It’s been almost one month since my COVID symptoms started and I am grateful everyday that I recovered without any complications. As someone who has always been healthy, who would barely get symptoms from the flu, I did not expect to be hit hard with COVID. When I was working on the medicine floors, the PPE shortage was real and I knew I would catch the virus at some point but I told myself it would be just a minor coldlike illness. I had very high temperatures for almost 8 days and a my last symptom resolved almost 3 weeks after my symptoms started. I feel so lucky to have recovered but I think the worst part of it all was the anxiety of how sick I will get. Always wondering, “Is that shortness of breath or just my anxiety? Is that just leg pain or is it a clot in my legs.” The worst was how my parents were feeling. My mom wanted nothing more than to come to me and take care of me but I wouldn’t allow that. They would drive to my apartment every two days to drop of food and supplies. Everyone video chatted with me almost the entire day to make sure I was okay. I am so grateful to have friends who checked up on me everyday. A special shout out to Dawn who let me borrow her pulse Ox so I could monitor my oxygen! This has all taught me that even if you’re young and healthy, don’t get any false reassurances that you’ll be absolutely fine.
Returning to the hospital wards is now a completely different experience. I am so proud and impressed with our hospital for everything its doing. We walk in and get offered any PPE we need, including shields, scrubs and n95s in all sizes. We have almost twice as many residents and interns, many from different specialties, helping us take care of patients. There’s always snacks for us in the lounge when we get hungry and so many other little things people have donated. I have never felt so appreciated as a doctor.
It is also amazing seeing the decrease in the number of COVID positive patients and emergency codes being called overhead. We are closing down teams that were made when there was an overflow. The battle is still on going but we are headed in the right direction.
Stay safe everyone.
Afsana Rahman, MD