My tryst with Covid after Covaxin 2nd dose
Visakhapatnam TIMELY spotting of initial symptoms and immediate medication in consultation with a physician without losing nerves holds key to recovery of a Covid positive patient.
Though difficult to practise, it is natural for anyone to panic on noticing initial symptoms and losing confidence to fight back with a lot of courage. Complacency is also not good. Any delay in seeking medical intervention may prove costly. One should also avoid self-medication and taking across the counter medicines without consulting a good physician.
April 23 was the day when I started noticing weakness. But the next day I felt mild fever and used a digital thermometer which showed it as 99 degree F. Immediately like many others, I tried to get relief with Dolo 650. On and off the temperature was falling and rising. The next day I contacted our family physician Dr Ramanarasimham, a retired professor in medicine at Andhra Medical College. He was available on phone. Immediately he asked me to go for RT PCR test and start medication for Covid. Till then I was not sure it was Covid positive because I am known among my friends as a health freak with outstanding Covid appropriate behaviour like using a six-layer mask with a face shield even while driving a two-wheeler and morning walk with a sanitiser bottle in pocket from the day Covid was declared a pandemic in India. Hence, to rule out the possibility, I got fever exam done at home by a lab which diagnosed negative for all types of fever and urinary infection. CT scan I did opt to find out factual position of any infection in the lungs which showed negative for SARS-CoV-2.
The CT scan showed as negative because immediately after early detection of symptoms, in my case, third day I opted for it. Doctors say only after incubation of infection for five days, accurate result can be known. When I went for RT PCR on fourth day, it pronounced me and my wife as positive, giving us the shock of our lives. Fortunately, availability of separate rooms in our flat helped us a perfect environment for home quarantine. Our daughter, who tested negative, confined herself to another room so that infection from me and my spouse will not spread to her. Our maid was also of good nature and after revealing everything to her and providing N 95 masks with a disinfection machine for her on arrival at home gave her confidence to do the domestic chores at home and also assist our daughter, a Hyderabad-based techie in an MNC now on WFH, to prepare hot and nutritious food for us from time to time. WhatsApp came in handy for communication. We got provisions, fruits and other material from online delivery platforms.
To be very frank, initially I lacked confidence of getting cure due to adverse reports on shortage of oxygen beds and alarming rise in number of positive cases as well as deaths across the country. Fortunately, I had completed my vaccination cycle of two doses of Covaxin a fortnight before. On my friend's suggestion, after testing positive I went for HRCT Scan which put my Corad score at 9 out of 25, one point above mild grading. I had underwent splenectomy following an accident in 1992. I also have hypertension. I always take immunity-rich food and immunity-friendly medical steps and being a senior journalist, have many doctor friends. Though I had apprehensions regarding immunity, when I went for antibody test along with RT PCR, it showed the antibodies were exceptionally good.
My wife and daughter and other relatives gave support continuously. My friends and office colleagues remained strong pillars for me; giving me tips on what to do at that time, such as regular steaming, thermometer and oxymeter checks with a suggestion to seek their help whenever and whatever is required.
But during recovery stage, I had to undergo trauma when I lost my eldest brother due to Covid in Hyderabad. Despite all odds, family and friends' support, brilliant counselling and medication by the physician and completion of double dose of vaccination, helped me recover by the grace of God.
Incidentally, completing the vaccination cycle appears to have reduced the severity of the infection. After the second day of taking medicines from our doctor, the fever subsided and there was no other symptom associated with the coronavirus. Within a week I got respite from Covid and within two weeks I was declared completely cured by my doctor. Three weeks after noticing first symptom, I also went for RT PCR out of curiosity and it was diagnosed as Covid negative.
Lesson I learnt was to create awareness among all on the importance of vaccination and go for test/doctor consultation immediately after noticing symptoms like cold, fever and cough.
- Get tested on getting slightest symptoms; approach doctor immediately
- Avoid self-medication even if you know the medicine
- Last but not least, trust yourself, your docs, meds;be positive
- Never ever panic; though easy to preach; treat like normal illness
(The author works with Bizz Buzz as a senior special correspondent)