A real nightmare


It's been a rough day. You are in the ICU at the hospital and even with medication, they haven't been able to get your fever to stay away. It is night now and between episodes of coughing and gasping for air, the nurse comes in. She offers you some medication and a liquid to help with the coughing. You gladly reach for the cup and suck down the bitter liquid in the hopes that it will ease the pain. You have COVID19 and this crap is tough.


You start to feel tired so you recline the bed and close your eyes. There is a line going to your finger, and several monitoring your heart. You have a blood pressure cuff on that checks your blood pressure every so often and there is an IV in your other arm. The doctors and nurses have told you to lay on your belly so that it is easier to breathe, so that is what you do for a few minutes before falling asleep. Little does your brain know, but you have just rolled enough to successfully wrap the cords and IV line around your entire body. You close your eyes and fall asleep.


It feels like only moments pass, but you wake in a panic. There is water all over the bed, your arms are floating, you are soaking wet! As you reach for the nurse call button, you realize that you are trapped. Your arms are pinned to your sides for no logical reason. You start to struggle and begin to cry. Finally, you are able to free a hand and press the nurse button, but they can't hear you over the machines in the room. The phone lying beside you rings, you are able to answer, and the nurse asks you what's wrong.


"I feel like I am soaking wet" you reply. She says they will be right in. You lay there trying not to panic because you know it will take them a few minutes to put all of the gear on. You see, the nurses can't just rush in to rescue you. Nope! You have COVID, so they have to put on layers of protection, special masks with filters to protect their faces. You are on your own until they are able to get dressed and bust through the door like superheroes.


When the nurses enter, you just keep telling them you don't understand. You hold your arm up asking if it is dripping because it feels like it is dripping. The nurses stop rushing everything and take a good hard look at you. There is no water, you are not wet. The nurses untangle you from the mess of cords and lines. She holds up your arm and runs her hand along it.


"You aren't wet," she says. "No water, no drips". Then she takes your temperature and makes some worrying sounds. She offers you warm blankets to combat the "wet cold" and you gladly accept. You close your eyes after they leave and struggle to fall back asleep. Eventually, you do, only to continue with the wet cold feeling and dreams of drowning. Morning comes and the nurse is back to check your vitals and see how you did through the night. You apologize and ask her to forgive you, and she assures you that there is nothing you could have done.


That is what I experienced during the worst of my COVID episodes. the nurses the next morning told me that I was probably having a reaction to the fever and cough medicine combined. They said they fully expected me to be soaking wet when they got in there, that my fever had broken and I had sweat so much I had soaked the bed. My fever hadn't broken, the bed wasn't wet, and my brain was just totally ruining my day. I was running a fever, having a multiple sclerosis relapse, and generally struggling to breathe. My body didn't do well with the cough syrup and instead of giving me relief, it gave me some hallucinations. I am not sure I will ever understand how some people enjoy doing drugs. I could go the rest of my life and be happy to never experience a hallucination again!


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