Yes, as the title states, I just had my bout with Covid hence the long absence.
I won’t bore you with the complete details of my sickness but suffice to say, my symptoms were bad enough to warrant a hospital stint of more than a week. I’m fully vaccinated so I shudder at the thought of what kind of symptoms I would have gotten if I were not fully inoculated.
I got to the ER at around 6:30pm., or as I call it, the admission nightmare from Elm Street: there’s a long ass line to even enter the ER. It took the staff 15 minutes to give me a form to fill in my details… and it took longer than an hour for the nurses to even get my vitals. THAT’s how strained the hospitals are. You get a bed based on how worse your symptoms are. And when I say bed, I’m talking about the ER bed which is not the same as being officially admitted. (Un)fortunately, a temperature of 39.7 and an oximeter reading of 93 warranted immediate attention so I was “bumped” up in the food chain. I was given a bed by 930pm. I officially got admitted the next day at around lunch time.
I was briefed on the potential cost of my hospitalization. Mild to moderate case will set me back half a million pesos. Serious to severe will cost me php1.5M. How does a case become serious? The moment you require oxygen, your case is tagged as serious. I suppose severe cases mean intubation. This doesn’t include the professional fees of the team of infectious disease doctors who will attend to me. At this point, I was just really thankful that I have medical insurance.
You know what’s worse than getting blood drawn from your veins? Getting blood drawn directly from your pulse. They do this to measure the oxygen in your blood. That was hella painful! To measure the spread of the infection in my body, they drew blood from both arms. They also put me on an IV. I was given medications I couldn’t even pronounce. The blood thinners that were injected in my stomach twice a day was no picnic either; it was a creeping kind of pain that really stung. What scared me the most was signing those waivers the nurses would brandish to my face before they administered Covid treatments. Waivers meant experimental treatments. It was like living an episode from the TV series “House” which starred Hugh Laurie. I was officially diagnosed with Covid Pneumonia.
I never met the same infectious disease doctor twice. As I mentioned earlier, it was a team of doctors attending to me to minimize exposure from their end. I was in the hospital by myself. Eating solid food was a chore since even a drink of water will send me running to the bathroom. I was finally allowed to go home when my lungs cleared up. My release form indicated that my condition “improved.” In short, I still had Covid but was well enough to continue recuperating at home provided I stayed isolated.
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In the course of my home isolation, my tonsils flared up and I lost my voice. Swallowing was extremely difficult and painful. The slightest pressure in my throat area was agonizing. Upon consultation with my doctor, he deduced that my flared tonsils was still Covid related so he put me on antibiotics and further increased my isolation period to another week. I was isolated for a total of 23 days.
I’m sharing my story because I want to encourage everyone to get vaccinated. Don’t be choosy with the brand. I know of people who would opt to wait for Pfizer, Moderna, or Astra. Take whatever vaccine you can take. There were admitted Covid patients who were inoculated with Pfizer. I can’t even fathom how I would have fared if I waited “for the right kind of vaccine.” The right vaccine is the one in your arm. Second, get medical insurance and, if you can afford to, make sure you have ER coverage. A visit at the emergency room is considered an outpatient procedure not to mention twice as costly. Lastly, do not be complacent just because you are vaccinated. I was really careful and I still got sick. Avoid mass gatherings, mask up, wash your hands, and boost your immune system. Like it or not, Covid is here to stay and our only hope is to reach herd immunity if we want to live normal lives but until then, stay safe.