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  • - Woohoo's Covid Experience -

    I've been trying to think of how/when to answer some questions about this, because I've been getting so MANY of them, but I just wasn't sure HOW to address it. I guess it's simple enough to just type out all of my thoughts. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, let's try our best to keep things civil. If you want to say anything mean, PM it to me directly so the thread doesn't get locked! haha. I realize this is not basketball related, but since I've had so many people asking/reaching out, I figured I could post this. If you don't want to read/hear it, please just ignore it. And I really do mean it, if you disagree with anything, I'd be happy to chat or hear your thoughts via PM. I just thought some in-depth and first-hand info might be interesting to some of you. I sincerely hope I don’t lose any friends over the sharing of my thoughts here, but after some of the things I have seen/heard, I know it is a possibility.

    First, just to give a bit of a timeline and background:

    -I was NOT vaccinated, and tested positive on November 27th. My wife (also unvaccinated) tested positive on the 28th.

    -For 5 days, my symptoms were incredibly mild. Day 6 came, and I felt like I'd been hit by a train. By day 7, I needed help to walk across the room, and I was fighting for every breath. I went in to our local hospital ER (this local hospital has a HORRIFIC reputation, but I felt SO bad that I just wanted to be seen ASAP). They left me in a room by myself for 6 hours. The doctor came in twice and talked to me for a total of maybe 60 seconds. He said "I didn't look or sound great, but I wasn't bad enough that I should be admitted or receive oxygen", and they sent me home. I was MISERABLE. It was such a long and horrific 6 hours.

    -Back at home, I rested for 6-8 hours, getting progressively worse. My wife happened to look over at me on the couch, and she gasped. She said my lips and finger tips were turning blue. She said she wanted to take me in to St. Louis to one of the bigger hospitals, and I said NO!! I felt so terrible, and felt so defeated that I'd "wasted" 6 hours being miserable in an ER room all by myself earlier that day, that I didn't want to do it again. I begged her to let me try and take a nap and sleep it off. She told me, more or less, "Get your *%* up, we're leaving right now". The doctor later told my wife that she absolutely saved my life in doing so.

    -I don't remember that car ride, or much of the rest of that day. The doctor said that my oxygen was so low, it makes sense that I don't remember much. My wife said we got to the ER (45 minutes away), and there were 40+ people there, with some people even laying on hospital beds in the hallway! When they were getting info from her at the check-in desk, they checked my oxygen, and within 60 seconds, I was being wheeled back to ICU. They gave me oxygen through my nostrils AND through a mask, and I remember instantly feeling better. I remember being in the ICU for a couple hours at that point, and I recall feeling BETTER because I was receiving oxygen and didn't have to fight for breath. I remember thinking "Okay...everything will be fine now. I'll probably spend a night here, and then I'll get to go home!"

    -The next morning, a doctor comes in and tells me my numbers are declining rapidly, and that he thinks it was likely that I'd require going on a ventilator. I was SHOCKED! Up to that point, the possibility of ending up on a vent had literally never even crossed my mind. I told him, "Please! No! Anything but that". He said he was sorry, and he hoped he was wrong, but that my numbers were just dropping so quickly. I sent a text message to my wife, and told her to HURRY UP!! She had not been allowed to stay in the hospital that night, and was on her way back up to the hospital that morning. She was about 20 minutes away. I was terrified. So, 30 minutes go by, and I see through the wall of my ICU room (the entire front wall was like a big sliding glass door) a group of 4-5 doctors/nurses talking and pointing at me and/or my monitor. My wife walks up to them, and after about 5 seconds, I see her put her face in her hands and start sobbing. I thought to myself, "that can't be good". The doctor comes back in and says "I'm sorry, we just don't have a choice. A ventilator is your only option. You are incredibly sick, and getting worse". At that point, I remember thinking that 'being put on a vent' was probably like a procedure that had to be scheduled, or that they'd have to at least make some arrangements and then maybe I'd be going on the vent later that day or something. So I asked him, ".....when?". He pushed that button to start laying my hospital bed back and said "Right now". I start sobbing, and squeezed my wife's hand and told her that I couldn't believe this was happening. I had NO time to think or to process any of it. It just happened so quickly. 30 seconds later, I'm OUT.

