Keizer woman details experience with COVID-19

Lucy Workman is one of millions who survived their battle with COVID-19. 

Lucy Workman of Keizer is one of more than 16,000 Oregonians who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. 

After four days of hospitalization and two weeks of at-home quarantine, her doctors have given her the all clear.

Workman is employed with Northwest Human Services’ west Salem clinic, where she is a scheduler.

She was diagnosed with COVID-19 in early June after experiencing the tell-tale signs of the disease: scratchy, sore throat, low-grade fever and chills.

“Bad nausea,” said Workman about another symptom, “Where you don’t want to eat.”

She is certain she contracted the disease from her workplace. But, she had been following disease protocols from the beginning of the pandemic including wearing a mask. 

“I am 65 and have diabetes,” she said. “And my son is a cancer survivor.” Her son, Joseph Workman, lives with her in Keizer.

She was hospitalized immediately after her diagnosis, then sent home to quarantine. “I was made an appointment for July 6. On July 7, I still had a cough, chills low grade fever and diarrhea.” Her doctor told her some people get over it (COVID-19) faster, some take longer. 

“They told me two more weeks and then it should be gone,” she said.

Lucy was ordered to be hospitalized shortly after her early July doctor’s appointment. She lost her sense of smell and taste. “Food was not what I wanted,” she said.

“I had to stay in bed, had to get a shot everyday so I wouldn’t get blood clots. First they put me on an IV for dehydration as well as a heart monitor. And all the lab work,” Lucy said of her four days in the hospital.

After four days of hospitalization, her symptoms lessened, especially at night. Doctors prepared for her release to return to home quarantine.

“I asked, ‘Do I get another test to make sure it’s gone?’ They said no,” Lucy said, adding, “they only test again if the signs return. It does not make sense.”

“I’m praying I still don’t have it. The doctor told me to wear a mask, gloves and wash my hands.”

Lucy was released from quarantine on July 20. Her son, Joseph, returned to her home. During her quarantine Lucy was able to see her children, who came and spoke to her over the patio fence.

Her supervisors at Northwest Human Services was in contact with Lucy during her quarantine. “They called to see if I needed anything,” Lucy said, “making sure I was okay.”

Lucy says the end of her quarantine is like being set free from prison. “I am adjusting to driving and shopping again,” she said.

After her weeks-long ordeal with COVID-19, Lucy wants the public to know that it is not like the flu. “It’s much worse,” she said. 

“Unlike the flu, this make your body work overtime with the fevers around the clock. You lose weight from the sweats. You can’t smell or taste, not to mention the diarrhea, vomiting and headaches.”

“For me, I am starting to get my energy back,” Lucy said about what life is like now. She implores people not to wait too long before going to the hospital. 

“And please, wear a mask. Do it for yourself and the people you love. Think of it that way.”