Tag Archives: Love

My Covid-19 Journey

30 Jul

At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, many of us started to take the necessary precautions. Before the South African lockdown was announced and changed our lives, I had moved my office to my living room, and began self-distancing. We only went to the shops for the essentials, and then we started using the various shopping apps. I was one of the people who sanitise my feet and shopping bags on entering my apartment; I thought I was doing everything right, or so I thought.

In mid-June, the temperatures in Johannesburg dropped at the onset of a cold front. It was unfortunate as that was also the day that we had a 24-hour blackout in our area and therefore had no access to warmth besides from bedclothes. After that day, my partner and I started to feel a little ill with flu-like symptoms. Nothing serious, so we dosed with the necessary flu medication and stayed indoors. Within a day, my body aches had decreased, but I had developed a chesty cough. I was not too concerned as the information that I had found regarding Covid-19 spoke to a dry cough. A few days later, my partner, who still had minor flu-like symptoms, had a hunch and insisted on going to a doctor. So I accompanied them to our closest GP, instructed through their medical aid. On arrival, The doctor then explained that she was sitting in for the official GP. The GP was staying away from the practice due to Covid-19 regulations as he was over 60 years of age. We were not too concerned until the substitute doctor did not use the medical apparatus and used an ordinary household torch to look at my partner’s throat and ears. We explained the symptoms and the doctor said we do not have the Coronavirus. Fortunately, my partner needed additional blood tests for dietary requirements, and we requested the necessary forms, we proceeded to a lab for testing.  

Our laboratory experiences. 

We went to our closest lab, and on arrival, we thought since we were there, my partner would get tested. The following day, we called the lab to see when the results would be out, and they could not locate the tests. We soon discovered that they had taken down my partner’s ID number and physical address incorrectly. We were concerned at the laboratory’s inefficacy to record information correctly; we rectified their mistakes and waited. After we remedied that, we received a call and confirmation that my partner had tested positive and the person on the other line stated that since we live together, I should come in immediately and get tested. The following day I went in. On arrival, one of the lab assistants came and asked me why I was there as I was not sick, I informed her of my symptoms and told her that her colleague had instructed me to come in as my partner had tested positive, she said it was not necessary. I ignored her and stayed in the queue. 

That night, my partner and I spoke about the realities of me being positive and if the odd possibility of me being negative, we planned how we would temporarily change our living arrangements. We contacted our medical friends and family, particularly those who had survived after being infected and those who had treated COVID patients. We received lists and suggestions and then made the online order and stocked up the necessary items. 

Two days later, my tests results came back positive, by the way after disocvering that the lab had also messed up my deatils. We now had to try and shift our mindsets into being realistic to our emotions, heal, be there for each other but also plan accordingly. 

I will speak to the emotional rollercoaster, later, but this became our daily routine for two weeks.

  1. Steam twice a day with Vicks and eucalyptus oil. Find a suitable bowl, fill it with boiling water, add a spoon full of Vicks vapour rub and a few drops of eucalyptus oil. Put your head over the bowl and cover yourself with a heavy blanket. At first, it is daunting, but soon we got used to it. The steaming helps with the chest, lungs and coughing. We did this for 15 minutes at a time and twice a day, morning and evening.
  2. Rinse out your mouth 3 to 5 times a day with warm saltwater.
  3. Vitamin D- We could not locate any vitamin D, so we opted for direct sunlight every day for about an hour.
  4. Vitamin C- We took Vitamin C 1000 mg effervescent, twice a day. We ate 3 to 5 oranges a day.
  5. Zinc. We could not locate zinc tablets, so we opted for foods that had a high dosage of Zinc. These included beans, samp, chicken legs oatmeal and various vegetables.
  6. We only ate warm food and drank warm drinks. These varied from ginger tea, while getting our sunlight in the morning to boiling ginger, garlic and lemon and drinking throughout the day. 
  7. Sleeping- I slept on my tummy, over a pillow with a hot water bottle underneath. According to an MD, this assists with the chest and lungs.
  8. Medicines- Acc 2000 for the cough. Linctagon flu caps and sachets. Sinutab for the headache. No antibiotics.
  9. Mobility is important. So we did moderate exercise, this was more difficult for me as I struggled with my breath and chest area. So I gave myself goals and monitor my progress. The day, I was able to make it down the stairs, without losing my breathing and coughing heavily, I rewarded myself with a dance. There were several breathing exercises that we did. 
  10. Rest, rest and rest. Due to the anxiety and pain, we had many restless nights. We would often wake up and check on each others breathing, and heartburn played a significant role. One evening I also vomited. So if we needed to sleep during the day, we allowed for that. 

