Discover more from Unreported Truths
The price of fear (Vol. 2)
How the panicked medical response to Covid has corroded the doctor-patient relationship - and damaged care for the most vulnerable
(Second in a series)
Yesterday, I asked you to send in first-person stories of the way Covid and vaccine restrictions changed your lives. The stories continue to flood in - your honesty and willingness to share these painful moments is amazing. As I mentioned last night, because of their length, I am going to group them by subject and run a few at a time.
Today: medical care, and especially the isolation and vaccine requirements that some doctors and hospitals have imposed on patients.
(PAYWALLED FOR 72 HOURS)
In March 2020 I discovered I was pregnant. My husband and I were so excited as we'd been trying for a second child for years. In May 2020, when Lockdown 1.0 was in full swing, I miscarried. It turns out I was further along than I'd thought and the miscarriage was physically and mentally traumatic.
My husband was made to wait outside in the car while I was in the hospital. First of all, I was in the waiting room, bleeding, with women who were going for the 12 and 20 week scans, coming out all smiles and carrying their ultrasound pictures. Finally it was my turn and, tears running down my face, I had to have an internal scan for them to confirm that my uterus was empty. The nurses were very kind, but I have never felt so alone.
The grief I felt was unlike anything I've experienced and I still struggle to understand how treating people at their lowest an most vulnerable in the way they were (and still are; a lot of hospitals and care homes here in the UK denied and continue to do so, people the support of their families when they were sick or dying) is inhumane.
From a daughter forced to choose between properly treating her father’s pain and being with him as he died:
Before the Covid craziness hit, my father was an active man in his 80s who sang in his church choir, ran a Sunday school class, and oversaw an environmental justice organization…
When the lockdown started in March of 2020, we were not very concerned for ourselves - it was clear those most at risk were the elderly. But we were very concerned for my dad. We did not want to transmit anything to him so we stopped visiting and stopped inviting him over for Sunday dinners. I remember a day when I hunted down a hard-to-find carton of eggs and some toilet paper for him and met him outside his home to hand over the items wearing rubber gloves and refusing to hug him or kiss his cheek. (Dear God, the stupidity).
His church closed, his gym closed and my father grew incredibly lonely and depressed. When he turned 88 in April we decided the isolation was doing more harm than good and we embraced togetherness again. And I'm so glad we did.
As summer progressed, my father started to complain of dizziness and problems with balance. One September morning he called me to say he was going to the hospital to be checked out. No one could go with him, of course, because.... Covid.
So he was alone in the hospital later that day when they told him that a CT scan had found a large mass in the center of his brain. Several days of more tests and hospitalization followed until we got the final word - he had but weeks to live. A nasty glioblastoma had taken root in the center of the brain and was also extending tendrils along the sides of his brain…
In the last few days, when his medication was not keeping his agony at bay, when his organs were failing and his lower limbs were swollen and leaking, the hospice nurse said he would be better medicated at the hospice center. But none of us would be allowed to visit or be with him there, of course, because... Covid.
So we kept him at home, and his last two days were a type of torture he did not deserve.
And no, these restrictions have not all ended - especially not in blue states.
From a first-time mother-to-be:
A highly reputable women's OB/GYN practice affiliated with Northwestern Hospital continues to punish its patients with 2020-era covid restrictions. I know because I am a patient and soon to be (first time) mother. It's beyond cruel and we have absolutely no recourse. Many patients feel they cannot complain for fear of being labeled a 'problem patient' or receiving less quality of care…
The out of state travel / vaccine requirements are stricter at this office than just about any federal guideline (and traveling into the US itself). I had to modify a future appointment because of an out-of-state trip planned later this summer based on this policy - utterly absurd.
Second, and most egregious, my husband is prevented from attending all but 3 appointments!!! He can participate in every aspect of society/life here in Chicago, but for attending medical appointments for his first child. But hey at least I can FaceTime him, per this office, so I should shut up about it, right?
I've pushed back on these draconian measures every visit, but there appears to be no end in sight. Each time I'm strung along and reassured that the office 'continues to assess' the situation and it remains fluid, but we all know what it is - bullshit. And expectant mothers (and fathers) suffer as a result.