Life in progress


An important article from The New York Times that may save your life

I read this article this morning. It contains a lot of valuable insight on what ER doctors are seeing in Covid-19 patients. But I thought it was missing a few important points that you might look for at home.

Here’s what I wrote on Facebook with the attached article:


Reading this article from The NY Times might save your life.

But …

It doesn’t tell you everything you should know.

At the end of the article, the author suggests buying a pulse oximeter (shown in the photo), but not everyone will be able to find one or afford one. As the mother of a cardiac patient who has had numerous pneumonias and RSV, I can tell you what I look for, and what triggers our trip to the ER where, 90% of the time his x-rays show that he needs to be admitted.

As the article states, Covid-19 patients tend to have low oxygen levels by the time the shortness of breath starts. Here are the ways you might be able to detect the otherwise invisible symptoms the article describes. Unless you have an underlying condition that lowers your oxygen levels every day of your life, these might help. Note: I AM NOT A DOCTOR OR A NURSE.

Blue lips, fingernail beds, and duskiness around the eyes: Are you healthy now? Look at yourself in the mirror. Check the colour of your lips and your face in general. Look at your fingernails. All the colour they should be (pink lips and fingernails if you’re Caucasian)? This is your baseline. If your oxygen levels drop, some or all of these will change. Your skin may take on a dull, shadowy tone, like dusk as the sun goes down. It does not mean panic and run to the hospital! But if it persists and you have other known symptoms of a cold, you might want to call your doctor or health unit.

Indrawing (subcostal retractions): When we can’t get enough breath into our lungs, we breath faster and deeper. As the article suggests, people aren’t detecting that they’re doing it. Indrawing is when the belly pulls in beneath the rib cage. It’s easier to detect in children, so keep an eye on your kids, too. Again, if there are any other symptoms and if it persists, especially when at rest, contact your doctor or health unit.

Tracheal tug (suprasternal retractions): Much like indrawing, this happens when we’re not getting enough air into our lungs. It affects the area just above the collar bone. As WebMD describes it, it’s “When the skin in the middle of your neck sucks in” when you breathe. My son, being a heart patient, has this all the time when he exercises. I only worry about it when: he’s not stuffed up with allergies; he’s not exercising in any capacity; AND when he’s his normal energetic self.

If any of the above are present combined with unusual fatigue or signs of a cold, I contact a doctor. I believe these are things we should all look for, after reading the article.

Again: I AM NOT A DOCTOR OR A NURSE. I’m just a mom who has nineteen and a half years of experience watching my son for signs of pneumonia every time he’s sick.

I’m only sharing these symptoms that I look for in my son because COMBINED WITH OTHER SYMPTOMS, and according to the attached article, they may help you detect Covid-19 IF YOU CAN’T GET YOUR HANDS ON A PULSE OXIMETER. If you can, rely on that.

Note also that this is not an exhaustive list of what to look for, but it might help you to detect what your body isn’t readily telling you.

Here’s the link to the article again.


One-Liner Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020 – Some truths don’t age at all

Photo: Misty old cemetery art, with a hand coming out of the ground. Text reads: “Be careful about reading health books. Some fine day you’ll die of a misprint.” ― Markus Herz (1747-1803)

If you would like to participate in this prompt, feel free to use the “One-Liner Wednesday” title in your post, and if you do, you can ping back here to help your blog get more exposure. To execute a pingback, just copy the URL in the address bar on this post, and paste it somewhere in the body of your post. Your link will show up in the comments below. Please ensure that the One-Liner Wednesday you’re pinging back to is this week’s! Otherwise, no one will likely see it but me.

NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, like Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

As with Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS), if you see a pingback from someone else in my comment section, click and have a read. It’s bound to be short and sweet.

Unlike SoCS, this is not a prompt so there’s no need to stick to the same “theme.”

The rules that I’ve made for myself (but don’t always follow) for “One-Liner Wednesday” are:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Try to make it either funny or inspirational.

3. Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

4. Add our lovely badge to your post for extra exposure!

5. Have fun!

Badge by Laura @


AtoZ/What Day is it Anyway? Tuesday, April 21st, 2020 – Rest


My day today so far–11:59pm: 

There will be rest for the wicked!!

Of that I am both sure and determined to make true.


I spent yet another day editing, but good news! I’m finished!

Which means maybe tomorrow I can get caught up on a few things I’ve been putting off. Like packing my mother’s stuff.

I posted the first chapter of the new book on my fiction blog. If you’re curious about what I’ve been working on, click here.

I get the feeling that when this month is over and the book is released, my mother’s room at the retirement home is empty, the A to Z Challenge is finished, and we’re all still stuck at home, I’m going to miss being so busy. Life is so frenzied right now, I barely have time to think.

Enjoy every minute, my friends. Especially if you have your family close.

Why I’m writing this post:

Because if you’re like me and stuck at home already, or if you’re going to be like me soon, the days of the week are going to be hell to keep track of. We have a wonderful community here on WordPress and all over the Internet as well, and I’m sure many people are feeling nervous and/or isolated. I want to make sure every one of us has somewhere to congregate and someone to talk to.

I want everyone to know that you can start discussions with each other in the comments, and if you’d like to write your own “What Day is it Anyway?” post, you can link to this one. Hashtag #WDIIA.

Let’s keep in touch!