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COVID DIARIES

THE TIDE RECEDES

Thankfully , the fever receded on Day 7 .

And the feeling you get is akin to the sight you behold of a receding High tide. It leaves behind a lot of pebbles, driftwood and debris, right ?

That’s exactly what the fever in the Covid journey does. When it moves on , it leaves behind a frail body and a tired mind.

So I spent my days in regaining my physical and mental strength.

Drink a lot of fluids . Drink whatever appeals to your palette but avoid refrigerated drinks. I drank a lot of fresh orange juice, glasses of Rhu Afza and plain water as well. That really helps.

Try to go back to practising your breathing exercises.

Keep a regular check on O2 levels and the body temperature.

Light reading is just fine. Make sure you read under a good light. And read something that lifts you up. The book I started to read was  “Gay neck – the story of a pigeon carrier” by Dhan Gopal Mukerjee.  The story of a 15 year old boy who grows up to be a wildlife expert.

 I avoided reading about the gory details of Covid aftermath and stuck to positive reading.

I read this interesting med talk forwarded by a friend and found it very useful ,   https://youtu.be/z5aiZ8Kq2jk

After 9 days , the virus will in all probability leave your body but will leave symptoms behind . Symptoms like loss of taste , cold and cough, difficulty in breathing , ulcers , asthma, dry cough , constipation  like symptoms. So we need to  treat it like post viral inflammatory response . For this we don’t need the services of a Covid Hospital , we can get treated at a regular hospital  .

The virus is non transmissible after 9 days . We have to deal with the damage now .

Honestly speaking , I was very relieved after reading this.  “Where does the virus go”,  “ Does it mutate further “ – are questions which I have left for laters.  Right now , I am relieved that it is on its way out . Go , went , gone !

Keep the  windows open for good circulation and isolation from others is a must.

Rest and follow what your body says.

I felt extremely fatigued and tired from Day 7 onwards.

I completed my dose of antibiotics and I need to go back to the doctor for video consultation after the second round of testing.

The Covid Test stands scheduled for Day 15

And  I have my fingers crossed .

Not just for me but for all those who are suffering.

What Helped : Lots of fluids , home cooked food , eating on time , rest it out.

Stay positive . Look out for the silver lining. Be a support to those who you know are still in the grip of Covid.

Stay isolated till advised otherwise by the doctor.

Covid is everywhere. But so is God.

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COVID DIARIES

The Rage !

Clearly , Day 4 and 5 belonged to the Thermal King – the Fever. (pun intended )

From a low grade fever the body temperature shot up to 102 degrees Fahrenheit .

The Virus was playing its power game to the optimum.

The symptoms vary from patient to patient and some are not ravaged by the fever. But the others , like me , who are – the trick is to make peace !

I tossed and turned  and went through a lot of mental anguish and then at last at the end of Day 5 , I made peace with the Fever. Just don’t fight it. Just try to live through it , to the best of your ability .

And that worked !

Try sponging if the fever goes high. I also kept my oxygen levels in constant check. Thankfully , the O2 levels remained fine.

My daughter pushed me in for a bath at the end of Day 5 . I think that is what finally broke the fever.

And once the fever broke, it  reminded me of a poem that we often read in school , Nissim Ezekiel’s – The Night of the Scorpion.  I totally aligned with the mothers sentiment in the poem. After having been stung by  a poisonous scorpion , she writhed in pain for 20 hours and all that she said at the end of the twenty hours was :

Thank God the scorpion picked on me

And spared my children .

I felt likewise !

Day 4 and 5 also brought in slight inflammation and pain in the throat , coupled with a cold.

I marvelled the way at which the mighty virus slowly spread its way through the body , limb by limb.

So to soothe the throat , a simple warm concoction of ginger , cinnamon , saffron and honey is good enough.  A lot of people had recommended the sachet by Patanjali but I found them to be out of stock at Amazon.  But no worries , the home made concoction serves pretty well.

And I carried on with steam inhalation , thrice a day.

To be honest,  the fever made it difficult to do the breathing exercises on Day 4 and 5 . So I skipped them. I was too weak to exercise. So I listened to my body diktat.

Day 6 was also spent with intermittent spells of fever.

Food remained very light and largely consisted of dal – chawal.

The anti flu medicines also make you very thirsty and dehydrated , so its good to keep the fluid intake very high. It helps in flushing out the fever as well.

I did try to read   and one can manage reading in those periods of the day  when the head is not fuzzy . But to be honest I did not enjoy it . I actually stated to enjoy reading from Day 7 onwards.

I kept my urge to write intact by adding on to my lexicon of visual vocabulary . And that kept me going through tough times.

I would definitely recommend limited screen time as it exerts the overtaxed body . So I did not indulge in any Netflix binge watching !

WHAT HELPED :  Home made kadaa, steam inhalation , warm saline water gargles , home made food like dal chawal, medication on time.

