I Tested Covid-19 Positive: My Experience and Road To Recovery

Sunday, March 28, 2021 Philippines


Just when the Sinovac vaccine is at just the tip of my fingers, it all slipped away. The night that the vaccine arrived in our hospital to be given for the front liners, was also the same night that I experienced a symptom. 

As you all know, it is no secret that I currently work in a Covid-19 unit. With all the precautions, safety measures that I practice - somehow I still got the virus. I keep on wondering on how I got it after all the precautions and vitamins that I take. I realized, I am still very much human who can get sick anytime. 

This is also the reason I am missing in action on my blog and social media platform. 

The doctors that I work with who visited me while I was admitted even told me, how come I am still wondering on how I got the virus when I just need to look around me. Our whole unit is full of Covid-19 patients! I am at risk even just by walking along the corridors, they said. I think they are just trying to make me laugh and lighten the situation because I feel frustrated and sad.

I thought hard while I was in quarantine if I should go public and share about my experience. There is a thin line between maintaining privacy (which my husband and family suggested) and being open about it to raise awareness. Mental health is also often neglected for Covid-19 positive person and because of this I am more firm to decide to share about my own experience - I hope that everyone will have a clearer picture on how to relate or understand those who are sick. 

This blog entry is going to be a long post and it is up to you if you will read it or not. I will go into every detail that I can recall and will write it in a time line. 


The last time that I went out to have fun was during our wedding anniversary last February 10 to 12 wherein we checked in at Shangri-la Hotel to celebrate with my husband. Shangri-la Hotel is strict and required a rapid test prior to check-in to which we are negative. We settled everything prior to our vacation, paid the bills, grocery shopping since we knew that when we get back to work - we will be busy. 

Other than that brief staycation early in February, our destination was just work and home. Work and home and still I got the virus! 


    As I am getting ready to go home from my shift, an intubated patient took off its endotracheal tube and this patient tested Covid-19 positive. All the bedside nurses ran after donning Personal Protective equipment (PPE) to help the patient and the area got so busy that I delayed going home to help a little. I did not changed my mask from surgical mask to respirator because I thought I am just inside the station and going home soon. (I do not use my respirator when going home, just a regular surgical mask then face shield.) I helped by taking calls, calling doctors while the on duty nurses are inside the patient's room. Somehow during the busy shift, I keep on passing items to the bedside nurses like medicines and supplies so they do not have to doff their PPE to get it inside the station. I think I got exposed during this time. 

     I felt fine that day and night and even did my usual routine at home.

February 27

    It is my day off, I woke up late with a sore throat. Sore throat is common for me since I snore when I sleep specially when I am from duty. After breakfast, the sore throat is gone. No other symptoms noted. 

    *This can be my usual sore throat or already a sign of the virus working on me. But I think since the sore throat was gone quickly - it could be my usual sore throat.*

February 28

    Still my day off, I woke up again with a sore throat but also subsided after breakfast. No other symptoms noted. 

    *I consider this my usual sore throat since it did not persist from February 27 to this day.*

March 1 - Day 1

    I have a duty and felt nauseous throughout my shift. I even got teased at work for being pregnant. I doubt that though because I just had my menstruation mid February. 

    I also feel a little weird like I am not in the mood to eat. My body feels heavy and tired despite the previous two days rest. 

    The shift ended and I came home directly from work with my husband. He noticed that I am not my usual self when we were inside the car. I told him that I am not feeling well and I want to sleep. 

    Upon arrival at home around 6PM, I decided to sleep after I showered. Then I woke at 7PM feeling my chills and decided to check my temperature and it is at 38.9! I immediately started using face mask at home and took a paracetamol. 

March 2 - Day 2

    I started having productive cough with clear secretions. Since I had a high fever the night before, I did not report to work and had my check up done in our hospital. A covid swab was done at the Emergency Room. 

   Then I came home again with my husband and continued wearing my face mask even at home.

     I had a fever again at 37.8 by 8PM. 

   I did not report to work for the next days because I am a Person Under Monitoring and a home quarantine is required.