    -I was on the ventilator for 8 and a half days. Things got VERY bad for two of those 8 days. My wife and dad said there was more than one occasion where they believed the doctor was somewhat trying to prepare them that I wouldn’t be coming out of this.

    -I really have no memory of being under, other than some really scary 'dreams' that I had. The worst part about the dreams were that I could tell they weren't "sleep dreams", but I also knew it wasn't real. For some reason, I also couldn't remember that I was on a vent, OR that I was in the hospital! So I was just really confused. I could never move my arms in the dreams, and always had tubes in my mouth (super scary stuff, especially when I couldn't remember that I was on a vent). I recall thinking, more than once, that I may have died in a car accident or something and I was in some sort of purgatory.

    -Suddenly, everything got REALLY bright, and I hear "Mr. Chase? Mr. Chase? Can you hear me?", I see a nurses face right next to me, and I nodded "Yes". He said "Welcome back". INSTANTLY, bam, I remember that I was in the hospital and had been on a ventilator! I also remember thinking that I must have been 'out' overnight. It wasn't until a little later that my wife said it had been 8 days.

    -One thing I'll mention, I was terrified/horrified/scared out of my mind when the doctor had told me I was going on a ventilator. I didn't know anything about the statistical odds I had at that point, I just knew a ventilator was NOT GOOD. I was trembling, and I told myself "I bet there is like a 10% chance I could DIE!!!" After I woke back up, and could somewhat speak/whisper (3-4 days later), I told that same thing to my doctor (about being scared that I could potentially have like a 10% chance to die). He said, "Well, it's a good thing you didn't ask me what your odds were then, because at that point, you probably had about a 20-30% chance to LIVE, at best, at that point". That was tough to hear, and really put in to perspective just how bad things had been.

    -For about 48 hours, I couldn't move anything but my fingers, and somewhat lift my hands off the bed. I couldn't do more than a soft 'whisper'.




    Sorry, that ended up being quite a bit more detail than I would go into, but some of you may have found it interesting to know.

    Maybe the most important part, I'd like to address my vaccination status. Like I said, my wife and I were NOT vaccinated. The difficult part is, when I tell people I was not vaccinated, I get the feeling they instantly jump to the conclusion that I was ANTI-VAX. That is absolutely not true. It's sad because things have turned so political, and 90% of discussions about the vaccine are ONLINE, and discussions just get SO nasty. People want to draw such a hard line down the middle. For me, I always knew Covid was real, and I knew it killed people. I had zero issues wearing my mask to most places in public. For me, I had always planned on eventually getting the vaccine, but I was just hoping to wait just a bit for as much research and data to be collected on the vaccine. After all, I had zero health issues whatsoever, and I exercise/play basketball 3-4 times per week. I figured, I'll wear my mask and take precautions, but I'll just wait a bit longer on the vaccine. I also remember talking with my wife around day 4-5 of having the vaccine (when it was still very mild), that 'this is pretty much what I thought it would be, not a huge huge deal'. And oddly, that thought held true for my wife. She's had common colds that were worse than Covid. NOT the case for me though! The decision almost killed me. Less than 30 seconds before I was officially 'under', as they were preparing me for the ventilator, I sent a group text to 6-7 people in my family that I loved them more than anything. They were all confused by the random group text, as they also didn't realize at that point how serious things were. I ALSO sent a text to my dad (who had been recommending I get the vaccine for a few months), saying I was sorry for not listening to him and getting the vaccine sooner. I then sent a text to my brother, begging him to get his family in church. He hadn't been to church with his family for years and years, and I had been pushing for him to get them back there. But I thought that COULD potentially be my last chance to say it to my brother.



