In early January, I suffered from a COVID infection. I caught it from an elderly patient of mine whom I had been closely involved treating at home.
Sadly, the patient died at home despite all the efforts of nurses carers and a team of doctors including me.
My symptoms were vague. I had fever and body aches for two days. And utter lethargy. Everything was an effort. Even moving covers in bed was exhausting. Getting up to go to the toilet too was a Herculean task.
I retained my sense of taste and smell, nor did I have a cough. But the chest tightness and difficulty in breathing was alarming.
A peculiar symptom I had was a reactive rash on my body. A red rash usually seen as an allergic reaction. With good going itching. I was easily able to manage this with a strong anti histamine I prescribed myself.
In addition to the antihistamine, I took Paracetamol only and some vitamin D supplements. I made sure I rested well and allowed all my metabolic energy to be diverted to the immune system. I took lots of fluids and ate well despite no appetite.
When work resumed, I told my colleagues that I would work from home and carried on. Often, the patients I spoke to on telephone consults were in better shape than I was. It was at times irritating that they’d brought insignificant complaints that a reasonable application of common sense would have resolved.
The most comforting thing I had was the knowledge that many prayers were being said for my well being. I have no doubt that these prayers ensured a relatively easy course of infection.
I’m now back at work, and my first shift was at a hot clinic for COVID patients. Sadly not a single patient was booked in to the clinic for the duration of the four hours I was there.
There’s no doubt that this is a very nasty infection. I can see why it has such an impact on those with very little reserves. And why some people die from it.
What we must do is steel ourselves with a positive attitude and abandon ourselves to God’s mercy for all our well being. There’s absolutely no reason to be cowardly.
As a doctor, I had plenty of knowledge of potential treatment options, reported as being efficacious for this illness. I could easily have obtained these and used them. But, I took paracetamol alone, regularly and didn’t bother to overcomplicate things.