Celebrating COVID-19 positivity – The Hindu


In the ‘Covidomania’ ambiance that has been prevailing for over 5 months, something from a headache, singular sneeze or cough reflex is construed as a ‘COVID-19 related’ symptom. Added to that is the worst-ever stigma and discrimination in opposition to these contaminated, in life, and even after demise. Living in a household through which 4 in sixare medical doctors  4 medical doctors out of six has benefits however can be difficult. Apart from me, there are my daughters – one an infectious illnesses specialist and frontline Covid-warrior, the opposite a microbiologist and my elder son-in-regulation, a radiologist. Who else would it’s worthwhile to quickly suspect Covid-19 and recommend a plethora of remedial steps, when dad will get signs? In addition to the Covid 19 scare, we had various occasions: my youthful daughter delivered on April 18, and her elder sister who was carrying full-time period delivered on August 15. My youthful son-in-regulation, a banker, has been working from dwelling. We are all locked-down since March 20.

 

Naturally, I most popular to self-diagnose and self-medicate after I didn’t really feel properly!

 

Last month (months after my now irrelevant journey historical past in February-March to Australia and Indonesia), I bought fever with shaking chills one evening. Having observed various mosquitoes round, I suspected malaria and began popping anti-malaria capsules, with out telling my spouse. Last yr, I had suffered from Chikungunya and overcome its debilitating penalties with nice willpower, physiotherapy and household assist, but in addition taking numerous homeopathy and HCQ (Hydroxychloroquine) for a significantly lengthy time frame. I did presume some immunity to the Coronavirus was pure, as advised by the broad-ranging dialogue on HCQ results on Covid-19 prevention and inclusion in our nationwide pointers.

 

The subsequent day, I self-examined for malaria, dengue and chikungunya with full blood counts. All the take a look at outcomes have been destructive. Being conversant in exams and lab studies as a part of her affected person-counseling and supervisory stint on the clinic, my spouse added the Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) to the testing profile. We have been astonished when it was 120 mm at one hour (the traditional vary <15 for an grownup male).

 

My low-grade fever continued, rising within the evenings. Headaches and evening sweats began. Then a light dry cough bought added to the record. Now I self-recognized myself for one more situation: Tropical Eosinophilia. And began Diethylcarbamazine to treatment it. I did take my youthful daughter into confidence.

 

Another spherical of blood-letting adopted together with an IgE take a look at to search for any allergy symptoms. By then, I reached the final, scary take a look at milestone! Under strain from my caring, however more and more scared household, we ran an array of exams that introduced in Covid-19 and included a thyroid take a look at. Nothing conclusive. And the thyroid studies have been awaited.

 

Loss of urge for food, four-kg weight reduction and ache within the neck, actually. The fever continued main now to a suspicion of tuberculosis. Radiology and blood exams adopted. With my age at 62+, malignancy was additionally thought of. By now all three ‘family’ medical doctors have been absolutely concerned, and had began discussions of their respective specialty circles. Ace radiologist Dr.Bhavin Jankharia advised a full-physique PET/CT scan with a Thyroid radio-uptake research the subsequent morning, adopted by a Covid-19 RTPCR take a look at. In a brand new improvement, I observed a painful swelling within the Thyroid area and as take a look at outcomes for the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) have been very low, it was suggestive of acute thyroid irritation. That was a saving grace! A Eureka second! In the brand new mild of discovery, endocrinologists have been consulted, fortunately suspending the PET/CT scan. Throughout the medical callisthenics, I used to be reluctant

 

to do the RTPCR and stored suspending it, on account of the related stigma. However, the Covid-19 fast antibody take a look at was finished. Again, luckily destructive for each IgM and IgG antibodies, suggesting neither present or previous Covid-19 an infection.

 

A steroid course began for Thyroiditis and gave me some aid because the fever began subsiding. Experience advised all these can even occur in Covid-19 generally.

 

But the talk on suspected Covid-19 by no means stopped. Both eventualities have been mentioned. If I turned constructive, in essentially the most best state of affairs, then all of us having been uncovered, presumed constructive and remained asymptomatic, the an infection had come and gone in everybody! So, the opposite seven would have escaped, contemplating the lengthy period of my signs! If destructive, that was additionally fantastic, however the sword of Damocles nonetheless hung over us with the potential for Covid-19 sooner or later. Also, the scenario didn’t assist a lot: the escalating Covid-19 instances in Mumbai, my clinic and residence each being in Red-Zones, my persevering with medical follow, although utilizing customary precautions.

 

I used to be left with no choice however to succumb to strain and submit myself for the swab take a look at. A ’dwelling go to’ was most popular. Discussions continued on the next course if the take a look at outcomes have been constructive.

 

The dwelling-go to technician had used hand-gloves, masks, disposable paper apron (value ~Rs.20), from her backpack – supposedly reused a number of instances and head-protect in hand! This was all within the identify of a PPE package for which labs cost Rs.600/- additional!

 

The swab was put in my nostril and I felt such horrible ache. The form of ache that I don’t keep in mind, positively not in current instances! Physical ache settled however the psychological ache began! What if the take a look at outcomes are constructive?

 

Though I’ve no-co-morbidity, my age is itself thought of ‘high-risk’. The kids began discussing all of the doable programs of motion – and that included preferences of hospitals and physicians, ambulance, Oxygen-support, ICU, ventilator!

 

That evening of ready was horrible: my spouse began itemizing belongings, liabilities, credit score-card numbers, passwords and telling me to indicate every little thing to the kids all within the run-as much as the ‘winding-up’ mechanism: simply in case I don’t return from the hospital! At the again of my thoughts, I used to be assured a good cremation with my shut household in attendance, in contrast to the sorts of instances we had been seeing. Of course, not anticipating different household and associates!

 

The subsequent morning, my spouse drove me to the clinic. I don’t drive, she has been driving me throughout the lockdown as the driving force, being from a containment zone, Every hour inquiring whether or not the report has come? While returning, we stopped by a bakery and acquired cake for the celebration, come-what-could! Covid-19 constructive or destructive! Awaiting the report, the desk was laid, cake-ornament finished with confused faces round.

 

The ‘Report’ got here to my youthful daughter, the microbiologist. It was destructive. Though we didn’t get to the state of affairs of celebrating Covid-19 positivity, it was nonetheless a trigger for celebration. The destructive report was a significant solace for me as I had already lived and died! I even dreamt that I had an array of medicines following completely different protocols –Ivermectin, Azithromycin Tablets, Remdesivir and steroid injections included. And that I had reached the so-referred to as Cytokine storm and bought a Tocilizumab shot. Both have been made obtainable to me regardless of shortage – however lastly reached a ventilator! I used to be simply wanting writing my very own obituary, after I wakened!

 

I’m significantly better now and on steroids and underneath the care of endocrinologist Dr.Shashank Joshi with the ultimate analysis of Acute Painful Thyroiditis. Born once more! And doing my bit to raised the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly within the space of stopping stigma and discrimination.

 

(Through Foundation of The Billion Press)



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