We have learned a few things along the way in our journey, some from others and some the hard way through personal experience.
If our journey and learnings can be of any benefit to anyone else, we want to share it…
As a first and the biggest COVID tip, fear is our mortal enemy in this journey…in every way. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of POWER, LOVE and a SOUND MIND, so if fear is my companion, I know it does not come from our Father. I know intimately the battle of faith over fear, especially in regards to the virus and ones we love, and it’s a battle worth fighting. Use your weapons of warfare–the Word of God, remembering His faithfulness in the past, thankfulness, praise, and vulnerability with others who will fight with you in the body of Christ.
Our King and Father rules with peace, even in the worst of circumstances, and I can tell you from my personal experience over the last couple months, that walking with Him in supernatural peace is a FAR CRY from walking with fear as a companion. We are children who are loved by the King. If He is for us, nothing or no one can be against us.
On to other practical COVID tips…
Daniel and I followed a protocol of vitamins and diet from our trusted doctor from the very first day. This regimen is designed to strengthen our immune system to fight, some of which we were already doing before as a part of healthy living:
- Vitamin C 3x daily
- Zinc 2 X daily (be careful with this one, as I became INCREDIBLY nauseous, throwing up, etc. I thought it was COVID, but it actually was toxic amounts of zinc for my body)
- Vitamin D 1x daily (this is another one to be careful with, as too much can also be toxic, but it really helps the immune system. 15 minutes in the sun is also good natural vitamin D)
- No sugar, processed foods or breads
- Much fruit, vegetables, “clean” protein and healthy grains. Not much red meat. No alcohol.
If you have symptoms add:
- Doxycyclene antibiotic
- Ivermectin on day 1, 3 and 7. Check with doctor for proper doses according to weight, and also verify the best ways of application based on liquid or pills. (I know this drug is controversial but some docs in Zim, USA, and SA are using it effectively as it helps control infection rate)
Though we followed this protocol and believe wise protocols helped in the process, we absolutely know God did a miracle in Daniel’s body, as there is no other human explanation.
The oximeter is a very good and necessary tool to have. It monitors the heart rate and oxygen level, which gives indication if the infection is moving to the lungs. The oximeter is pictured as the “feature” picture in this post. Check with your doctor as to the recommendation for a baseline oxygen level, but our doctor gave 92 or above as an acceptable range.
Daniel’s oxygen levels didn’t look absolutely horrible on the oximeter, but I could tell that he was deteriorating daily with his fever, his weakness and his shallow breathing. The important thing is that if the infection starts going to the lungs, DO NOT WAIT until it is dire to go to the hospital. Go to the hospital before things get to a desperate place.
Here is an “At Home” COVID guide given by my doctor, which was helpful with practical tips on eating, vitamins, breathing, etc as well as what to look for when deciding to go to the hospital.
Daniel came home from the ICU and I had instruction for his medicines, but not any other instructions on what to look out for. The first night home, I checked his oxygen and his heart rate, and his heart rate was extremely low. It scared me. In checking with our doctor, i found out that due to the steroids in the hospital, Daniel’s potassium levels were VERY low, which can affect the heart. We immediately started eating foods high in potassium to get his heart rate in more normal range–lots of bananas, avocados, potatoes, and other high potassium foods, his heart rate was more normal in range after 1-2 days of high potassium foods.
No one has the same journey. Neither Daniel nor I lost our taste or smell or had a sore throat, but we had weird symptoms–joints (me, the hips, and him, the elbow) that hurt for 2 days, keeping us up at night and then disappearing. I threw up and was very nauseous, and thought it was COVID, but it was actually a toxic level of zinc in my system. As soon as I stopped taking the zinc, the nausea disappeared within a few hours.
We share our experience, not as normal, but as just one experience, knowing that other people have very different stories. We hope that our journey might be informational and helpful to you if you walk it yourself or with someone else.
The Face of Jesus
The body of Christ–I honestly don’t know what we would do without people who are the face of Jesus to us in the midst of both celebration and crisis.
