I haven’t posted anything in a while. For those of you who follow me, you might find that interesting since I just returned from Ghana, West Africa the first part of this month. The trip was fantastic! Chris, my oldest child (Felicia), my cousin Hansel and his wife (Martha); we all had a great time. It was indeed the journey of a lifetime. I did one post, dated January 9 and you haven’t seen anything from me since. The reason covid-19.
There were twenty of us on this ten-day tour of Ghana, excluding several tour-company staff who worked hard to make this a wonderful experience. We returned home on January 5. It was great to be back home. Except for the free covid-19 tests Chris and I had at our local health department to board the plane on our way to Ghana, we spent a significant amount of money for testing: $300 upon arrival at the Kotoka International airport in Accra, and $240 at a private lab to board the plane for our return trip to the U.S. All these tests were negative, giving us a false sense of security, as we spent hours flying and waiting in airports.
A few days after our return to the U.S., Chris and I started to have cold-like symptoms. It was our plan to have another covid-19 test a week after our return home. And so, we had tests done on January 12 at a local drive-in testing site provided by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). The technician who performed our nasal swabs, informed me that there would be a rush on my tests because I have multiple myeloma. I’ve written about this before. Multiple Myeloma is cancer of the blood plasma cells. I know, it sounds horrible; however, I’ll be a twenty-one-year survivor as of March 12. There are tens of thousands of myeloma patients who haven’t been able to make that statement.
As I wrestled with persistent fever of around 99 to 101 degrees, I got a call the day after the swabs were performed from my primary care physician, who is on the faculty of UAMS, as well the director of the UAMS Family Medicine Clinic. Of course, I knew why she was calling before she explained. My covid-19 test was positive. Chris received news of her positive test later during the same day. Both our primary care physicians (UAMS docs.) recommended we have an infusion of Bamlanivimb. This is an investigational drug, being used within the first ten days of the appearance of covid-19 symptoms for patients who aren’t hospitalized. It works to lessen symptoms and prevent hospitalization.
As of today, January 26, both Chris and I are doing much better. Her experience has been far worse than mine, however. She has spent a lot of time sleeping, not eating, and drinking sufficiently, and just not feeling worth a darn overall. I’m happy to say though that as of today we haven’t had fever in the last tree to four days. Chris is still coughing. I, on the other hand, took a short ride on my bicycle this morning. The light is glimmering strongly at the other end of the tunnel.
In case you’re wondering about others in our tour group. We’ve been in touch with all of them, and none has been infected with this horrible disease. I’m not convinced we contracted it in Ghana, instead somewhere during our travel time. We won’t be taking anymore trips until this pandemic has faded from the planet for the most part. I’m still glad we took this trip, though.
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.
I don’t even know what to say! I’m so sorry that you and your wife have been so sick. Happy that you are better. I’m praying for you and your wife right now.
Thanks for the prayers! This covid-19 is a strange thing. I’m 70 with a serious underlying health condition, and I bounced back from this thing without too much difficulty. Chris is still struggling a bit, but she’s healing well. Conversely, my son just lost a friend to covid-19 who was only 32-years-old with no underlying health conditions.
That is very strange. And so sad about your son’s young friend.
My granddaughter and her husband had covid-19 in April. My daughter and her boyfriend had it in November. They all recovered, although my granddaughter still has some ‘brain fog,’ difficulty remembering and concentrating. She is in a PhD program in Syracuse, but has given notice that she will drop out of the program at the end of the semester. I’m praying this will resolve for her soon. She is only 28.
My husband is 72 and was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. He also has COPD, he has to sleep with oxygen, and he’s had 3 heart attacks in the distant past. I try not to worry about him, but I do. Your experience with cancer and covid encourages me. You really are a miracle!
I’m so glad you’re both doing better. I’ve been worried!
I appreciate your concern. You’re among the many who’ve prayed, worried, sent cards, etc. It’s great to know that you’re not alone in your trials and tribulations, whatever they might be.
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So sorry to read this unpleasant ending to your wonderful trip, but relieved that both you and Chris are recovering. Praying for complete healing for you, and also glad that the rest of your party are still all healthy. A friend of mine who has just returned from the USA and tested negative at both ends of the journey has now been diagnosed as positive – he is also recovering well. BUT this is a very nasty virus and not to be taken lightly (or sneezed at 🙂 )
I’m very sorry to hear you and Chris contracted the virus. I was concerned when you initially mentioned going to Ghana and initially thought it a bad idea. With more thought, knowing how much you really desired to go, I decided you made the correct decision. Given your age and pre-conditions, there are risks that need to be taken to realize an important ambition. Under similar circumstances, and aware of my wife’s reluctance, I probably would done the same as you.
Glad you and Chris are recovering. Hope she continues to improve and is able to shortly join you on those bike rides.
You are more of a risk taker than I thought
I’ve always said, traveling to and from Africa was more of a risk than actually being there. The covid-19 numbers for Ghana, a country of 30 million people, are a small fraction of my state’s (Arkansas) with only 3 million people. I’m convinced we got the bug on the plane coming home. Of course, when I get home, I discover five of our friends, who haven’t gone anywhere, except their weekly trip to Walmart have covid-19.
Wow! What an amazing tale. My first thought as I read that you’d traveled (anywhere!) was that you are either brave or reckless. I have a friend who has traveled countless places during this pandemic, so I know it can be done. I, however, am unwilling to do so. I was forced into a situation that involved eating out (dine-in) at a restaurant last week for the first time in a year. Even that felt way out there for me.
I’m so glad you seem to have survived this. This disease is so mercurial, one never knows how it will effect an individual. It will be interesting to learn more about it as scientists pick apart the virus and learn more about it.
I’m glad you are well and that you had a lovely trip.
Everything worked out fine. I don’t regret making this trip at all. I just saw the president of Ghana make an address to the nation last evening, where he has decided to close the borders. All of the activities surrounding the variant in South Africa and other places in the world prompted him to take the safe route vs. the possibility of being sorry later. I think we got in and out at the perfect time.