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Diary of a Bhilwara nurse: How she fought and recovered from COVID-19

Diary of a Bhilwara nurse: How she fought and recovered from COVID-19

Diary of a Bhilwara nurse: How she fought and recovered from COVID-19
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By Sonal Bhutra  Apr 11, 2020 9:44:35 AM IST (Updated)

“Positivity kept me going,” says 26-year-old Radha Gurjar of Bhilwara – a nurse a Bangur Hospital who was treating patients there when she tested positive for COVID-19. Here’s her story in her own words.

Fevers and coughs became common among my colleagues at the hospital, I would see many coughing throughout the day. Despite this, we continued to look after patients; and there were a number of patients I attended to on a daily basis. I showed no symptoms and had no fever. However, the hospital management approached the nursing staff and asked us to get tested as a proactive measure. They could see that a significant number of nurses had started to display symptoms.

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The tests began around March 12-13. The first time I was tested, the result was negative. Following that, I went on leave on March 17 and 18 to attend a family wedding. When I rejoined work on the 19th, as a precautionary measure, the staff because a positive case was found in the city. That’s when I, along with some other colleagues, tested positive for COVID-19.
The tests made us realize that one could be infected even if there are no symptoms. The administration responded quickly - immediately sealing the entire city, 3-4 days before the first Janta curfew.
Being in the medical field, I was in a slightly better position to gauge the situation. Hence, I was not as stressed as any other patient would be. We were shifted to the isolation ward with immediate effect. The gravity of the word “isolation” settled in while we were there. We missed our families and loved ones, but we supported each other. We were grateful to have been tested early, and for the treatment, we were receiving, and we tied to keep each other’s spirits up, telling each other that we all would be fine soon.
The doctors were extremely helpful; they made us feel safe and comfortable.  Their words lifted me, they told me that I would recover very quickly and go back home soon to be with my little one. I think, apart from the medicines, the positivity around me was what kept me going.
The combination of medicines used by doctors in Jaipur who successfully treated Italian patients there was what our doctors tried. We were taken good care of; everything was given to us on time - food, medicines, water, and other essentials.
When I finally recovered, I heard how bad the situation in India was, especially in Bhilwara. I was quite taken aback. But on April 3, I returned home, and I was so happy to be close to my family again – my husband, my in-laws and my one a half-year-old daughter.
I am staying currently self-isolating in a separate room at home. I’m doing what anyone would do, following all precautions to keep their loved ones safe. Despite feeling completely fit and motivated, I am staying cautious. I cannot wait to play with my daughter again.
If there’s one thing I’m taking away from this experience is the importance of practicing social distancing and control the spread of this disease. It is best to stay at home right now and use masks whenever one steps out for essentials. Prevention is better than cure, and I cannot stress about this enough.
I have seen doctors in my hospital spending the entire day there. They are sacrificing time with their families. I have heard stories of how some people are ill-treating doctors in some parts of the country, and it pains me to think about what they are going through. Doctors across the world are facing a very difficult time right now. In these testing times, we all must unite to support them in every way we can.
However, I noticed that the doctors at my hospital are extremely motivated to win this battle. This is not just because they are saving lives, but also because their efforts are being appreciated across the country.
I am elated that the Bhilwara model is receiving tremendous appreciation from all quarters, and I sincerely hope Bhilwara’s success can be replicated throughout India.
I leave you with a reiteration of my biggest takeaway - stay home and save lives.
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