I Did not Put on Face Masks In Market As a result of It Made Me Dizzy
Thirty-five-year-old Lucy Okechukwu, a journalist primarily based in Anambra State, shares her COVID-19 expertise with DAYO OJERINDE
Did you go to any hospital whenever you felt unwell or went for a check?
My husband took unwell two weeks earlier than I began feeling unwell. He visited hospital and was given an anti-malaria drug. Even after his remedy, he complained of maximum tiredness. Sure, I visited the identical hospital, the place we registered for the Nationwide Well being Insurance coverage Scheme, to complain about persistent headache, slight sore throat, fever, lack of urge for food and excessive physique weak spot. Widal and malaria checks had been carried out and the malaria check got here again optimistic. I used to be given a dose of injection and anti-malaria medicine.
Three days into the remedy, I misplaced the sense of style and scent. Each meals or edibles turned tasteless, my setting was odourless, and I used to be nonetheless feeling unwell. Nearly the identical interval, my husband additionally mentioned he couldn’t style or scent something. He known as the physician, who attended to me on the hospital, to complain and he suggested that we come again for re-examination once I was accomplished with the remedy.
I used to be conscious that lack of style and scent had been a few of the signs of COVID-19 and when it lingered for an additional two days, we turned frightened. On the day, we had been to current on the hospital for re-examination, the physician known as my husband that morning and requested that we go for COVID-19 check as an alternative. I sought one other opinion by calling Prof. Sunday Omilabu, a virologist on the Lagos College Instructing Hospital, and defined what was happening and he additionally suggested we went for the check.
My husband known as one of many state’s emergency well being strains a number of instances earlier than they ultimately picked the name and after a sequence of questions on our state of well being, they requested us to return to their workplace for the check. Inserting that cotton stick in my nostril and throat was very irritating. After the check, they requested us to quarantine ourselves, whereas ready for the outcomes.
How lengthy did the outcomes take to return out?
We had been examined on Thursday and had been known as up early on Sunday by Dr Chijioke, who introduced that the outcomes got here again optimistic. He counselled us on the telephone and requested that we pack our baggage as they’d be coming to choose us from our dwelling to the isolation centre. The physician mentioned we might be on remedy for the following 10 to 14 days.
Did you journey in another country or how did you contract the virus?
I didn’t journey to wherever and actually, I nonetheless can’t say how I obtained contaminated. I used to be working from dwelling more often than not, however as a lady, I used to go to the market and typically I didn’t actually put on the face masks as a result of it made me dizzy and nauseous. My husband, a civil servant, went to work frequently and interacted with individuals too.
How did you’re feeling when the outcomes first got here out that you simply had been COVID-19 optimistic?
We immediately turned offended, quiet, afraid, unhappy and depressed. I used to be personally struck with the concern of loss of life. The signs of fever and headache I used to be feeling then turned worse. Actually, I turned too afraid to die.
Did you report your self or how did you get to the isolation centre?
So as to not name the eye of our neighbours or elevate suspicion, as an alternative of coming to our home to choose us, we known as the physician to tell him that we might meet up with the ambulance on the junction on our road.
How had been you capable of come to phrases along with your COVID-19 standing then?
Once we entered the ambulance, they already picked two different sufferers and it was a quiet drive to Onitsha, the place the Protecting Care Centre was situated. In Anambra State, they do not name the place an isolation centre. Once we obtained there, we noticed 4 different sufferers, who arrived earlier within the 12-bed ward. Two medical doctors, who wore PPE, addressed and inspired us whereas emphasising that COVID-19 was not a loss of life sentence. At that time, it dawned on us that we had COVID-19.
How did the isolation have an effect on your work and household?
We solely knowledgeable our siblings and nobody else. They didn’t imagine us till we did video calls and so they noticed the place we had been. I used to be with my devices and I used to be doing extra of phone calls, Zoom and webinar. My husband known as in sick and mentioned he wanted to go and maintain himself.