                              A silent Gratitude list to make you count your blessings .

                              A shout out for the family & friends out there , working round the clock to keep you healthy and safe.

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COVID DIARIES

Miles to Go Before I sleep

Day 2 dawned with the confirmation of the Test being POSITIVE.

What followed was a video consultation with the doctor , a detailed comfortable chat . She heard my symptoms and gave a brief roundup as to what is happening in my body. The prescription was attached within 15 minutes and I will not divulge the details of the prescription here , since each patient undergoes symptomatic treatment . So it would be unethical to paste a personal prescription here.

2 advise given that was to be strictly followed :

  • Get an Oximeter and keep a regular oxygen check , every 2 hours or so
  • Monitor your body temperature every couple of hours.

The doctor did warn me that my temperature might swing from low grade to high , in the coming days .

The CT value for my Covid Test was 25 . And there was good learning in it for me .

CT is the Cycle threshold value .  CT value in such a case as Sars Covid is inversely proportional.  Samples with CT value of less than 35 are positive.  Samples with CT value of more than 35 are  negative .

17 – 24 = High . 24 -35 = Moderate .

Infectivity and severity are to be differentiated .  The CT value had nothing to do with severity.

Eg – a person with CT of 10 could be asymptomatic while a person with a CT of 25 could be highly symptomatic.

I continued with simple breathing exercises and eating meals on time.

Slowly the bodyache grew in intensity . You feel the heat escaping from your heels ,  toes and palms.

It seems as if there is a tornado raging inside you , the type that you see in movies alone , going round and round in circles.

Since my oxygen levels were steady throughout , I did not panic .

There was a point of time when I started conversing with the virus : “Why are you so angry Mr Virus ? Why are you so violent ? Can’t we talk gently to each other ? If we are going to sharing space for the next few days, then lets have some ground rules . You cant be troubling me 24 X 7 !! “

The funnybones in me were tickled at the thought that even in pain, I was building up stereotypes. How did I presume that the Virus was a Mr ?

Day 2 saw me manage to sweep and mop my room and have a bath but Day 3 was a total wash out. I just lay on my bed whole day long , totally drained.

Blessed I was to have a daughter , a husband and extended family by my side who nursed me day in and day out. The ornate table outside my room witnesed heavy traffic whole day long.

My heart goes out to those who have to go through this ordeal in strange lands and away from homes , on the streets and in hospital corridors.

Counting my blessings helped me get over my bodyache on Day 2 and 3.

I did miss out mentioning that I had taken the first dose of Covishield  vaccine , 2 weeks prior to being affected . And my doctor assured me that this act of mine could well save me from getting affected severely by the Virus.

And yes , the perfect companion to my isolation hours was the CARAVAN RADIO borrowed from my friend.  Together , RD Burman (God Bless his soul ) and myself would  drift off to sleep, long after the world had fallen quiet.

Another video which I followed, containing simple handy suggestion for Covid infected patients and their meals , was https://youtu.be/jU9BsoHZuiM

WHAT HELPED : Meals on time, light food, lots of fluid, periodic check of Oxygen levels, isolation.

What I also kept going was my hobby of writing , though in my mind. I hung on to it , word by word. It kept me mentally alert.

And the most powerful of all – prayers !

Day 4 and 5 were another journey altogether !

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COVID DIARIES – THE RUN UP TO THE TEST !

As I pen down my encounter with Covid , there is absolutely no doubt in my mind (and body) that this is one of the strongest and deadliest virus that I have been attacked by , so far.

No wonder the world is wound up in tight spirals of worry , anxiety , uncertainty and fear.

Since I was directly infected by the virus , I thought one good way I can get over it – is by talking about it .

But why  worry the already worried world and raise even more angst ?

So , yours truly will attempt to take a lighter view of the situation , without doing away the facts and truths.

At the outset , let me clarify that there  is no clear and concise way through which you can pinpoint as to when did the Virus start to ride piggyback on you .

So I decided that Day 1 would be actually the day that I got officially anointed as POSITIVE .

So the Run up to the Test (Days) were eventful. My symptoms started showing up a couple of days prior . It started with a back ache, then a dull continous headache, then a nagging body ache and then a low grade fever. That’s when I decided to get myself tested.

And you know us Indians , we rarely do big things alone ! So me , my family , our support staff and our neighbour – and -best – friends – all got testedin one go (like a good Indian Parivaar ).

The Test results take a while , so it is good to isolate yourself the minute you begin to feel the symptoms. The newspapers and social media had given us enough inputs to prepare for the onslaught.

So I retired to my room – with – a -view. The family declared my room as out of bounds . Even the much pampered canine was not allowed inside.

An ornate table was dragged from the living room and put right outside my room. All my needs and meals would be placed there , hereafter.

A broom , a soap , a mop , a number of disinfectants were also slid into my room. My battle with the virus was all set to begin.

But on a serious note – it’s a good practise.

