Updated: Jul 13, 2021

Evelyn Piechocki 55 years old Fort Smith Arkansas, Retired Married to Scott Piechocki, 34 years

Our COVID-19 experience began on March 13th, my husband of 32 years, Scott had a high fever first. I started to feel just nauseous. We drove back from New Orleans on Sunday 15th. Scott was coughing. I still just felt a little odd. By Thursday I felt Scott had pneumonia, so I dropped him off at the emergency room. He was admitted with low oxygen and pneumonia. I went home.

The next night I went back to the emergency room; I felt chest tightness. They tested me for COVID-19, and they sent me home. I didn’t have a fever. I went back again the next night and they admitted me. My oxygen was normal but I had chest tightness. I think they did this for precaution. But by the next night, they released me.

The hospital gave my husband hydroxychloroquine. He was in the hospital for a week Thursday to Thursday. They told me I was not sick enough for that medicine, so I was not medicated at all. For that week I only had a little bit of nausea and some chest tightness. When Scott got home, we quarantined in my bedroom for a month. My college student Kyle was in the house. Our friends brought meals and Kyle left them outside our bedroom door. After that, I began to feel well again.

On April 19th I started to feel worse than when I first got it. I felt like I was going to have a heart attack. I went back to the hospital with chest pains and they did a chest CT and some other tests and they admitted me. I was there only one night. I left with anxiety meds.

Since then I have been to the ER 18 Times at Baptist Health hospital. And got eight positive tests.

During most of my ER visits, I felt like I was laughed at and sent home with more anxiety meds. In fact, one day when they told me to go home from the ER due to anxiety, I passed out on my way out and they admitted me. I kept telling them it was my gall bladder but not one would listen. And yep it was my gall bladder. They took it out the next day. COVID took out my gall bladder.

Meanwhile, my husband and I asked if I could get his antibodies through a transfusion. We even went on the news asking for help but the Arkansas board of health said no. Everyone thought it was anxiety. I have every anxiety med made. I swear. On day 80, since Arkansas was only giving me anxiety meds we drove to Texas to see Dr. Lazano. We stayed four nights in a hotel and Dr. Lazano gave me hydroxychloroquine. By now I had lost almost 55 lbs.

Once I was back in Arkansas, all my symptoms went away except for my chest pain. My PCP sent me to a neurologist in Little Rock, AR. They didn’t even touch me but did blood work and said they would leave me on hydroxychloroquine and called it an autoimmune disorder. I also tried to get a telehealth appt with the post-Covid clinic in New York but they called me back and said the medical board of Arkansas would not give them a temporary license to do a telehealth appt.

In June, I got two negative tests. Finally, I could see some specialists. We needed two negative tests to see a doctor. It was about this time I started to feel some new symptoms. My face began burning, my feet were numb, and my chest still hurt. Well my new doctor an MDVIP discovered I had water around my heart. So he gave me something to fix that. My echocardiogram came back great. But my neuro stuff was really bad.

At one point I wrote letters to my family I was going to commit suicide. But my husband and my family would not let me. My husband stayed home from work to help get me on an anti-depressant. Meanwhile, my leg gave out so off to the ER I went again but this time it was different my MDVIP used to work at Baptist so he had a neurologist meet me and a regular doctor too. They admitted me for three nights. They did an MRI of my brain neck spine and lumbar. All were normal. No one knew what had happened but the feeling in my leg came back. Unfortunately, my face still burned and my feet were still numb. And anxiety did come and it came in like a storm. So my doctor suggested physical therapy at Total Rehabilitation.

Currently, I get laser treatment, sonograms, and some massage treatments there. They have been amazing. I still have the burning. But they have been helping me. They believe me and are not offering me anxiety meds.

It has been nine months and I am still tired, my feet are numb. But the worse is my face has been burning constantly since the middle of June. No one has been able to tell me why. I am taking Gabapentin and it masks some of the pain, but I still feel it.

Recently I got a puppy, Hope, to take my mind off of COVID-19, my face, and to get me off the couch.

My husband has been my cheerleader. He keeps saying you are going to get 100 percent. I am no longer wanting to kill my self but I do worry if the burning will ever go away.

There are some good things that came out of this experience, my husband and I are closer than we ever were and we have always been close! I met and still talk to a lot of friends with COVID, from all around the world, and finally: "Whatever happens, God has my back."

Me in my mask, on one of my many hospital visits.

Scott and my son, Kyle, at Raven's game.

My new puppy, Hope and I....

My son, Chris and I, Christmas 2019

COVID-19 Survivors, Scott and I!!

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