Hello everyone! I pray that everyone is staying safe during the pandemic! I have a few updates and this is, of course, from the perspective of a family medicine provider, your neighborhood friendly PA.
Symptoms of COVID-19 have expanded a bit. Fever, sore throat, cough, muscle pain, and shortness of breath are still the staples of COVID. However, I have seen positive results without a fever. I have seen patients with only one symptom and I’ve seen patients with all of those symptoms. The cough can be either dry or wet and the shortness of breath can be non-existent, minimal, or hospital admission worthy.
The CDC has added a new symptom: Change/Loss of taste in food. And I’ve actually seen this! I don’t have much of an explanation but wow! What a symptom!
I’ve also seen a new possible symptom here recently. Diarrhea. New onset, unexplained, diarrhea. I haven’t seen it enough to give much information but it’s quite interesting. And I don’t think it’s common enough to add it to the official list of symptoms BUT it’s enough to catch my eye and tingle my sixth sense.
Of course, the bottom line of it all is that you have to go and see your primary care provider when you feel ill, whether your symptoms fall in line with what I’ve listed or if they’re completely different. If you don’t feel well, seek professional medical care.
Results of testing has been quite interesting as well. We were first given nasopharyngeal testing only but now we have both nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal. Basically, we can swab for boogers and/or spit now haha! At the start of all of this, we sometimes waited anywhere from 5-10 days. Now, we’re given a window of 2-4 days, with most of them returning within 48 hours. The fastest I’ve seen at our clinic has been slightly less than 24 hours. The hospital gets them back within the same day, and one person reported that their family member received their results in less than 4 hours! I’m impressed. I believe that part of this is the prioritization of the lab companies to process these tests first. Another factor is a local orthopedic here in Fayetteville, NC is using his own private plane to fly COVID19 tests so that they return ASAP. He’s been doing this for almost a month now. Let’s give him a big round of applause! See the link below for the video.
On a positive note, we’re continuing follow-up with patients who have survived COVID and we’ve shared in their joy. We smile behind our masks and there’s a sparkle in our eyes as we look at them. It is a joyous triumphant visit that makes what we do worthwhile.
I praise God for the triumph and I praise God for the providers who helped these patients recover in the hospital.
I’m reminded so much of Moses during this time. As you may have read in my previous blogs, his story is one of my absolute favorites. God’s chosen people were slaves to the Egyptians. Moses rescued them from slavery, traveled the desert for 40 days, reached the Red Sea, split the sea with the striking of his staff (with God’s help), and escaped from the Egyptians who chased after them and drowned in the river that fell on top of them.
“Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.” Exodus 14:21-22 NIV.
When COVID reached NC, I felt like I spent most of my days asking God to “let my people go” from this horrid disease. I felt like we were slaves to it. Slaves to the disease itself and the fear of the disease. As we look to our leaders, our medical providers, to get through the desert, we feel stuck on this long journey. Now, we’ve reached the Red Sea with the disease still chasing us.
What do you see?
Do you see a powerful river that you can’t cross with a disease following close behind?
Or do you see that the river is already split, waiting for you to step onto the dry ocean ground, keeping your eyes forward to victory?
When Jesus walked on water, Peter walked out towards him. But when he became afraid, he started to sink. Jesus reminded Peter to keep his eyes on him, not on his surroundings.
“Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?'” Matthew 14:29-31 NIV
So, what do you see?
Do you see a powerful river with a disease chasing behind you?
Or do you see the splitting of the sea? The dry ground? Your road to victory?
In NC, our numbers are still rising but my focus has already shifted. I quit looking at the numbers. I reminded myself to look at Jesus. Because if I keep looking at the numbers, I’ll sink like Peter. Because if I shift my gaze to anything but Jesus, I’ll get distracted. But if I fix my gaze on Jesus, then the Red Sea will split and I’ll see the victory. I’ll see God’s faithful promise for His people.
Now, instead of what do you see during this pandemic, I’ll ask you who you see during this pandemic?
Because I see Jesus.
Please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html for any further information on COVID-19.