Yes, I am going to share my personal COVID-19 experience. Being a heath care professional, with the setting in of COVID-19 cases in the country, and more specifically in the state, hospitals including mine were gearing to deal with the challenge. With the initial gradual increase in the number of cases, life of healthcare professionals became quite hectic, almost instantly. We, at senior level, got busy formulating procedures, protocols with amendments every other day according to the government regulations, while constantly keeping in mind the safety of all concerned. In this process, I didn’t even realize that I had neglected myself. At this point I also have to admit the presence of a form of psuedo confidence and pride within me, by which I concluded that I am the most resistant soul of this earth and no virus can ever touch me.
It is amazing to know that even in our false confidence we give credit to God. And that is the beginning of my story.
During Mid of May 2020, as usual, I went to the hospital for work but felt some unusual uneasiness. I felt something going on within me. But as always, I ignored and worked till afternoon and left for the day as I couldn’t continue any further. That evening on started getting mild body pain and throat irritation, I implemented various home remedies to minimize the discomfort. By the following day, I had mild fever which remained the whole day. I tried to bring it down with antibiotics and fever medications; assuring myself that I would be alright by the next day. Joy ride continued on following day as well. I went to work but a little later I realized that I had cough and breathlessness. I consulted my doctor and he advised for a chest x-ray. And so I got a chest x-ray done. The x-ray film showed presence of a big patch. I understood that there were two possibilities –
And now my confidence was beginning to shake. Soon after seeing the x-ray film, doctor asked me to undergo swab test for COVID-19.
As I was waiting for my swab report, the countdown had begun; the clock kept ticking, 1, 2, 3… each second, each minute, and each hour felt like ages. My spiritual over confidence had still not left me and I was trying to convince myself that my report could never be positive. But deep within, the mother and the daughter in me were raising concerns about how my family would do in my absence. I spent the whole evening in arranging for the essential items at home including non-veg (God provided through one of my spiritual friend’s mother) so that I could make things easy for my family.
What a joy to look behind and understand the beauty of God’s handiwork and His providence for the ones He loves.
On someday in the morning during 3rd week of May 2020, I was anxiously waiting for my reports. I was experiencing a spiritual and mental battle that involved reasoning to gain self-satisfaction. By noon I got my report. Against all my expectations, confidence and reasoning, my report showed that I had corona virus infection. For few moments, I felt my whole world shattering before me. But then I gathered myself and immediately decided to go away from home so that no one else in my family would get infected because of me.
While I was striving to understand my own health situation, God had already surrounded me with some lovely people. They helped in making all arrangements and by noon I was shifted to a place that had all safety measures and was comfortable too. In this journey, in my room I had many companions, who never left my side. They were – loneliness, sickness, fear, stress and anxiety. I don’t know where my closest companions (my false confidence and pride) eloped to. I was experiencing all forms of discomfort in my body, mind and spirit.
During this period, there were times I was struggling to breathe well, I was struggling to speak, as I had severe cough. There were times I knew I would need a higher level of hospitalization and care. But the Lord was by my side; I could note His presence throughout my stay in that hotel. He was there to protect me, He was there to give me breath, He was there to take care of all my comforts. He was there to supply for all my needs. Oh, how He made my heart long for Him even more!
I had many more symptoms during the course of my sickness which included severe breathlessness, chest congestion, continuous cough, high grade fever, loss of taste and smell, etc. But the key to deal with it all, as I learnt, was –
Never allow this virus to play with your brain, your mindset; or else, you will never be able to overcome of it.
This period of sickness and discomfort continued for another 10-12 long days. During this period my God comforted me through His words and even through my senior management members, my colleagues, my consultant, my friends and my loved ones helped me to sail this journey that was filled with confusion, uncertainty and fear with maximum possible ease.
When I lost the sense of taste and smell, I realized the importance of them. I understood how essential they are for our daily living and how we never bothered about them. To test my sense of smell, I would try and sniff the Dettol and a strong perfume that I had, and I wouldn’t know. I wouldn’t have come to know if anything would have been stinking in my room for ages together. I had lost the sense of smell totally. Oh, this broke me even more! I was shattered. I said “Lord where am I going? Where am I heading to? What is exactly happening with me?
I was going through such a terrible turmoil. After having lost the sense of smell, the next to go was the sense of taste. Anything that I ate had no taste, no smell. I used to eat only because I knew the need of it for recovery. I used to simply eat so that the medicines wouldn't cause any ill effects on my tummy. These moments taught me of how beautifully and wonderfully I am made. I asked forgiveness from the Lord and prayed to Him, "Lord, you taught me today the value of myself, the value of the life that you have given me. You taught me how to love your creation. You taught me to live a life clinging tight to you always." This was a beautiful experience.
And I want you to get this message very clear- Do not lose hope. As mentioned earlier, the most important aspect is not to let the virus take hold of your mind. The moment you allow it to affect your mind, you begin to lose your battle. If you prevent that, it would affect only your lungs and soon you will traverse towards recovery, you will be healed, for sure! You will come out victorious, just like me... And like many others who have! One thing that I can't stress enough is to never allow the disease to barge into your brain or give scope for confusion, fear and uncertainty regarding recovery and survival. Our God, our creator is the God of victory, healing and health. He certainly will lead you to it, if you allow.
After about 8 days into the disease, my symptoms started reducing and were gradually gone. I was cured. An amazing part of this journey was that with physical healing, God led me to spiritual recovery too. He made me realize how weak and frail I was, how His power was being made perfect in me and that I need Him every moment of my life. Many were the lessons that God taught me. God allowed me this COVID-19 experience while I was busy with life to pause, reflect and reset my priorities. As I get back to routine life, I feel renewed, empowered and inspire. Now I live with a determination to cling tight onto the Lord, praying to Him to grant me His wisdom and establish His purpose for my life here.
-- Author (Undisclosed COVID-19 Warrior)
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