Overcoming COVID-19

Published 9:00 am Friday, April 17, 2020

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On March 31, Barbara Traylor and her sister were at home when their mother’s hospice workers came over. Just like they had for the last couple of weeks, the workers took the temperatures of both Traylor and her sister before entering the house.

After both were cleared, the workers went back to check her mother and quickly returned to Traylor, letting her know that her mother had a temperature, and it was spiking. She was tested and her results came back positive for COVID-19 about a week later.

That same day, Traylor had started to feel nauseous. She spoke to her mother’s hospice supervisor, who told her that she needed to go to the emergency room.

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She went to EAMC-Lanier and told the workers what the supervisor had told her to do. The workers told her to go straight to the emergency room.

At the emergency room, Traylor answered a list of questions and was checked on by a doctor. Since she wasn’t running a temperature, Traylor said she was just given medicine to help with her nausea but didn’t get the nose swab to test for COVID-19.

She returned home and was taking the medicine, but her nausea didn’t go away. On April 4, Traylor’s best friend called her to check on her. Traylor didn’t answer. Her friend called back. Traylor still didn’t answer.

“I was looking at the phone, but I just couldn’t answer. She knew something was wrong, so she just wouldn’t stop calling,” Traylor said.

Her friend kept calling to check on Traylor, who finally picked up the phone. She was asked if she could write, and since she could, Traylor was given the COVID-19 hotline.

When she spoke to the operator of the hotline, she was told to go to Opelika to get checked out.

By that point, Traylor was too sick to drive herself to Opelika, so she was given an appointment at EAMC-Lanier on Monday, April 6.

Monday morning at 10:30 a.m., Traylor was at EAMC Lanier to get her nose swab test and returned home right after the appointment. Since she was so sick, it took her 15 minutes to get out of the car. She she said was called by a Dr. Kim Owens on that Wednesday, confirming that her test was positive for COVID-19.

Since her appointment on Monday, Traylor had been making sure that she was trying to stay ahead of the disease. She was taking Tylenol as soon as she thought she felt a fever starting and began to drink a lot of water.

“I drank those large bottles of Smart Water because that is what I had bought,” Traylor said.

Owens told her to continue to take the Tylenol and to stay hydrated. She also told her to stay in her room and rest.

During the three weeks of fighting the coronavirus, Traylor went through tough times. After not having a fever for the first week of her sickness, a fever finally came. She was still taking Tylenol, but the fever was still tough to break.

“I would drink all through the night, just drink, drink and pray,” Traylor said.

“I would just pray ‘Lord please don’t let the fever take me.’ I would pray myself back to sleep.”

She would take long showers, breathing in as much steam and hot water as possible to try and break the fever.

Traylor said that whenever she tried to sleep, it felt like she was getting pushed toward a cliff. Whenever she would have this feeling, she would pray.

“I would just pray ‘Lord, please save me. I know I may not deserve it, but please save me,’” Traylor said. “That’s all I would do. I would wake up and slowly, I started to feel better.”

Since she could not go and get supplies from stores, Traylor’s family and friends started to help her. They put all sorts of food, drinks, toiletries and meals on her steps so she wouldn’t need to worry about taking care of herself. One friend even made a mask for her.

“Anything they thought that I could use, they just gave it to me,” Traylor said. “I’m grateful for all of my family and friends that brought me anything.”

As Traylor was recovering, her mother was still struggling with the disease. Traylor said her mother started taking a Zithromax-Pak, which is used to help fight respiratory infections, and it helped her.

“Her breathing was so rapid, and she’s  92,” Traylor said. “Once I started giving her the Z-Pak, she started feeling much better.”

Traylor is feeling better, but she is still in quarantine.

The first thing she did once she started to feel better was to cook breakfast. She made sausage, eggs and toast.

“I never felt so glad to do anything in my life,” Traylor said.

To get away from everything inside the house, she sits on her screened-in porch, just taking in the fresh air and thanking God.

“Right now, I get up every morning and the first thing I do every morning is to thank God for letting me live,” Traylor said.