My value of community has always been high, and yet after walking through this last month and a half, Jesus has grown my appreciation for His body as He has shown his face to us in such significant ways through his people.
I want to tell you about some of them…it has given me a very practical picture of how to walk this journey with others as well…
With both Daniel and me sick and quarantined, normal things were challenging–shopping, cooking, cleaning, errands, and many other normal life things.
During that time, and almost from day one, we had friends who made and delivered meals. Some sent frozen meals while others brought meals they had made, but each one was SUCH a gift, and the care that it represented was so incredibly meaningful. One particular friend brought a meal which was so beautifully presented and it happened to be on Daniel’s birthday as well. We were blown away by His goodness. Just amazing.
We had several friends who asked if they could shop for us, and knowing that we had resources that we could draw on when we needed it was SUCH an incredible gift. One Bible study friend in particular who got us groceries had just walked the exact same journey—husband just out of the hospital and only just recovered herself from COVID. Such a gift.
Our dear connect group friends went TWICE to get oxygen when we desperately needed it. Daniel was too sick for me to leave him to go, and the oxygen company wasn’t sure they could deliver that day. I was overwhelmed in every way, and they called just then. I just sat and cried. My Father, knowing my weakness (the oxygen tanks were even to heavy for me to lift), provided, at every step.
When I was still in the E/R with Daniel, Ali asked me if I wanted her to fly home (she was a 2 hour flight away) so that I could stay with her while Daniel was in the hospital. Not knowing how long Daniel would be there, exhausted from many long and awful nights and not wanting to face the reality of Daniel’s hospital stay by myself, her offer was an oasis for me, bringing tears yet again. I was so very grateful.
When I arrived at Ali’s house, after a tearful leaving of Daniel at the hospital, I was greeted by roses in my room, snacks next to my bed and nutritious meals in the refrigerator, a gift from dear connect friends who had offered many times to shop and bring meals. They also sourced a bed for me so that I could sleep on the floor next to Daniel in order to care for him while also getting sleep myself.
Daniel was alone in the hospital with limited to no contact with even me. I was asking the Lord how I could be “present” with him in the ICU so he was not alone and would be encouraged to fight. I asked family and friends to write letters that I could deliver to the hospital. Over 60 of our friends/family wrote letters to him–meaningful, heartfelt letters! They were full of Scripture and song and amazing words of affirmation and were so incredibly encouraging to both him and me. It gave him courage and community in the midst of a very hard and sobering reality.
And prayer…we got texts, facebook messages, e-mails and daily phone calls from people from all over the globe that were praying for Daniel’s healing. We cannot begin to express our gratitude for the “prayers of the righteous men/women that availed much” on our behalf. We experienced peace in the midst of the storm, and a miracle of healing. This is the fruit of the prayers of God’s people.
Since arriving home, Daniel and I have been processing all that the Lord has done. We continue to pray for restoration in every way–body, soul and spirit. We desire to walk out of this time with every possible treasure that the Lord has for us.
We have seen the face of Jesus through His people and I believe we are different because of it.
50…the faithful Shepherd…COVID
50…I turned 50 on Feb. 7th, and our plans and God’s plans in celebrating that milestone turned out to be very different…
After a wonderful Christmas holiday with my niece and nephew in Mozambique, two days later, I wasn’t feeling well and went for a malaria and a COViD test. The COViD test was just a formality as I had just tested negative 4 days earlier, but much to our shock, the test came back positive, starting the journey of a lifetime.
Daniel tested negative at first and nursed me through my worst. However, I started seeing symptoms in him a few days later, which started a battle for me with fear, which is truly a BIG battle with this disease.
I was still sick myself, but the night that fear started coming over me, I spent a few hours in the middle of the night with Jesus, reading scripture outloud, praising and thanking Jesus, using my offensive weapons of warfare. I can honestly say that, though Daniel’s situation became very serious, fear did not grip me again after that night with Jesus.
