I caught Covid and infected my bedridden mom

If the sole caregiver contracts Covid, if there is no one else to look after our ailing loved ones, we still have no choice but to do it on our own. However, once they display symptoms like fever or look unwell, we would need to get them to the hospital to check. Usually the doctor would give antiviral via IV which can help to relieve the symptoms almost immediately…. however they would need to be hospitalized as one course of anti viral would take about 5 days. Do not delay taking them to the hospital because they usually require more intense treatment. That is why as caregivers, we need to be careful and wear masks all the time when in contact with people and take precautions if we have vulnerable persons (ie toddlers, babies, elderly) in contact with us.

In May this year, I caught Covid likely due to eating alongside with someone who had been infected with Covid. I have done a short video to share on my experience:

Within the first few days, there were no symptoms except for throat discomfort which initially I had chalked it down to not drinking enough water and eating the certain fruits that causes throat discomfort. But when I developed fever, I begin to suspect I may have caught Covid as that time there were other people with the same symptoms.

As a sole caregiver, I had no choice but had to continue to care for her even though there would be a high possibility of me infecting her. In fact, she would likely have been infected before I started showing the symptoms. All I could do was the make sure I had a face mask on at all times in the room even when I was sleeping. Sometimes there is really no choice. When I was having fever, my joints were aching badly and I felt fatigue but I had to pull myself together to provide caregiving for my mom like change her diapers, bed bath, phlegm suction, etc.

The ATK test I took turned out positive but for my mom it was initially negative. However, about 2 days later when I was starting to recover (about 5 days in), mom started developing fever. Her forehead and chest area felt very hot. I have tried to use towel soaked in water to put on her forehead, did repeated phlegm suction to help remove phlegm she was having and put on vaporiser for her. We have an oxygen concentrator at home to give her oxygen and also put on the vaporising medication.

After her symptoms did not improve much, we took her to the ER the next day. Upfront I told the staff that my mom may have Covid even though ATK test was negative (a second test done the night before). The ER staff tested again and it was positive. They told me she had to be warded.

Usually most people who got Covid would be able to recover on their own at home, like I did. However we need to keep in mind that if a toddler/baby, a person with ill health or elderly (especially bedridden or with weak lungs and health) contracted Covid, it is important to bring them to hospital. The doctors and nurses had told me that for my mom if she ever get covid she would need to be hospitalized for treatment.

My mom was warded in the specialized ward for Covid patients. This is the second time she got Covid and hence it was the second time we have been to the ward (her first hospitalization from Covid was in August last year). The nurses still remember and recognized us, and recall my preferance of having a private room hence they wheeled my mom into a private room.

They started her on IV anti viral immediately (remdesivir). The antiviral would be administered once a day for 5 days. Within a few hours of the first dose of the antiviral, her fever went off completely. During the stay, I was not allowed to leave beyond the doors of the ward. I was also told not to open the doors of the balcony to hang my clothes or to go out to the balcony since I am in contact with someone with Covid.

Last year, I had to be tested to make sure I was negative before I could accompany my mom as her caregiver. However, this year it is not as strict and the caregiver was not required to undergo any test.

During the stay, they took blood and Xrays to monitor her condition. My mom was diagnosed with Covid with pneumonia. They were able to treat her Covid but not her pneumonia completely. There were improvements in her blood test and chest Xray but the pneunomia was not completely cured. However it was not considered severe and hence the doctor discharged her. Reason being is they have to always try to minimize the duration of stay to avoid any cross infection or chance of my mom catching a different strand of Covid. We were issued with an official letter to do self quarantine for 10 days.

My mom had another regular appointment coming up hence the attending doctor added a chest Xray so that her doctor could review her condition.

After discharge, I did my best to nurse my mom. I kept a very close ear to listen to her phlegm sounds and would do phlegm suction when I hear she had a lot of phlegm. After 10 days, I took her for checkup as it did not look as if she was fully recovered. The ER doctor did a chest Xray and found she had bronchitis. Initially he wanted to admit my mom but I asked if I could take her back and nurse her myself (as I myself was also recovering from the after effects of Covid and do not think I can manage another hospital stay). The doctor agreed as he said her bronchitis was not serious and send us back with oral antibiotics but with an appointment a week later to just have a check in with the GP.

After about a week, we took her to the GP and through listening to her lungs sound, the doctor said mom’s lungs were clear and we went home. The following week, mom have her regular checkup with her GP (appointment was fixed months ago) and thankfully the chest Xray shows that her lungs are clear.


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