The pandemic has halted a lot of things for us. It ruined many plans, it widened the gaps between people. I knew it was a serious matter. But it was only when I tested positive, and so did my family, that I felt its extremities.
This is probably the most cliche line you’ve ever read, but
“Covid is real.”
From fear to fever.
Fever was what hit me first. For nights, my fever played around 38 to 40 degrees celsius and that disrupted my sleep along with the cough and colds. I vomited for 3-4 consecutive nights, and that felt awful because I wasn’t able to eat for days. I lost both my sense of taste and smell, so eating became vapid and my appetite just wasn’t there. And even when I rubbed alcohol on my nose just to get the faintest of smell, there was no hint of pungency.
On most days, I was in bed sleeping. But whenever I wake, my body felt heavier than it was before laying down. All this that I felt, my whole family felt too.
The Hospital Experience
Just as I was about to feel better, the worst came knocking at our doors.
My father’s lips turned dark blue as his oxygen level dropped to 60. Panic and fear enveloped the whole family. We called hospitals and emergency rooms, but everywhere was full. Luckily, some relatives pulled some strings that allowed us to secure a room, and so we asked help from the local government unit to transport my father and I to the hospital.
I sat in the ambulance looking at my father with a cannula in his nostrils. He was getting oxygen support. I wanted to cry and break down but I couldn’t. I needed to be strong for him and for my mother who’s at home, and who can’t even go down the stairs because it would make her catch her breath.
The hospital we went to was indeed full. The emergency room was full. Some were even staying in the hallways. It was a terrible sight. Fearful, in fact. But I didn’t mind all that when I was in there. All I wanted was to see my father get attended to.
My father was then diagnosed with covid pneumonia. The virus had made its way to his lungs, which explained why his oxygen level was too low. He needed continuous oxygen support, and at that moment, the hospital was the only place that could provide that. His medications were expensive, but my father was indispensable. We couldn’t risk losing him over our worries for the expenses.
And so my father was admitted to the covid ICU. For me, that was the worst. Never in my life did I imagine admitting my own father to the hospital, more so admitting him to an ICU. The hospital was strict, no watcher was allowed in the ICU which meant I had to go home and leave him there.
The surge of my emotions was inexplicable. It broke my heart to see him wheeled to the elevator leading to the 2nd floor, where the covid ICU was. And the fact that I couldn’t go with him really crushed my heart. As much as I wanted to be there to take care of him, I couldn’t. But I didn’t want to look weak in front of my father. I wanted him to see the strong and brave daughter he raised before moving to the ICU. But when the elevator doors shut, I broke down and tears were all over. I prayed and I prayed for my father to be saved. I prayed for him to come home to us.
It was in the middle of the night, and I was waiting for a cab to ride home. It was only then that I felt so tired. I was also having abdominal pains because of my menstruation. But I didn’t feel any of those when I was busy roaming around the hospital to get papers signed and to purchase medications. My adrenaline had kept me going. But when it was all over, my body was ready to give in. When I got home, I was reeled into unconsciousness and finally had the sleep I was deprived.
A phone was allowed in the covid ICU. I’d call my father all the time. In the morning when I wake up, before and after I eat, before I go to bed. I’d ring him as much as I can because I wanted to hear his voice and see his face on screen.
My father’s experience wasn’t easy as well. He was deprived of food and water because of the many laboratory tests he had to undergo. He was also just in bed because he needed to get all the rest that his body required. Recovering in the covid ICU wasn’t a walk in the park. And my father, who is a very family-oriented person, missed us very much and kept saying that he wanted to go home.
My mother would also cry from time to time. That hurt me a lot too. She missed him so much, and she sometimes blamed herself for not being able to take care of my father. But I told her it wasn’t her fault at all. The experience that we had wasn’t planned. None of us expected this.
A week passed, then another. Good news came. My father was improving. Apparently, his oxygen level is higher than it first was, and his medications were working. He was then transferred to a private room where a watcher is now allowed.
My younger brother, who missed my dad a lot too, volunteered to go. I was then left at home with my mom. My brother, being the caring person that he is, did his very best to attend to my father’s needs.
Another blessing came after a week which took the heavy burden in our hearts. My father was clear for discharge.
My father was cleared from covid. And day that he got home was the most emotional for us. The doctor kept saying that his condition was critical. We weren’t even given a timeframe of when he can get home. So it was always a blur for us. But thankfully, after three weeks of being apart, we were blessed and God gave my father back to us.
We did our very best to attend to his needs. With the help of our local government unit, we were able to secure an oxygen tank for him. We got it refilled from time to time until we were able to purchase an oxygen concentrator.
Up to this date, which is already a month after my father’s discharge date, he still uses the machine to support his breathing. He has improved so much. Once in a while he’d walk around the house with no oxygen support to exercise his lungs, willing it to work on its own again.
This journey was long and tiring, and very very emotional. But I did gain a lot from it.
Health is indeed wealth. And one’s family is the most important thing in the world. I am proud to say that we have survived individually and as a family.
Also, I’d like to thank my friends who never left me. They contributed to my fighting spirit, and they are one of the many reasons why I was able to face all the challenges that were thrown at me. For calling to check up on me and my family, I really am grateful.
I’d like to thank the love of my life who also stood by my side. For not making me feel alone, and for being my strength, thank you.
To our relatives who made sure we were okay and comfortable, thank you.
To my dad’s best friend and his family in Australia, thank you so much for never leaving us, and for making us feel secured. You were our backbone.
To the people that I work with, thank you for being so understanding and patient. You gave me peace of mind while I poured all my time and energy for my family.
To our city’s LGU, thank you so much for your assistance and service. The world needs more people like you.
And of course, thank you to my parents and my brother for fighting well. Thank you for surviving. I am proud that you are all mine, and I am proud that we went through all this together.
And to our dearest Father in Heaven, thank You. We owe this all to You, and we are forever grateful.