Cochranite Erin Calver is home again, recovering from COVID-19.
The 38-year-old spent 13 days in hospital in Calgary and says it hasn't been an easy transition home as she is still being treated for pericarditis for another five weeks and is having side effects from those medications.
Calver does have an underlying cardiac condition but says she is hoping to make a full recovery from COVID-19.
In a Facebook statement she sent to 91.5 CochraneNow Calver says "It’s been an emotional week. There are some things you can’t forget... like the fireman and paramedics entering with full hazmat suits. This was like something out of a movie, not something I expected to play out in my own living room. I vividly remember the paramedic saying we would be rushing to the hospital with sirens, and I knew that couldn’t be a good sign. Sirens were used for those in serious medical distress... was this me? Prior to this, I wasn’t told that my condition was critical (I wasn’t told anything), and to be honest, although I had gone through some extreme bouts of shortness of breath, at the exact moment the first fireman entered, I was feeling okay."
On her way to the hospital a paramedic called her family and she could hear him say to them that she would most likely be headed to the ICU and they were to call there for any future updates.
She says she thought to herself "Me... ICU? This can’t be good."
Calver says she will never forget her experience in the hospital.
"I remember entering the isolation room with about a dozen medical personnel in their full PPE gear. Some were assigned to staying in the hall, ready to grab whatever was missing in the isolation room. There was a double set of glass doors to enter my room. There was also a team of medical people between both doors. This team had the ability to communicate via intercom with the medical personnel that were in with me directly. All other communication was written with dry erase on the windows. I have nothing but praise for all these people. But the scene was a nightmare. I was reading the communication all over the glass. I remember thinking that it was a good sign that I was still able to read the messages, even though they were backwards to my eye when written by the outside team. Everyone was covered with PPE from head to toe. I remember looking for some kind of body language to understand what was happening. Most of the initial communication was between themselves, not me. I do remember them asking a few questions, and I had no idea who was even asking the question. All I could see were eyes... and it was my doctor’s eyes that I remember locking in on, as she came about a foot from my face, and tried to explain to me what may happen in regards to intubation. I looked straight into those eyes of hers, and nodded, then cried."
Calver says she was released to go home after two negative COVID-19 swabs. She says she was fortunate to not have had to spend time in the ICU.
She says "Everyone doesn’t get to come back home, so I’ll be forever grateful for that."
Calver is pleading with the public to stay home especially during this Easter long weekend when we typically spend time with extended members of our family.
She says "It’s not ideal, but it’s necessary. I think we can all stay home with those we love. It’s much better than fighting COVID alone in the hospital, or worse yet, dying without anyone by your side. So please think about that the next time you want to leave the house."
Calver is thanking her family and friends for their support and says reading all of the encouraging comments on her private posts is what kept her going during her time in hospital.