March 3 - Day 3

    My fever continued round the clock since 8PM the night before ranging from 38.1 to 38.8. I also have body aches generally and I do not want to eat much because of my fever. I take paracetamol every four hours and my fever does not go down. I just slept and wake when it is time for my paracetamol and to force myself to eat and drink.

March 4 - Day 4

    My fever continued round the clock ranging from 37.9 to 39.2. It keeps on getting higher than the previous days. I continued taking paracetamol every four hours. 

    Then in the afternoon, I received an email that my result is Covid-19 positive. Somehow, I kind of expecting it because of my consistent fever. Still, I am hoping that it is a bacterial infection or even dengue. 

    I just updated my doctor via messenger of the result and he advised me that when I experience any signs of difficulty of breathing, I should take myself to our hospital for admission. But for now, I can do home quarantine and continue taking paracetamol round the clock.

March 5 - Day 5

    My fever continued from 38.6 to 39 non-stop. Then I noticed that I lost my sense of taste when I tried to eat my lunch. Just to share though, you can still actually taste the food but it will really taste bland! In my case, I knew that I lost my sense of taste because I requested for a really sour sinigang dish but it tasted bland for me.

    Since all the food tastes bland, I am not eating - just a few spoonful. I still drink a lot of water since it soothes the warmth that I feel from my fever but I already feel weak. I get tired by just walking to the bathroom to urinate and shower.

    The body aches is also continuous.  I updated my doctor about my continuous fever and loss of taste and that I am already feeling weak. 

  By noon, the Quezon City Surveillance Team came to our home. They interviewed my husband and house help. A free swab done for them trough Red Cross. (Grateful for the quick response and free swab for my family.) The team advised my husband that even if the results turned negative for them, it is still required to finish the 14 days home quarantine. 

    In my case, I was being forced to be transferred to a Hope Facility. Even though our house is with three levels, 4 bedrooms, and two bathrooms for just a household of four. I could easily self-isolate in our home. My husband also offered the vacant condo unit that the family also owns if I could transfer there instead of a facility - or if they will be the ones to transfer. We asked for quarantine hotels even with pay. 

    Unfortunately, the Quezon City Surveillance staff that I do not want to name anymore is definitely rude and quite a dictator. She said that:

    1. I cannot do home quarantine even though it is big enough for us. 

    2. I cannot transfer to the vacant condo unit or my family cannot transfer to it.

    3. No hotel options but just the Hope Facility which she is sending me at. That is the only option that I could take according to her - the Hope Facility. 

    She is non-caring and unprofessional. To think she knows that she is talking to nurses. She even threatened us that she will take the next steps which is violation of the law if we will further insist on our requests. Imagine how she can possibly treat others specially for those who are lesser than her if she already treats medical professionals like that! She said that I do not have a choice since this is memorandum from DOH and that our barangay is a red zone. Those are the main reasons according to her.

    I do not understand on why do I need to be forced out of my own home that I consider passing the standards for isolation. It really added up as a stress for me, I am feeling sick now I am stressed over that I need to transfer somewhere unfamiliar. If she insists that I should be isolated, how come I cannot transfer to the vacant condo that our family also owns. 

     I know my rights and I know that there are quarantine hotels because I work in a Covid unit and we discharge some patients directly to hotels. Some are sent home for home quarantine because the house passed the standards. How come that this option is not available for me? Both the hotel, home quarantine to my home or the vacant condo unit. Even though I am willing to pay for the hotel too. 

    I saw photos of the available facilities and knew people who experienced Hope Facilities. They all have the same unpleasant experience. According to them, there are no doctors to monitor you too. That is why I do not want to be forcefully admitted to a Hope facility. I feel safer at home because my husband is also a Covid-19 nurse who can actually monitor me. 

   The arrangement did not end well with the rude QC officer and she told us that they will be back in the afternoon to pick me up and to give me time to pack. I think when handling covid patients, you need more compassion and this rude officer lacks it.

