We now believe, that two months before it was to be acknowledged in the United States, with every fiber of our being know that Patti had Covid-19! I brought it home with me in December of 2019 having (I now believe) gotten it either in Mongolia or Seoul, South Korea, on my flight home on December 14, 2019 when I was sick enough to go to the Emergency Room of the Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle, Washington.

Long, LONG, before Patti acquired this horrible coughing situation, we had plans to come to Phoenix and to the Mayo Clinic. We basically came here for (1) her Barrett’s Syndrome regarding her esophagus and (2) to get injections in her spine for her back pain. BOTH  have now been dealt with and this upcoming Friday Patti will undergo a procedure to deal with her Barrett’s Syndrome.

Now we get to Patti’s lung issue. It began December 16th after I returned from Asia. Patti contacted the ‘cold’ or the ‘flu’ that I brought back with me. Instead of simply recovering from a nasty ‘cold’ or the ‘flu’ it settled in her lungs and refused to get better. She saw her doctor in Anchorage, got a prescription after a chest x-ray, followed the regimen of the prescribed medicine with absolutely NO improvement whatsoever. It had become so bad (the on-again off-again coughing day and night) that last Saturday, at 4 o’clock in the morning, I called the emergency room (the E.R.) here at the Mayo Clinic about bringing Patti in. Patti did not want to go to the E.R. We also (unsuccessfully) attempted to talk with a Mayo hotline nurse. 

Last Monday Patti’s (Barrett’s Syndrome) doctor noticed her cough and ordered a chest x-ray. Last night Patti saw the results on her Mayo Clinic Internet Portal and it stated that there was a possibility she had bronchial pneumonia. We hoped Patti would have access to a Mayo Clinic pulmonologist (a doctor who specializes in treating diseases of the lungs). This was not possible because Patti does not have (and is unable to get) a primary care doctor here at the Mayo Clinic.

This brings us to this morning. After we both had blood drawn and after my thyroid ultrasound scan, I said to Patti : “We are going to the E.R. and we are going NOW.”

And we immediately (about 9:30am) drove from the Mayo Clinic Shea Campus to the Mayo Clinic Hospital and Main Campus. We entered the E.R., and were checked in and waited (only) about 20 minutes before Patti was seen by a doctor who had already reviewed the x-rays taken last Monday. He ordered another set of two chest x-rays (front and side shots) and immediately prescribed a lung therapy inhalation treatment along with additional blood tests and a urine sample, a steroid injection and a prescription for a 14-day antibiotic and a 5 day oral steroid. They also did an electrocardiogram of Patti’s heart. In short we got all we could have hoped for accomplished by the Mayo Clinic E.R. team. We left the E.R. about 2pm and headed to Walmart to pick up her prescriptions ($117 as, totally unknown to her, Patti’s prescription insurance had been cancelled so she paid the cash price). The Walmart staff called her health insurance carrier with no luck. After getting home to our motel Patti got this mess corrected and will get a cash refund tomorrow. What an unneeded drama this was! Back to our motel room we came.

Patti is awaiting further instructions from her Barrett’s Syndrome doctor who is scheduled to perform the procedure on Patti this upcoming Friday morning before beginning her antibiotic regimen.

I promised several of you who we texted a full recap and here you have it.

Patti and Cap



  1. Gullible

    Hope Patti begins to feel better. Are you waiting for a full diagnosis? My memory says she gets it every winter. She was sick from it all winter when she was working as a counselor, and every winter it starts up again. It may have coincided with your return from Asia this winter, but I don’t think that’s the cause. I suspect something environmental in her condo might be the cause.

    1. Cap Chastain Post author

      I have just received my own final diagnosis from my routine physical examination and all seems well. Yes indeed, for Patti it begins with a routine head cold and proceeds to become a bronchial issue / challenge. She thought, for some years, it was COPD from her mother’s constant smoking as she grew up. We may never know and it is a serious issue for sure. Thanks for your comment, support and interest Gullible. Cap and Patti

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