Mind over Matter

I survived COVID-19. Phew! I chose to journal my experience because I had the opportunity to refer to others experiences dealing with the virus and this helped me tremendously.

It was a scary and lonely experience because we literally just came out of a freaking lockdown and going into isolation was excruciating. I mean I knew everyone cared but from a distance. I am usually expressive and I love a good hug, but I feared getting someone else sick so 

My Highs and Lows

My highs really caused me to doubt whether I was really sick, after all, I feel so fine in a moment and forget how I literally rocked myself to sleep so as to keep my food and drugs down at night.

My lows involved guilt about not being as productive at work, potentially infecting someone and being sick of isolation.

The Medication

My advise would be to seek a second medical opinion on the drugs to take from a doctor with some experience in Coronavirus treatment and maintenance. Ask the stupid questions. It’s okay to look stupid in the short term and have healthy kidneys and liver in the long term. I went against my gut feel to sample another opinion and took a controversial drug, which I was discouraged from continuing when I had finished taking the recommended dosage.

Most of it was really Vitamins amongst one or two not so cheap drugs, but with the majority of Nigerians living under the poverty line, its no wonder, most just treat with Agbo (tree barks, herbs and/or alcohol).

My Mind Over Matter

After I confirmed that I had being in contact with one or more asymptomatic patients, I immediately started to feel extremely tired and sick. My family encouraged me by declaring that it all a thing of my mind but I knew exactly how I felt so I decided to do the test to confirm. You know how we typically feel invisible like nothing bad can happen to us especially because we are Jesus camp. Well.

I took early morning walks at the crack of dawn even when I thought I would much rather be in bed because of the body pain and extreme fatigue I experienced. I felt like if I permitted myself to wallow, it would be like falling without landing. Free fall. I could do that, not again.

Everyone had something of an advise that could help you feel better. I did all! Ain’t nobody want to be sick.

My Symptoms

FATIGUE!!!! Not good for work or play.

Dizzy spells. Recurring without warning.

Shortness of breath leading to difficulty in speaking

A sprinkle of coughing and sour throat

Malaria-like body pain

My Testing

I experienced some guilt and blamed myself for my exposure and potentially putting my family, friends and colleagues at risk. I informed everyone and was very apologetic too cos I didn’t want to be the reason someone else got sick and had to go through this whole experience. Regardless though, my sister showed up (masked) every day to feed me. So thankful! And also no confirmed case connected to me. Yay!!!

The test was so uncomfortable and a tad nasty as they inserted the same swab in both nostrils and the back of my throat. Of course I was so dramatic, coughing and scaring everyone else who was waiting.

I did the test at NIMR which was free and got a confirmation call 5 whole days after I tested and 7 days after I got wind of my need to test. Safe to say, I had finished most my drugs by this time because I started the regimen two days after hearing the news which coincided with when I became symptomatic.

Did a second test three weeks after the first at NMC and still await confirmation results almost two weeks after.

I also participated in a study that led to a weekly hospital visit and submission of samples for testing. Best part of getting poked and prodded, they gave me thanks-for-coming 🙂

My Work

All this while, I could do anything at work that involved paperwork, I did attend virtual meetings though (no video). Then, gradually, I could seat at my home work station, articulate my thoughts and return to ‘normal’ with shortness of breath.

My Spiritual Life

For the first two weeks, I could not pray/worship. I accepted everyone’s prayer and words of encouragement. It was like I lost my faith. In my mind, I asked God why me. I was numb initially. But I received my peace after a while.

To Tell or Not To Tell

For the slight fear of getting stigmatized, which I learnt while being sick, I have had to seriously consider whether I wanted to share this.

Telling involved the awkward moments of silence and pity, then prayers (which expressed a bit of denial), then an unfulfilled desire to be with you in the short term, cancelled plans, an incredible number of questions, a truckload of sorry, inability to plan (in the short term, anyways) and get this… my mum trying to insist on taking care of me 😮

In all, I’m grateful to be alive and for the abundant love I received.

My Advice

Mask up, wash your hands and if you can help it, don’t attend large gatherings.

To think that the event I attended where I was infected was completely avoidable considering the alternative family time lost, time lost in the traffic from hell that Saturday and the personal realization that hit me after the event. There is definitely no upside to risking my health and the lives/health of the people I care about.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.