My Story, by Alan Malan

Dec 17, 2020

I have had Covid-19, two lots of pneumonia, and pleurisy. But I am a survivor.

Alan Malan is a Kenton-on-Sea Resident and Covid-19 Survivor

I have been at home since the 13th November 2020. I have had Covid-19, two lots of pneumonia, and pleurisy. But I am a survivor.

When I was at my sickest, my oxygen saturation reached 54 – the normal range for healthy humans is between 95-100. I almost passed away! At the same time my D-dimer level, which indicates blood-clotting, was way beyond dangerous. I am now under the danger zone of D-dimer and my oxygen saturation averages between 95-98.

I have been on drips, swallowed handfuls of pills daily and had masses of injections into my stomach. There’s been days when the power went off and the oxygen machines stopped working, with no generator or inverter. I was on oxygen machines all day everyday – two machines plus a CPap machine at first. Now only a single machine plus I have been gifted a battery pack machine by Round Table. I have had a pipe in my nose every day for oxygen for five weeks. But I am a survivor!

If it wasn’t for the dedication of our local doctor, Dr Galpin, our community would not be where we are today, and I certainly would have been a fatality statistic. She literally saved my life for which I and my family are eternally grateful.

Without my family, friends, the Coastal Kindness Group, Rotary, Round Table, the Night Watch, our Housekeepers Eunice and Mavis, and so many people, who I have yet to find out who they are and whom I still need to thank, I would not be here today.

My Mother got Covid-19 when I did and she nursed me day and night for 4 weeks, despite being sick and then having to work, and that was my saving grace. She made meals, fixed pills, checked machines, handled my injections and so much more. Literally my guardian angel.

COVID! We all hear about it on the radio, the TV and are constantly being told to keep our distance, wear a mask, wash our hands, stay home and avoid groups. We are constantly bombarded with statistics and stories wherever we go. Unfortunately almost everyone now knows at least someone personally who has had it.

Will I die?
How sick will I get?
What will
happen to me?

And then you get it. Even though you were so careful, you did everything right and you are generally very healthy. But the test comes back positive!

And then you panic. Will I die? How sick will I get? What will happen to me?

No one can truthfully answer those questions but I can tell you this.

My body is weak and it takes all my energy just to shower, or use the loo, or move around. My legs are wobbly and my hands shake when I try to write or hold a phone for too long. But every day I get stronger.

My brain is active and positive. I try to find little ways to get stronger every day. I look for a new thing to see outside, or inside. I read a lot online and books. I watch YouTube documentaries and before I go to bed, I always either find something nice to read or watch, or listen to. I make playlists of music on my phone to either read with, fall asleep with, or to sing to.

It’s okay to be anxious and scared. I have cried buckets and also lay here terrified with hallucinations. I have thought I was going to die, and at others times thought I was well enough and then pushed my body too hard during the day.

I have spent a lot of time working through issues I have pushed away like the death of loved ones. I have also looked within and tried to see what I could change about myself for the future.

All these things are natural and part of this terrible disease. You can feel anxiety, and anger, and sadness, and happiness, and pain and everything in between. If you want to scream out loud then do it. It is all okay.

But what you have to do is stay positive. Think ahead. Plan – even if it is for something in January or June. Find ways to pass the day positively. Little steps. Look for the small achievements you can accomplish and celebrate them. Ignore the setbacks but like someone said recently – your track record with bad days so far is 100%.

I said to someone that I felt like a phone on charge;
some days 50%, other days 70%,
a bad day wipes your battery out but you keep charging.

Friends and family are going to treat you differently because they are scared themselves, but you take that negative energy and you turn it around. You will realize that they don’t understand, and won’t because you have survived this and they haven’t.

You are not alone. There are so many people in this community and around you who love you, and care for you. They might not be able to be at your side, but you are being prayed for and cared for. Accept the gifts and meals. Find the inner humility to accept that you are special to so many people. Have a good cry about everything, blow your nose, take a very deep breath, and chin up.

As my Grandmother always said to us:
I have my eyeball on you – so come on – we can do this!

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