A Hospital Visit During COVID-19
I want to quickly share my experience of being hospitalized during this pandemic. Now let me start this by saying I did not have COVID-19 (thank God), nor did I go to the hospital thinking that I had it.
Hospital visits and sickle cell
With sickle cell, we all know hospital visits are something that happens frequently, some are hospitalized more than others. If I were to give you an average of how many times I am hospitalized a year, I would say about 1-2 times. While 1-2 times is my average for others, it may not be. Sickle cell anemia affects everyone differently.
Anticipating a pain crisis
My experience took place back in March 2020, so at the very beginning of all of this. I understand that at the time many people were still trying to understand COVID-19, and currently still are. I had been having a stressful week and began to feel as though I had the flu. I sometimes feel like this when my hemoglobin is running low or when I am about to get a crisis. So I immediately started taking the necessary precautions to avoid a crisis. After a few days of doing so, we thought it was best for me to just go to the hospital.
A difficult decision
This was an extremely hard decision to make, especially with everything that was and is going on, all the uncertainties of Covid-19. Now let me say this: if you have sickle cell and must go to the hospital for any reason, please go.
Precautions at the ER
Hospitals have systems in place to make sure that the patients that are coming in stay safe. My husband usually accompanies me to the hospital, and he stays in the ER with me until I get settled. At the door, I was told that he is unable to accompany me inside. Before I could even enter my temperature was taken, and I was asked a series of questions related to COVID-19.
Before masks were mandated to be worn in public places, I was required to wear one upon entering the hospital. Throughout my treatment in the ER I was not allowed to remove my mask, nor did I want to. I ended up spiking a fever, which is not uncommon, but because of everything going on they had to take extra precautions.
I was finally admitted into the hospital and because of the fever, the room that was given to me was in isolation. By isolation I mean I did not share the room with another patient. The room had the bare minimum inside, I was not allowed to walk the halls for exercise.
What really scared me...
The thing that really scared me was anytime someone entered the room, they would have to put on a protective gown. The hospital never vocalized their reasoning for taking all these precautions to me. Were they protecting me from COVID-19? Or were they protecting themselves from me? I ended up having to take a flu and COVID-19 test, both of which came back negative.
Taking care of our health
I am sharing this experience with you all because I know there are so many people who are apprehensive about going to the hospital during this pandemic.
I am still very apprehensive at the thought of going to the hospital, but the truth is sometimes it is inevitable, especially with a disease such as sickle cell. I know every hospital is different and everyone’s experience is different. The way my thought process works is, I would rather go to the hospital and get treated than leaving however, I am feeling untreated.
How is your mental health right now?