Eastman

Jeff Graybeal: Waiting to get vaccinated was the wrong decision for me

"I, like many others, decided to wait and see how the COVID-19 vaccine affected people before getting vaccinated myself. I felt the vaccine was rushed and, with that in mind, I rationalized that I am in my 30’s, very rarely get sick, and when I do I normally bounce back very quickly. So, if I were to get COVID-19, I would likely be fine in no time. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

"I caught COVID-19 in early May and for the first six days I only experienced light sinus symptoms and slight fatigue, just like I expected it would be. Then, on day seven, things turned quickly. I had no energy, my blood oxygen was consistently dropping into the 80s, I had severe chills to the point I couldn’t click on an icon on my desktop, and my hands/feet tuned white with the ends of my fingers/toes turning a bright blue. I went to the Emergency Room to appease my family fully expecting them to tell me to go home and suck it up, but they immediately placed me in the ICU where I spent the next three days on oxygen. I was diagnosed with COVID pneumonia and Raynaud’s Syndrome, which COVID-19 is known to bring out in some people. After three days on oxygen, I was able to keep my blood oxygen levels up enough to be released from the hospital. It then took weeks until I was symptom-free.​​​​​​​

"Although I had immediately quarantined myself from my wife and kids in the basement of my parent’s home (they had gotten the vaccine), my wife and kids all caught COVID-19 from me which was the hardest part. My kids, thankfully, did bounce back quickly, but my wife did not and has spent two months dealing with heart issues brought on from COVID-19. To think that I could’ve potentially prevented that if I had been vaccinated, has weighed on me. While we’re still waiting on test results and a better definition of what’s going on with her heart, thankfully, the issues have started to recede. Unfortunately, my wife’s uncle, who entered the hospital about the same time I did, was not as fortunate as we were. He had several underlying conditions and ultimately lost his fight with COVID-19.

"Today, I can tell you I really wish I had gotten vaccinated and had encouraged my family to get vaccinated. A simple vaccination could have prevented my family from suffering with this sickness and all of the unnecessary loss."

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