My COVID Story: “The doctor thought I was panicking without any reason” – Times of India


Priyanka Chaliyawala knew she was COVID positive when she lost her sense of smell and taste. The doctor kept telling her she was being paranoid but she insisted on getting tested and found herself to be positive. Here is her story

I am Priyanka, 34, a mother and a housewife. It was this usual festive day for me and as always I was busy with the preparations for the ongoing Diwali festival. Like always I was immensely excited about decorating the house and made myself busy drawing a rangoli outside in my verandah. It took me a good two hours to finally be done with the rangoli and by the time I was done, I had started to feel slight fatigue and my body began to ache. It was unusual and I thought it could be due to the extra household loads I had to do. Nonetheless, I decided to take a quick nap hoping I would feel better after that as it was already mid-noon. But gradually I started to feel feverish and when I checked it was around 99.3. That was the first call for me and that very instant I took to another room isolating myself. The next hours I got really conscious of myself and began watching for any other peculiar signs for COVID.

As the day went by, my fever had subsided without taking any medications and I was beginning to feel better. I thought it was solely due to exertion and nothing related to COVID. Taking the positive vibes, I started with the usual routine – as being a mother it was becoming difficult to remain isolated from my kid who would constantly want something or the other. But at night I slept in the other room as something nagged inside me to not to share the bed with my kid and husband yet as my subconscious warned me.

The next morning, I developed a slight irritation in the throat. I decided not to overlook the symptoms and decided to check up with my doctor as soon as possible. I insisted to have myself undergo a swab test but the doctor refused to say it was too early for any tests to be carried out – but he assured it must be some viral or flu since I haven’t developed any peculiar signs for COVID. He prescribed me with some general medicines and I was off. Meanwhile, I had started with the other home remedies like drinking warm water, doing gargles and taking steam for the sore throat. The next two days, the soreness had eased considerably and I forgot all the worries concerned to COVID and began mingling with my family as it was the day of Diwali and didn’t want to miss all that fun and celebration with the family. But despite all this, I never once forgot to wear a mask or violate any safety protocols realising I wouldn’t want any members of the family getting infected – if in case I turn out to be COVID positive. Though everyone in the family kept on pushing me for overthinking and assured I was absolutely normal since I didn’t show any symptoms like fever or coughing.

The next day after Diwali was unusual for me. I noticed that my taste buds were not working to their fullest capacity as whatever food I ate, it didn’t taste as it should have been. But again I was told it’s normal in flu or viral. Something didn’t feel right. I had this nagging feeling inside me that told me something was wrong and I shouldn’t neglect it. I was aware that loss of taste and smell was becoming one of the characteristic symptoms amongst COVID positive. So I decided to further investigate, taking out one of the strongest perfumes from my collection. I sprayed it on my wrist and checked for the smell. That moment was an absolute shocker for me. I had completely lost my sense of smell. Time stalled and panic seized me. I was now 100% sure I was positive with the deadly virus. Wasting no further time, I started with all the investigations. Again to my utter shock the blood reports and HRCT turned out to be negative. The doctor even laughed at me for unnecessary panicking. He was sure the RT-PCR test was also going to turn out negative.

Now I had to wait for the RT PCR tests to roll out which took as much as good 30 hours to turn out. Again that is another story to tell, a big curse for people of small towns where you have no other infrastructures available but to rely on government-aided centres, where patients are forced to wait for as much as three to four days long for the reports to roll out ultimately delaying into the process of further treatments for the positive patients.

But somehow I managed to convince my doctor into starting me with the affirmed treatment as for COVID positive without waiting for the reports and without delaying the treatment further. I took the medication and went home. Just an hour had passed and I got a call with the news confirming I was COVID positive. My worst nightmare turned out to be a reality. For a woman who had strictly followed all the precautionary methods, right from day one, I was shocked to fall victim of this dreaded virus. How I caught the virus is still a mystery since other family members turned out to be negative. But I was thankful the virus didn’t turn out to be too harsh on me, apart from the discomfort of losing my sense for taste and smell. Though it had a major toll on my mental health as the past few days were like hell for me as well as my family. We were living in constant fear. I was miserable for not seeing him for days now. It was painful. Every passing moment was like a ticking time bomb for me until I was discharged from the hospital safely and also knowing my family too was safe.

One thing I did realise in all this is that the virus isn’t as deadly as it is described. With the presence of mind and timely treatment of the virus, I could save myself from further complications and with just a few tablets I was on my path of recovery. The only mantra is to not overlook any symptoms or changes occurring in the body however small they might be and do not hesitate to isolate yourself from the family however tough it sounds. You will save some elderly in this process.

Did you fight COVID-19? We want to hear all about it. ETimes Lifestyle is calling all the survivors of COVID to share their stories of survival and hope.

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The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Please consult your treating physician for more details.


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