    As I stated earlier, it's been really difficult that the vaccine (and your status) separates people so much. When I finally could hold and work my cell phone, three or four days after waking up, I had 400+ texts, 30+ missed calls, 10 voicemails, 1200 emails (although, about 1100 were spam, haha), 20+ private messages on Twitter, and 60+ private messages on Facebook. 98% of these were incredibly positive messages. It was heart-lifting to read through them all. Unfortunately....2% of them were NOT. I had 12-15 messages (all of them but 3 were anonymous), chastising me. I even had an extended family member that messaged me WHILE I was on the ventilator, saying "Well, I don't know what to tell you other than YOU asked for this". Things were REALLY bad on Twitter. I saw replies from people on Twitter threads where someone would wish me well or ask for prayers and whatnot, and one random person said something along the lines of "I hope he goes quickly so he can free up a ventilator for someone who deserves one". That was pretty difficult to read. It's like...when did we get to this place as a society where we can ONLY show compassion to someone when they meet xyz criteria? I don't know. That's an entirely different discussion, but I have gotten questions about my vaccine status nearly every day since I've been awake. I don't mind it at all, and I always answer them honestly, and that I absolutely recommend the vaccine now. My wife is now back to work (she cuts hair for a living), and has had some shockingly mean things said to her about me. And I had one former HS classmate of mine message me and ask if I was vaccinated. I said no. She replied "Thank GOD, and good for you for standing up in what you believe!!" I remember thinking....are you freaking serious? I almost died. lol.



    Honestly, with 100% sincerity, if you have questions about my experience, my thoughts/beliefs, PLEASE don't hesitate to PM me or text me. Even if you disagree with any of this, or you want to tell me that you wish I'd died on the ventilator, I am happy to answer questions you might have. I have been given a second chance in life, and I don't want to waste any opportunity I have to potentially help someone.



    Just a few other random notes- Aside from almost dying, the main reason my stance on the vaccine changed drastically was my interactions with the doctors and nurses. Obviously, there are hundreds of graphs/charts/articles on 'the internets' about this that and the other, and people on both sides try and disprove the others with all of that mess. For 2 weeks, I spoke face to face with the ones on the front lines. After I was moved from ICU to a regular room, I was put in the 'Covid wing' of the hospital, where it was ONLY Covid patients. One of my nurses said he'd worked there for 2 years, and he cared for the very first confirmed Covid case at that hospital. He sounded SO defeated when I would ask questions about the last 2 years. Every one of the nurses/doctors did. But I was just so curious about their experiences, and I asked them all so many questions. Here's what I got from EVERY SINGLE ONE of them- Please, please, please get vaccinated. They have cared for hundreds/thousands of patients, and the unbelievably overwhelming majority of the REALLY sick ones...were NOT vaccinated. They'd tell me over and over, NO, the vaccine doesn't mean you'll never have Covid, but it will DRASTICALLY improve your chances to not end up on a ventilator or end up like YOU (as they would point to me). They said they'll occasionally get someone in the Covid wing that HAS been vaccinated and requires some oxygen, but that's USUALLY the worst of it. More than one of them said 95% of the ventilator patients and REALLY sick people in the wing are unvaccinated. Hearing the sincerity (and the near hopelessness) in their voices was really all I needed to hear. I realize there are questions about the vaccine. I realize the vaccine isn't perfect. But I do know with certainty that Covid is real, and that the healthcare workers seeing it daily see this ONE correlation: NO VACCINE = MUCH HIGHER RISK TO GET VERY VERY SICK. I'm not sure what else to say in that regard.



