Moderate AA and COVID-19
I recently had the misfortune of getting COVID-19. I'll briefly describe my symptoms, and then ask a question or two...
At first, I noticed a sort of hacking, non-productive cough. This cough went on for a few days. I was tested, and got a positive result on September 1.
Other than the cough, my symptoms were minimal, and I felt fine at first. In fact, for the first few days, I continued to do a daily workout program I had been doing before I got sick -- for the first few days I felt fine after the workout. However, as the week went on, I felt progressively worse after the workouts were done -- by the end of the week I had stopped working out completely.
Near the end of the week, I thought I felt good enough to do some yard-work... this was a mistake. After a couple of sessions of yardwork, I felt terrible -- like I had no energy at all -- and I knew I was sick!
For the next week, I was very sick -- pretty much confined to my recliner, coughing my head off, fever at times at around 100F (at times slightly higher), no energy, achy, and just generally feeling terrible. If I walked across the house, I would feel out of breath and have to rest. After about a week of this, I got to the point I did not think I was improving at all, so I went to the Emergency Room in a nearby city to get checked out.
The ER doctor found that my O2 saturation level was near 100 (good), and my lungs had the expected level of COVID pneumonia -- I suppose I was recovering as expected from the COVID... but after doing a CBC, he found my blood counts (which were already low due to MAA) were now even lower. My HGB was 7.2, and my platelets were 26. After consulting with my local hematologist, they decided to give me a unit of platelets and a unit of regular blood. Also he gave me 4 days of Levaquin antibiotic in case any bacterial infection was starting up.
It has now been about a week since the transfusion. I am feeling much better (still coughing quite a bit), but with more energy. However, I don't feel like I have a "normal" level of energy & stamina yet. I am supposed to meet with my hematologist next week for re-test and further evaluation. The COVID-19 seems to be improving, although I just tested positive again yesterday!
(1) Is it to be expected that COVID-19 will drive your blood counts lower? Is this true for anyone, or just for people with AA?
(2) What is the likelihood that the blood transfusion will be a one-time thing for me and not something we need to repeat regularly from now on?
(3) My O2 saturation level was near 100% at the ER, however, my HGB 7.2. I do not understand the relationship between these two readings -- how could both be true?
If you have any other thoughts on COVID-19 and its affects on those with AA, I'd love to hear them!
David M, reds/whites/plats slowly declining since 2000; hypo-cellular bone marrow; diagnosed Mild AA; low counts, but stable since 2009; watch and wait -- no treatments required to this point.