Sanitising your room, the clothes one wears , the utensils one uses – definitely stops the virus spread. It made me more responsible towards my own hygiene and staying clean and healthy helps fight this virus.

I had access to a balcony where not only did I put my clothes and stuff to dry , but I also made it a point to spend 5 minutes in the sun, daily. I feel that really helped.

Initially the fever was low grade and the body ache was immense. So you spend the entire day tuning in to your body needs and resting it out. From the bed to the washroom and back. That’s it.

Since the Test Reports had not come in , I had not started with any medication as such apart from a Vitamin C tablet and Zinc supplement , as suggested by my doctor friend. Since I had no cough or cold at that point of time, a simple adrak chai suited me fine.

A good video I would suggest is one by Dr Hansaji in which she talks of simple breathing exercises exercises one must do https://youtu.be/w1FAVxpON4w

In the run up to the Test days , my appetite was not impacted at all . But my family thought otherwise !

There was a shout out every hour , “Mom what Can I get you ?” “ You must stay hydrated and well fed “.  And the ornate table outside my room overflowed !

The night prior to my test result , I had a dream . I dreamt that my Report had come NEGATIVE ! I was celebrating and so was the family . And in the middle of all these celebrations , my special privileges were being whisked away. My room door was thrown open , room service was stopped , the ornate table was dragged back to its place in the living room and I was back to being mama chef, mama waiter and mama cleaner .

The edges of the chef cap tickled my nose and woke me up from my stupor. My doctor friend was desperately trying to call me , “Achha listen. Don’t worry , your report is POSITIVE though “.

At that point , I looked up at the ceiling and I swear I saw the cherubic Devil Corona wink at me and say “ You wanted room service isn’t it ? Well my friend , there is no free lunch in life “.

And so saying the Devil disappeared.

I gathered my feverish body and geared myself for the days to come ! The family set up a video consultation with the doctor for the coming day. Must mention the utility and friendliness of the Apollo Hospitals app and the ease with which a Covid patient can set up video consultation, is praiseworthy.

Do note that no way was I able to pen down these experiences on Day 1 itself. I was too weak and fuzzy . I just kept making mental notes . You lack the energy to even scribble. I just kept making some mental notes . I put these words on to the keyboard probably on Day 7.

WHAT HELPED : Warm saline water gargles , twice a day steaming , lots of fluids and lots of sleep . Avoid using the air conditioner and throw open the windows for fresh air to come in. Keep the food light and eat on time.

DAY 2 & 3 shall unfold tomorrow !

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Pheriwala

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As I spend a warm winter afternoon , reclined  on a cosy chair in my balcony , I feel totally blessed and happy. What more could I ask for ?

And there ! As if in reply to my musings , I hear an excited chatter from the street below.

And lo and behold , I sight  a rare sight  !  A pheriwala on a cycle selling many kinds of colourful  toys for kids . The kind that children just don’t get to see these days  .

As he rings the quaint cycle bell in anticipation of arousing excitement , the metallic sound is matched with  excited chatter among the  young children.

They gather excitedly around the Pheriwala and his delectable wares.

Now that is a sight which definitely adds to my happiness quotient – the sight of happy  & excited children !

There are some children who remain at a safe distance from the  pheriwala , admiring the trinkets from a distance.

Then there are some bold ones who venture close and cautiously touch the marvels on wheels.

The treasure on wheels includes  funny little  horns  & hooters , colourful pin -wheels , wooden tik – toks , some  damrus , bright diamond shaped kites and much more.  

Twisted  red balloons hang from the handles of his cycle  , much like  grapes in a vineyard.

Even the cycle wheels are embellished with some colourful threads.

Two adventurous young souls are already exploring the coloured spokes.

A couple of them are already on a high decibel conversation with  their parents from far , sending out a brave request for a piece of treasure from the pheriwala.

In response to the loud clamor, I can also see some parents taking resigned steps towards the pheriwala .

The pheriwala accepts cash but also proudly displays a Paytm signage on the front wheel.

Perhaps this is the only visible mark of his advent into the all invasive tech era.

Each of  the goods on his wheeled chariot are  manually operated. All that children need to do is touch , push , blow , break and fix it together with their own hands.

In an age where parents claim that their children are ‘attention deficit ‘ , the Pheriwala manages to hold their attention for a good twenty minutes. An Olympic  feat indeed !

The teacher in me begins to tick . Why is the pheriwala still so attractive for the kids ? Why does he  fascinate young children ?

Well , the answer is really simple

That’s because essentially children love the human touch . They thrive on touch and feel.  They  love to own , cuddle , imagine, hold and stamp their toys.

So, I gather that its really not about the money and fancy gadgets after all . It’s all about perking up their neurons . And setting them on the path to joyful discovery.

The screens and the bot still have a competitor – the pheriwala .

The thought warms my heart to a merry cheer which even the sun cannot furbish.

Long live the pheriwala !