    My battle with Covid was shared quite a bit on FB, especially when I successfully came off of the ventilator. When THAT happened, my wife started getting DOZENS of messages from other people who had loved ones on a vent. They wanted to know what meds I was given (or not given), what day the doctors did this/that, etc etc. They all wanted specifics in hopes, I’m guessing in hopes that they could maybe recommend these things for their loved one and then hopefully have a happy ending as well. My wife, to this day, has constant exchanges with people, exchanging information. I TELL YOU WITH 100% HONESTY that nearly everyone one of these people have DIED. It’s really unbelievable. Even if the odds of coming off the vent are only 20-30%, that’s not the odds we have been seeing from these stories. Of the 20ish people/cases my wife and I have been contacted about, I haven’t seen a SINGLE ONE that had an outcome like mine (walking after 6 days, no organ damage, no oxygen or meds needed at home, no lung scarring, etc). I have seen only TWO cases where the person has come off of the vent. One of them is still in the hospital after 15 days, and has a whole slew of issues. The other one is home, but is on oxygen and has a tracheostomy’s, along with some organ damage. It’s been tough for me to process. Why me? Why was I spared all of that? I’ve been dealing with some survivors guilt, if that is a thing…



    I feel like I'm forgetting a few other things I wanted to say, but maybe I'll remember them as you all ask questions. Again, please don't hesitate to message me (or even text me, 314.604.5572) if you want to chat, regardless of what 'side' you're on.



    My final request- No matter what side you're on, do your best to show compassion and understanding. You'll never sway someone by insulting them, and I see it EVERY single day on all outlets of social media. Show compassion, attempt to have a heartfelt conversation, and absolutely feel free to use my story or share my information with anyone who could use it.




    Thanks again for all of the INCREDIBLE love and support you all have shown. I know some of the posts haven't been all sunshine and roses, but I do understand. It's a controversial topic, and it's an online discussion. People are so quick to anger when it's online. I don't hold it against anyone. Just saying. I



    truly love you and appreciate you all! Go Zags, Woohoo!





    Last edited by gozagswoohoo; 01-26-2022, 01:08 PM.
    Allow myself to introduce....myself...

  • #2
    I apologize for the jumbled mess, and completely random mixture of thoughts!
    Last edited by gozagswoohoo; 01-26-2022, 03:31 PM.
    Allow myself to introduce....myself...

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you very much for sharing your story! This brought me to tears, and really added a beautiful depth of perspective to COVID. I’m very grateful that you are alive and doing so remarkably well! The world is a better place with you in it!
      The only hope we have for a better future is to come together and do everything we possibly can in order to achieve a sustainable existence. Everything else is folly of a broken foundation.

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      • #4
        Woohoo thank you for posting. Your honesty is inspiring!
        Birddog

        Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
        Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
        All mimsy were the borogoves,
        And the mome raths outgrabe.

        Comment


        • #5
          Well, Woohoo, there's an ancient expression: Be of Good Courage. If I didn't know better, I'd have guessed you were the first guy to ever say it. Be well, my friend.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you so much for sharing your story, and for your recognition of the amazing doctors and nurses working on the front lines. I appreciate your candor, and am so glad that you were able to survive this horrible disease. Best wishes for continued recovery, and thank you for the encouragement for others to get vaccinated. It is life-saving advice.

            Comment


            • #7
              Very brave, Woo, and so is Mrs Woo. How quickly can you all get vaxxed now?

              Comment


              • #8
                Nathan...

                Thanks so much for sharing... and thank Ashely for being so forthcoming with your status when you were at your worst. While I am not the most religious of people, I do believe in the power of prayer and I am so glad you beat the odds because this world just wouldn't be the same without you. I know those 8 days I spent a LOT of time checking Ashley's FB page to get any hint of what was going on.

                Love ya' brother.
                "And Morrison? He did what All-Americans do. He shot daggers in the daylight and stole a win." - Steve Kelley (Seattle Times)

                "Gonzaga is a special place, with special people!" - Dan Dickau #21

                Foo me once shame on you, Foo me twice shame on me.

