Learning I Was COVID Positive & The First Steps I Took That Saved My Life

written August 10, 2021

On July 31, 2021, Florida made COVID history. Per federal health officials, Florida reported 21,683 new cases of COVID-19, “the state’s highest one-day total since the start of the pandemic.” -U.S. News & World Report online.  Never in a million years did I think I would ever be part of such a statistic!  After all, I had been one of the extremists, self-isolating for 1.5 years, placing myself in a protective “bubble” of sorts, not leaving the house except for doctor visits and an occasional masked grocery run. Yet, I stepped out of that bubble July 15-18, 2021, to attend my uncle’s funeral, boarding a plane and being exposed to who knows what in a hotel room.  No matter how safe I had been while traveling, there I stood with 21,682 other people on that fateful day…COVID positive.  

Shock doesn’t even begin to describe the disbelief my mind went through.  How could a little tickle in my throat be COVID?  My appointment at the clinic was to rule out bronchitis or get some medication to relieve my inflamed trachea or bronchial tubes.  But COVID?  If I had looked ahead and seen the speed bumps, I might have been better equipped for the moment.  But, reality is, I wasn’t prepared—for any of it. That’s what I’m hoping to spare you from, because being prepared is more than half the battle with this ruthless disease.

For seven terrifying days, I fought for my life without proper knowledge or tools necessary to survive at home, because that’s where the doctor sends you to fight this war alone.  What I’m about to share is ONLY MY EXPERIENCE.  This information is not shared to treat, diagnose, tell you what to do, or take the place of doctor’s orders. You do what you need to for you and your situation.  Every person is different, and there are many, many varying medical situations which will alter individual care.  I’m just here to point out speed bumps that I encountered and hopefully steer you away from a dead end—literally.  Let me tell you: it is better to have a plan and not need it than to find yourself scrambling to find information in crisis mode. You do not want to be researching a life-saving protocol while being sicker than a dog and then have to decide if it’s something you feel safe risking your life on—or if you even have a choice because you’re THAT sick.

First thing you need to be aware of that I wasn’t: if you test positive for COVID in the state of Florida, AdventHealth has monoclonal antibody infusion, AKA: REGEN-COV (casirivimab and imdevimab) that will drastically up your chances of fighting off COVID when treated within the first 5-6 days of symptoms, especially if you’re a high risk patient like I was (and still am).  This treatment is targeted at keeping patients OUT OF THE HOSPITAL!  I had never heard of this before my diagnoses, but my symptoms turned life threatening within a matter of a few hours; and, had it not been for a friend sharing this information, I honestly believe I would be dead right now.

COVID monoclonal antibody infusion in laymen’s terms is a process where they inject you with COVID antibodies from somebody who has already had COVID. This is NOT a vaccine.  These are COVID antibodies that your body doesn’t have to create on its own.  These guys give your weak battalion of fighters an infinitely greater chance of winning the war by backing up what’s already in your system then targeting and killing COVID, too.

The reason you want to treat early when your first symptoms start to appear is because COVID has a way of rapidly replicating and going berserk inside your body 7-10 days after your first symptom.  By what I understand, this craziness is called a “cytokine storm.”  Look it up!  Know what it is so it doesn’t cost you your life.  It’s real!  What most people don’t know or believe when they hear about it on TV is that life-threatening symptoms can go from 0-60 in two seconds flat!  Don’t think, “I’m fine.  It’s just the sniffles or a sore throat.”  Get tested NOW.  The sooner you act, the more time your body has to attack and get rid of COVID before it starts replicating.  Just think of it this way: if COVID is not there, it can’t replicate.  That’s simple science.  So, make the phone call.  Reserve your spot to be tested.  Be inconvenienced and wait for HOURS to be seen, if necessary.  You don’t have 24 hours to wait if this is in your body. Your ability to continue breathing depends on you acting NOW, and time is not on your side. I cannot stress this enough.

