My Covid Journey

For most 2020 was a year to forget. The Covid Pandemic turned most of the world upside down. We watched in horror as we watched so many people and families suffer tremendous suffering and lose. As my wife and I watched all this unfold, we were thankful that Covid19 had not touched us. Until it did.

On Super Bowl Sunday 2021, I woke up a little tired. It had been a long week so I did not think much of it. I took my temperature, but thankfully it was normal. I headed off to church excited for the day. You see, I am a life long Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan and they were playing in the Super Bowl. After church, I headed home and had a little pregame nap. When I woke up everything changed. I woke up with my shirt being soaked in sweat. I took my temperature and it was at 103,6. It would later jump to 104.2 and stay there for several days. I immediately went and had a Covid test. Of course this was on a Sunday, so my results would take a few days. I went home and basically slept through the Bucs winning the Super Bowl. Go Bucs!

On Monday morning I woke up feeling much worse. My temperature was now at 104.2. I also had a terrible headache, body aches, terrible cough and did not want to move. Later in the day, it was determined I needed to make my way to the ER. Once inside the ER, test revealed I had Covid and double pneumonia. I was headed to the Covid floor.

During my stay at the hospital I received Blood Plasma, Steroids and Remdesivir. Being isolated on the Covid floor was tough. When I have been hospitalized in the past, I was used to having visitors and walking the halls. This hospital stay was filled with staff in protective covering and closed doors. Complete Isolation. After more than a week on the Covid floor, I was released. Time to recover from Covid and double pneumonia.

After arriving home, I waited to get better. Surely I would feel better in a few days. But that has not been the case. Today is just under two months since my diagnosis. Unfortunately my symptoms have not gotten much better. My CT Scan shows my lungs are still filled with Covid. I am still dealing with headaches, breathing issues, cough, no appetite, hoarse voice, fatigue and brain fog. Most of my days fill like the movie Groundhogs Day.

My medical team has classified me as a Covid Long Hauler. Not a club anyone wants to be part of. Everything is wait and see at this point. So, what do you do with that news? When you cannot rely on anything that was once reliable. When you have taken every step you know how to take-what then?

You Hope. You Never Give Up.

My life is totally different than it was a few months ago. At times I stand up having no idea where I am going. Trying to process new information has become a challenge. But here’s some good news. God is still in control. His promises never change.

So, I will focus on the unseen. I will continue to pray with great expectancy to wake up one morning with no Covid symptoms. That day when I am renewed physically. But until that day, I will live in Hope. ~OC

“So no wonder we don’t give up. For even though our outer person gradually wears out, our inner being is renewed every single day. We view our slight, short-lived troubles in the light of eternity. We see our difficulties as the substance that produces for us an eternal, weighty glory far beyond all comparison, because we don’t focus our attention on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but the unseen realm is eternal. ~2 Corinthians 4:16-18

My Journey As A Bucs Fan

Well my Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going to the Super Bowl in Tampa. That’s right. The Bucs are the first team to ever play in a Super Bowl in their own stadium. A lot of folks are jumping on the bandwagon and I am okay with that. Me, I have been rooting for the Bucs since the very beginning in 1974.

That’s right, I started following the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on April 24, 1974. That is the day the NFL awarded Tampa with a team. Wow, that was 46 years ago. I was born and raised in South Florida, but just never became a fan of the Miami Dolphins. No disrespect to the Dolphins or their fans. My grandfather was a huge fan and tried his best to make me a Dolphin fan. Heck, I even wore a Dolphins shirt for school pictures one time. But I could never get behind the team from Miami. Then that day in 1974 happened.

Once the NFL awarded the city of Tampa with a team, I was immediately onboard. Even though the Bucs did not start playing until the 1976 season, I was a fan. My parents even bought me a Tampa Bay Buccaneers shirt. Yes, I walked around proudly in my “Creamsicle” Bucs shirt.

After two long years, the 1976 NFL season finally started. Most people don’t remember that the Bucs were originally in the AFC West. I was so excited to see my Tampa Bay Buccaneers finally start playing. The Bucs were playing, but not winning. Tampa ended that first season 0-14. That’s right. A winless season. But I was not deterred. I still proudly wore my Bucs shirt, even though I was heckled by family and friends. I would not give up on my favorite NFL team. I was all in.

My journey as Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan has been a roller coaster. I remember fondly my Bucs winning their first regular season game against the New Orleans Saints in 1977. Oh what a day! Finally able to celebrate a win. Then celebrating a playoff berth in 1979. Then celebrating a Super Bowl victory in 2002. So many great memories.

In 2021, my Bucs are back in the Super Bowl. A lot of people are jumping on the bandwagon. But I have no hate for those bandwagon fans. Welcome aboard! I hope you will truly fall in love with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers like I did, as a child back in 1974. Go Bucs! ~OC

Some of My Favorites

Some of my favorites:

Team:

Cincinnati Reds

Boston Celtics

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Florida Gators

Players:

Baseball: Johnny Bench

Basketball: Larry Bird

Football: Lee Roy Selmon & Derrick Brooks

Florida Gators: Al Horford, Danny Wuerffel & Tim Tebow

Coach: Tony Dungy

Movies:

Hoosiers

Selma

Brian’s Song (The Original)

12 Years a Slave

Woodlawn

Remember the Titans

Doc Hollywood

Facing the Giants

13th

America History

Any Jimmy Stewart Film

Music:

Kirk Franklin

U2

Michael Jackson

Prince

TobyMac

DC Talk

Bruce Springsteen

George Michael

Bee Gees

4Him

Queen

Elton John

Alisa Turner

Tasha Cobbs Leonard

Anthony Evans

Run-DMC

Lecrae

FC Worship

Lionel Richie

The Commodores

Stevie Wonder

Rod Stewart

Kenny Chesney

Truth

Michael English

Proverb

Kim Walker-Smith

Harry Connick Jr.

Michael Neale

Tenth Avenue North

Jeremy Camp

Journey

Earth, Wind & Fire

Hall & Oates

Def Leppard

Hillsong United

Jackson 5

Luther Vandross

Whitney Houston

Adele

Books:

Bible

America Story by Bob Dotson

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs

Moment Make by Carlos Whittaker

Under Our Skin by Benjamin Watson

Just Mercy Bryan Stevenson

Unscripted by Ernie Johnson, Jr.

Living Out Loud by Craig Sager

I’ll Push You by Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray

Breaking Cover by Michele Rigby Assad

Love Does by Bob Goff

Crazy Love by Francis Chan

Radical by David Platt

Transformed by Remi Adeleke

Council of Dads by Bruce Feiler

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

Drop the Stones by Carlos A. Rodríguez

Brave Surrender by Kim Walker-Smith

Comeback by Dave Dravecky

When You Can’t Comeback by Dave & Jan Dravecky

Quite Strength by Tony Dungy

Separate Peace by John Knowles

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

Believe by Eric LeGrand

Lucky Man by Michael J. Fox

Always Looking Up by Michael J. Fox

God & Football by Chad Gibbs

The Pact:Three Young Men Make a Promise and Fulfill a Dream by Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, Rameck Hunt

Vulnerable by Raleigh Sadler

This Life I Live by Rory Feek

42 Faith by Ed Henry

The Slave Across the Street by Theresa Flores

Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes

Long Run by Matt Long

Forty Thousand To One by Ben Petrick

The Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose

When The Game Was Ours by Jackie MacMullan

Catch You Later by Johnny Bench

Love Thy Rival by Chad Gibbs

This is just a short list of my favorites. I could go on for days. ~OC

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