My corona experience, Covid19 Luxembourg

START:

It’s not gonna get me. It’s not gonna get ME! Survived a war, been a refugee, sanctions, lived in 5 countries, managed number of hardship’s in my life… I don’t smoke, I don’t drink alcohol, I don’t do drugs. I exercise 3 times per week, I am quite sportive and generally active, and I thought I can handle anything. Well…

We’ve all had heavy flu, and for a couple of days of fever spiking to 39-40C with shivers. Well, imagine 8 straight days at home with 37.8 – 39C fever that doesn’t give up, medication just gives you a window of 2 hours and then it’s back- a fever combined with shivers simultaneously, finally no appetite, literally – not a single thing to eat over 8 days! On the 9th day, I called 112 (Emergency) and asked them to take me to a hospital.

Over the first 8 days, I have made 2 calls to Covid19 Helpline, and spoke with a very kind and understanding person on the other side, discussed the symptoms. I was instructed to call my Doctor and I did, both times discussed it further, and was instructed that unless I have breathing problems, I should not get tested or go to the hospital. Stay home and take paracetamol.

LET ME GIVE IT A PROPER TIMELINE

Thursday, March 12th I was completely fine, in the office working… just felt a bit of a dry throat, not sore, just dry. I cancelled my trip to the home country where I wanted to visit my parents that are in their 70s (if I had gone, they would be gone – thank God I stayed)

Friday, March 13 we are in the office, Anderson Wise recruitment where we agreed that it is our last day before we break to work from home in the upcoming weeks. No symptoms.

Saturday, I got a fever of 37.8 C thought nothing of it, there were no other symptoms so I took one paracetamol and some tea and stayed home. Got better.

Sunday, no fever, I was feeling fine and decided to take a walk. I was wearing gloves and a mask … walked in a sun for 6 km – what a stupid move!!! When I returned home, that evening the fever 38.5 C came back, threw me into bed for the next 7 days.

On Monday, March 16th I called Covid19 helpline and then my Doctor and both told me to stay home, not to think that is Covid19 and to take Paracetamol 1000mg up to 4 times per day.

In the next days, my fever was constant, it would subside only for 2 hours when I took Paracetamol, sweated and it restarted. I could not eat anything, just drank tea, & half a cup of soup per day. It was hell.

Thursday, I called 1 800 and my Dr. and again both told me to stay home, with an explanation that if I didn’t have breathing problems, there was no need to test for Covid19 (Instructed so by the Government) Stay home and to take paracetamol 1000mg 4 times per day.

By Sunday, the status was unchanged, I took the last bit’s of strength to shower and make my self decent to call 112 and asked them to take me to the hospital.

They came in 10 min, one medical technician all covered in protective gear. Quickly transported me to CHL – took my temperature and put me in a bed, took all blood tests, an X-Ray of my lungs. I was told it is most likely Covid19 and that I would be hospitalized.

The highly professional staff of CHL took care of me until the next morning when results came back, confirming that it is Covid19 with Pneumonia on both lungs. I should have come earlier 😉

TREATMENT

I was asked by the Doctor if they can administer an experimental treatment with a cocktail of medications – Anti-HIV virus, Antibiotics and Paracetamol for the fever. I gave my consent. Due to the low saturation of oxygen in my blood, they added 2l of Oxygen per hour.

This medication makes you feel nauseous. It was difficult to keep drinking water after the medication and not to feel like you are going to vomit each moment. Then nurses gave me additional medication to deal with this (I was thinking of my poor liver 🙂 )

I was put in a room with a double bed as a single patient. For every entry, nurses doctors and cleaning ladies would use one overall cover and a pair of gloves, that they would discard in my trash bin before exiting and used hand sanitizer over the second pair of gloves underneath. A tremendous number of protective gear for one patient.

If I needed anything I would use the room’s phone to call nurses. In the first 3 days, while I still had a fever, they turned my bed several times per day. Their service was impeccable.

I was so weak that I could not get out of bed for the first 3 days, my breathing put me on the verge of a panic attack every time I got up for nurses to change my bedding.

The technicians came 3 times with mobile X-ray – to take control images, I didn’t move from the bed.

Finally, on the 4th day, the medication had started to work and I was finally fever-free. I managed to start eating soup, some fruit yoghurt, and nurses brought me special protein shakes as a substitute for solid foods.

FYI – On my first day in the hospital, only two floors were filled with Covid19 patients, a week later 5 floors were full of patients and they were installing additional beds in each room.

DISCHARGE

Finally, on my 6th day in the hospital, I was taken of the additional oxygen and the Doctor started talking about discharging me to continue my recovery at home.

I went home on Monday, March 30th, 17th day of my disease, with one last dose of the medications. The instruction to stay in quarantine for the next 2 weeks. Prescription for a series of blood tests (not Covid19) to be done in 10 days. Finally, they have instructed me to install application CHL Hospital, so they can remotely keep track of my recovery, and each day I send two questionnaires to confirm my lack of symptoms and fever, as well as my nourishment… Works quite well.

I was given a ride home by Ambulance. I left it 9 kilograms lighter since the beginning of the disease.

At my home, there was an envelope waiting, from the Government of Luxembourg. Inside, 50 masks and a letter of instructions on how to behave in this period of isolation – until April 11th. Also, a question, if I have someone to bring me groceries. That was thoughtful.

FRIENDS & FAMILY

As you can imagine during all this time, there was a serious concern by my family, friends & colleagues about my health and how critical was my state. There were some genuine concerns by the closest people and some surprisingly empathetic concerns by some not so close ones. Then there were all these curious friends and acquaintances that were rather fascinated about the disease, and now that they knew someone who has it, they needed some juicy information – most of those were asking: “Who did I get it from” or if I was on a ventilator? Not understanding that the poor patients that reach that stage can not communicate, not even by texts as their status is so severe that a machine is breathing for them! But overall I must admit that majority is genuinely concerned and wanted to help in any way possible.

Even Clients and Candidates of Anderson Wise – my firm, have offered to bring me supplies or help in any way possible. This brings back faith in humanity – it’s not all commercial.

WHO DID I GET IT FROM?

How can a Recruiter, a sociable person, someone who meets several people per day on business and has a lunch and/or dinner with Clients or Candidates or simply socially active person find this out? I could not. I have no clue. I was cautious, I wash my hands anyway borderline on OCD, my house is spotless, I did not handshake since Wuhan, I did not kiss or hug, I have used hand-sanitizing gel and a mask even… Unfortunately and simply one touch was enough to get the virus in my system.

THANKFUL!

I must admit, admire and thank from the bottom of my heart all the Nurses, Cleaning Staff, Doctors and Ambulance and Urgent Center workers that have kept super-professional and humane approach to treating patients like me. Kudos to CHL! Thanks for the Government of Luxembourg for being organized and following up with recovered patients, and for testing such a high number of people per number of inhabitants.

Finally, I thank my friend Maja for taking care of me during all of my 4 weeks of quarantine, being my supplier, my nurse, my pharmacist, family liaison and most of all a friend in need.

NOW

I have recovered and feeling fine, breathing fine, eating like a pregnant lady 🙂 and besides the 9 kilos less (a diet I would not recommend to my enemies – if I had any) I have not lost much – I could have lost it all.

Please, use this testimonial of mine as a warning to be more observant, more careful, take it more seriously. Protect yourself and others, finally, this will pass.

Stay healthy and stay safe.

PS (Anderson Wise, still working, business almost as usual, and we are still connecting the best jobs to best people 😉 )

#Covid19 #Coronavirus #Recovered #Luxembourg #CHL

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