                2012 Foostrodamus - Foothsayer of Death

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by LongIslandZagFan View Post
                  Nathan...

                  Thanks so much for sharing... and thank Ashely for being so forthcoming with your status when you were at your worst. While I am not the most religious of people, I do believe in the power of prayer and I am so glad you beat the odds because this world just wouldn't be the same without you. I know those 8 days I spent a LOT of time checking Ashley's FB page to get any hint of what was going on.

                  Love ya' brother.
                  Let me add that you, LIZF, were stalwart and compassionate in terms of Woo updates during that terrible period. Thank you.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jazzdelmar View Post
                    Very brave, Woo, and so is Mrs Woo. How quickly can you all get vaxxed now?
                    The doctor at the hospital said I should be okay to get it around March 1. My primary care physician said May.

                    I have a follow up with my primary care physician in a couple of weeks…I’m going to try and get a bit more in-depth about that.


                    Also-
                    Thank you LIZF. That means so much to me! More than you know.
                    Allow myself to introduce....myself...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Dang, Woohooo....this is such a fantastic, honest, unfiltered post about what you and your wife and family have been through. THANK YOU! I wish all the social media warriors on both sides of this vaccination "issue" could read your post and just sit with it for a while. Thank you for helping us all tap into our common humanity and need to have compassion for one another rather than judge one another.

                      Main reason I am so thankful for your post is because while I am a person of faith, albeit not the same degree of practicing Catholic I was for many many years, I get very wary of people who attribute even a rather miraculous sort of healing experience as you have had entirely to God's grace. To do so suggests God somehow loved,cared for those who, for example, died from Covid less than those who survive....as if an all-powerful, beneficent God would require us wee humans to earn divine grace. It is the opposite of Jesus' story, the Paschal mystery, which is all about unconditional love and compassion for we flawed human beings.

                      Love you man, and I've never even met ya! #GoZags!
                      Even though I care a lot about my basketball opinions, they are like comparing a bicycle to a championship motorcycle who is our coach. . ZagsGoZags

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                      • #12
                        You're an incredible man Woohoo. Thanks for sharing all of that. So glad you came out of this. The world is a much better place with you in it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by gozagswoohoo View Post
                          I apologize for the jumped mess, and completely random mixture of thoughts!
                          When you write from the heart, emotional clarity and hard-won insights carry your audience beyond any hint of randomness.

                          Well done, Nathan. You've wonderfully conveyed your journey to your GUB family. It's a brave thing to do.
                          The GUB Resource Library: Links to: Stats, Blogs, Brackets, & More. . .

                          “They go to school. They do their homework. They shake hands. They say please and thank you. But once you throw that ball up, they will rip your heart out and watch you bleed.” -- Jay Bilas

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                          • #14
                            I have been part of this board and its predecessor for about two decades. Have read thousands and thousands of posts.

                            This post is, hands down, the best post on any topic ever posted to the board in my judgment. Clearly a first-ballot hall of fame post regardless. And on a topic so divisive, it is huge that this post furnishes the best template I have seen for us to just drop the nonsense and come together for each other.

                            Nathan thanks for candidly telling your story and thanks as well for the important message about us having compassion and not politicizing this. Your description of the discussions you had with the hospital staff that cared for you are some of the most compelling I have read regarding the impact of this disease and this virus. We can debate all we want about whether the vaccines cause harm or are "worth it." What we cannot debate is what COVID is capable of doing to us and our loved ones. As a survivor of this harrowing experience, you speak with a credibility on this that few of us have and you have chosen to use that voice and platform to speak most eloquently and in a moving way. Kudos.

                            Thanks so much for sharing your story. I am quite confident that if shared widely, it may well result in someone taking stock of what you said, getting vaccinated or encouraging other so do so, and saving at least one if not more than one life.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Great post Woohoo! Thank you for sharing!
                              Bring back the OCC

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