A Metro Vancouver woman is sharing photos and stories from an intensive care unit to give insight into her experience with coronavirus (COVID-19).
In a series of posts on Facebook, Langley resident Carrie MacKay shares images and experiences from her stay at the Abbotsford Regional Hospital in the intensive care unit. Her first post appears on Feb. 2, when she acknowledges the "wonderful" nurses in the unit, adding that "COVID got me."
The following day she thanks her veterinarian for sending a care package her way. "When you’re in the hospital with Covid... and your vet cares for their humans as much as your pets." She also thanks a friend for sending another care package, commenting "what good friends I have."
"This COVID has changed me."
At this point, MacKay notes that her flu symptoms are mostly gone as her "fever is down" but adds that she "still can’t breathe in more than half way, need to be super still as to not go into a coughing attack gasping for air... but feeling positive... hope to sleep tonight."
When you’re in the hospital with Covid... and your vet cares for their humans as much as your pets 💗 Thank you Cheryl...Posted by Carrie MacKay on Wednesday, February 3, 2021
On Feb. 4, MacKay is brought to tears because she is able to sit in a chair, which she notes "was a big feat."
"Took about 45min... I cried. Never take your life for granted," She underscores. "This COVID has changed me... I want everyone to stop for a few minutes to appreciate everything they have and all the people that love them. Eye-opening today for me."
Washing hair via shower cap
On Feb. 5, Mackay celebrates getting to wash her hair "via shower cap," which notes is both "exciting" but also "very exhausting."
Big event today! 🙌 Got to “wash” my hair via shower cap! Very exciting!!! - also very exhausting... took it slow with...Posted by Carrie MacKay on Friday, February 5, 2021
MacKay also shares her experience learning to breathe again. She explains that she's only been able to breathe half-way in "for weeks now."
Learning to BREATHE. 🙌 (can only breathe half way in. For weeks now... Shallow breaths. This helps build up my lungs)Posted by Carrie MacKay on Friday, February 5, 2021
On Feb. 6, MacKay describes what she calls a "bad night." She emphasizes that the video she shares only shows a "TINY fraction of what happens" when she starts coughing and gasping for air.
She adds that the episode went on for roughly 20 minutes and increased in intensity until "the nurse came in to up my oxygen to help me breathe while I struggle[d] to cough up some phlegm while trying to breathe with a mask on."
Bad nite... this is just a TINY fraction of what happens when I start coughing & gasping for air. I recorded (a little)...Posted by Carrie MacKay on Saturday, February 6, 2021
Pasta, ice cream, and compassion
MacKay mentions that her favourite nurse, Jiri, is "compassionate, caring and empathetic" and that he "even snuck in some ice cream."
She shares several other experiences from her room in the ICU, as well as some of the gifts and meals she's received from friends. For Super Bowl Sunday, she was treated by a friend's daughter to an "amazing" pasta meal from Paliotti's Italian Restaurant in Abbotsford.
As of Feb. 9, MacKay reports a significant improvement in her overall condition, but she's still at the hospital.