Unvaccinated man in hospital with COVID-19 urges others to get vaccinated
INDIANAPOLIS – When Mark Green, who has a lung condition, left his July appointment with pulmonologist Robert Cleenstever, the doctor He hopes to have convinced his patient to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
But Green, like many in Indiana, had deep skepticism about the vaccine, so strong that an intense conversation with his doctor couldn’t allay his fears.
When Green and Clinistifer met about two months later, Green was lying in bed in a critical care unit, battling a serious case of COVID. The 58-year-old New Palestine, Indiana, man greeted his doctor with shyness and shyness.
At this point, Green had no doubts about the vaccine.
After pausing to take deep breaths from the high-flow oxygen machine he was chained to, Green said he’d like to tell everyone to “go get vaccinated.”
He said there was no reason to hesitate.
“I didn’t get the vaccine myself because I was afraid, unknown, what would happen two or three years down the road,” Green said. “Once I got sick, I kind of realized, that it doesn’t matter what happens in the future. It does matter what happens now. … You have to weigh the here and now or maybe you never do.”
Put a pound of medicine into it
Before, Green said he was concerned about a “single small dose” of the vaccine. Over the past 11 days in the hospital, what he describes as “lbs” of medication has been pumped out to keep him alive. He concluded that even if there are no guarantees that nothing will go wrong with a vaccine, it is best to vaccinate now and worry later.
On Friday, while Green’s wife, Amy, and a nurse monitored a machine that ticked his heart rate and oxygen saturation level, Greene recorded a video using IndyStar in hopes that he could change at least one person’s opinion about the vaccine.
Green has heard of other patients in his condition on a ventilator and hopes that won’t happen to him.
Klinstever said the next few days could be crucial for Green. Some patients in his condition turn for the worse. Others keep going in the right direction and eventually go home.
Only time will prove it.
Why not get a vaccine?
Mark and Amy Green were both against taking the vaccine. Amy is still not sure.
They were worried about the unknown.
They discussed the pros and cons. They did not suspect that COVID-19 was real; They know people who have contracted the disease, including Mark Green’s 88-year-old mother.
Health officials have repeatedly said the vaccine is safe and effective, preventing people from contracting severe cases of COVID-19 and dying
But with every argument the Greens heard in favor of the vaccine, there seemed to be one against it. that itMark and Amy agreed that development and approval seemed to be accelerating. People have politicized it, and their politics are on the Republican side of things. No doctor can promise him beyond a reasonable doubt that vaccine problems will not appear in the future.
The Greens are not alone in this thinking, despite the repeated efforts of both health and public officials.
Often, Klinstever says, his patients politely say “no thanks” when he tries to convince them to get the vaccine. While Klinstever says he can understand a lot of that frequency, he also knows the flip side of a vaccine: that hospitals are filling up with COVID-19 patients, sometimes leaving little or no room for others to receive care.
And nearly all COVID-19 patients, especially the very sick, have one thing in common: they haven’t been vaccinated.
This frustrates him.
When the epidemic first appeared, most of the sickest patients were elderly. Now, Klinstever said, the hospital is full of people in their 50s and 40s. Some in their thirties even died.
“That’s the salt in that wound, you know,” he said. “It is very difficult to watch someone die young.”
Greens can’t be swayed
The Greens had heard all these arguments, but nothing affected them. Most people they know have not been vaccinated. None of their immediate family members – Mark, Amy, and their five adult children – have been vaccinated.
Mark’s 88-year-old mother had been planning a vaccination, but four days before she was due, she fell and fractured her hip, leading to a series of health problems, including her own bout with COVID-19 during rehab.
Neither Mark nor Amy ever thought of themselves as anti-vaccine. They’ve had concerns about this particular vaccine, and it appears that many on the outside are largely motivated by misinformation.
The amount of conflicting information made it political, Amy said, adding that she has had the flu and pneumonia in the past. However, she said, with this vaccine, she felt that the government and officials were shoving it down people’s throats and not giving individuals a choice as to whether or not they wanted it.
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everything changedWhen Mark contracted the virus.
At first, he thought he had picked up a bad stomach virus. A few days later, he tested positive for COVID-19, and after four days, the virus had settled in his chest and lungs.
Two weeks ago, their doctor told Amy that she had to plan to bring Mark to the hospital on September 13.
But on that Sunday night, Mark was having a lot of trouble breathing, and the pulse oximeter they were using to track his progress showed his oxygen levels had dropped dangerously low. Amy did not wait. Mark did not protest.
“I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t care,” he said.
As of Friday, Mark has spent a week and a half in the hospital, and even under the best-case scenario, he still has a long way to go.
Ahead is Mark’s Medical Road
It could go either way for Mark. He may need a ventilator. He can also recover without it.
Before he could be discharged from the hospital, Kleinstever said, he would need to get rid of his current high doses of oxygen. It will still be on oxygen when it leaves, much less than it is now. He will need to work on his legs, which have become debilitated during his illness.
A full recovery, if it does occur, could take months, said Klinstever, who had another patient in his 40s who is healthy and runs every day. This patient spent two or three weeks in the hospital with high doses of oxygen, rocking out due to the need for a ventilator. He avoided it but spent six months on oxygen and is only now starting to run again.
Green accepts that the path forward is long.
Now, he plans to do his part to convince others not to end up the way he has been for the past 10 days. He thinks it’s crazy that the vaccine has been politicized.
“I am not pro-vaccine. I am pro-health,” he said. “The vaccine is what makes you healthy. You get the vaccine, and it will make you healthy, keep you healthy and won’t let that happen to you.”
Follow Shari Rudavsky at Twitter: srudavsky.