Three days before I tested positive for COVID in September, I had come down with crippling weakness. I sensed this weakness was something different, not the usual fatigue or exhaustion. I also suffered from pronounced vertigo in this period. I was on medication for vertigo for almost three years. But this combination of weakness and vertigo was something else altogether.
A lab technician came home and took the swabs of my nostrils and throat. On learning that I tested positive, my husband and son also took the tests. But their results were negative.
We went to Deenanath Mangeshkar hospital, where the doctors said that since I showed no other symptoms — cough, cold or loss of taste and smell — I could be home quarantined. I was advised to quarantine for 17 days, while my husband and son were asked to stay indoors for 14 days. They could move around the house, but I was confined to my room.
The doctors prescribed me medicines like Vitamin C, Ecosprin and Crocin. There were no restrictions on food intake. Of course, I had no appetite for the first seven days, I could barely get up from my bed. The doctors also said that pronounced vertigo could be a symptom for COVID. I also faced acute menopause symptoms like hot flushes. It was a terrible period.
What made the situation bearable was that my family and friends stood by me solidly. My mother, sister and friends made a time table of who would bring us food – breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner. My husband used to make soup and something light. But he and my son had other responsibilities like sweeping, swabbing house and washing clothes since we stopped the domestic help from coming to work. My clothes used to be washed separately in the washing machine, soaked in Dettol.
I used to watch a lot of comedy shows on my mobile phone. Also, my cousins and extended family would call me every day, crack a joke and keep me in good spirits. The Pune Municipal Corporation’s health department personnel would also call every day to check how I was doing. They didn’t skip a single day and I found that remarkable.
Besides the medicines that I was taking for COVID, a cousin of mine suggested homoeopathic medicines for my vertigo. I checked with my doctor and with his permission, I started the homoeopathic treatment. I felt a little better. A neighbour, who had tested positive before me, suggested breathing exercises done with a ball. Again, I checked with my doctor, who asked me to resume my anulom vilom pranayama. After 10-12 days of confinement, I started with my breathing exercises It was not easy. I felt weak and that was worrisome because I used to play badminton, do yoga and go on treks.
The doctors at Mangeshkar hospital advised me to start walking slowly around the room and since my room was also connected with a terrace (I used to wear a mask), I used to walk there as well. From the medical kit that we were offered at Mangeshkar hospital, we picked the pulse oximeter, since we didn’t have that. I used to check my oxygen levels on it.
After about 15 days, I started making short videos on reading etc for my nursery students. I was also on calls with my colleagues from school. The little school work that I did from home was helpful. It kept my mind off from illness.
I stayed home longer than 17 days quarantine period because I wasn’t back to normal. I started attending school in mid-October and got back to playing badminton last week. I could play straight four sets earlier, but now I had to take breaks. I dropped five kgs in my illness and I am yet to regain it.
I am continuing with my homoeopathic treatment for vertigo. It’s bearable now Also, my menopause is not causing me much problem. Life is slowly coming back on track.