Belleville couple urge others to not avoid doctor’s appointments amid COVID-19 outbreak

There are people with serious health issues who are avoiding emergency rooms amid the COVID-19 pandemic because they fear contracting the virus at the hospital.

BELLEVILLE, Mich. – Doctors want one Metro Detroit man’s story to serve as a warning for others. He was afraid to visit the doctor’s office because of COVID-19.

Whether you’re not going to the doctor because you’re worried you’ll catch COVID-19 or don’t feel like your symptoms are that serious, health care providers are urging people to see their doctors or schedule a video appointment before they could end up really sick.

Update June 13, 2020: Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases up to 59,801; Death toll now at 5,797 with 44,964 recoveries reported

“It was very scary to watch him go through all this and not know what it was,” said Diana Schonschek. “Under normal circumstances we would have called Dr. Weaver and said, ‘help.’”

A few weeks into the pandemic, Ron Schonschek started feeling sick.

“I was not doing well at all. I didn’t know what it was. I was having hallucinations. I was having high blood pressure, low blood pressure,” Ron Schonschek said. “There’ll be times I’d be sitting there talking to somebody and I literally just roll my eyes behind the back of my head and almost pass out.”

He was taking several heart medications after being diagnosed with atrial fibrillation a few years ago, but because of COVID-19, he couldn’t see his cardiologist.

“My appointment to go see him again was canceled,” Ron Schonschek said. “And then it was canceled again then was cancelled again.”

When his family doctor finally reopened last week, he was the first in line.

“Originally that visit was gonna be a video visit and I talked to my staff and I was like, ‘You know, I think he really needs to come in,’” said Dr. Karen Weaver. “He said he wanted to come in. He was having weird symptoms.”

Weaver determined the heart medications were causing his symptoms and changed the dosage.

The Belleville couple is urging others not to put off seeing their doctor.

“Had he gone in four weeks earlier, he wouldn’t have gone through all these symptoms," said Diana Schonschek. "Because the doctor would have said, ‘Oh, you’re back in rhythm. We can take you off that medicine now,’ and he wouldn’t have experienced all of the things that he experienced.”

RELATED: Michigan COVID-19 cases: State reports 44,964 recoveries

About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.