Montecito Success Story:
On July 3rd, 2020, I was admitted to the hospital in Scottsdale for COVID-19 after being home sick for about three days. I had a temperature of 102F and a blood oxygen level below 90% before leaving for the hospital. When admitted I also had a blood sugar level of 450. After entering the hospital, I was transferred to the ICU and intubated (on a ventilator) the next day. This is where my personal recollection ends. I know that I was placed prone on a special bed to help my lungs which led to permanent scars on my face and legs. Shortly after beginning treatment, I entered into a coma which severely restricted any personal recollections of the action.
While in a coma, my pancreas stopped functioning, requiring a continuous insulin drip for at least ten days. I also suffered kidney failure which required dialysis for about two months. My kidneys recovered somewhat but are still limited in function.
Doctors ran various brain scans when I did not wake from the coma and revealed that I had suffered several mini strokes. I had additional heart issues with atrial fibrillation and wildly fluctuating blood pressure. There was significant concern about brain damage when I woke up. After a couple weeks, I eventually awoke (the day after my birthday). My memory is pretty fuzzy for a few weeks with various dialysis rounds, blood transfusions, and every possible poking and prodding. I had by then progressed from intubation to a tracheotomy (still on a ventilator) and had a feeding tube in my stomach. After about a month of pneumonia, various fevers, and random infections, I was transferred to a long term care facility, Montecito. When I arrived at Montecito, I could basically move nothing on my body and was completely bed bound. I could slide my hands up from my side to my chest and that was about all. I couldn’t move my legs, lift my arms up, nor breath without a ventilator.
The therapy team helped me sit up and eventually stand up again. I was kind of a slow learner. I did progress off the ventilator and was able to breathe on my own and eventually eat actual food. I wanted to learn how to walk again but couldn’t since one final effect from COVID was sepsis and infection, resulting in the amputation of all of the toes on one foot and two toes on the other.
After the amputation, I picked up the pace on my recovery. Therapy taught me to stand on my own and I began to be able to walk with a walker. After some effort, I was able to relearn how to perform my own dressing, bathing etc. sufficiently that they helped me discharge home. I walked out under my own power on February 15th of 2021. As of now, I’m walking with a cane, driving on my own, going to the gym for physical therapy, nstarting to work again, and pretty much leading a normal life.