Op-eds

‘The rollercoaster finally stopped’

  • RoslynBasserabie3
I succumbed to the menacing virus. It was a terrorist attack
by ROSLYN BASSERABIE | Jul 09, 2020

At first, I was in disbelief, because although I had not been feeling my best for a few days prior to the test diagnosis, I presented differently to the iconic sore throat, coughing, and inability to breathe.

I felt tired, out of sorts, and thought that I had a urinary tract infection. That test came back negative.

Two days after my COVID-19 confirmation, I felt dizzy, nauseous, and projectile vomiting shocked me into the realisation that I was indeed extremely sick.

It was a menacing blow. I couldn’t keep anything down, including water. I felt as if I had been bludgeoned and minimal relief came from my warm bed, electric blanket, puffy cushions, and sleep.

Energy seeped out of me, Talking was too much of an effort, and I was convinced that I was a mustard jaundice colour. My husband, who tested negative, became my Florence Nightingale, and assured me that I was pale but not yellow.

I recall him urging me to sip rehydration drinks slowly. I was reluctant, but knew that it was an imperative.

My most frightening moment was when both my daughters and their husbands phoned four days into my suffering. It was a Monday night, and they insisted that Hatzolah and the consulting doctor wanted me moved to hospital.

The Hatzolah nurse that had visited me that afternoon had been dissatisfied with my oximeter readings. They were lower than they should have been, and because there was only one bed with a respirator left in the clinic near me, they cautioned that I should take it up immediately in case I required emergency treatment.

With all the juices left in me, I refused emphatically. My husband saw my distress, and stood by me. So did my son in Israel. He was on the line, and obviously heard the distress in my voice.

My daughters were taking every precaution they could because they were the ones in touch with the medical fraternity, and were panicking.

In the end, I won with the promise that I would be the first to ask for an ambulance in the morning if I felt it was imperative.

With my sanity and security restored, I made up my mind that I would breathe deeper and harder for the oximeter, and I would recover at home.

The next day proved more encouraging, and when Hatzolah phoned for the results, my reading had risen into the nineties, and I felt triumphant at their satisfaction.

My sunny bedroom, with the garden pouring in through the French windows, the surrounding flower arrangements that had arrived to cheer me up, and the daily hot soups that kept coming, succeeded in providing security and a haven to assist in my recovery.

Hatzolah is to be revered for its consistent care and follow ups.

For 12 days, Hatzolah monitored my vital signs until it was content that I could be “expelled” from its COVID-19 programme.

My close family and friends, the community at large, and people far and wide who had heard that I was a COVID-19 victim, poured out love, prayer, generosity, and support.

In turn, I felt validated and nourished.

Three weeks have passed since I was struck. Thank G-d, the roller coaster has stopped its bilious making bumpiness.

The aftermath is intense fatigue, a little dizziness, and occasional headaches.

I know that in order to recover, I need to listen to my body and give in to its beckoning for rest.

I also know that healthy liquids, for example ginger and lemon teas; carrot, parsley and lentil broths; plus lots of water need to be consumed. This, together with clean, simple and high-vitamin foods, are part of the recovery and strengthening process.

  • Roslyn Basserabie is a ChaiFM radio host, inspirational speaker, and author who lives in Johannesburg.

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