CLARKSVILLE, TN (CLARKSVILLE NOW) – New 12 months’s Day 2021 was one thing to look ahead to after a pandemic and a string of different crises making a large number of 2020. Joanna Vest was prepared for a brand new begin herself, till she acquired sick on Dec. 28.
“I had sweats, I used to be shaking, I had a light fever,” Vest mentioned. “I had chills, I used to be freezing.”
Vest, who was simply recovering from the flu per week earlier than, mentioned this felt completely different. She examined for COVID-19, and the primary take a look at got here again unfavorable. Nonetheless, the following day the signs acquired a lot worse. “I used to be coughing up blood, spitting up blood, I didn’t eat, I simply laid down.”
Two days later, she went to the hospital and was identified with pneumonia. She was despatched residence with antibiotics, however nonetheless she discovered no reduction.
First pneumonia, now COVID
At round 5 p.m. on New 12 months’s Eve, Vest took a flip for the more serious.
“My husband mentioned, ‘Child, it’s worthwhile to stand up.’ I mentioned, ‘I don’t wish to stand up.’ He pulled the blankets off my legs, and my legs have been blue.” That they had a blood oxygen detector, and her degree was within the 70s – regular is 95 to one hundred pc. They determined to go to the emergency room.
“I instructed him, ‘I don’t wish to go; folks die on the hospital.’”
Vest knew of people that had died from COVID-19 after being dropped off on the hospital, by no means to be seen by their family members once more, and as she watched her husband drop her off, that’s all she may consider. “That they had acquired hit with COVID, and have been gone in two days.”
When she was dropped off, her official oxygen degree was at 72 %. The docs instructed her if she hadn’t come that evening, she wouldn’t have seen New 12 months’s Day.
She was placed on oxygen, they usually did scans on her chest. “I had smoker’s lungs, and I don’t smoke,” she mentioned.
In addition they seen a number of plenty in her chest, however Vest chalked it as much as swollen lymph nodes.
“It took me down so fast. I had COVID, I had pneumonia, I had a blood clot in my proper lung, my blood strain stored rising and dropping, and I used to be within the hospital for about seven days.”
Pneumonia, then COVID, now most cancers
Vest thought the worst was over, however her husband and three daughters had gotten sick as effectively. As soon as residence, her bother respiration and coughing didn’t let up, and she or he pushed herself to assist her household.
Two days later, she was put again within the hospital.
“My oxygen dropped once more, I felt like I used to be having a coronary heart assault,” Vest mentioned. She stayed a day within the hospital, and the entire household was launched from quarantine on Feb. 1.
Though Vest was nonetheless weak, she went again to work, and issues have been slowly getting higher, or so she thought. She went again to the hospital for scans and checks on her birthday, Feb. 25, to examine on the progress of the plenty. She acquired a name that evening that one of many plenty, situated between her coronary heart and lungs, had gotten greater.
“They mentioned it was the scale of a pencil tip after they discovered it, and it grew to the scale of a walnut.” They instructed her they thought it is likely to be most cancers, and that they have been going to ship her to a surgeon to have it eliminated.
“This will’t occur, I simply turned 35. I don’t perceive,” she mentioned of her response. “I work with infants, I’ve three youngsters, I’ve a daughter going to varsity, this may’t be actual. I simply went via COVID and that just about took me, and you then’re attempting to inform me I’ve this factor – I used to be like, no.”
Pneumonia, COVID, most cancers, now MG
Just a few days later, Vest acquired the prognosis: Myasthenia gravis, also referred to as MG, which is a uncommon, incurable illness that shuts down components of the physique involuntarily. She was instructed it was mendacity dormant till she had COVID-19.
On April 17, the docs eliminated the mass, confirmed to be stage 1 most cancers, however after surgical procedure, Vest went into an MG disaster. She awakened paralyzed and was rushed to the ICU. They put her on a respirator and a feeding tube. She was unable to speak and barely in a position to transfer, however she recollects the kindness of the nurses taking care of her who would are available in and contact her hand, and communicate to her even when she couldn’t reply.
“Having contact from different folks was wonderful, I used to be so lonely as a result of I couldn’t discuss and I couldn’t transfer.”
She was launched from the hospital on April 25. and was introduced cancer-free on April 27.
“If it wasn’t for COVID, I wouldn’t be right here,” Vest mentioned. “I may’ve acquired (MG) at an older age, and I might have brushed it off.”
Vest mentioned this expertise has made her extra conscious of caring for herself, and it has made her extra grateful for every day.
“It’s affected my complete household. It virtually took my life, it additionally gave me my life,” Vest mentioned, “I simply hope that others are being protected and they’re trying on the indicators and desirous about their mother and father or perhaps their buddies. Simply be extra compassionate in regards to the folks round you.”
June is Myasthenia gravis consciousness month. To study extra about Myasthenia gravis, click on here. To study extra about COVID-19, how one can defend your self and others, observe Clarksville Now’s coverage.