This is going to be a long post. A story of a man's fight for his life.
I started having fever July 13 and it was on and off until I had to call in sick July 17 because my body just couldn't fight it off anymore. I rested during the weekend and thought I would be okay by next week.
I grew weaker and weaker and had no recourse but to rushed to the Makati Medical Center and was immediately admitted on July 21. I was in the ER for 3 days as there was no available room and still, I was getting weaker and unable to eat.
It became dangerous when I could hardly breathe and was needed to be put on oxygen when my O2 saturation levels were at 67% when a healthy person would have at least 95-101%.
The initial swab test showed negative but the 2nd swab test done showed that I was positive for COVID 19. And like that my world felt like it ended.
I was crying and didn't know what to do. They had no recourse but to intubate. It was one of the scariest things to happen to me.
After the sedation wore off you constantly felt like drowning in the fluids in your lungs. I was moved to ICU and spent 9 days with doctors, nurses, and orderlies attending to my health.
So many times they had to suction off fluids and it felt like a mini drowning each time.
Twice I felt this was it. I was going to die. My heart and lungs were giving out but then another day alive. My fighting spirit took over and willed me another day.
I finally left ICU and now moved to the regular COVID room. Still trying to get better.
Heart rate is often up, there are still times when I feel out of breathing even lying or sitting down but I will beat it.
I was thinking back on how I could have gotten it as I mentally traced it in my mind.
I have never left the house since March. I worked from home and had the luxury of deliveries and each item carefully disinfected.
I washed my hands all the time and was so careful that I could not think of any way that I could have gotten it.
I am not trying to scare you but it can hit at any given time. So please take of yourself at all times. Please wear a mask, regularly wash your hands, disinfect with alcohol.
It is not over yet and so we cannot be complacent.
I examined my body and how it has lost mass. My legs feel thinner, my arms weak.
I keep turning every 2 hours to avoid bedsores but I feel it in some areas when I was heavily sedated and intubated.
There are rough patches of skin, black and blue spots, and pain where needles were repeatedly used to draw blood for tests.
I ache all over but glad to be alive.
It has been a long journey of constant Xrays, blood works that entailed drawing 3 vials of blood every day.
Almost hourly blood pressure monitoring, heart rate and of course making sure my oxygen saturation is at 95%-100%
Blood sugar was also monitored and insulin injected to stabilize me both from meals and all the steroids used.
I worry about the long term effects on my liver and kidney being pumped full of drugs and medicine during my stay here. My lungs and heart feel weak.
One of the hardest things in this journey was isolation. I asked family and friends to not visit because of the nature of the disease. I just could not take that chance that someone experience what I went through. I am just really thankful that no one else in my household got sick and all their swab tests came back negative.
That feeling of loneliness especially when I had limited access to the Internet and my mobile phone. Of not hearing the sound of the voices of your loved ones. Of not seeing their faces. Of not holding their hands. It was magnified during those late nights when everything quiets down.
I spent a lot of my time talking to my medical frontline workers like nurses and aides. A lot of them shared how the disease impacted their lives. Some were thrust to the frontlines with little to no experience, the long hours, of their mental health state while seeing people fight for their life.
A lot shared how they got sick even taking all the precautions. A lot had the same symptoms I had a fever, diarrhea, coughs, and difficulty in breathing. While some lost their sense of taste and smell. There were instances of vomiting and headaches. Easy enough to just think it was a common cold or the flu but its better to be sure. If in doubt get yourself tested.