    A few moments later, I received a message from my doctor after update that I should just admit myself for the continuous fever, lost sense of taste, and because I get easily tired now. He said that I need to be checked already for work-up.

    My husband called the rude officer that instead of the facility if they can drop me off at the hospital instead. She even had the audacity to ask that if I will be even be entertained there in my arrival! Because she does not want to waste the time of the ambulance if I will not be admitted (or refused) by the hospital. Really, the rudeness! 

    During this day, we still have vacancies in the covid unit of our hospital and I was able to reserve one room for me. My sister and husband called her to update her that a room is reserved already. 

    It was endorsed to the barangay and they came around 9PM. In contrary to the rude QC surveillance staff that we encountered, the medical staff of the ambulance were really nice and accommodating. They even checked up on me at the back of the ambulance if I am comfortable or if they can do anything to help. They even assisted in carrying my bags to the Emergency Room. 


   The short walk that I took from the ambulance to the Emergency Room entrance, I am already in short of breath. My vital signs were taken and it appeared that my oxygen saturation is at 90-91% only. 

    I was taken immediately to a bed, hooked to oxygen and an Arterial Blood Gas (ABG) was done. I am telling you this is my first time to have an ABG done to myself and I usually assist or do it to my patients but it is truly not a pleasant experience. It was done correctly and successfully on me but it truly hurts. Imagine the needle going deep into your artery, looking for the pulsing point. I am telling you that this is an experience that you will not like - ABG!

    This is also my first time to use an oxygen. The first time that I was admitted back in College is due to Acute Gastroenteritis and I only had an IV hydration with potassium and antibiotics. Now years later, my second time to be admitted is due to Covid-19. 

    During this time, I wanted to cry but I know that I needed to be strong to do this alone. Even my husband is not allowed to accompany me since he is a patient under monitoring (PUM). I understand that, I also do not want him to be exposed to me. Still, there is this longing that you wanted a companion. Covid-19 patients are most of the time not allowed to have companions. Please remember that, it is scary and depressing to be alone through it all. You alone will decide on the management and treatments, and you get through it all alone step by step. ALONE. (I want to enunciate this part because others are not taking this virus seriously, please know that when you are Covid positive you will always be alone. We also have patients that died alone and directly taken for cremation or burial. You will never be seen again by your family.)

    After the oxygen and ABG, blood extractions were done for laboratories work up. I was started on IV hydration and Ceftriaxone IV, Dexamethasone IV, Enoxaparin SQ. I was also given omeprazole orally. 

    The Cefrtiaxone is an antibiotic and it is usually started for prophylaxis. The Dexamethasone is a steroid that will help my lungs and as an anti-inflammatory. Remembe in covid patients, usually there is an increase in inflammation. The Enoxaparin is a blood thinner that reduces your risk for embolism which is also common for covid. The Enoxaparin is given via injection subcutaneously and it really hurts and you can still feel the heaviness of it at least almost an hour after it was given. The omeprazole is to prevent any gastric bleeding and suppress gastric acid production.

    My oxygen saturation improved at 97-98% after an hour of oxygen and a chest x-ray was done that revealed haziness on both upper and lower lobes which means Pneumonia. 

    I am thankful to the ER staff for taking good care of me. 

March 6 - Day 6

    By 1AM, I was taken to my room from the ER and had my rest. The fever finally stopped. I think the IV antibiotic and IV hydration helped. I slept quite comfortably with the help of the oxygen. 

    Early in the morning around breakfast, the Enoxaparin was given again to my dismay. LOL. I was also started on oral Azithromycin - an antiviral medicine and Kalium Durule for low potassium. I got dehydrated before I was admitted and I needed potassium supplements to correct it. Besides these loads of medicines, I still take my hypertension maintenance medicines. 

    I had to force myself to eat for my medicines even though I cannot taste it at all. 

    My pulmonologist made rounds and because of my x-ray, he had to start the study drug Remdesivir. This is to be given via IV and a consent is needed since this medicine is expensive and it is an experimental drug. As a covid-19 nurse, I knew how the Remdesivir helped the improvement of our patients. That is why I immediately signed the consent. 

