Dr. Sabrina Jackson, a local motivational speaker extraordinaire, overcame COVID-19 and shares her story.
She chose to laugh — even when it didn’t make sense.
Detroit native Dr. Sabrina Jackson, a motivational speaker, life coach, and accomplished entrepreneur made a decision that day inside a southern California hospital mid-July to belly laugh amid chaos. She carved out moments of joy even when it didn’t make sense – but it was her way out of the darkness and uncertainty.
“Laughter is medicine for your soul, the Bible says,” Jackson told the Michigan Chronicle during a recent interview.
Jackson, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 in July was referring to Proverbs 17:22.
“A merry heart doeth good [like] a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones,” according to the Good Book.
Battling COVID-19 for a month in a California hospital receiving painful treatments and being on an uncomfortable breathing tube, among other things, could have easily broken her normally cheerful spirit – but she refused to let it. Jackson let the medical professionals by her bedside do their thing while allowing laughter to do its work, too.
“The very times we feel (it’s) too soon to laugh that is the best time to laugh because that is when you need it,” she said.
Jackson, a professional speaker with over 25 years of experience, specializes in personality typing for professional success, corporation training services, business coaching, and more.
The busy professional, used to getting just four hours of sleep, was forced to slow down though when she was struck with the virus after taking a trip home to Detroit – from California – for an event and had to self-quarantine for 10 days starting July 14. The bubbly woman grew weary in her body with the typical symptoms (including fever, headaches, loss of appetite, and trouble breathing).
“I was quarantining and getting sicker and sicker, really bad diarrhea – all I would do is go to the potty and wash up and get back in the bed; take Tylenol and go back to sleep,” she said, adding that she hadn’t eaten in days.
When she wasn’t getting any better, she went to the hospital near her hotel room – only to be told she has to wait outside for hours. After her wait, she received a prescription slip that she couldn’t get filled readily. Her friend back in Detroit intervened (because Jackson was too weak to fill it) only to then have more complications crop up that would cause a two-day wait for her medication to help her combat COVID-19.
“In the meantime, I’m getting sicker and sicker,” she said, adding that on July 21 her friends were afraid of the state Jackson was in.
“My girlfriend called and said, ‘I was sounding all crazy,’” she said, adding that her friends from Detroit called the front desk and had them call 911 to bring an ambulance up.”
After being transported to the hospital she had to have her oxygen levels checked through her blood.
“One of the tests they had to go through the artery and get the blood,” she said of medical professionals using a thicker needle during their test (which they took about four times) during her month-long stay. “It was just traumatic … the last time they gave it to me I lost it.”
During her stay, once better, Jackson made video Facebook posts on her recovery process, while encouraging and motivating others including her loyal fanbase. She also shared her full recovery on LinkedIn as countless people — encouraged by her healing – wished her well.
When she was finally well enough to be released, she still needed to go home with an oxygen tank to help her breathe properly.
Getting home was a struggle, also. From collapsing twice on her way to the airport, then at the airport, due to low oxygen levels, to being terrified of developing a blood clot and having a heart attack on the plane, Jackson faced her fears and finally made it home to Detroit safely. She slowly but surely got her strength back – while learning some things along the way.
“You have to self-care, that is a requirement, not a recommendation,” she said, adding that as the “busiest person on the planet” she now goes to sleep around 10:30 p.m. with no electronic distractions inhibiting her wind-down routine.
She also is better at knowing when to ask for help, especially as a helper herself.
“Because I am a helper that’s what I do in the world — most times people call me and tell me what’s going on with them; no one knows what’s going on with me because I didn’t tell them,” she said. “So when I needed help, I didn’t even know to ask for help — that’s a big takeaway.”
Another takeaway for Jackson is “knowing how to wait.”
“Sometimes you’re in a waiting pattern and you got to learn how to wait,” she said adding that waiting in today’s fast world might be hard to do, but it’s got to be done.
When asked how she’s doing today, Jackson – who has not used oxygen (at the time of the interview) for the past two weeks – said she’s in a good space.
“I’m more than OK; I’m better.”