What it feels like to be suspected of COVID-19?

Hello amazing people! Do you remember my last post on this blog? If you read it, this is a continuation of it, if you don’t read it yet I leave the link here, but anyways you can skipped it if you’d like to.

On Friday, March 27, around 4:30 in the afternoon, we decided to go the hospital for check-up, then to our shocked I’ve been suspected of COVID-19 together with my brothers. Why? simply because of our symptoms and maybe the travel history of our parents. Japan are very strict when it comes to the hospital protocols and guidelines especially there’s COVID-19 going on. They suspected that we might have COVID regarding our health conditions and since our parents are recently got back from the Philippines (starting April 3, Philippines are included in Japan’s travel ban.) They think that our parents might be asymptomatic carriers that’s why the hospital recommended us to take a COVID-19 test for our best assurance and less worrisome.

Here’s an explanation from Dr. Shruti Gohil with the University of California Irvine Medical Center, who’s helping lead the effort to prepare the hospital for COVID-19:

“Everything that we have seen so far verifies the experience in China. Once you acquire the illness, you may be infectious to other people for up to 14 days. Now, those who are asymptomatic may not know when Day 1 starts to start counting to Day 14. But it’s encouraging to know that while asymptomatic individuals can get sick, their ability to spread the disease is far less than those who are actively symptomatic, who have secretions, who are coughing, who can take this virus and spread it around to other people.”

So what are the symptoms that we had/not:

  • We got Fever (mine 37.7 are the higher) unlike my brothers they experience much higher temperature. (But it’s subside when we take our medications.)
  • Before having fever, I already have colds, and it started with a chills feeling, those feeling that you’re getting a flu.
  • next day, I got swollen lymph nodes both sides on my neck.
  • Then, dry throat even I drink water frequently, it’s rough and scratchy.
  • Feeling sluggish (On March 19, while working in the hospital, I decided to have doctor’s consultation. They checked on me, got influenza test too but the result are negative. So they give me 3 days medication for my colds and throat.)
  • My 3 days meds are gone, but my colds and dry throat are getting worse. And that’s when I started having fever, on and off.
  • Got headache as well.
  • I don’t experience cough (unlike one of my bro had cough) but I started to have a phlegm like there’s a phlegm sticking on my throat turn like a dry cough.
  • We don’t experience difficulty of breathing, but since I have terrible colds, got clogged nose.

I get back to work on March 24 and 26, but on the next day, my throat are getting worse, clogged nose and headaches, no fever and just decided to go to the hospital for another consultation so I can have another drug prescription, of course since I knew that my brothers are still not okay, so I fetched them as well.

When we got to the hospital, of course we need to fill-up a pre-screening medical questionnaire for a detailed assessment. Anyways, it’s hard to read and filled it up those since it’s written in Japanese, we can’t read it, so the health personnel helped us. So what’s on the questionnaire?

  • Or course, your full information
  • What are the symptoms we experiencing?
  • Do we have another disease?
  • Do we have allergies?
  • Is there any medication are we taking?
  • Lastly, the very important; Do we recently travel? Does anyone in your family or friends or work mates travel in other country or outside our prefecture?

And when we answered “YES” with blah-blah-blah stories, that’s the start that they suspected us that maybe we might have COVID. They ask us not leave the room, stay and wait for the doctor’s confirmation. We wait for almost 2 hours in the room. Are we scared? Yes absolutely, troubled but still we have to think positive. And imagine, all alone with my two naughty brothers , my jaws are getting hurt from laughing. They even bullied my huge forehead when it’s my turn for a thermal forehead scanner. Grrr! Lol.

And since in our town, there’s no laboratory for the COVID test. They need to recommend us in another hospital where we can take the test, and since its already nighttime and next day is Saturday and Sunday, that mostly hospital consultation are closed, we have to wait for Monday and for their call (not from the hospital, but from the COVID-19 hotline personnel) on where and what time we can take the test.

Oh by the way, that day the doctor’s doesn’t checked on us, only the health personnel just checked our temperature. After they assumed of COVID, they gave us an hospital recommendation letter.

