A 37-year-old homemaker, who was suffering from diabetes and had thyroid problems, was discharged from Aundh Civil Hospital on Sunday after she tested negative twice for the coronavirus. The woman, who lives in Pune city area, said when doctors had told her she had tested positive for the virus, she had a mental breakdown and could not sleep for three days.
“Fifteen days back when doctors at Aundh hospital told me that my report was positive, I was shocked. I cried for hours, felt uneasy and could not sleep for the next three days. I feared for my life, of leaving my family behind,” said the homemaker after she returned home.
The woman has two children and her husband is a civic employee. She said before she tested positive, she had not even stepped out of her house for more than a fortnight.
“Yet, I tested positive for the virus. I could not believe it. I was feeling breathless and, therefore, I went for a check-up on my own,” she said.
As the woman found it difficult to cope with the situation, doctors and nurses at Aundh hospital counselled her and interacted with her to boost her confidence. “The doctors and nurses at Aundh hospital helped me a lot. They told me that I will recover. They cited several examples of how patients, even those who were serious, had recovered fully and returned home,” she said.
The woman said, “I had lost my appetite and was unable to take even three steps at a time as I felt breathless. But after doctors started medicine and counselling sessions, I gained confidence.”
The woman said she mingled with other patients in the ward which further helped her. “Like me, other patients were also shocked when they were told that they had coronavirus. But after a couple of days, they too settled down… We would discuss several things and move around the ward, but by maintaining distance,” she said.
Dr Kiran Khalate and Dr Sharmila Gaikwad led the medical team that remained constantly in touch with the patients in the ward.
Hospital medical officer Dr Prakash Rokde said fear was paramount among a majority of coronavirus patients. “They believe that they cannot survive because all of us are constantly watching and hearing news of deaths worldwide. But if patients get rid of this fear, they can overcome the Covid-19 challenge,” he said.
Citing the latest instance of this woman, Dr Rokde said, “The woman was co-morbid, considered high risk. She was breathless, which is a common problem among co-morbid patients. After the initial state of shock, she settled down. Our medical team managed to convince her that she will overcome the challenge. She ultimately did, without being put on oxygen support or on ventilator.”
Dr Rajendra Wable, dean of YCM Hospital and Medical College, said, “Patients who test positive have heard stories on television channels about deaths of a large number of coronavirus patients. This leads to fear psychosis among them. But we do not know what kind of ailment they were suffering from. Besides Covid-19, many have other diseases which already made their condition serious. We believe that people should be ready to fight it out. It is possible to fully recover. So many patients are recovering without taking any medicine. People should get rid of the fear of coronavirus.”
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