    Just to share, so that you will be more careful to avoid the virus if you do not want to be admitted and pay big bills, this remdesivir costs around 10,000-16,000php+ per vial depending on the availability of where the medicines will be ordered because sometimes it is out of stock due to the demand. For loading dose, two vials will be used then continued for one vial once a day. It will be given to you for a minimum of 5 days, so it will cost you at least 60,000-96,000php for just 5 days. Some needs the medicine to be completed for 7 to 14 days depending on the severity of Covid virus in your body. In my case, it was given to me for 5 days straight. This medicine helps by suppressing the replication of the virus inside your body. Remdesivir will be given for a minimum of one hour infusion so there is no discomfort when receiving it. I did not feel any adverse reactions.

    By 8PM, I had a fever again but only at 38.2. Paracetamol taken.

March 7 - Day 7

    I had a fever again at 37.8 by 12MN and 4AM - thankfully that is my last fever throughout my hospital stay! The doctor increased my IV hydration.

    Oxygen discontinued and can be used as needed when I experience shortness of breath. I can breathe easier but still with shortness of breath whenever I walk or talk. 

    I focused on deep breathing and proning as much as I can during my hospital stay. 

    Same routine of medicines and treatments. 

March 8 - Day 8

    Medicines and treatments continued. I just focused on deep breathing and following the proning schedule posted on my room because I wanted to get better quickly. 

    Deep breathing when you have a pneumonia is hard. This is my first time to experience pneumonia. I can feel my lungs protesting whenever I deep breathe and it hurts when you force it. But this deep breathing exercises will help the lungs recover quickly too. I just had to endure it. 

    Proning is not that much of a problem for me since this is also my sleeping position. I am used to lying on a prone position. :)

March 9 - Day 9

     Swab results of my husband and house help all came back negative. (Thank God!) I think it helped that I started self-isolation early and that I wore my mask immediately. It helped in protecting them. My advise to you all, if you feel any of the symptoms related to covid, start wearing masks at home and self-isolate. 

    Same routine of medicines and treatments. As the day goes by, I notice that my shortness of breath is improving but still present. 

    Coughing episodes are now occasional. Once to twice a day at most. 

March 10 - Day 10

    My sense of taste finally came back! I was able to eat more but still not my usual appetite. 

    The oral Azithromycin medicine completed. 

March 11 - Day 11

    My antibiotic was shifted to oral. The Enoxaparin finally discontinued. My Iv was shifted to heplock. Yay! 

  Repeat potassium and CBC, xray was done. My potassium is already within normal levels so the supplements were completed and discontinued. My xray showed improvement but still hazy. 

    The doctor finally said that I could go home the next day but still take it easy!

March 12 - Day 12

    I was able to go home and my total bill from March 5 at Emergency Room until discharge is 178,000php. This is just for a week of admission. I was not on ICU, only had 24 hours of oxygen and 5 days of the expensive drug remdesivir. 

    Imagine for those with severe cases who needs to be on constant oxygen, or highflow machine, or even intubated. The bill would be definitely higher! I would know since I work in a Covid Unit - some of their bills can sky rocket to millions.

    Thankfully I have Philhealth and I was able to avail the benefits of discounts. It is important to have Philhealth so if you still do not have one, please apply one now. The Philhealth coverage for my case of Moderate Pneumonia, Covid Positive is 143,000+. So it is a great chunk of discount on my total hospital bill. For the remaining balance, I was able to use my benefits as a hospital employee and it was covered by the hospital.  

    This is the time that I appreciated my benefits as a nurse working in a hospital. I was able to go home smoothly. But I know that other Covid-19 patients cannot, others have to pay the huge amount. That is why all must be vigilant in following health protocols. For every carelessness that you will do, please remember that big money is needed for your treatment if you acquire the virus.

    With coordination, the ambulance from barangay came again around 7PM and took me to my home. The same staff who took me at the hospital are the same to the ones who fetched me. They are delighted that I am now okay. The barangay team in our area are really helpful and accommodating. 

