This is probably one of those rare times when ‘being positive’ may be all that we hoped against. After all, testing positive for Covid-19 comes with much anxiety and trepidation, apart from the challenges in dealing with the standard symptoms. And considering that a vaccine for the condition is yet to be found, most have to fall back on their body’s natural defenses to sail us through. Luckily, there are antibodies formed in the body post Covid-19 which may ensure you develop a time bound immunity. But it is necessary to take precautions to ensure that the patient gets back on their feet steadily. Adequate time given to the body to heal and recover, regularly monitoring temperature and sugar levels, routine consultation with doctors, exercising and eating nutritious food, go a long way in ensuring overall good health.
Speaking by experience
In September this year, Hurlene Kharbanda’s husband tested positive for
After testing negative
Being discharged from the hospital post testing negative does not mean you are fit to be out and about. Andheri-resident Joginder Singh Thakur, who spent 11 days in the hospital, was advised a week’s home quarantine on discharge. His
Home quarantine for at least a week post testing negative, is something Dr Manjusha Agarwal, consultant-Internal Medicine, Global Hospital Mumbai advises all her patients. “Depending on the gravity of their condition, I would schedule a follow-up after 15 days to readjust the medicines. Patients with mild symptoms require a single followup, while those who had been in the ICU or were on ventilator, require visits depending on the severity of their condition,” she says.
Dr Kedar Toraskar, chief of critical care, Wockhardt Hospital, South Bombay, says that there are a couple of things to keep in mind once the patient has been discharged or tested negative. “Their oxygen levels need to be monitored for at least two weeks post testing negative. If they are diabetic, then their
Don’t skip your exercise
Many assume that they are absolutely fit to resume exercise immediately post recovery. However, Dr Agarwal suggests simple walking for a few minutes before moving on to a full-fledged fitness regimen.
“After doing nothing for 10-15 days, if they suddenly decide to go for a 5 km walk, they are bound to feel fatigued,” she says. The doctor suggests a 15-minute stroll for the first few days, slowly progressing to longer durations is ideal. “Always listen to your body,” she says. “Some exercise is necessary for the body. Even in the hospital, I tell my patients to stroll inside the room at least thrice a day. It builds their stamina and lung capacity,” she shares. Most doctors have stressed on the importance of breathing exercises. Dr Toraskar also suggests going for a respiratory rehabilitation programme if the patient had been on a ventilator. Kharbandra, who had faced difficulty in breathing, shares that she relied much on kaada or hot water mixed with ajwain during her post-recovery phase. “We would also perform breathing exercises thrice a day and monitor our body temperatures and oxygen levels,” she adds.
Just like any other illness, it’s essential to try and get eight hours of good sleep and consume a diet rich in leafy greens, whole grains, nuts and seeds, veggies and fruits. Doctors also recommend multi-vitamins for building immunity and strengthening the body from within.
Positive vibes only
The 11 days that Thakur spent in the hospital were probably the most challenging. “Although I was in a ward with three beds, I was mostly on my own. There was no human activity outside my window and nobody to meet or talk to,” he shares.
Anxiety over the illness and social distancing can take a toll on the patient’s mind, says Dr Toraskar, adding that there is possibility of being inflicted by depression post
In Kharbanda’s case, apart from chanting, her support system included her family and friends who rallied around the couple and motivated them during the difficult time. “We have made small changes in our lifestyles now, adding exercise and eating healthy,” she says.
Oxygen levels need to be monitored for at least two weeks post testing negative. If there are any symptoms such as acute weakness or diarrhoea, it should be conveyed to the doctor
– Dr Kedar Toraskar of Wockhardt Hospital