At least I didn’t die.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

The hospital thought I had Covid.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you probably noticed that there weren’t very many posts in November. Part of that was by design. I was doing the NaNoWriMo writing contest during November. And despite some challenges, I did finish a first draft of that book. 2020 makes the fifth time I have completed the first draft of a book during November. More on that in an upcoming post.

Five days in the hospital, mostly in the ICU, changed my plans.

This illness came on very suddenly. Tuesday evening, I thought it was a little cold in the house. My toes and my fingers both felt chilly. So, I turned up the heater and wore socks to bed. Wednesday morning, I felt normal. By noon I was so cold I was shaking. When I tried to type on the computer, I couldn’t hit the keys. Dialing 911 turned out to be a significant challenge.

My feeling cold turned out to be fever and chills.

Since I felt so incredibly cold, it never occurred to me that I was running a fever. I tried to take my temperature, but my hand shook so much I couldn’t get an accurate reading. By the time I got to the hospital, I was shaking so severely the EMT thought I was having a seizure. I’ll leave it to the medical professionals to debate that one.

If it looks like Covid, you must treat it like Covid.

So many of my symptoms implied an infection with the Covid virus that once they got me admitted, I was sent to the Covid ICU unit. In addition to fever and chills, my blood pressure dropped severely. I’ve never been one to have to worry about high blood pressure, but in retrospect, the numbers they were getting for my blood pressure should’ve made me question whether I was still alive. I had to be given an intravenous medication just to get my blood pressure back within the wishing distance of normal.

Life on the Covid ICU unit.

Being on the Covid ICU unit for four days was a scary experience. My heart goes out to the people who must work in that unit. And remember, I’ve worked on locked psychiatric units, but this one scared me. I feel that I got excellent care. I won’t mention the name of the specific facility. Everyone has their preferences, and some people have had bad experiences, even with an excellent provider. Let me say that I’m delighted to continue to be a member of this medical system.

Watching the staff enter and exit my room was a little like what you might see in a science fiction movie when someone has taken aboard the alien ship. Everyone wore a facemask and a shield. To come into the room, workers had put on an additional transparent plastic garment that totally covered them. When they left the room, that entire outer garment was disposed of. This virus is a nasty enemy, and we can’t be too cautious.

My Covid tests came back negative.

I was told at one point that I had received two separate Covid tests. Eventually, I was given the results, which was that I was negative for Covid. Of course, that didn’t explain blood pressure readings that sounded more like the score of a professional football game, as well as my extreme weakness and inability to eat.

What I had was diverticulitis.

The short version of this is that diverticulitis is an inflammation of the intestine. Some of that nasty junk that should’ve stayed in my intestine had seeped through into surrounding tissue and caused a systemic infection throughout my body. Apparently, I wasn’t far from taking that last elevator ride, which takes you either all the way up or all the way down.

It’s been a slow recovery.

Even once I was able to get discharged from the hospital, I still wasn’t back to normal. Being that sick left me extremely exhausted, and I took the following week off. I am slowly getting back to doing the things I like to do, which for me is working, teaching, and of course, my writing. I have several ideas for topics I want to write about, but that will take me some time.

My online teaching.

To date, I have taught four classes online. I’ve also been taking classes and how to do a better job of teaching online. While online education is a vital necessity in this age of the coronavirus, I believe it’s another one of those long term changes whose time has come. Remember that first portable phone, the giant brick that required hours to recharge? Just as our mobile communication devices have evolved, I fully expect online education to continue to evolve. As the year 2020 comes to an end, and I look forward to 2021, I expect the pace of change to accelerate.

I’m just extremely glad to be alive to be both a witness and a participant in all this change. Please continue to read the blog, where I will continue to talk about how I see things in the fields of recovery from substance use disorders, mental health, and having a happy life.

P. S. What do you think of the new featured image at the top of this blog? Is it an improvement? Or do you miss the old header?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seemed like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

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For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

4 thoughts on “At least I didn’t die.

  1. Professor Miller,
    You might wanna consider getting some friendly flora supplements, as antibiotics kill the bad bacteria, but they also kill the good bacteria. I’m happy that you came out of this ok!!🙂 Gotta keep your microbiome balanced. A good source for friendly flora is Andrew Lessmen @
    Best of health to you!!


    • Thanks for the suggestion. You’re quite right that antibiotics can rid the gastrointestinal tract of both good and bad bacteria. My doctor did recommend I take a supplement when I was discharged and I’ve been taking it every day since.


  2. David ~ What shock to hear about your illness – that had to be very scary! I’m glad that you are on the slow road to recovery.
    I do like the new header at the top of the page….nice!
    Take care, continue to feel better and accomplish your goals. Happy Holidays!


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