My journey With COVID-19
Am I safe while saving other lives?
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Being a medical person, I must be dealing with different patients on daily basis with such symptoms. And I am recently tested positive from COVID-19.
As soon as 2020 was gone, I was hoping for the best year to come. As being a medical person, I was privileged to be among the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and on the 20th of April 2021, I received my second dose of vaccination. The day went very well and at first, I was glad that it didn’t even feel a negligible pain. But suddenly, I started feeling ill on the same night when I received the vaccine. It started with mild fever, headache, and a massive weakness. I thought that it was related to post-vaccine side effects. I woke up every two to three hours drenched in sweat during the first two nights. After 3 days of continuous weakness, I lost my smell and taste By that time, I had an intermittent fever, diarrhea, sore throat, whole body pain, shortness of breath, weakness, congested nose, and severe dry cough maximum at night. As most people do, I took paracetamol for fever and Ibuprofen for aches. However, my pain and fever didn’t subside. On 25th of April, I did COVID-19 test and ultimately tested positive for it.
I know covid 19 has become a main stream word and getting infected with it has become as common as it could get , but it has been a nerve wrecking experience . I tried to stay calm and collective while isolating but there were times when I just had enough . After I got tested positive I fear about my close ones with whom I was interacting since the past few days before I got tested. At a time when I was just laying down, I monitored my oxygen level was dropped to 90-91% and heart rate to 170, which was really uncomfortable. Maybe I knew it was because I’m anxious about having this high heart rate, but maybe it’s also because my body was fighting aganist the disease . Some thoughts went through me . It crunches in my chest, and I have a hard time breathing, and then I start to get dizzy and extremely uncomfortable in my body . I used to perched near the window and take a deep breath in those situations. I used to take nebulization twice a day, exercise daily, tried creating positive vibes , avoid fake news on social medias , read novels , practice dancing , interact with family and friends through social medias and eat healthy foods along with turmeric water that my parents leave outside my bedroom door. I was genuinely frightened that I would never see my friends and families again .Luckily, I had good and supportive friends who sent memes, songs to lift me up, funny messages and prayed over me. I woke on day 6 with a feeling of relief as most of my symptoms had improved. But I still experienced congestion and fatigue in the night time .There were days when I woke up feeling perfectly normal but with a few hours , I would be overcome by breathlessness.I continued to feel beter and returned to normal after 10 days.
Finally I am tested negative and it again feels like a whole different world . Such an irony that few days ago I was like one of the patients I have to look after suffering with this virus and a few days later I’m a complete new human , back to looking after and caring for people , almost feels like a dream , a dream which is somewhat a nightmare and partly an overwhelming experience , almost feels like a rebirth in some ways.
Sometimes when you are so focused in your career and so determined in what you do , you tend to take your hard work for granted and forget to give value to yourselves , but while I was on my own bed at home isolation I imagined myself in the shoes of my fellow nurses who were back in the hospital working , this helped me realise the hard work I do . This has also helped me respect my fellow colleagues more than ever .
Just want to say you guys (health personnel’s)are heroes with no wings , keep up the hard work and look after yourself , do the things you love whilst not at work , live more .Stay safe everyone.
Written by: Sirisha Dhakal
Working as staff nurse in Hetauda hospital .