Dispatch from Covid-Land: Tim's stats in ICU | Jane Boursaw Photo
Dispatch from Covid-Land: Tim's stats in ICU; top number in green is heart rate, next number in blue is oxygen level, number in white is breaths per minute, number at bottom in pink is blood pressure | Jane Boursaw Photo
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Well, if there’s one thing we know about Covid, it’s unpredictable. When I last updated you about Tim’s and my brush with Covid in December (not really a “brush,” more like a “knock you over with a sledgehammer”), we were both progressing along in our recovery.

That is still the case with me. I still have to take rest breaks throughout the day, but I’m doing ok, tending the woodstove, writing Gazette stories, and doing a few house chores as my energy allows. Basically, trying to keep myself busy so that I’m not in constant freak-out mode over Tim, who is back in the ICU at Munson.

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To clarify, Tim was hospitalized in ICU the night we took our ambulance rides to Munson on Dec. 16. He spent the first few nights in ICU and as he got better, he was moved to a regular hospital room. In fact, he progressed to the point where he was doing so well that they were planning on sending him home within a few days.

Then he had a setback on Dec. 30 and landed back in ICU on more oxygen, steroids, and even some morphine last night to help him breathe and get some rest. He said it’s just been impossible for him to sleep much, so I’m hoping the morphine and another sleep med they were going to give him last night will help with that.

I’ve been cleared to go see him (we tested positive on Dec. 1, and I tested negative on Dec. 24). So I’m glad to be able to actually go spend time with him and talk to the nurses, doctors and respiratory people to see how he’s doing.

Right now, he has an oxygen face apparatus that helps him breathe. So far, that device has helped to keep his oxygen levels above 90 percent. However, if he moves at all, that number can easily drop into the 80s. I am so glad to see him, but it’s so stressful watching him struggle to breathe.

In the photo at the top of this story, you can see his stats yesterday when I was there. The top number in green is heart rate (I asked the doc if it was high, and he said they consider anything between 60 and 100 normal). The next number in blue is the all-important oxygen level. The number in white is breaths per minute. And the number at the bottom in pink is blood pressure.

One of the doctors told us that many people will continue on this face mask device and progressively get better over the next few weeks, as their lungs begin to heal. I am hoping that’s the case with Tim, but a couple of doctors the other night came in and gave us the “ventilator talk.” We shall call these doctors “The Doom Patrol.”

I think it’s probably standard protocol for doctors to talk with each Covid patient and find out their wishes if they indeed do need a ventilator at some point. But I came home that night and was so traumatized I couldn’t eat for two days (when I’m under stress, the first thing to go is my appetite). After the doctors left, Tim looked at me and said, “Well, that was harsh.”

Later, he asked one of the other docs if there was anything between his current oxygen mask and the ventilator, and the doc said they often will use a CPAP machine that can offer patients a little more oxygen than the face mask. The Doom Patrol did not tell us this.

He is still in a very tough spot. He’s on pretty much the highest dose of oxygen before going to a CPAP, but every time I’ve been there, his oxygen levels are staying mostly in the 90s. I am hanging onto that for dear life. My hope is that he can keep those oxygen levels there for the next week or two with just the face mask and/or CPAP, and pray that his lungs will begin to heal and work on their own.

So all prayers, healing vibes and good wishes are extremely welcome. Help me to envision Tim breathing freely with no effort at all.

Each time I’m there, I read all of your texts and comments on the Gazette and Facebook to him every day, and not only are they comforting, they are a lifeline for both him and me. To know that all of you are thinking of us and hoping for the best is everything. You have been there for us many times over the years, and each time is a tremendous gift that shines a bright light of hope down upon us. Thank you, Dear Readers.

(Note: After my first post, I had a lot of folks asking if we are vaccinated, what kind did we get, have we gotten the booster, etc. I will not be answering those questions, because that is a conversation between you and your doctor who knows your medical history. I am not a doctor. I am just a humble writer.)

A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper.

Because Old Mission Gazette is a "Reader Supported Newspaper" -- meaning it exists because of your financial support -- I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks our way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. In a time when local news is becoming a thing of the past, supporting an independent community newspaper is more important now than ever.