The emotional rollercoaster.

 As much as we needed the information, we had to detach from social media and news reports. Many days, I prayed and gave gratitude that although the pandemic and cut off an income for myself and my business, I was still living and operating from a place of privilege. I have a loving partner, I live in a safe home, and we had access to resources to provide us with the necessary meds and food, and we had friends and family who assisted with additional drop-offs. As much as I held onto that gratitude, there were a few days and hours that I was angry, that I cursed the deadly virus, I owned the anger and pain and then accepted the next emotions. One day I went into commando mode, checked up on my life policy and will and contacted my cousin, who will handle my estate, to tell her and inform her of my wishes, should it come to that. In 2018, my cousin had passed away and did not leave any instructions of his policies, will etc. During that time, a few family members and I had to look through his documents so to find policy numbers and will. I remember saying to myself that I would not want that to happen to me. 

A week later, we showed signs of improvement; the only worrying factor was my breathing and coughing. We had regained our sense of taste and smell. After the 14 days isolation period, my partner was healed and was cleared for work. My process took a little longer. My body was still weak, I could breathe at approximately 80%, but I still had a bad cough. As my doctor said, the 14-day isolation period is to get one through the worst, but the virus could live in our bodies for months after and that I should still take precaution. That would explain why some times, I am healthy and other days; I have coughing sprees and difficulty breathing. The COVID mushy brain, which inlcuded slight loss of memory and biref moments of cunfusion took some time, but I think its gone.

There are other areas of my body that did still do not feel right. I had dry patches between my toes and fingers. My friend Thokozani stated, she can feel that her organs are now operating differently. It is difficult to explain, but some days are good, and some days a few ailments return. As a doctor put it, we now have to operate with COVID Lungs, which are very unpredictable. Some days, I’m healthy and fit, and other days, the heavy closed feeling covers my chest area. I have set new goals for my ‘COVID lungs. These include getting around the zoo lake without breaks. Before Covid-19, this I did without any difficulty. So this week I embarked on the journey but had many stops as my COVID lungs reminded me to test drive in a different gear. With the pauses, God whispered to me, to take note of the beauty around, the magnificent autumn leaves, sunset and that I am alive to witness it all.

It is now four weeks after my isolation period, I have a minor cough and on the odd occasion a coughing spree and running nose with excessive sneezing. I then sit in the sun and take additional vitamins. 

We have started to wean ourselves off the vitamins n so our bodies can build up resistance and I have opted to take daily natural tonic, that has been mixed by my healer, Attaqua Ethel Williams Herandien. You can find her on Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/ethel.abrahamse

So where to from here? We still live in gratitude, are we free from contracting the virus again, who knows, how long will it be around for, who knows. All I can share is that we approach life, how we spend our time, differently and embrace our emotions.

A special thank you for all the prayers, love, assistance. Thank you for the deliveries, calls and message. Thank you to Nativa products for sending the Linctagon hamper, it was much appreciated. 

Link to my Youtube channel, this was recorded just after our isolation period.

I want to send prayers and wishes to those who are still ill or in bereavement, especially to those who don’t have the privileges as we have had. I pray that our government do what’s right and provide all with the dignity and right to adequate health care. I pray for reliable mental health facilities and an overhaul of our medical institutions.