Ponca City resident shares her battle with COVID-19

April 21, 2020 | Featured|Headlines

By SHARON ROWEN | KAY NEWSCOW.COM

PONCA CITY — Ponca City resident Vicki Wasson is happy to be one of the fortunate who is listed as recovered from COVID-19.

“It is the sickest I have ever been and I would not wish it upon anyone,” said Wasson.

Wasson’s battle with the Coronavirus started in March. Today, nearly six weeks later, she said she still isn’t back to full speed.

“I have no idea where I got it,” said Wasson. “I know I got it early and I’m not a stay at home person. I went to club meetings, church, funerals, and other places until March 15. On March 16 I decided I needed to stay home. I had already been to the grocery store and had plenty of food and toilet paper.”

But on March 17, she made one last trip to a grocery store. “I wanted to cook some beans,” she said. “I went in the store with Clorox wipes and gloves. I came out of the store, disposed of my gloves, sanitized my hands and wiped everything down. I washed my hands when I got home. I did everything we are told and I still caught the virus.”

Wasson said she woke up on March 19 with what she thought was the worst cold of her life. “I had a 100.5 degree fever,” she said. “It was responding to Tylenol, but my daughter insisted I go to the doctor.”

An appointment was made for her at the triage center at the medical building. “They were great,” she said. “They tested me for strep throat and the flu and I was negative. But my white blood cell count was low. I was told to consider myself positive for COVID-19 and told to isolate for 14 days.”

Wasson said she came home and ordered a pulse oximeter. “I decided I was going to watch this myself. My heart would race from difficulty breathing. All I could eat was Malt-O-Meal for two days. I lost my sense of taste and smell and got winded walking across the house. I lost 18 pounds in 14 days and was so weak I had to force myself to drink. I knew if I became dehydrated I was dead.”

Wasson said she tried to eat, but she couldn’t. “Everything tasted bad,” she said. “7up tasted like simple syrup. I wanted to throw up water. One day I tried to eat a grilled cheese sandwich but had to throw it away. I cooked a ribeye steak and it tasted like cardboard.”

She said egg drop soup was the one thing that sounded good and that is what she would request when people offered to bring her something.

Wasson said someone from the health department called everyday to check on her. “It was good to know someone was checking up on me.”

On March 25, Wasson went to the mobile testing site set up by the Oklahoma State Department of Health. The site was at the Rec Plex parking lot for one day. (see story) 

Her test came back positive. “While I was out for the test, I drove down 14th Street and by Walmart. By the time I got home I was in tears because people were out exposing themselves and their families to this. With this virus you don’t know when you are going to have symptoms. I’m sure I got it from somebody that didn’t have symptoms and I pray to God that I didn’t give it to anyone. We just don’t know enough about this disease.”

Wasson said she dealt with a non-stop fever for days, slept most of the time for two weeks and woke up one day with her lungs sounding like plastic wrap being placed on a package. “I had a bad cough and was coughing up what looked like thick glue. I had a friend who was also positive for COVID-19. When we weren’t sleeping we were praying together. The only thing that got me through this was knowing that God was with me.”

Since her battle she is dealing with the emotional component left by the virus, and is begging people to stay home and take the pandemic seriously. “I know economically this is a huge burden, but still, these are lives,” she said.  Wasson hopes to participate in antibody testing.