Surviving COVID – Bitterroot Star

Sadye Matula

Greg Overstreet talks about his latest brush with loss of life thanks to Covid. Image by Victoria Howell. When it will come to Covid, Greg Overstreet has a information for you: don’t idiot all over! Overstreet, an lawyer in private apply in Stevensville, was diagnosed with colon cancer in February […]

Greg Overstreet talks about his latest brush with loss of life thanks to Covid. Image by Victoria Howell.

When it will come to Covid, Greg Overstreet has a information for you: don’t idiot all over!

Overstreet, an lawyer in private apply in Stevensville, was diagnosed with colon cancer in February of 2021. He went as a result of chemotherapy and in late August he was advised that the cancer experienced been eradicated.

Overstreet experienced operation on Oct 23, 2021 for ostomy removing, the ultimate cure in the colon cancer journey. The working day soon after that surgery, he was identified with COVID-19. 

“I was clearly quite weakened,” reported Overstreet. “It strike me like a ton of bricks.” 

Overstreet was despatched property from the clinic with an oxygen tank. He was home for two or a few days. Through that time, his oxygen degree went down to 51, from a ordinary of 99. “I jokingly say that 51 is brain hurt material.”

But COVID-19 was no joke. “It obtained so bad I felt like I could not breathe, like I was getting drinking water boarded, or what I visualize h2o boarding to be like,” recalls Overstreet. “This is when I realized that I was not getting Covid severely enough. From a hard person point of view, I believed it was just the flu. But it was not.”

Overstreet went to the Unexpected emergency Space at a Missoula healthcare facility. He was admitted to the Intense Treatment Unit, where they noticed him for about two days before recommending that he go on a ventilator.

“My wife was intensely associated in the selection,” mentioned Overstreet. “They explain to me now that the survival amount for persons my age (54) with my wellness problems, is about 20%. I really don’t remember any one telling me that at the time, but I was on a ton of sedatives. But they informed my wife. She was existing in two worlds. In one she was hoping and praying that I lived, and in the next she was building funeral designs and scheduling on existence without having me.”

Overstreet’s spouse is Anne Marie Gurney, a para educator at Stevensville Schools. His stepson attends Stevensville Significant School.

Overstreet also has some developed youngsters. He contacted them, “to say the matters you would regret not saying,” in circumstance he did not make it.

Overstreet finished up currently being on the ventilator for seven days. He stated he was not aware when on the ventilator and has no memories of that time. He said it was like being asleep, “but without the need of dreams.”

He mentioned, “They ‘wake you up’ partially just about every day to examine in with you – on the sixth working day I was even now not responsive. They tried out once more on the seventh working day and I remember yelling, ‘I want to stay!’”

He provides, “When I went on the ventilator I had expressed to the health professionals that dying would not be the worst issue. But I felt very guilty about leaving my wife on your own down listed here.”

His spouse wasn’t permitted to pay a visit to him. She gained a daily connect with with an update on his situation. His oxygen amount was bit by bit soaring, a handful of factors a working day. 

Overstreet experienced been sworn in as Stevensville’s new City Attorney on October 14th. Following mastering that he had been hospitalized for Covid, an lawyer buddy in Hamilton, Joan Mell, contacted the City of Stevensville and on her own just began filling in for him on all the court dates. Overstreet stated that this is the form of attitude that is typical in Montana, which is a person of the explanations he and his household relocated here from Washington Point out. “That’s how Montanans are, they just pitch in,” he claimed.

Following seven days, he arrived off the ventilator and his wife was in a position to come and visit him. “When you go as a result of such an psychological issue as indicating goodbye to your wife like I did,” he remembers, “you pass up your partner even more.”

“When my spouse could finally come see me, there was euphoria like I’d in no way professional,” stated Overstreet. “It at last sunk in that I was alive and that I had avoided probable demise. It absolutely improvements your perspective on life. I’ve missing my Form A identity, I’m much a lot more comfortable, I realize what’s essential in lifestyle and most of the each day stresses are not. 

“I experienced hundreds of folks praying for me and I’m completely certain that’s what produced the distinction,” stated Overstreet. “It was incredibly obvious to me that God experienced things in head for me to do down here on earth.” 

Right after having off the ventilator, Overstreet was in the healthcare facility for an additional week. “They were being generating confident that I could stand up,” he claimed. “I was decimated.” He had to do some physical treatment. “I had to get a refresher system on how to walk yet again for the reason that I was so weak. Staying discharged after a week is a incredibly brief time. I was glad I could meet their requirements for leaving. I arrived residence and for three days I convalesced. I’ve under no circumstances been that fatigued in my everyday living. Then the exhaustion begun going down, and it was a lot easier and less complicated to do my perform and purpose about the property.”

Overstreet mentioned his wife experienced been choosing up the slack about the household, both via the chemotherapy and Covid restoration. 

Just after just three times at house, Overstreet went again to function. It is now been two months considering that he was launched. “I consider myself thoroughly recovered from Covid,” he mentioned. “I’m carrying out 45 minutes a day on the elliptical. I have never ever been so out of shape. I got so utilized to staying semi-disabled, that my spouse pushes the cart close to Costco. I’m obtaining to consciously crack myself of the behavior of remaining semi-disabled.” 

His Covid encounter occurred proper around the time he was creating his legislation practice in Stevensville, following working towards legislation in Washington Point out for numerous a long time. The Town of Stevensville was his very first neighborhood customer. 

“Then I obtained taken out. Not once, but twice.”

Overstreet’s concept to the public – if you take a look at favourable for Covid and have indicators, just take it very seriously. “It is not just the flu,” claimed Overstreet. “It impacts people today pretty in a different way. I need to have absent to the clinic times right before I did.” He said that having treatment of your health and fitness is a prerequisite for any chance at joy.

“When I was in the ICU, there was a window and at the time or 2 times a day I would see a gurney go by with a body bag,” remembers Overstreet. It was a ugly reminder that people ended up dying of Covid. “Several of the nurses ended up incredibly touched by my survival.” He stated they told him they necessary some hope and they required to see that proof that the ventilators can make a difference.

Overstreet suggests he doesn’t know if it was getting Covid, or surviving Covid, that has triggered him to come to be more emotional and extra empathetic, even towards animals. But he’s snug with his new self.

“Only significant matters make a difference,” he explained, “and everyday living and demise is these types of an significant point. You can emotionally hook up with the essential factors and you can ignore the minimal factors.”

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