Daniel had incredibly high fevers, and after 10 days of following a strict COVID protocol and administering many things at home, he was worsening by the minute. In the middle of the night, I knew we needed to go to the hospital…and soon. He really did not want to go, as the hospital is the last place anyone wants to be in this season (bless the amazing staff who are serving so sacrificially there)l The ICU’s are full with desperate cases with no visitors allowed, and hopelessness can abound in these wards, but after a night of singing and praying over him, when morning came, we headed to the ER.
When the ER doctor saw Daniel’s arterial oxygen level, they immediately admitted him to the ICU. Due to the realities of the COVID situation, we waited from 9am to 5:30 pm in the ER for a bed to come available for him, as the hospitals are full.
Some of the stories of the intimate presence of Jesus in the midst of this journey are below. We got a front row seat to God’s miraculous power in our lives, and I also believe that Daniel and I had the unique privilege of carrying the hope of Jesus into the hospital and the “darkness” that is so prevalent in these times.
As the word got out, MANY started interceding for Daniel, both locally and around the world, and Jesus heard our cries. From one day to the next we heard unbelievable progress. And by the miraculous grace of Jesus, given many heartbreaking stories we have witnessed here, I brought my husband home from the hospital 4 days later , still with a long way to go to complete healing, but with story after story of God’s faithfulness and miraculous power.
Jesus…the name above ALL others…the power of Jesus to heal, to deliver, to bring life, to meet us in the valley of the shadow of death, to bring hope where there is none, to eradicate fear, to provide in unbelievable ways–these are the things that we are celebrating in the midst of recovery.
And 50…I have never been so grateful (the picture above was my “drive by” b-day party with Daniel 1 week out of ICU). My Father gave me incredible gifts….His presence, an intimate knowledge of Him in the valley of the shadow of death, unbelievable friends/family support and the life of my precious husband with whom I hope to serve Jesus until we are very old.
Great is your faithfulness to us, Jesus, and we lift your name higher than any disease, any situation, or any trial we may face.
“I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done.” Psalm 118:17
Angels in the ER
I want to share two of MANY stories of our Father and the way His presence has been intimately known in every part of this journey. I thought it might bless you today. I know it did me…
I had the most amazing experience …in the E/R where we were waiting for a bed for Daniel.
Daniel was pretty non-responsive as he was so sick, but I was sitting on the edge of his bed and had been praying over him and then just started singing “It is well with my soul” in our little room, head raised and hands on Daniel.
All of the sudden I heard another voice join in in an African language and then another one, harmonising with me. (which made me cry and much harder to sing, I must say). Daniel opened his eyes to see. Two precious nurses joined me in the room to sing “It is well with my soul” in their own languages and then we continued with “How Great Thou Art.”
Moments where heaven touches earth as we are petitioning our Father with everything in us. This was precious to me—just another message to say “He is with me/us. He knows, and He rejoices in our praise in the midst of the storm.
Right after singing with these beautiful women, the guards in the parking lot came in and asked me to move my car, as it was parked in front of the E/R. I left Daniel for a few minutes, and though I was cheerful and encouraging when I was with him, when I went outside, I cried.
I was looking for a parking space, and I saw one beyond some barriers, and started heading that way. In South Africa, there are often parking attendants who look after the cars. One of them approached me, telling me that I couldn’t park behind the barriers. I explained the situation to him, and he looked me straight in the eye and said, “Ma’am, God is BIG, and all is going to come right with your husband.” Then he proceeded to let me park there.
I went to the parking lot two other times, and each time he reminded me how BIG God is and that everything was going to be okay. I cried every single time, knowing he was speaking truth to me at the Father’s request.
Jesus has his servants everywhere, and they are so often what the world would call “the least of these.” This man was doing a lowly job that day–watching over cars–but Jesus put him there, and he was on important kingdom business. To me he was a beautiful servant of the King–a messenger of my Father. He spoke my Father’s words with my Father’s heart. How very, very grateful I am for this man. He may have been an angel, I don’t know, but he may have just been an ordinary man, filled with an extraordinary Jesus.
I am a servant of the King as well, and I want to have the same awareness of kingdom business that these nurses and this parking attendant had, speaking words of life and light when Jesus gives me opportunity.
Precious. Beautiful. Jesus. So grateful.