It all began with simple cold, throat pain, slight fever, mild headache, tiredness and the symptoms weren’t attention-grabbing for me. As the fatigue wouldn’t subside, I went for COVID-19 test two weeks back and a few hours later I was devastated by the result of being found positive for the virus. I always thought, like an informed fool that COVID “Isn’t my concern”. I had no option but to get admitted in a private hospital without any delay.
With COVID cases going down significantly in our country, I thought that the worst is over. Many defied the odds of trauma caused by the monster and fought the virus despite age and comorbidity conditions. I was heartbroken when my frail father (89 years), mother with serious health issues (87 years), father in law (82 years) with several complications, my wife, a CKD patient with high creatinine levels and son were all found positive. Was I the spreader? Perhaps! We decided to move all the elders to the same hospital where I had checked in a day earlier as none of us had any idea as to what kind of emotional and harrowing trauma we may have to go through in the coming days.
During that time in the hospital, my mother kept sleeping like a log, father wouldn’t eat and father in law was facing depleting and dangerous levels of platelet count. The eerie silence of hospital corridors, tearful despair, disarray at home, solitude, anger and the desire to share woes of elders were a few roller coasters for me. I lost my sense of smell, taste and suffered with severe fatigue in the beginning and I still suffer from lack of sleep, palpitations and exhaustion. My wife remained confined to bed at home due to nausea and extreme weakness while my son, also positive, nursed her like her mother. Wow!
The most onerous part in the hospital were the nights, alone with the fears. I couldn’t sleep, anxiety invaded the room… nightmares came and heaviness prowled all the time. I was extremely worried for my mother and feared losing her without clinging her hands to mine. Despair overcame me all the time. While the “affectionate eyes” of serving nurses behind their protective gears and masks looked so pretty, each time caring doctors and nurses were close to me, they brought solace and flurry of hope. One of the nurses, named “Aasha” was literally a “hope” for me all the time. The selfless service of nurses, doctors and frontline workers to mankind to deal with the virus was right in front of me and they were no less comparable to being god in human flesh. Amazing!
After getting discharged from the Hospital one week later along with elders, I am not too sure what kind of debilitating effects will continue and whether we are likely to be “long-haulers” with side effects and face gruelling challenges in everyday tasks. Just to remain in self control, I ensured that I did not miss a single official meeting, albeit virtually, but they really kept alive and kicking with positivity.
Stay safe, think positive and most of all, have faith in God. Remember “Footprints in the Sand,” a popular allegorical religious poem. It describes a person who sees two pairs of footprints in the sand, one of which belonged to God and another to him or herself. At some points the two pairs of footprints dwindle to one which explains that during the times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it is then that God carried the protagonist.
And in the end, let us not forget one of the aphorisms of John Lennon that most succinctly captures endurance, perspective and hope: “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”
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The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Please consult your treating physician for more details.