NH Gov. Sununu ‘Baffled’ Flu-Like Symptoms Were Not COVID
Gov. Chris Sununu said he had lost "quite a bit of blood" when he was diagnosed with a bleeding ulcer which led to a blood transfusion on Friday morning.
Speaking with Sarah Sullivan and A-Train on the Shark morning show Wednesday morning, the governor said he was convinced he had COVID when he woke with flu symptoms and was "baffled" by the three negative tests results he received.
When the symptoms lingered, Sununu went to Portsmouth Regional Hospital to be checked out.
"I was just exhausted. I couldn't stand up and walk around for more than five minutes. If I was lying down I was okay but if I was walking around I was fatigued, tired, no energy, typical flu light symptoms," Sununu said.
Sununu was anticipating a long holiday weekend of resting before being checked out at Portsmouth Regional. Instead, he found out he had lost a lot of blood and was down to a third of what he normally should have.
"I didn't know you could survive on a third but I guess you can. Thank goodness you can," Sununu said. "A series of blood transfusions later they fixed me up and said it's all about resting and recuperating and letting your body heal itself over the next couple of months."
Sununu is still working from home and may go to the State House later in the week.
"It will take a little while to fully recover but I'm just glad to be back and glad I addressed the issue," Sununu said.
Sununu said while he enjoys the stresses of the job the decisions he had to make during the pandemic, it added a lot of pressure to his life and those around him.
"Maybe it's a wake-up call for us all. We all had different stresses in our lives during COVID and maybe you didn't get the best preventative healthcare during COVID. Take a few minutes, take a breath, check yourself, make an appointment with your doctor. Let's be preventative," Sununu said. "COVID really had repercussions that sometimes don't rear their ugly heads until later on."
In case you missed the whole interview, here it is:
Signs of a Bleeding Ulcer
Portsmouth Regional Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr.Tom Wold told Seacoast Current that gastrointestinal bleeding from an ulcer can happen in either the upper or lower tract. Each affects different areas and can lead to flu-like symptoms.
Wold was not involved with Sununu's treatment and could not discuss the specifics of his case.
Wold said when a bleeding ulcer develops slowly, you may not see some of the symptoms but instead experience flu-like symptoms or bleeding from the rectum.
"What you do see are the effects of a lower and lower blood count like feeling fatigued, feeling like you are easily fatigued by exercise, dehydration, feeling unwell and dizzy when you stand up. Those are some of the things that could mimic a flu-like illness," Wold said. "That would warrant at least calling your doctor."
Another noticeable symptom is the stool becoming darker in color, more frequent or loose because of blood, according to Wold.
"If the bleed is brisk enough and they do vomit, the blood can have a very characteristic look of coffee grounds," Wold said of patients and their reactions to a bleeding ulcer.
A contributing factor to a bleeding stomach can be heavy use of Ibuprofen or Motrin. They can interfere with the mucus lining of the stomach.
At the same time, if acids can be blocked from entering the stomach, a bleeding ulcer can heal itself, according to Wold.