got later in the day, I knew that he was still going downhill.

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