Mary Sitton, RN
My Story – COVID-19
Clinical Manager, MHP Plasticand Cosmetic Surgery
I would like to introduce myself. My name is Mary Sitton and I am a Registered Nurse & Clinical Manager at MHP Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery. I also work PRN in the ACC Unit at Major Hospital. Over the last several weeks, many of us have experienced and continue to experience high levels of stress and anxiety with the day to day changes involving Covid19. With the number of positive cases, sick patients and deaths increasing daily, this leaves many of us worrying about what to do if we become sick. With that said, I would like to share my personal story with the Coronavirus and what I experienced. I want others to know, if you do get sick, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
My story begins the week after all MHP employees began wearing masks and goggles for all patient contact. The week before I became ill, we were still seeing patients daily. We had reduced our schedule to only essential visits but were still seeing a relatively full schedule. My week ended like every other week on Thursday, March 19. I felt normal with no concerns whatsoever. We had seen many patients that week but I wore my PPE and we thoroughly sanitized the rooms after every patient.
On Saturday, March 21, I woke up with a constant, scratchy feeling in my throat. I didn’t think much about it due to weather changing and I had no other symptoms. Sunday, I developed a minor cough, but it was not worrisome. I went to work on Monday and as the day progressed, my cough became intense. At this time, I still had no other symptoms. I went home after work, took some OTC cough suppressant and went to bed. I woke up Tuesday, March 21, with uncontrollable coughing, feverand body aches. I called into work knowingI was going to be off for 7 days regardless of what my diagnosis was because I had a fever. I was in bed all day Tuesday and all day Wednesday only getting up to get something to drink and use the bathroom.
By Wednesday my symptoms had increased and along with coughing, fever and body aches, I developed stomach pain and diarrhea that lasted 24 hours. At this point I was in tears, I felt miserable, and had never coughed so much in my life. Luckily, my co-workers and friends at work were in constant contact with me, texting me multiple times throughout the day to get updates on my condition. I was being advised to get tested for Coronavirus because I was a “presumptive, positive case” based on my symptoms.
By the end of day two, Dr. Paula Gustafson offered to write an order for me to be tested at Lilly so I could avoid going into one of our clinics. I called that evening and made an appt for Thursday, March 23 to be tested. Some of my symptoms had subsided by Thursday, my fever had decreased to under 100 and no diarrhea. Yea!! My husband drove me to the testing center,at Lilly,we were both masked, and the process was very streamlined. We stayed in the car for the entire process, the staff would show a telephone number and we weredirected to call that number and that’s how we communicated.The swab itself was not painful, just uncomfortable foronlyseconds, and they swabbed both nostrils. The physician that swabbed mewas very kind and made me feel at easeduring the entire process. She was wonderful!
I went home after the swab and returned to bed, awaiting my results. We were given information to access our results online after 24 hours. By Friday, I was feeling somewhat better, fever free but still coughing quite a bit. By 11:20pm on Friday night I received my results;negative. I was relieved to get a negative result,but it is believed I waited too long to test positive and had recovered by the time of my test. I continued to improve over the weekend and remained fever free.I returned to work on Monday feeling much improved. I still had some lingering cold symptoms for an additional week afterward. I can gladly say as of Monday, April 6, I feel 100% back to normal.
I’m sharing my story because I want others to know that even if you are doing all the right things, you can still get sick, however, the likelihood of recovery is still very high. I eat right, drink lots of water, exercise every day, used proper PPE but I still got sick. But I also fully recovered. I can’t express enough thanks to my family, co-workers and friends at work for their daily texts and constant support. We are all in this together!