INDIANAPOLIS — Debbie Rinehart rushed her 66-year-old husband, Randall, to the emergency room last week, not because he struggled to breathe or a spiked fever, but because he was so disoriented after testing positive for COVID-19.
Debbie says her husband showed his first symptoms a few days after he got a flu shot. Randall had a fever and a sinus infection.
“We kept thinking it was a result of the shot,” she said. “So, we kind of just watched his temperature and brought it down with Tylenol.”
The couple decided to get him a COVID-19 test. They went to a CVS minute clinic, and the result for Randall’s test came back positive. Debbie said his doctor told them to try to keep his fever down and to stay at home as long as he was not having trouble to breathe.
But Debbie eventually rushed Randall to an emergency room in Martinsville for other reasons.
“He was confused about about why he was there. He kept trying to get out of bed, so they had to tie him down. Took seven of us to tie him down,” she said.
Randall was admitted to Community Hospital South in Indianapolis on November 11. He tested negative for COVID-19 a few days ago, but his disorientation has not really improved.
“She thinks it is probably COVID brain, COVID fog,” she said. “Now they are seeing a lot more people with those same symptoms. They had not yet, but there was not the spike like there is now,” said Debbie. “They have so many more patients, and a lot of them are suffering from the same symptoms he is.”
Her husband is known as Randall Wayne in their community. He is a radio broadcaster for WCBK in Martinsville. One of Randall’s passions is covering sports.
Right now, he is not the man she met 30 years ago. She called him one time on the phone recently. Debbie explained he appeared to understand it was her on the call, but he could only moan back when she told him she loved him.
“He was never clear in his speaking at all,” she said.
She is hoping that with time, his clarity will come back, but everything is up in the air.
Many hospitals in Indiana are enforcing new visitor restrictions because of an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Debbie waits at home to get updates from Randall’s doctors as she recovers from COVID-19 too. Thankfully, her case is mild.
“You just have to keep reminding yourself that life throws you curveballs, and that is part of life, and you take the good with the bad, and you try to pray,” said Debbie. “He has so many people praying for him. It is unbelievable.”