But before we leave in the hospital or the isolation room, they give us strict advises since we are suspected of COVID:

  • We can’t go anywhere, after leaving the hospital, we have to go straight at home. NO going on shops or even our work area. Meaning please stay at home only. Home isolation.
  • Do self-quarantine, social distancing is a must. Have your own quarantine room.
  • Wear a mask inside your home.
  • We have to wait for our COVID test to be done and of course the result.

Of course, I called my husband so he can go home early. When I got home, I have to isolate myself as soon as possible.

So how do I feel to be suspected of COVID? For almost (5) five days of self-quarantine/isolation:

  • At first or in the first night of my isolation, it’s feels fine like nothing changes. Yeah Worried but I’d like to think positive.
  • then lack of sleep, and more sleepless nights.
  • And I started to feel more worried, more “what ifs” in my mind.
  • I felt alone, then I become depressed though I knew that we’re in the same roof. But thinking that I can’t do nothing for my children, hearing André’s cry, wanting me to carry him, my kids knocking on my room wanted to bond but cannot, can’t hug or give them a good night kiss. It’s too damn hard. I’m just a mother, period and I still wanted to live happily with them.
  • Depression got little worse, we (husband) argue, I explained that he can’t understand what I am feeling. I’m scared. I’m anxious. I feel alone. I felt need of someone, maybe encouragement and compassion.

I know I can browse anything on my phone and work in my laptop each day. Got a chance to watch or do a marathon on K-dramas and Netflixes again. I had an opportunity to do the things I wanted to do, but it doesn’t mean that my anxiety are gone. Every time I have to go downstairs, I need to sanitized myself.

And I am grateful that I got an opportunity to joined a family prayer meeting every night through group video calls. I surrender all my worries in Him and trust everything in Him. God’s love are one of my strength.

On Monday, I got a call from the COVID-19 personnel that we can finally take the COVID examination at the hospital that they recommend. Our schedule was 2 o’clock in the afternoon. They strictly advise us not to go inside the hospital, we have to wait inside my car and wait for the nurse to fetch us.

So the COVID testing begin…

We’re in the small isolation room where COVID suspected patients to be assessed and test taken. So what test did they do to us?

  • Of course, temperature. (we’re in a normal range that day)
  • Collecting phlegm or sputum test
  • Blood test
  • Nasal swab or Nasalpharyngeal test (Got nose bleed after)
  • Chest X-ray or they called it Rentogen

After the test, a General Physician attend to us and give us results about our blood test (mine have higher level of CRP or C-reactive protein so it means there’s an inflammation). The doctor’s gave us medicine for my sore throat and fever. Then, we have to go home straight after the test. We have to wait for another day to know the final results.

My anxiety is on peak, can’t sleep. I really missed my kids and I think my daily house chores missed me as well.

At 3 o’clock in the afternoon, I received a call from the COVID-19 personnel. Gosh, my heart wanted to explode, then I answered. In my mind, I am praying, I only focused and wait for the words “negative” or is it “positive”. Then he said, the test is negative, as well with my brothers. I repeat what he said and ask him “Is it negative?”, me making confirmation. I asked him again, “So we can go out now, or get back at work? get back on our daily routine?” And he said yes, but If we’re having severe cough and fever, we might take a rest. After the call, all I can say is “Thank God, thank you Lord.” Then I go downstairs right away, and look for my kids, I carry my little Andre, told my husband that the result are negative, and finally everything’s back to normal again, but still we need to be cautious.

I thank God for those days that I feel helpless, those isolation that makes me feel so depressed, still he give me strength, and hope, another brand new day and awaited opportunity. You never failed us. You will get me through the hard times.

Still I prayed for everyone’s or worlds healing, may God give us strength that we need. Lets ask for forgiveness and guidance throughout this crisis. Trust everything in Him.

My sincere advises to each and everyone; Be careful. Avoid crowded places. Avoid close contact, practice social distancing. Make a habit of washing your hand and disinfecting your surfaces. Cover coughs and sneezes. Wear a mask. Take vitamins. And yes, Stay-at-Home.

Stay safe everyone and keep on praying.

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