The Cost of Covid

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A couple weeks ago I wound up testing positive for Covid. This was my second time having Covid and, given that I am both vaxxed and boosted, you might think it was a relatively mild case. This assumption would be wrong, however. What started with a minor sore and scratchy throat quickly progressed into a full-blown illness.

My Covid Symptoms

In addition to some of the “normal” Covid symptoms, like cough, fatigue, muscle and body aches, and headache, I also had some more rare Covid symptoms. I had a fever and nausea and vomiting. But the scariest symptom of all was respiratory. I struggled with shortness of breath and, low pulse ox readings, and a high resting heart rate as my heart worked to compensate for the low oxygenation of my blood. These latter two symptoms, in particular, landed me in urgent care.

Urgent Care

At urgent care, I was confirmed Covid-positive and was given a prescription for Paxlovid to combat some of the scarier symptoms I was experiencing. I was told to go home and only go to the hospital if my pulse ox went lower and I was gasping for air. It was quite a scary predicament and I didn’t feel super re-assured when I was leaving, but I am glad that my low oxygen readings only lasted one day. Even so, my illness lingered.

An out-of-pocket approach

As I began day four of my Covid journey, I felt just as sick as at the beginning. My body couldn’t seem to get any relief. While my pulse ox readings were improved, I could still hardly make it from the bed to the bathroom. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t keep food down, and was hardly drinking any liquids. Because of this, my sister, and RN, was concerned about the possibility of dehydration. She encouraged me to look into getting a mobile IV to help replenish my fluids and jump-start my recovery. I googled “Mobile IV Tucson” and, to my surprise, there were a handful of companies that will come to your home (even with Covid-positive patients!) and administer IV fluids, along with a variety of vitamins and medication.

Within an hour of me calling, an RN was knocking on my door. I got hooked up to an IV of saline that also included Vitamin C, Vitamin B complex, Zinc, Magnesium, anti-nausea medicine, and more. The RN explained that the company’s approach is one of concierge medicine. The service was impeccable, but the downside is it is costly and they do not accept any insurance. It’s strictly out of pocket. The good news, however, is that since they are set up and bill as a medical company, they are HSA-compliant. I couldn’t hand over my HSA card fast enough!

Costs of Covid

I wasn’t billed at urgent care, but I know a bill is coming. My insurance makes me responsible for a 10% copay. The Paxlovid, surprisingly, was completely free. The mobile IV cost $225, but I was able to pay for it using my HSA card and it was worth every penny. I instantly felt more energy after getting fluids in me and it was a turning point in my recovery. I started being able to eat and hold food down, my fever broke, and I all-in-all started feeling better.

On the Mend

At this point, a whole week later, I’m still feeling the residual fatigue. But my mind feels sharp again and though my body may tire easily, I can get back to work (I missed a whole week when I felt ill!)

I’m grateful the worst is behind me and that I didn’t need to be hospitalized during my brief bout of respiratory distress. I’m also grateful that I have a healthy HSA to help absorb these unplanned medical expenses. And if anyone else finds themselves in a similar situation, I cannot recommend a mobile IV strongly enough! They are pricey, but what is your health worth? It made a huge difference for me in my recovery!

Y’all take care out there! Stay well!

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