Did your folks and neighbours know you had been remoted? What’s their angle in direction of you?
No, they didn’t know. We stored mendacity to them every time they known as that we needed to journey to spend time with my grand mum; identical with different sufferers, everybody stored mendacity on the telephone about their whereabouts.
What kind of remedy had been you given since there isn’t any recognized remedy?
I used to be curious so I requested the physician, who handed us medicine each morning and evening through the window. He mentioned the pack of medicine contained hydroxychloroquine, zinc, nutritional vitamins D and C. He additionally defined that some sufferers with underlying well being points comparable to ulcer, diabetes and hypertension got extra medicine to handle their circumstances. They mentioned the medicine would assist enhance our immune system to struggle the virus.
Had been issues straightforward with the opposite sufferers?
That was probably the most attention-grabbing half. A physician got here in each morning to take our vitals and test our well being statuses, after which we had been left with each other all through the day. We bonded, shared our expertise, prayed collectively and watched the tv. There was fixed energy provide.
Inform us about your expertise at the isolation centre and for many who nonetheless don’t imagine that COVID-19 exists, what pains did you undergo?
Persons are really anticipating to see sufferers wanting sickly and frail earlier than they’ll imagine. I can perceive as a result of I didn’t completely imagine it till it occurred to me. Folks want to grasp that there are totally different classes of sufferers – the asymptomatic, absolutely symptomatic and really extreme sufferers.
The very extreme instances had been remoted in the Intensive Care Unit. We heard some had been on drip or intubated. We may see a few of their members of the family far off the constructing, ready to see a health care provider, whom they might ask in regards to the well being statuses of their family members. My case was not a extreme one, as a result of most of us in that specific isolation ward had been asymptomatic sufferers.
I used to be feeling unwell however after three days of remedy and checks, I personally felt higher. Apart my sense of style and scent, the headache, fever, sore throat and physique weak spot had been gone. Different sufferers mentioned they had been responding to remedy too.
Did different members of your loved ones get contaminated? If sure, who’re they? If no, what did you do to verify they weren’t contaminated?
It was simply my husband and I. We each examined optimistic for COVID-19 and we strictly adhere to the well being tips in order that we don’t get re-infected.
Inform us the way you felt when your first destructive check consequence got here out?
I used to be very joyful that I used to be out of the woods and happiest that I beat COVID-19. A second check was not carried out. The medical doctors mentioned the primary check was sufficient affirmation.
What has been your expertise because you left the hospital?
Other than my sense of style and scent that’s not 100 per cent again, I really feel higher and I’ve been additional cautious. I’m so married to my face masks and sanitizer. Since I advised my story, many individuals who didn’t wish to be recognized to have had COVID-19 have known as to share their tales with me and salute my braveness to converse up.
Some, who thought that they had the signs however refused to go for check, known as to ask me for the medicine and remedy protocol, whereas some known as to investigate how a lot I used to be paid to place up such an act for NCDC. It is rather humorous.
For Nigerians who don’t imagine COVID-19 exists, what recommendation do you might have for them?
Imagine it or not, COVID-19 is actual! A cousin of one of many sufferers on the isolation centre refused to return in for remedy when his check got here again optimistic. His case had turn out to be extreme once they introduced him in; we later heard that he died. This illness is spreading every day, as a result of some individuals, who examined optimistic, refused to current themselves for remedy and a few refused to go for checks. It’s unlucky that such individuals are serving to to unfold the illness and a few individuals they’ll infect might not have sturdy immunity to survive the illness.
My recommendation is that individuals ought to keep protected by adhering to security precautions, go for check once they really feel the signs and current early for remedy.
Going ahead, what are your plans? Do you wish to turn out to be an advocate of COVID-19?
Having survived this dreaded virus, I wish to be an advocate to persuade many Nigerians, who’re nonetheless dwelling in denial, and see if extra lives might be saved; the reality is, this illness is de facto killing individuals on daily basis, however our individuals have a manner of overlaying up the reason for loss of life.
Supply: The PUNCH