Second thing to be aware of: there are several different protocols out there.  Look into what you can safely take without having negative reactions with medications you may already be on.  Know why each supplement is being recommended and how it can help you, then have it on hand so you don’t have to wait hours or days for it to arrive in the mail. Many of the supplements are ones you should be taking now while you’re well, because it will boost your immune system, protect your lungs, and possibly spare you from pneumonia. I had been taking Vitamins C, D3, along with Zinc, Quercetin with Bromelain, NAC, and a probiotic every day before ever contracting the virus. Many doctors have told me that’s what has most likely protected my lungs and has possibly kept me out of the hospital during the worst of this. I can’t imagine how much worse this could’ve been, as I almost died of acute respiratory distress within Days 4-7 of presenting symptoms, and within 24 hours of testing positive.

The CentraCare doc I saw did not tell me about the infusion like he was trained to do.  Actually, I was told “there is no cure” and “take anything DM over the counter and drink lots and lots of fluids. Come back or go to the ER if you have trouble breathing.” If? More like WHEN.  I’ve never had breathing or lung issues a day in my life, but COVID didn’t care.  I fought for my next breath like an asthma patient. What the doctor also failed to take into account, or even ask me about, was my heart history.  What you should know if you have any type of heart issue: DM suppressant products will drastically spike your heart rate and complicate COVID symptoms.  The insane sensations that plagued my body after taking Mucinex DM made me feel like I was going to have a psychotic break or suffocate to death. Expectorant good. Suppressant bad! If you can’t get the itch out of your throat, Vicks Vapor Rub on your feet covered by socks is safer than risking what a suppressant will do to your heart. But the doctor didn’t tell me that. Again, make sure you know what your body can handle without an allergic reaction BEFORE you’re in the middle of a crisis.

You HAVE to be your own advocate and FIGHT for your life!  Keep asking questions until you get answers that make sense, then prayerfully go forward as quickly as possible.  Google everything you think you’ll need to know NOW, because you’re going to be too zapped of strength to do it when it hits.  The more time it takes you to treat, the worse it gets–exponentially worse!

Speaking as someone who knows: treating at home is especially rough when you don’t have a medical background, so educate yourself NOW, before you’re sick.  I noticed a drastic difference in just one day of having the monoclonal antibody infusion, and the following two days I also saw a positive shift in my favor.  I will tell you, even though I treated early, I’m far from being out of the woods.  I’m on Day 12 right now, and I’m starting to see real hope of this turning around, but it has NOT been easy. There have been times when it’s been outright TERRIFYING! But don’t give up. God made you to live!

“In my distress I prayed to the Lord, and the Lord answered me and set me free. I will not die; instead, I will live to tell what the Lord has done.”  Psalms 118:5, 17 NLT

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7 Responses

  1. Thank you for sharing your story and hope Lori. I am still praying for you! God bless you!

    • Lori Bennett says:

      Prayers have definitely been sustaining me. Thank you for the coverage! I’m fighting to do my best, leaving it all with God. He’s in control. Blessed beyond measure by the timing of how He’s allowed everything to come into my life at the perfect time. Trusting Him to continue protecting me. Stay well!

  2. Judy Bond Norton says:

    Lori, thanks for sharing. I have really been praying for you and so thankful you got the infusion. I believe it saved my life. Prayers continue for you!🎉

    • Lori Bennett says:

      I know God is answering and sustaining me because of SO MANY people petitioning Him on my behalf. I am beyond grateful for each of you!! So sorry you can relate with this situation, Judy, but glad you were able to get the infusion, as well. I have no doubt it changed the course of my future. I now have one! Thank you for being my prayer warrior! (((HUGS)))

  3. Beth Grant says:

    Thanks for sharing. You did a great job writing this even though you are still sick. I’m glad you got the infusion! Still praying daily for you my friend. *hugs*

  4. Philip Bond says:

    Wow Lori. Praise the Lord you are getting better. Thank you for this article.

    • Lori Bennett says:

      Praise God, indeed! Nothing short of a miracle that I’m still breathing. Wanted to make my experience count for something and possibly spare someone else major stress in the future. Please feel free to share this link.

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