I had just come back from vacation, and I started working again in the hospital. All of a sudden, I started to get fevers and chills. They were relentless, and despite taking antibiotics. they simply would not go away for several days.
I went to the ER to get checked out, and thank God, everything was OK. Eventually, the fever went away.
But then the chest pain started. It was very subtle, almost like heartburn. Yet, it was the worst heartburn I’ve ever felt in my life. It kept me awake at night, and this had never happened before.
It went away, and I was relieved. When it came back, during my shift in the ICU, I went to the ER to get it checked out. That was at 11:45 AM. At 1:45 PM, I was being wheeled back to my same ICU as a patient.
The EKG that they took indicated I was having a heart attack. There was evidence of heart damage in my blood tests. I was rushed to the cardiac catheterization laboratory, where I underwent an emergency angiogram. Thank God everything was OK, and I did not have a blockage in the arteries in my heart. It turned out that I had viral myocarditis, which is inflammation of the heart muscle due to a viral infection.
This condition can be fatal, and it can so severely damage the heart that the only treatment is heart transplant (I have a physician colleague who underwent just that).
And so it was great with alarm that I read the account in The NY Times about college athletes getting myocarditis from COVID:
[Dr. Curt Daniels] the director of sports cardiology at Ohio State, had also been busy, working to publish a three-month study whose preliminary findings were presented to Pac-12 and Big Ten leaders before they shut down football earlier this month. Daniels said that cardiac M.R.I.s, an expensive and sparingly used tool, revealed an alarmingly high rate of myocarditis — heart inflammation that can lead to cardiac arrest with exertion — among college athletes who had recovered from the coronavirus.
The survey found myocarditis in close to 15 percent of athletes who had the virus, almost all of whom experienced mild or no symptoms…
These are young, healthy college athletes. If that inflammation leads to permanent damage, these kids could have lifelong health problems.
There are currently more than 51,000 cases of coronavirus all across colleges in this country, and it seems to be getting worse by the day. There are those who think that it is no big deal if young, healthy people get COVID-19. They claim that all they get are “the sniffles.”
But, as research has shown and is about to further show — Dr. Daniels’ study is currently under peer review — young people can get very sick from COVID-19. As a father of elementary, secondary, and college students, this is extremely frightening to me.
While I know all too well that simply shutting down everything comes with it’s own attendant problems, risks, and complications, I just wanted to highlight this little discussed finding of young people with COVID-induced myocarditis.
There are those who feel it’s no big deal to have young people get COVID to get us toward the so-called “herd immunity” status. I strongly disagree. Even 15% of college athletes getting myocarditis from COVID-19 is way too much. Myocarditis is no joke. Take it from me, I’ve already had it.