I am a covid survivor

The covid 19 pandamic has taught the entire humanity a big lesson. it served a severe blow to the healthcare system globally, affecting millions across the world. Covid 19 is associated with a very high rate of infectivity, which has led to a high level of fear and anxiety of getting infected. Resultantly the pandemic has led to severe restriction on free movement of humans and a consequent lockdown of almost all countries across the world.

The  literature on laboratory testing, preventive measures, and management protocols to tackle pandemic is ever expanding. There’s a prayer on everyone’s lips that they should not test positive for covid. There is a gnawing fear – “what if I contract covid”. The fear of not knowing the details of the disease, and then the fear not having any idea about what goes on inside a covid ward, which is out of bounds for family and visitors – it’s a fear within fear. Sometimes the fear is more potent then the virus itself, and that  cripples you.

Hidden behind the grim statistics of death and mounting cases of COVID 19  is another heartwarming numbers of those who tested positive, battled the virus, and came out triumphant.

For me it all started with low grade fever, body ache with diarrhoea. A few days later I tested positive for covid. The moment I tested positive, it was like I being served a death warrant, as if  this was the end. In the beginning  I was so sure that I would not contract the virus but finally, it took me a while to acknowledge. First, I was admitted to a hospital but later shifted to tertiary care

hospital as my condition deteriorated. At the higher centre they started treatment as per protocol. This was the moment when I knew I had two choices, one was a dead end, literally, and one where I would actively work and cooperate with the system for my  recovery. After that I kept talking to myself that I will not give up in this fight. Staying positive is the best thing to do while battling covid. The effect of covid on our mental health is bigger than our physical health. Support of the family and friends, is what really helps you recover.

The 3 week long agony come to end when I was discharged, as I fit the hospital criteria. But  still a long way to go to call myself fit as I was on a wheel chair, and put on oxygen.The job of the healthcare system was over, and a new fight was just about to start. The fight of getting back to routine. It took almost 6 weeks. But uncertainty peaked with each passing day, as new research work is changing data and guidelines leaving many  unanswered questions in its wake?

However, emerging pieces of evidence do point out that those who recover from COVID 19 may face several long term issues including shortness of breath, fatigue, headache and confusion. While on an average, a COVID19 patient usually recovers in 3 weeks, studies have pointed out that people may suffer from kidney, lungs  and heart aliment post recovery. Other possible long term impact of covid 19 include neurological conditions and mental health issues.

While the data is still limited and non-conclusive, it is still strongly advised to regularly monitor your symptoms post recovery to look for any warning symptom. Few things you need to take care of yourself;

  • Give yourself some time, don’t expect to bounce back to your routine as soon as you get back home.
  • Pay attention to warning signs and symptoms like breathlessness, fever, headache.
  • Revise your regular medication. Consult your primary treating physician.
  • Save your energy. Ask for help whenever you need it.
  • Proper attention to good diet.
  • A  good followup at hospital.

To conclude, COVID has taught me a new lesson. If you have the fighting  sipirit, you can beat not only covid but can  win many more battles.

Dr Syed Arif Hussain is Consulting  Anesthetist &  Pain Specialist Govt JLNM Hospital, Rainawari, Srinagar