Suffered physical, mental challenges, says Covid survivor doctor

26-year-old doc discharged from PGI after her two samples test negative

Suffered physical, mental challenges, says Covid survivor doctor

Naina Mishra
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2

The fifth Covid patient in the city, a 26-year-old woman, was discharged from the PGI on Thursday night after being tested negative twice as per the protocol.

The Sector 19 resident was infected with Covid after coming in contact with her patient whom she was treating in the UK. She completed a 14-day isolation period in the hospital yesterday.

Dr Payal (name changed) said, “I had symptoms the day I arrived and I decided not to go home. I straightaway went to the PGI.”

Being a doctor herself, she somehow knew that the disease was imminent.

“The only thing that kept me going during the illness was that I looked forward to a bigger motive in my life, which is to treat my patients. We are nothing without our patients. We have taken an oath to help people in their vulnerable times,” she said.

During the illness, she experienced diarrhoea, chest pain, severe abdomen pain, headache. 

The disease not only challenges the patient physically but mentally as well. This is exactly what happened with Dr Payal. She said, “I have never felt this unwell before. We have all experienced common cold or flu but this viral illness was a bit different. It affects you more than any other flu. I was exhausted.”

Dr Payal shared, “I had high fever and breathlessness initially. Later, I lost smelling and taste senses completely.”

She added, “I have seen it in my patients and personally experienced that you feel unwell on the second or third day and start feeling much better the next day.”

“On the eighth day, I suddenly felt very unwell. I told my mother over the phone that I was dying and that was the worst part of the illness. My body was aching terribly. I experienced inexplicable things,” she said.

She spent most of her time sleeping in isolation after taking medication. She suffered from fever frequently.

“The suffering is a mix of both physical and mental challenges. You don’t know what is happening to your parents because you can’t see them,” she said.

“My parents were isolated at home. I kept praying for my mother. Even now, we are sitting in the four corners of the house. Many people don’t maintain distance at home and all of them end up getting exposed,” she added.

While I was sick, I used to tell my mother everything before calling my consultant. That’s how much, I needed family support, she said.

"I think people need to know, it is the same virus that causes common cold every year, but in a different way. Our body is not immune to it. I have seen healthy people ending up on the ventilator. You need to realise the serious complications of this disease. Many people are dying because of this," she added.

The nursing staff and doctors of the PGI were very supporting, she said.

She has a message to the public.

“Everyone wants to make a difference in others’ lives and this is a perfect way to contribute to the mankind by being well-informed. People in my area were very scared when they came to know that I had tested positive. The human body is not immune to Covid, even if the person is young.”

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