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Message from John Denning: My Battle with COVID-19

We almost made it a complete year without getting the virus. My wife and I have been working from home since early March 2020, taking all the precautions, washing our hands, social distancing, not seeing family and friends, etc. When we had to leave our home for shopping, we wore masks, face shields and gloves.

On March 1st, I started to notice that something was not quite right. My pulse on my Fitbit was running extremely high, and my heart felt like it wanted to explode out of my chest. Along with that, I also noticed chest pain and tightness and a lot of uncontrolled coughing, neck pain and a headache. I just assumed that I was getting a cold, so I treated it as such for a few more days.

On March 8th, I decided to go and get tested for Covid-19 and my results came back POSITIVE. The doctor at MedExpress said that I needed to go straight to the ER at my local hospital, and she wanted to call 911 to transport me there. I told her that I only lived a few blocks from the hospital and that I would drive over myself and get checked in. I called my wife and broke the bad news to her.

Once I got into the ER, they started running tests and bloodwork, along with a chest X-ray that came back showing a problem with my lungs. The ER doctor said that just to make sure they wanted to run a CAT scan of my lungs. My wife was now on her way home and wanted to get tested also to see if she had the virus, so she went straight to the testing center. Sure enough, POSITIVE test results. Now she wanted to come to the ER where I was but the Covid-19 protocol states no visitors.

My CAT scan results came back positive for blood clots in my lungs, and my oxygen level was very low. My heart rate was also racing because of the breathing problem from the clots, causing my heart to work harder and it put me in A-Fib. At this point I am trying to keep my wife calm; she is going crazy because she can’t visit me, and they decided that they were going to admit me in the ICU Covid-19 wing. After several hours of being in the ER waiting in the hospital to get me transferred to the Covid-19 quarantined isolation room, I then also realized that none of my family was going to be allowed to visit.

The next test my doctor said he wanted to run was an Echocardiogram of my heart to make sure that the clots had not moved into my heart valves. The test came back negative, but they still could not get my heart back in rhythm and this was a big concern.

When you are in the hospital, you have a lot of time to think about a lot of things. As most of you know, I am the Polish Falcons of America National Sales/Marketing Director. I have always made sure that if something bad were to happen to me, that my family would be financially stable. I have a substantial amount of life insurance that would take care of paying off our mortgage and provide a nice monthly income for my wife. As I laid in that hospital bed, I thought to myself, “What if this gets worse and I need to go on a ventilator or even pass away from the complications of Covid-19?” We have all read or heard the nightmares that come along with this horrible Virus. Then my thoughts turned to our son, Caleb, who is planning his wedding for this coming New Year’s Eve. I think, “Please God don’t take my life and have them go through this during what is supposed to be one of the best years of his life.” I cannot even imagine my wife doing this on her own without me by her side. As these thoughts kept racing in my mind, I had one peaceful thought – finances were not going to be their problem if Covid-19 would end my life. I have that covered, thanks to my life insurance.

After four up-and-down days in the hospital, my A-fib reset and my pulse regulated, and I was able to come home. I guess I do not need to mention how happy my wife is about that.

I will end with saying – please do not ever take life or loved ones for granted. Life can literally change in a minute. As I know here from experience as well, make certain your loved ones would be taken care of if you suffer any life changing event.