A harrowing COVID tale

Discussion in 'Chatter' started by StankyBoy, Jan 14, 2022.

  1. StankyBoy

    StankyBoy Well-Known Member

    Some of you here know who I am, and those who do not may ultimately recognize me through information in this story. Please keep everything kind - this is not a politically driven rant. Instead, this is a reminder that Omicron is not the end of COVID and for those in susceptible stages of life, the vaccine is the best measure you can take. I was skeptical of receiving my own booster, mostly because of the mandates that will force the needle into my arm despite the low risk factor and previous infection less than 2 mo. ago. Now, I feel ready.

    Please note that some of this may be tough to read. Certainly, it was tough for me to write. Forgive me for any error, and please ask questions for clarity.

    Just over a week ago, my grandfather (nearing 80, ex-smoker since 2015, and unvaccinated because he's scared of doctors, and wouldn't get a shot unless his wife made the appointment) asked me to help out with fixing my great-aunts car. Being usually the first one in the family to jump and assist in these situations, I headed over to my great-aunt's complex. We get her car running, and I take grandfathers car to his house while he takes his sisters.

    I meet grandfather at his home, and while I speak to his wife, my grandfather was in the bathroom, taking quite some time as compared to the usual. Of course, at 80 your joints, etc are not in the best shape. Besides the age issue, he also had some sniffling for two days by this point and a throat, not lung cough.

    Once he's out of the bathroom, he decides to take his beloved grandson home. Less than a mile from his home, he begins to drive on the wrong side of the road. Eyes open, motionless, with his mouth slightly open. I chuckled for a second and said "where you going?" with no response. Very quickly after, mailbox #1 on the left side of the road is down. I'm shocked. Mailbox #2 gets blown over harder than the first. Grandfather's foot was getting heavy and we began accelerating very, very fast on icy winter New England roads. Before we hit a telephone pole head on and a snowplowing neighbor, I grabbed the wheel and try to pull us over from the passenger seat. I ask him "Do you know where the brake is?" - my mind thought stroke or something, although I was suspicious that he had COVID. His mouth opened but no words came out. He said something like "I think so" and slowed down as I steered us to the shoulder.

    I took the keys out of the ignition, utterly shocked that the best driver of my grandparents had made such a big, uncharacteristic mistake. Well, this created quite a tough situation for young me, who does not wield the power to take control of a stubborn grandparent who almost raised you. He's pushing me, grabbing the keys, telling me everything is fine. I knew it wasn't. He said "it's just my oxygen", and "I don't get mad at you often, boy." He also said "if it will make you feel better, I will get vaccinated" as if it wasn't too late already.

    Well, his relentless pressure over about 2 minutes caught up to me and I handed back the keys as he brought me home. Fifteen minutes after the accident, I took an oximeter and made him check the oxygen level. 86 or so, higher than the level President Trump had upon hospitalization, but still not good by any means. I explain to him where his level SHOULD be, and he is surprised. He drives off while I explain to my mother what was going on. Dad leaves work, and searches for an hour to see where he could possibly be in town, hoping no other accidents occurred.

    Eventually, grandfather returns home and my father is there with a COVID test.After an hour of "Damn it, I don't have COVID", my dad convinced grandfather to take the test. Grandfather did not want the test because he did not want to miss a local hockey game, if that tells you the degree of stubborn he is.

    Needless to say, it was positive. Grandfather was shocked but apprehensive.

    Another hour of argument goes by before my father convinces HIS father to go to the hospital. The hospital takes a lung x-ray, and it comes back normal. Apparently, grandfathers fear of doctors was because he feared he had lung cancer, which fortunately he did not. Less than two hours later, he was released from the hospital, with apparently no issue.

    He ends up at the hockey game, but quieter, and weaker than I have ever seen my grandfather.

    Two days later, grandfather sounds better, no cough, just some sniffling and fatigue. He also couldn't swallow - his body essentially rejected all food, apparently not eating for 3 days. My aunt was going to bring him back to the hospital the next day for a check-in. However, neither the doctor, or the hospital contacted him for the appointment the next morning. Around 4:30 on Jan 13, as he tried to leave the house, he said that he needed the ambulance. They came and took my grandfather, and his wife (who has quite the case of gastrointestinal COVID but otherwise fine).

    We all cried, my entire 4 person home after finding this out. Grandfather is not the type to EVER suggest he would need a doctor, let alone an ambulance. However, after more checks, the hospital lets us know he was given steroids to open his airways, and an IV to provide nutrient. Grandfather is on Facebook doing his usual Facebook quizzes, and he says his lungs feel great! We all were hopeful he would survive after days of back and forth from hope, to fear, to despair, after which the cycle was repeated. I went to bed happy, excited to see my grandfather again.

    Screen Shot 2022-01-14 at 10.31.07 AM.png
    Our last text </3

    I woke up this morning to my parents, in tears, explaining that while he was fine when I went to sleep, shortly after his heart rate went really low, which they stabilized, before it dipped again and my wonderful grandfather passed away, the man who watched me as a child and brought me to and from school, sports practices, took me on vacation, and never, ever missed a hockey game.

