It has become increasingly clear that a consolation of symptoms including the ones which feel like mild flu could be signs of the onset of Covid -19. Which is why once you’ve been diagnosed with it, you have a lot of questions pertaining to the protocols as well as necessary steps you can take before things spiral out of control.
There’s a lot of information and misinformation about COVID-19 but there’s also a lot that we don’t know yet. While recovering from a low to moderate case of COVID-19, it is possible for one to experience prolonged fatigue, shortness of breath and cough which can take several weeks to settle.
Recovering from a mild COVID -19 infection
Experts say a person with mild symptoms or an asymptomatic individual is usually advised home isolation provided they have requisite facilities at home and can recover within 14 days. Fortunately for me, I had a mild viral load because I would only step out if absolutely necessary and wear an N-95 mask which proved a life savior.
Recovering from moderate COVID-19 infection
For people who are clinically proven to have more acute symptoms are more likely to be hospitalised and the road to recovery could me longer in some cases. Such people could experience shortness of breath and the symptoms could persist for days leading to fatigue.
Recovering from a severe COVID-19 infection
For those who have some comorbidities or preexisting underlying conditions and get infected, it could take several weeks to months to recover from the infection. In some cases the person might need to be issued a warrant to the ICU to help combat the disease. In very severe cases, the individual can take several weeks time to regain the lost strength.
Tips for Home quarantine and braving the road to recovery
In early April, I began experiencing COVI-19 symptoms. The first symptom was that I started experiencing severe headaches days before I spiked a fever, my first real alarm bell which resulted in me getting tested for COVID. The following days were followed by fatigue, body ache and I would have trouble falling asleep. This was honestly unlike any illness I had experienced. This was followed by an inability to taste food which is when anxiety got the best of me.
I wondered: Would I get even more sick? My head would spiral in all possible directions. Which is when I decided to stop reading about COVID on the internet and found respite in books. I was advised minimal screen time because of the headaches and would read to soothe my nerves. Luckily for me, I found strength in my family, my friends and colleagues who would often check on me. Sometimes the mere thought of someone “being there” if not physically but mentally just helps in such times when the situation very easily gets the better of us.
Fortunately I have long practiced mindfulness and practices that have helped me cultivate a moment to moment awareness of all things in life I am grateful for. Paying attention to the present moment especially when the situation is as life changing as this was not only difficult but also challenging. Practising mindfulness takes time and effort, but once the mind gets used to it, it helps you cope with stressful episodes with much ease and lets you control the situation than the other way around.
That being said, I diligently followed a good nutritious diet before, during and after my infection. While no food and dietary supplements can prevent the onset of the virus, our diet most definitely makes our immune system battle-ready. More so with the amount of medication I was prescribed, it was a daunting task to eat healthy with the loss of taste I experienced, but I did and it sure helped speed up my recovery process.
It is important for us to remember that even a mild infection can be a huge setback with potential after effects which can last for days post recovery which is why it is important to have food with good reserves of protein, vitamins and minerals. I was also advised to undertake the 6 minute walk test every 6 hours to track my oxygen saturation to ensure my levels did not tank. When we continue with our daily activities, we do not realize that our oxygen levels have gone low. This is when the infection can progress rapidly resulting in a condition called “Happy Hypoxia” which can lead to severe consequences.
Aforementioned is my experience battling the COVID-19 infection and I am so grateful that I could overcome this hurdle with the support of my near and dear ones and my doctors. I am also of the opinion that if you stay alert and experience any symptoms which point to the onset of the disease, seek help immediately. Most of the cases are mild and can be treated with timely intervention. Hence I would advise people, do not be afraid, be aware and do not be afraid to ask for help when you need.