My COVID story: ” It took me 45 days to regain my energy after returning from the hospital” – Times of India

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Manjusha Dharu, a high-risk person suffering from an autoimmune condition followed all preventive practices but unfortunately, caught COVID-19 upon a chance visit to her sister’s place, along with her old mother. She recounts her fateful COVID-19 recovery from the hospital which she once thought she wouldn’t be able to survive.

I’m a woman in my early forties living with my seventy-plus old mother. For most of my life, I’ve lived with a debilitating autoimmune condition, largely dependent on immunosuppressants for my daily functioning. Pain, fever, muscle aches, rashes, allergic cough, stomach issues are regular features of my life.

Over the years, viruses have shown a great affinity towards me. Yes, all thanks to my suppressed immune system. Prior to the pandemic, I’d been admitted twice to the hospital ailing from two different viral infections, so when a new virus took over the world, I surely didn’t want to be its next marked victim, I decided I would be extra careful, I took all the safety measures, I didn’t venture out, tried to stay as healthy as possible, exercised, took health supplements and avoided humans like the plague. Unfortunately, the last part didn’t last too long. Sometime after, boredom took over, longing for more human company, I decided to stay with my sister who lives in the same city for the weekend, a decision that later proved to be detrimental in introducing me to the novel coronavirus!

As luck would have it, the day mom and I returned from my sister’s place, my brother-in-law fell sick, tests further confirmed his COVID positive status. In retrospect, I knew I was next in line but at that time I was living in a state of denial, I decided not to get myself tested until I showed any symptoms and sure enough on the third day, I slowly started showing signs of tiredness, muscle pain, headache, cough but all these symptoms aren’t new to me, so I continued living in doubt, next I had gotten chills, mild fever, a little breathlessness, again not very uncommon to me but finally, my sister ordered me to get myself immediately tested.

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Not surprising to anyone except me, I was found not only positive but had a viral load slightly on the higher side, by then I’d lost my sense of smell and taste. I was woken from my reverie.

Once the results were out, I transformed myself, I decided to accept my situation, block negativity and face each day as it comes. Unfortunately the next day my mom fell sick too, circumstances dictated that we get ourselves admitted to the hospital to be on the safer side. Once in the hospital, I decided to stop following the news, vowed not to Google any information regarding COVID treatment, trust doctor’s medicament and most importantly stopped receiving calls or replying to messages from people who tend to give unsolicited advice. All this made my battle against the virus tolerable. Something worth mentioning here was the positive and cheerful attitude of the doctor and the hospital staff was a big added bonus.

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We were in the hospital for six days, if you ask me what was the most daunting part that I endured during this stay; it would be the blood tests which were done every alternate day, They’d become a thorough nightmare, due to my pre-existing condition fuelled with anaemia; my veins are very thin and blood flows very slowly, after a lot of pricking, prodding, squeezing my limbs a vial or half would fill up and it was never enough, so the lab technician had to revisit after a few hours to collect the adequate amount of blood sample and I’d to go through the same ordeal all over again. I survived that and also the onslaught of antibiotics, steroids administered during and after being discharged from the hospital. I guess I should be grateful I didn’t encounter any major complications in spite of being in the high-risk category owing to my health problems. Recovery was tough, it took me almost 45 days to feel my normal self again. Looking back I’d never imagined I would scrape through if I was ever infected by the coronavirus, but here I am sharing with you my story of surviving the dreadful virus. I cannot confirm or deny that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” but certainly I’m living a little longer and happy to do so!


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