Alyssa Marie Lungca a COVID-19 Survivor
I am an ICU Nurse. I handled a covid positive patient. She was a nurse too who was working abroad. “Kung mahal mo ang trabaho mo, hindi mo maituturing na trabaho ito. Kaya hanggang kaya ko, magtatrabaho ako.” That was her response when I asked why she was still working in her near 80s. We took care of her, unfortunately she didn’t make it. But her kind words were comforting. It kept me going. It helped me endured the overtime we had to do to keep up with the volume of patients. Some of us had to leave home and stay in the hospital for days/weeks, because of fear that we might transmit the disease.
March 27th was my rest day after a 3 day workload. I came home, feeling tired with mild backaches. That night, my body malaise was not relieved with analgesics. March 28th I had to seek consultation. I was categorized as a low-risk PUI. I had my covid swab test, cbc, and x-ray done. 14 days of quarantine was advised while awaiting results.
I informed my family right away. I decided to do home quarantine, since I had my own separate room. I didn’t inform anyone that I was a PUI because I knew back then that I was asymptomatic. I had no febrile episodes, only occasional cough and colds which I thought were symptoms of my allergic cough and rhinitis. I had nights where I was having difficulty in breathing but was eased, something I didn’t disclose because it would make my family anxious. But my cbc and xray were good, nothing ticked.
April 1st, I got a call that my test results came back positive. I feared the most. Time stopped before me. I was hyperventilating; the person on the other line was calming me down. I was crying; in fear that I won’t be able to see my family again, fear that I might acquire pneumonia and be intubated. Beforehand, I was ascertain and told my mom that I wouldn’t want to be intubated if my prognosis was already poor. Something I had to tell her because I’ve seen how the disease deteriorates patients fast within 24-48hours. I’ve seen patients who aren’t able to see their family and who have died alone because of this disease.
I was a covid positive patient.
I was advised for admission, for close monitoring. I packed my bags, good for 2 weeks, uncertain of the fate ahead. I saw my mom cry, the most heartbreaking cry. I didn’t want to show her that I too was anxious and afraid. I kept assuring her that I was okay.
My first night was full of tears; I was alone in my room, fearing the worst. I had to tell a few of my fellow nurses of my case, so that they would be more aware and cautious. Only my family and a few friends knew. I didn’t want to worry them. I didn’t want them to see that I too was fearing for my own life.
It really took a big blow on my mental health. I prayed fervently. I asked my Sr. Lola to include me in her prayers. I prayed one night, surrending all my fears, anxieties, and doubts to Him. “Lord ikaw na po bahala.”
My confinement made me realize how I was taking life for granted. It made me appreciate life in a different perspective. I love yous become more precious. The hugs and kisses were sent everyday. I was by myself, but I had my prayer warriors that were constantly reassuring me that it will be okay.
All the statistics were geared toward deaths, all I had was faith and hope. Faith that there is a God ever so loving and merciful and hope that I will recover.
At initial assessment, my doctor told me that the disease is not progressing. Labs showed that I was okay. No need for antibiotics or further workup. Still, I needed to stay in the hospital for monitoring. After 3 days of medication and repeat lab works, I was clear for discharge. A big relief on my part, but still I have to repeat my swab tests and await negative results. My repeat swab test yielded negative results this week. I kept thanking God of the blessing of life.
I defied the odds. I was a survivor.