To keep the Gazette going, click here to make a donation. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

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  1. So very happy you are on the mend. Please keep taking it easy till you feel 100%. Jeff and I are sending continued prayers for Tim to recover quickly (especially his lungs) Keep the Faith!

  2. Jane,
    I had a tear in my eye as I read your story. I sort of know the feeling, praying that the lungs have a chance to heal and provide some relief. It’s a feeling of helplessness as there is really nothing you can do to fix it. As you may recall, my mom succumbed early in the pandemic from COVID. I spent the next 6-8 months pretty angry…at the virus, at ridiculous questions from people bordering on rude, mad at myself that couldn’t save her, just mad about it all. You are very, very fortunate that you can visit with Tim, hold his hand, and bring him news from the outside. Hopefully it will give him the spark he needs to start the healing process. Anyway, know that you have a understanding friend out here as I have walked this path as well.

  3. I am thinking good thoughts for you both. Know that you are loved. I cannot imagine what you are going through. Be sure to let us know if there is anything we can do. Tell Tim we expect him to be playing music in the garden this summer. Hugs! Vicki.

  4. Hello Jane,

    Sending our thoughts to you and Tim. Although we’ve only met once, you and Tim were instrumental in our decision to buy property on Old Mission. I had searched in New Mexico, Maine, Oregon, Idaho, and arrived where I began—Michigan. Specifically, a small agricultural preserve with a deep, personal, and accessible heritage embedded into the hills and remaining structures standing today. I discovered the Gazette in September 2019. It quickly became an authentic voice and pride of the peninsula. It remains the essential source for my curiosities and hopes. It continually renews the values of our vision for a future home, family, and community. Thank you again and again for sharing your life stories and experiences on this strip of land.
    The characteristics of OMP may be visually outlined by the contours formed through nature, but the meaningful relationships are those that have been formed between the residents and the peninsula. The Gazette fosters those connections for all the tangible and intangible historical legacies. Every road, every barn, every blossom and resident have stories to tell. The Gazette is the continuum for the human experience and voice of OMP.

    You and Tim are in our thoughts and prayers. I wish we could do more from afar. We look forward to seeing you recovered and in good health in June. Besides, who else is going to inform us of the shenanigans that occurred at the end of Sean Robinson Court. Before it was Sean Robinson Court. I know it was something else to someone else. And I imagine Tim has the scoop.

    Bill and Whitney

  5. Jane, my thoughts and prayers are said for you and Tim. Tim, remain strong ! You r a fighter , May your sense of humor and faith get u thru this. Both of you r supported by friends you have made over the years. Jane, I m so thankful for your updates. Sending love and prayers .

  6. Oh dear! I am so sad to hear you both got Covid!!
    Jane, I’m glad to hear you are able to be functional and even though you need frequent rests, continue to take them and don’t push yourself too hard! This damn Covid, as you know, can and will knock you flat again, so DO TAKE CARE! Tug, hang in there buddy & keep fighting to breathe! I’m assuming you are on Bi-PAP from how it sounds to me…..CPAP is not bad….it all takes some getting used to, I understand it is easier said than done….but really concentrate on relaxing and becoming one with the machine…..It will make all of it easier for you, and also conserve what energy you have for healing instead of just breathing! I’m an old RT…..you might not remember that…..I’m thinking of you both every day…..pulling for you….sending all good healing vibes your way…..and hope hope hoping, you get the f out of that hospital & back to Old Mission where you belong!!! Love, hugs, & healing comfort to you both!!! 💞🤗

  7. I’m sorry you and your husband are having such a difficult time. Here’s hoping all turns out well. In regard to your note at the end of your last post, you spoke of your vaccination status as being something between you and your doctor. Please note that I never asked you to disclose your vaccinations. I only suggested that you might use the Gazette as a way to urge people to get vaccinated so others won’t have to go through what you are experiencing.

  8. Praying for Tim and you. Tell him I look forward to sharing the Pratt family things of historical interest with both of you whenever you are ready.

  9. You two have triumphed through so much. I’m praying Tim heals and comes home to you soon. Please know many people think the World of you two. I’m praying you continue your road to recovery. You need to take care of yourself.


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