Dr. Zahid Iqbal
On that day, I was feeling tired during my duty. Though I didn’t have high grade-fever instead, I had strange kinds of feelings and frustration without any obvious reason.
“Go home and sleep, something continuously insisting me?”
COVID-19 was on peak. Being a medical doctor, l didn’t quit my job during the lockdown in my town. I used all protective measures against COVID-19 during my job as well as moving outside the home.
After duty when I was driving back home, again I had uncomfortable emotions which I wasn’t able to understand.
In the dim road and moonlight, it seems that that something flying in front of the car. I knew that there was nothing but my confused mind. Hopelessness was prevailing all around me.
As it was hot summer so car A/C was on. After about 10 minutes drive, I began to shiver.
I slowed down and stop, turned off A/C but still, I was shivering.
Once I thought to take help from highway police but changed my mind in the next moment as my home was now just a mile away.
I took rest for a while, drank water, and drove again.
I had to take the exit a few meters from where I stopped. When I moved on and took the exit, I had a narrow escape because I was about to hit the road’s sidewall.
I realized that my reflexes were slow and I took a longer turn.
I was traveling on that road daily for about 3 years and was very familiar with that road.
What’s wrong with me? I asked myself!
But I had no clear answer.
Thank God I reached home safely
On the very next day, I was tested positive for COVID-19. I was upset when I received the test result. I made a mistake somewhere that’s why the coronavirus was able to enter my body.
As COVID-19 was on peak, so everyone was afraid of catching the Coronavirus. But at the same time, most people were also in denial.
I was also mentally prepared as I was among those who were on the front line.
So chances were always there. The other family members were tested negative for COVID-19. This gave me a big relief.
After diagnosis, I quarantined myself at home.
Sorrow was high for many reasons, most importantly, I prevented my little sweet daughter to hug and kiss me which she usually does on my arrival at home.
That night I took a very light dinner and went to bed but sleep was far away.
After a while, I began to feel nausea and a few minutes later, diarrhea started.
I was very upset and felt lonely. My mind wasn’t with me.
I had a strange feeling which I still couldn’t explain here. I was somewhere between earth and sky….not alive or dead.
In the morning I could hear my kids but wasn’t able to meet them.
Tears were in my eyes after a long time in my life.
I had breakfast with little taste and smell. Diarrhea was bothering me very much.
Surprisingly I didn’t have severe respiratory symptoms except for a moderate cough. However, I had a fever throughout my ailment.
My family was very supportive in that situation. I tried very best to remain positive and calm. That was very essential and I used to advise my patients, but now I was a patient.
Every night was fearful. I was afraid of sleeping because of nightmares, loneliness bothersome diarrhea, cough, and fever.
I took the supportive treatment as there was no proper treatment, so I have to encourage myself.
“Nothing will happen bad to me and will get well soon”
These were the words that I always uttered.
Sometimes I asked myself,
“Am I in denial?“
But the next moment I thought positively because I had seen many patients recovered from COVID-19.
As I mentioned that it was summer, so I had to keep changing the air conditioner to a comfortable temperature at night.
Generally, most of the time, I felt cold and had to use a blanket even at a temperature of 40 °C. Some time blanket seemed to be not enough.
I always remained in disturbed sleep. My days were slightly better as I had some activities but nights were horrible. I tried sleeping pills occasionally but failed. Some bizarre images and voices were disturbing me during sleep.
The continuous disturbance in sleep made me more tired and ill.
During partial sleep, the faces of my young kids encouraged me to beat the disease as they were saying.
“We can’t live without you, daddy. You have to live with us. Beat it. We want to play with you.”
That horrifying condition remained for a week or so, but I was determined to fight with disease and also wanted to defeat it anyhow.
Afterward, every next day was better, things began to improve and fever began to subside.
After two and a half weeks, my symptoms subsided. I was feeling much better except weaknesses.
After a few more days, when I was declared “clear” and I met with the family with care. That was an amazing day. It looked that I was born aging. That was true as I got a new life again.
I was able to hug my sweet daughter, play with my children, and live with my wife.
Sometimes when I remember those days, it looks like a dream or a horror film scene.
Again I’m on my duty and joined my happy family and living a normal life.
I wish from the bottom of my heart that nobody will have COVID-19, as he/she has to remain away from their loved one and has to face the medical consequences of the disease.
I also request everyone to follow SOPs for COVID-19 while doing your daily activities along with ALL preventive measures and always remember;
Wear a mask
Clean hands frequently
Keep a safe distance