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It was like “somebody just turned off the switch:” Dr Fernando Cuellar details experience with COVID-19

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Posted: Tuesday, August 24, 2021. 7:48 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Internist, intensivist and COVID-19 patient Dr Fernando Cuellar says he is doing “much better” after being felled by COVID-19 over the weekend.

He called in to the KREM Radio Morning Stew this morning and detailed the symptoms that led him to be hospitalized: “Between Sunday evening, Sunday night and yesterday (Monday) morning, it was horrible; it was a feeling of pretty much severe weakness and no power and I had to check myself into the hospital, especially when I noticed my oxygen level had fallen to 86 (percent).”

He was diagnosed with bilateral pneumonia (i.e., in both lungs) and started an aggressive treatment.

The most distinctive result of his issues, he said, was not distressed breathing but prolonged, dry, incessant coughing with no rest and a complete lack of energy: “…like somebody just turned off the switch.” He said he literally could not get out of bed, which was unusual for him.

Dr Cuellar continues to recover as one of the 15 patients currently hospitalized with the virus, which has taken 353 lives as of Monday.

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