    I was able to do completion of home quarantine since I am already recovered. I was not sent to a facility anymore. Thank God!

     I continued to self-isolate at home and completed my oral antibiotics. 

    Meanwhile at home, my husband prepared my room for me so that I will be comfortable and I ordered online for an air purifier for added protection. 

March 13-19 (Day 13 to 19)

   I just stayed inside my room but I was able to eat. My appetite gradually returned. 

    Shortness of breath only comes when I exert myself like taking showers. But short walks do not take much of my energy anymore. 

    The general body weakness disappeared except for the back pain. The back pain disappeared around March 18 (Day 18). 

March 20 (Day 20)

    Finally graduated on isolation and my home quarantine done! Finally reunited with my husband! It is funny because he knocked on my door early in the morning while I am still asleep to fetch me. He is excited for me to be free! I received a big hug from him! LOL. 

   I have no symptoms anymore. I still get easily tired but it is expected from recovered Covid-19 patients. Recovery is slow. Even though you are already symptoms free, you still get easily exhausted. According to research, others can experience it up to 6 months. I am hoping that it will just be a few weeks for me.

    Even though I am free to roam around the house, I wanted to be sure and still kept my mask on.  

March 21 (Day 21)

    I take it easy and just enjoyed my freedom inside my own home. My husband and family kept on spoiling me for the food that I missed eating.

    Still kept my mask on.  

March 22 (Day 22)

    I had my repeat x-ray done and it is already unremarkable! Yay! Pneumonia free! Since I am pneumonia free, it is safe to say that I can now finally remove my mask at home too. 

    I scheduled myself for telemedicine to my pulmonologist for clearance back at work. 

March 23 (Day 23)

    I am just waiting for my clearance from both of my doctors that I am fit to work. As well as the official barangay clearance. Then I am back at work to serve the surge of Covid-19 patients. 

March 29 - (Day 29)

   I am still waiting for my doctor's appointment and clearance from the barangay. From the surge of cases, the barangay is quite busy which I understand but I  need the clearance too so we had to follow up daily. I cannot go back to work without this and so I am still stuck at home. 

    I take this as an opportunity to rest more before I go fully back to work.


Now that I personally experienced it, I can say that one thing that made me scared through it all? It is being alone. I miss my family. Spending 14 days alone specially at the hospital, it is really depressing. 

Still, I was able to overcome it with the help of everyone's support.

My family has been there for me always, calling me, video calls, chats and even sending me food - it kept me happy and sane even though I am alone physically. 

My husband is also there for me 24/7. He keeps on calling to check me regularly - even at 2AM. LOL.  

My friends who are there for me and sends me food and well wishes. Chatting with me non-stop because they know that I have nothing else to do.

My 7AP family (Covid unit) who took good care of me and spoiled me with food too. Even spending time to chat inside my room while donning PPE and I know that wearing that in extended period of time is exhausting. 

The ER staff, residents and doctors who treated me with care and being fast in management.

The good thing in my case, I knew the nurses, doctors, nursing assistants, even the housekeeping who are on duty. They are my friends, family or colleagues. I was admitted in my own unit - which I consider my second home. I know that I am not that alone like the others. I consider myself really lucky. 

In order for you not to experience this, is to help yourself. Avoid going out unless for essential needs. Wear your masks and face shields. Do handwashing or alcohol rubbing at all times. But with the surge of cases, the only way to make yourself safe is to stay at home. 

The Covid vaccine that I wanted, I am only eligible to receive it 90 days after I tested positive. It is one of the downsides of getting infected. You need to be fully recovered before receiving any vaccines.

I am scared of getting re-infection of the virus because I feel like this is my second life, specially now that our unit is full of severe covid cases. We are also at maximum capacity even the ICU and Emergency Room. But this is my job. I had no choice but to go back. Face it again. For you though, you have a choice of staying safe at home. That is what we front liners envy from others. The choice to stay home. Do it for us and stay safe!

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