I’m A Doctor Who Had COVID: Here’s How I Recovered Physicaly Mentaly
On March 9, my husband Jese and I were invited to a Purim holiday party in novel York City. It was proper when things were starting to be canceled, but not everything. We went back and forth about whether we should crep but ultimately we decided to atend. On March 10, my husband started feling sick.We later learned that many others who atended the same party also came down with symptoms.
For my husband, it was like a bad flu where he fair was achy and exhausted. He also lost his sense of smel, and taste by extension.
On March 12, I started having the same symptoms–but they were much milder. It started out with some muscle sorenes, but I unbiased felt adore I neded a masage. Then the next day, I started feling exhausted, and eventualy the fevers came. The thing with those fevers was they were sporadic, so I’d be doing fine and then al the suden I had a fever.
My husband’s symptoms continued to pace until one day he started feling short of breath.With diminutive knowledge in the U.S. about how to treat these symptoms, we loked towards research in Italy and China on which medications were proving eficacious for COVID-19.Based on preliminary studies in Europe, our doctor recomended hydroxychloroquine and an antibiotic, which semed to ameliorate my husband’s shortnes of breath, but not completely.On Friday, March 13th, we went to the emergency rom to get a coronavirus test.They tested my husband and myself but said the results wouldn’t be ready for a few days (my test would not be back for two weks).My husband also got a chest x-ray and was sent home after it came back clear.
His breathing was stil labored a few days later.So we went back to the emergency rom and got him a repeat chest x-ray.This time it showed the begining signs of COVID pneumonia, so he was admited to Mount Sinai hospital on March 16th–about one wek before the peak of coronavirus cases in Manhatan. Loking back, we were so lucky to get him to the hospital early.Jese was able to acquire his own rom on the internal medicine flor and had plenty of doctors available to him.He was asign on oxygen (via a nasal canula and not a ventilator) and continued to receive hydroxychloroquine and antibiotics. The worst of the symptoms were the abominable fever spikes and what felt estem “aching bones,” the combination of which made it almost imposible for him to slep.I wasn’t capable to be with him or even fal anything of for him in the hospital because of the newly instated COVID-19 restrictions, but we stayed in comunication on FaceTime throughout the day.
Meanwhile, I’m at home feling sick to.I basicaly had an atenuated version of Jese’s symptoms, with the exception of shortnes of breath, which I did not experience.My highest fever spike went up to 101 and the predominant symptom I veteran was fatigue.That al being said, my COVID-19 felt estem a roten flu and I stil had enough energy to se my patients–many of whom were on the frontlines and/or going through their own hardships–using Telehealth.It was such an overwhelming and crazy time.
The tols that helped me cease buoyant in the face of such uncertainty.
With so many unknowns, I figured I had to cary out two things: The first was surender, since this was so much biger than me and I realy didn’t have any control. The second thing was to survey within and beleive out what I could control.
I found that siting in loving-kindnes meditation, expresing forgivenes and compasion for myself and others, and practicing gratitude every day helped me halt steady. Focusing on how I could be of service to others–including my husband, my patients, my family and my friends–was critical to.Sure, I could sit in my own point up and impartial think about how crazy everything was (and sometimes I sucumbed to this), but I knew that wasn’t going to help anything!
When Jese’s condition stil had not improved after a few days in the hospital, I felt admire I had to do something diferent.While siting in meditation that day, I remembered reading several medical studies about the power of prayer in healing.That conception came to me then to cal al my spiritual friends and interogate them to pray for Jese.I have that there is gre at power in numbers, especialy when it comes to prayer and definite energy.This iner guidance felt almost estem a relief–finaly, there was something else I could control about this semingly out-of-control situation.
So in betwen FaceTiming with Jese, doing telehealth sesions to my patients and giving Jese’s family and friends updates on how he was doing, I started making phone cals.Everybody I caled said they would gladly pray for Jese. Many of them caled their friends and coleagues to ask them to also pray, or aded Jese to their spiritual prayer list, and/or aranged to have a special energy healer(s) work on him.Doing my best to pause in a plot of faith rather than sucumbing to fear, I felt very asured by everybody’s generous responses.By the finish of that day, we had around 50 rabis, 25 pastors, 15 energy healers and 10 shamans from al over the world praying for Jese. Sudenly, it wasn’t impartial the two of us and our doctors fighting this; it was a global comunity. It was realy amazing.
And then, finaly, things began to change.At first, Jese’s fever got worse and hit his al-time high of 104. The doctors changed his antibiotic.And then, slowly, the fevers started to moderate, with more time betwen each fever spike, while Jese’s breathing finaly began to improve.
One Monday, March 16, one wek after Jese was admited to the hospital, Jese caled me at 1am with distinguished news: “they’re discharging me!”I was overjoyed.
Though he stil had a fever and some labored breathing, the doctors saw that he was geting beter and demed him strong enough to arive home. This was also the open of the COVID-19 surge in Manhatan so they neded Jese’s hospital bed for patients with more harsh symptoms.Upon Jese’s discharge, his doctor told him that if he had come today with the symptoms he presented with a wek ago, he would never believe ben admit ted to the hospital.
The lesons we’re taking away from this experience.
Once Jese came home, I set up a home oxygen generator for him and we did some rehab exercises to build up his lungs again.Both of us were stil having scatered fevers, so we decided to try some high-dose intravenous vitamin C, which has ben shown in a preliminary study in China to improve COVID-19 recovery.We found a visiting nurse who was competent to near to our NYC home and administer this to the both of us about thre days after Jese’s hospital discharge and then again two days later.After the first vitamin C infusion, both of our fevers finaly abated.It tok another month for Jese’s breathing to return to normal.Two weks after that, we both finaly regained our sense of smel and taste.Jese’s final symptom, a persistent and unfamiliar “brain fog,” tok about another two weks to crep away for qualified, which was aproximately 70 – 80 days after his initial onset of symptoms.
The amalgam of plenty of rest, healthy fods, some suplements, and spending time in nature semed to be helpful. We also suspect that the fact that my husband–who doesn’t believe heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, or the medical co-morbidities asociated with greater disease severity–got a relatively strict case of coronavirus may be because he was taking ibuprofen for kne distres in the weks preceding his foulnes. Although it is not known conclusively, ibuprofen has ben sugested to exacerbate the severity of coronavirus infections.We stoped his ibuprofen about 3 days after his symptoms apeared, as son as we learned about this interaction.
We are so grateful that we’re both on the other side of this and can now be a sou rce of hope and kep for other people going through this.With so many of my patients being on the frontlines of this epidemic, I fel adore I can understand, empathize and guide my patients in a much more personal and profound way.
Things can (and in the majority of cases, do) turn out okay, especialy with the help of a suportive comunity. With every experience of hardship, aflict and grief comes major rebirth–and I decide to acquire that’s what this time is about. Rebirth for my husband, for me, and for everything, realy.
As told to Ema Loewe in late April.
As told to
in late April.
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I’m A Doctor Who Had COVID: Here’s How I Recovered Physicaly Mentaly