    So PLEASE... If you have a relative or friend that is susceptible that is neglecting their health one way or another, please share stories like this. I pray no one else has to lose their family member this way. I spent week after week reminding him to make an appointment, to consider getting the 'untested' vaccine. Every time, it was "I'll think about it", or "maybe" with a laugh.

    My worst nightmare came true this week, and I've lost a member of my family who we still thought had another few years in him.

    R.I.P, Pappy. 1944-2022

    Last edited: Jan 14, 2022
  2. Mopar Dude

    Mopar Dude Well-Known Member

    My condolences for your loss. He sounds like he was a wonderful granddad.
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  3. StankyBoy

    StankyBoy Well-Known Member

    Thanks a lot, MD. You are so very kind.

    Pappy will be missing my brothers Senior Night hockey game tomorrow but for sure he will be watching. He wouldn’t miss something like that, EVER. He was so proud of his children and grandchildren and his memory will live on through us.

    We also are keeping his two remaining siblings in mind, one is 86 and the other is 90. They are terribly depressed over the loss of their youngest brother.
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  4. toughcoins

    toughcoins Rarely is the liberal viewpoint tainted by realism

    I'm very sorry SB. May your good memories of him live on forever.
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  5. Mopar Dude

    Mopar Dude Well-Known Member

    Sounds like he set a wonderful example. Sixty years from now when your grandkids are telling everyone what a great granddad they have... Just smile inside and thank your granddad. He'll be looking down on you and smiling too.
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  6. StankyBoy

    StankyBoy Well-Known Member

    Thanks TC. Youre the best.
  7. StankyBoy

    StankyBoy Well-Known Member

    He gave me things that my parents couldn’t when I was a child. He brought me wherever I needed to be when my parents worked.

    I’ve always known that his model should be exactly what every child receives from their grandparents.

    Here’s a photo from a trip we took to a football game in Tampa, Nov 2019. C6D123D7-D895-4477-98D3-6475130143BE.jpeg
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  8. Profiler

    Profiler Well-Known Member

    Sorry for your loss. Losing someone is never easy. He will always be with you and in you when pass on his kindness and knowledge. Cherish the memories and recall them often.
  9. ddddd

    ddddd Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear and thanks for sharing. May he rest in peace and know that he will be watching over you and your family.
  10. CoinOKC

    CoinOKC T R U M P - 2 0 2 4

    Such sad news. I'm very sorry for your loss.
  11. Robert Ransom

    Robert Ransom Active Member

    I know the loss you feel. My "Pap Pap" was only 58 when he passed and he was my best friend. He would take me fishing, for rides on the trolly car, then take out his coin collection and explain all about them while we listened to country music from the Victrola. I have a small coin collection and think of him every time I view them.
  12. JoeNation

    JoeNation The ReichWing Abuser

    It is tough to lose someone you love, especially knowing it was preventable. But ultimately, everything we choose to do or not do in life has the potential to affect the rest of our lives. I'm sure that your Pappy was who he was throughout his life because of the countless decisions he made every day. The good and the bad all went into making him the person you loved. Maybe this was an inevitable conclusion to his long life given some of the decisions he made and the things he experienced along the way and certainly his decision to not be vaccinated but would you really have tried to change who he was, the person you loved, if you knew it might give him a few more years? Hard to say. I fully support your plea to others to get vaccinated. It shows who you are and how you differ from your Pappy in at least one critical aspect of your own life. You are probably like your Pappy in many other ways, ways that you cherish. His decisions, your decisions, all our decisions become the brick and mortar that build a life well lived until we pass from this earth. Our experiences define who we are. We cannot undo what we have experienced either to our benefit or our detriment in the end. Whatever made your grandfather decide to avoid the vaccine was probably engrained into his personality many years ago through some random experience he had long forgotten. He couldn't possibly have seen the consequences of those experiences any more than you and I see the consequences of our own experiences today. He was who he was and he should be celebrated for that. He obviously touched your life in meaningful ways and that is the legacy that all of his experiences should be remembered for. Remember him, love him, for all the things he was, not the one decision that took him from you. That would not be honoring his life as it deserves to be honored. I am sorry for your loss but happy for the experiences you shared with your Pappy.
  13. toughcoins

    toughcoins Rarely is the liberal viewpoint tainted by realism

    Excellent post Joe.
  14. StankyBoy

    StankyBoy Well-Known Member

    Thanks a lot, and nice post that hits perfectly on the nose of the truth. My family is doing well and understanding that the options we make daily really do effect others in both positive and negative ways.

    for sure, his decision to not get a shot was influenced by his personality. NOT partisan politics and NOT skepticism. Just a lazy man with a stubborn streak he flouted throughout his life.
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  15. Robert Ransom

    Robert Ransom Active Member

    My "whole family" decided not to get the shot. The reasons vary. I suspect many got the shots out of fear or pressure to do so. To each his own.
    CoinOKC likes this.

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