MACKSVILLE — Jana Lamb, an English Speakers of Other Language teacher in the Macksville school system in south-central Kansas, knows first-hand the symptoms, diagnosis process and results of having COVID-19.
Two months have passed since Lamb, who lives with her husband, Mike Lamb, on a farm in Stafford County, tested positive for the coronavirus. She is considered fully recovered, but her life is not the same.
"I am back to full-day schedules at school," she said. "But I tire easily. I’m still not 100%."
Lamb said her experience started in early September.
"One morning I woke up with a slight fever, my cheeks were flushed, and I had difficulty walking up the stairs," she said.
Although they live in Stafford County, their medical care is with Pratt physicians, Mike Lamb said.
"For about a week we thought she was getting better, but one morning after her first symptoms appeared, she had a really bad night, and she had more fever and was having more difficulty using her inhaler," he said.
Jana has asthma and normally uses an inhaler to occasionally assist with her breathing.
"I knew I was getting worse because I could not take a full breath in with my inhaler," she said.
Jana said she slowly lost her ability to breathe in enough oxygen and wasn’t exactly thinking straight.
Mike said he could see that his wife was getting worse and worse.
"That weekend of Sept. 11-14, Jana continued to decline, so we went to the Pratt hospital Monday morning,"he said.
Her regular doctor was unavailable, but she was initially examined in the emergency room and quickly admitted into the hospital.
Soon after, Jana was admitted to a regular hospital room and had a full blood workup and chest X-rays.
Her condition continued to deteriorate, and her temperature was in the 101- to 102-degree range. She was diagnosed with COVID-19 and moved into a special intensive-care room for further evaluation and treatment.
"Everyone who came into my room was covered from head to toe with preventative masks, gowns and gloves," she said.
She was given the antiviral drug Remdesivir and a steroid, Dexamethasone. During those initial days and nights, while she made steady improvement, she had varying levels of oxygen processing and periods of high blood pressure. She was also treated intravenously with various fluids.
Jana spent four nights in the special ICU room for patients positive for the coronavirus with 24-hour care. She was on oxygen the entire time.
"I was told later that at one point I was one step away from being on a ventilator if my oxygen level continued to drop," she said.
Jana’s overall health continued to improve and her oxygen levels improved enough that she was released from the hospital on the fifth day. She continued to recover at home after her release from the hospital and initially resumed half-day work schedules at school before resuming a full schedule this month.
"If you want to show love for your neighbors, wear your mask to protect yourself and others, wash your hands frequently, and practice social distancing," Jana said. "No one knows who is going to be affected, and you don’t know how bad of a case you might have. You could be like me and recover, or have a bad case and die."