A little more than a year earlier, Kimberlee Chambers Striker noticed that she was coughing. Her cough became worse, and her lower body began to ache. She was exhausted. She was struggling to take a breath. “It’s a terror like you’ve never experienced before,” she said. “It’s impossible to breathe deeply. You just have to try to remain cool, which is difficult to do.” She ended up going to the emergency department twice. “When you leave me today, I’m not coming back,” she said to her husband for the second time.
An Alabama Woman Is Still A Long Way From Full COVID Recovery
Kimberlee did return, or at the very least, she could get out of the ICU, but she is still struggling with the long-term consequences of COVID-19. She is one of the estimated 80 percent of COVID patients who are suffering from the disease’s consequences years after the sickness first manifests itself. Some of the common symptoms experienced by so-called “long haulers” are tiredness, headaches, muscle pains, trouble breathing, and joint discomfort.
She and her husband, Shawn, will be celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary in October. Their time together was spent going out and doing activities as a couple because they did not have any children. She was an enthusiastic angler, gardener, and hairdresser at her own salon in the city. “I was extremely involved,” she recalled.
All of that changed the night Shawn stood by her side as she was brought into the Cullman Regional Medical Center’s emergency room.
Shawn was likewise infected with COVID-19, but his symptoms were minor. That is perfectly acceptable to her. Shawn had to constantly check in with physicians and nurses to find out how his spouse was doing. Furthermore, she has no recollection of being placed on a ventilator. She explained to the nurse that she didn’t want to recall what happened.
At the time, the likelihood of a COVID patient being taken off the ventilator was about 50%. Friends and family members prayed for a miracle, and they were granted one in the process. Kimberlee was taken off the ventilator two weeks after she had been placed on it. Shawn’s emotional outburst was probably the most unexpected surprise for her.
Once they told her everything that had happened to her during the previous month, she first believed they were kidding with her. The beautician lost a large amount of hair and toenails in the process. She develops splodges on her skin and has a fungus that has been crawling up her legs for some time. She was certain she’d lost all of her teeth.
She had to endure the humiliation of using a bedpan, have people wash her, and have her husband change her diapers for the rest of her life. “That is something that you never want to happen,” she said emphatically. “It’s a complete embarrassment.” After being discharged from the hospital, she was transferred to a rehabilitation center for another three months to continue her recovery. Even though she is again at home, the last year has served as an extension of the rehabilitation she began there.