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‘I had recorded videos for family, in case I didn’t make it’: Survivor on COVID ordeal

My mother called so many labs, but these were heavily booked. Many of them did not even respond to the calls, tells Delhi-based rapper, fashion designer and life coach Ish Kaur to TNIE's Nikita Sharm.

Published: 31st May 2021 01:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st May 2021 07:55 AM   |  A+A-

A digital display board showing availability of number of beds at COVID designated LNJP Hospital, in New Delhi. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

I woke up at 7:00am one day in the last week of April, and sensed something wasn’t right with me. I first checked for fever as the Covid cases were at their peak back then. My temperature was 99.4 degrees. I immediately called my mother who was sleeping in the next room, and told her I will be quarantining. I took Paracetamol and slept. When I woke up again, I had 102 degree fever.

battled fluctuating oxygen levels
and loss of taste and smell

My mother called so many labs, but these were heavily booked. Many of them did not even respond to the calls.

My mom kept an oximeter outside my room so that I could monitor my oxygen level, and I was surprised to see that it had dropped to 73. On April 27, it dipped to 48, while we were in the middle of arranging a concentrator. There was a severe shortage of hospital beds, and oxygen cylinders were also stocked out. The concentrators were being sold at whopping prices, but we managed to rent a concentrator with the help of a family friend.

Finally, I took to Twitter to seek help in getting tested, and somehow got access to a lab which agreed to test me on April 28. My report came positive. The fluctuation in O2 was always there. Sometimes, it would dip and other times it was fine. I would constantly feel breathless, and could only sleep if I was in the prone position.

Since an ambulance with oxygen was not available, I could not be transferred for a CT scan. So, I got a portable chest x-ray done that revealed I had severe pneumonia.

Severe chest pain, loss of appetite, a metallic taste in mouth, inability to even walk till the washroom, immobility in joints and limbs, hallucinations (when oxygen dipped), loss of sleep and constant mental breakdowns were among the other symptoms that followed for the next 23 days of my recovery.

activities like reading helped her cope

I took FabiFlu for 15 days, which really helped, along with Vitamin D, E, C and calcium and protein supplements. I was put on an antibiotics course after FabiFlu. I was diagnosed with blood clots, and currently, I am on blood thinners.

I lost my sense of smell and taste. I remember eating my favourite aloo ki sabzi, and it felt like I was eating sand. But my mother made sure that I ate three fruits a day, generally mango, papaya, musk melon or banana. But I avoided sour fruits like pineapple, kiwi and berries as they were not good for my throat. I also ate two meals a day of two chapatis, sabzi, and loads of cucumber. I would also take coconut water and kaadha twice a day. I lost 8.5 kg in two weeks, so my doctor asked me to take a protein supplement - two scoops in a 750ml glass of milk, which helped in regaining strength.

I was scared thinking I was going to die. Not being able to physically see anyone was a sheer disappointment in life. Nothing in this world mattered more than human interaction.

I had even made videos for my family and loved ones, just in case I did not make it.

But over the days, I understood that if I don’t uplift myself, I will not be able to come out of this. So I started listening to motivational podcasts, jotting down my future goals, and reading books. On May 19, I finally tested negative, but I am still recovering.

My mother turned out to be a superhero as always. She managed everything on her own. Ish Kaur is a rapper, fashion designer and life coach, and resides at CR Park.

— As told to Nikita Sharma



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