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

Endure the Trials

Life is full of trials. My life has been marked by health issues. I have walked a 18 year journey of multiple life threatening health issues. But I have endured.

During these trials, I have been helped by the truth that Jesus endured his own suffering and trials. Scripture tells us that great joy gripped Jesus when he looked ahead to what his suffering on the Cross would accomplish. Jesus endured all that suffering knowing he was completing the will of his Father. Jesus endured the suffering on the Cross, knowing the joy his resurrection would bring for generations to come. We are still living in the joy of His resurrection in 2021. And most importantly, Jesus endured the pain of the Cross for the joy of one day being able to present his redeemed sons and daughters before his Father.

The suffering Jesus endured on the Cross was not a joyful experience. As we read in scripture, the pain was excruciating. But Jesus was able to endure. When we walk through the trials of life, we can lean into the promises of Jesus and endure. ~OC

Two Photos. Two Memories. Two Healings.

Two Photos. Two Memories. Two Healings. This morning I ran my 800 mile of 2020. My Laura and I have experienced many ups and downs along our crazy beautiful journey. One of those ups is Laura Geddes Paez, pictured with Laura and I at one of our book signings last year. Laura P. was more like a little sister to Laura and I. Laura P. and her wonderful husband René walked through many ups and downs with us. In turn, we walked through some major storms with them. I remember when Laura P. got sick, we declared that one day when our bodies recovered from the battles we were facing, we would run a marathon together. We were both looking forward to that day. Last November, I received my healing. Earlier this year, my dear friend received her healing. Not in the way we had hoped. No, my dear sister received the ultimate healing. No more pain or suffering. So when I run, I am not running alone. No, my dear friend Laura P. is running with me. ~OC

Your Story

Today’s a new day day! Don’t let the world tell you suffering is the end of your story. Your suffering could be the start of a beautiful miracle. ~OC

Be Smart, But Don’t Live In Fear

In an earlier post concerning the coronavirus, I shared I would not live in fear. That I would continue to live life. Several people reached out to me, sharing their concerns about my post. I want to ensure everyone that I am taking this crisis seriously. I will not knowingly put myself in danger. I will take the appropriate precautions as needed. I will stay updated on all the latest news. If I wake up with a fever or feel under the weather, I will stay home and check with my doctors. With that said, I will attend church this weekend if the doors are open. I will hang with friends if the opportunity presents itself.

I encourage everyone to make the best decisions for you and your family. If you are not feeling well, stay home. If you feel like you might have been exposed to the coronavirus, reach out to your doctor. Stay informed. Just don’t live in fear. ~OC

Not Living In Fear

All the major sports have closed down. Disney World has closed its gates. Universities and and Colleges are moving everything online. I wonder if movie theaters and malls will begin to close their doors? Will places of worship decide to close their doors? These are the questions we are asking ourselves as we walk through this season.

I understand the concern. We all need to make sure we are taking the proper precautions. But I for one, am not going to allow this virus from keeping me from living life. I am going to continue hanging out with friends. I am going to continue attending church. I am going to the movies, if there is something worth seeing. I will take precautions if needed. The thing I will not do is live in Fear. I did not live in fear during my 17.5 year crazy beautiful health journey. So, I will not live in fear as we face the coronavirus. I will live smart, but not in fear. ~OC

Ten Years In the Making

In March 2009, I ran my last 5k. A few weeks later, I was told I only had 24 hours to live. For the next ten years, I would be fighting for my life. On November 3, 2019, I experienced an incredible miracle healing from God. This morning, I completed my first competitive 5k in over 10 years. The Miracle continues. ~OC

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