“I FELT I WAS UNTOUCHABLE”: Senators Capuano associate coach reveals his COVID-19 experience

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“I had a fever of 103 degrees for almost four days.”

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The voice arrived Tuesday from the Golden State, Jack Capuano was relaxing after training and since he was not allowed to leave the hotel, he was planning to sit in the sun to take “vitamin D”.

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The Ottawa Senators associate coach is back on the road with the San Jose club and he’s feeling a lot better than he was 10 days ago when he was in the middle of a battle with COVID-19 which forced him to go to the emergency room because he was dehydrated with a fever that he just couldn’t shake.

Coach DJ Smith told reporters on Saturday that Capuano, 55, had been hit much more by the side effects of the virus than the 10 protocol players, and as he told his story to Postmedia after the club skated at the SAP Center was it It’s not hard to realize that we are still in the midst of this pandemic.

Like many of us, Capuano is doubly vaccinated and didn’t see it coming. His experience, frankly, was frightening.

“I felt untouchable,” Capuano said. “I felt like I was in pretty good shape, you feel like you are taking care of yourself, you are doubly vaccinated and that cannot happen to me. Well you know what? He did and it is something that we have to take seriously.

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“If you get it and start to have certain symptoms in your chest and lungs, it’s a situation you can’t ignore and you need to see a doctor. You have to have some awareness and hopefully this thing, at some point, with all the drugs that we have, can eliminate the hospitalizations and the symptoms that people are going through. “

Capuano tested positive for COVID-19 on November 5, returned home to self-isolate, lost his sense of taste and smell, and the fatigue that goes with the virus. Then, around November 10, his symptoms worsened considerably to the point where he spent five hours in The Ottawa Hospital emergency room.

“I think I was hit a bit harder than other people,” Capuano said. “Everyone is in pain, everyone has chills, back pain, aches and pains, fatigue and chattering teeth.

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“I had a fever of 103 degrees for almost four days, a terrible headache and I couldn’t get rid of it. It was the fever that plunged me. You didn’t know when it was going to go away. You take Tylenol, Advil and do whatever you’re supposed to do, but it just wouldn’t go away. The struggle for me was the headache and the fever, and it’s just amazing because I woke up one day and all of a sudden my fever never went over 100.

“Then it slowly started to go down. It’s just something that you don’t think is going to happen because you are doubly vaccinated and taking care of yourself, and then you are struck by it. “

Head coach of the New York Islanders from 2010 to 2017, Capuano is in great shape, he trains daily and tries to eat well. He received his first vaccine before going to the world championships as head coach of the United States team in May, followed by his second vaccine when he returned home.

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“You try to take care of yourself and you never know,” Capuano said. “You try to stay hydrated as best as you can when you go through this, but it was tough. I got hit harder than I ever thought I would.

He decided to go to the hospital when the fever reached a point of concern.

“I checked in because at that point the fever didn’t want to go away,” Capuano said. “I felt like I needed to get some IV bags, I needed to inject myself with fluid, and they put two bags in me and they watched me. They did a chest x-ray and there was nothing they could have done about this fever.

“I was just a little nervous because going four days with a 103 degree fever, where you are actually sweating and you feel like you’re going to break that fever through sweat and it won’t go away. It never broke and it was just continuous. I just wanted to make sure I didn’t have an infection because with COVID-19 you can get an infection in your bloodstream.

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“I wanted to do blood work if something else was causing this fever and wanted to make sure I didn’t have a bacterial infection or anything else in my blood. He came back negative.

Capuano’s wife Donna arrived from Boston just before he tested positive and also contracted COVID-19.

“She luckily had congestion and a mild fever, but it didn’t nearly have the effect I had and her 10 days are now over,” Capuano said.

Yes, when people his age can receive a reminder, Capuano will. He needs to check with doctors to see when that is possible as he also now has COVID-19 and wants to make sure the time is right.

He’s back on the road, but he still has side effects.

“I still don’t have a sense of taste or smell and neither does my wife,” Capauno said. “I can tell you that fatigue is the only thing people will tell you is you won’t believe how tired you are. Even being back here, I could have gone on the ice (Saturday) but my body hurt a bit and it felt like we didn’t have the strength.

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“It’s just small steps, but I feel really good now. Even though I am a little tired after a long day, I am starting to regain my energy. This is the only symptom, and the only area, where I felt tired all the time.

The first five days, as the players entered the COVID-19 protocol, Capuano watched the Senators play and it wasn’t easy. The coaching staff are scheduled to be at the rink every day, they are busy, they work with the players and they write up line combinations, so at first it was a bit of a break.

Then, when he started to have a fever, he spent most of his time in bed.

“I had a hard time watching the games on TV,” Capuano said. “I wanted to watch and wanted to be a part of it, but you don’t do your daily business anymore and all of a sudden you’re alone trying to figure it out.

“The hardest part was the mental part. You go through a four or five day fever of 103 degrees with the pain, headache, backache and aches, just wondering if it’s ever going to go away. Mentally, it just started to weigh on me. At that time, I was just reciting my prayers and I can’t quite remember when it happened, but I woke up one day and the fever was gone.

And Capuano couldn’t be happier to be healthy and return to his job with the Senators.

[email protected]

Twitter: @sungarrioch

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