Going to the Hospital
It was July 18 when my husband, Mon, was infected with COVID-19. A few days after, on July 25, I also started showing signs and symptoms. We tried to rest and recover from home, but by Sunday, August 2, my sister Joy, a pediatrician, went to our house to check on us. She said, “Your oxygen saturation is too low. I’m taking both of you to the hospital.”
We were apprehensive because we knew that hospitals were in full capacity for COVID-19 patients. When we got to the emergency room, we were accommodated right away—much to our surprise. As soon as we were wheeled in, the guard put up a sign that said, “Full Capacity.” Thank God we made it!
Mon and I were placed in separate isolation rooms. He was in the emergency room, while I was placed in the “Urgent Care” area of the emergency room. There were no other rooms available in the COVID floors. We were tested and x-rays revealed that we both had pneumonia. On hindsight, it was good that I stayed in Urgent Care because Joy was allowed to visit me.
Meeting My Doctors
We were placed under the care of Dr. Jodor Lim, an infectious diseases specialist, and his wife, Dr. Susan, a pulmonologist. Dr. Jod and Dr. Susan are Joy’s in-laws. They would check up on me and pray. When I was feeling really low, I heard Dr. Susan pray, “Thank you, Lord that nothing will separate her from your love.” That prayer was lifted from Romans 8:38-39, which says, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
With Dra. Susan Lim
With Dr. Jod Lim
On August 4, Mon was transferred to a regular room. I was happy that he was responding to the treatment. “Thank God.” I thought, “At least, my sons would still have their dad.”
I was using a high-flow oxygen nasal cannula, a device consisting of two pronged tubes connected to an oxygen supply that assists patients in breathing. I imagined I was in an airplane because of the sound the machines made. There were times when I felt I was in an air pocket. I also felt chest pain. “Oh Lord, please don’t let me have a heart attack.”
Encouragement from Family
However, my condition did not improve and so family, friends, and church mates continued to pray for me. My sons sent messages, and my inbox was full of well-wishes from friends. Later on, I learned that my parents were on their knees, asking God to spare my life. My sister, Joy, even slept in her car in the hospital basement parking lot. (Can you imagine the quality of air there?) She didn’t go home because I was in critical condition.
I looked forward to Joy’s short visits because seeing her lifted my spirit. “Oh, you have tears,” she said in one of her visits. “That’s good. It means you are not dehydrated.”
She prayed for me and called my other siblings. “Tell her what you want to say, but don’t expect her to respond.” I was too tired already because every cough made my abdomen tremor. The pneumonia had spread drastically in my lungs.
One by one they talked to me, telling me that they loved me. I can’t forget the call from Mon. He was crying, and all I could do as a response was just nod. Joy was only allowed to see me for a few minutes, and she told me to text her an “x” via cell phone if I needed anything.
I didn’t need to text Joy until August 7. I finally sent her the message “x because I felt too weak by then. When she came, I showed her a piece of used tissue paper. I coughed out blood. “How long? When will this end? I’m too tired,” I told her with difficulty. I was ready to give up.
I saw shadows in my room. We prayed and rebuked the spirits of infirmity in Jesus’ name, and then the shadows were gone. I thought, “How will they announce my death? How will they tell my sons that their mom is gone?” I started composing my own obituary and said, “Is that it? Did my life count?”
How does Sandra Picache make it though her ordeal? Does she receive healing from the Lord? Does her sickness worsen? Read PART 2 of “Surviving Covid” soon, in One Voice Magazine!