It is midnight. I am all alone in the isolation room in my hostel. I'm a little tensed.., a little nervous too.. and of course, severely ill.. All my thoughts are about my exams. Already missed two due to illness, don't want to miss one more. Fever started last week and there was mild cough too. As it wasn't relieved on medication, doctor asked to shift me into isolation room in the hostel, being a H1N1 suspect. They dump all those with similar features of the epidemic into the isolation room as a precaution to prevent the transmission of the disease. H1N1 is considered dangerous because it can be transmitted from person to person even through fomites ( inanimate objects which patients use).
Isolation room is a spacious room, which is meant for students of the junior most batch. As they are on vacation, it's now converted to the isolation room. The bags, dresses, and all
other stuff of the students who stayed here before, are kept in one corner of the room. I can see the shadow of window panes in the moonlight. I can hear the sound of raindrops falling on the ground.
At first, we three were there in the isolation room. The other two were from my junior batches. Now they have left the room after 5 days medication. Of course this may be my last night in this room. If the fever is down by tomorrow, I will shift to my own room.
Life in the isolation room is a horrible one. We are all confined to this room just like prisoners in a jail. We have stay inside the room whole day, wearing masks. Doctors come over here frequently for check ups.Hostel Secretory have arranged students for providing us food and drugs on time. My friends also come for help.( After all, friendship is an interpersonal and immediate understanding of interactional ways of peculiaristic & democratically undefined methods of controlling emotional hyperbolic reactions..!!!!! Is'nt it...????!)
I have never been in a tough situation before in my life except once. It was when, my sister died following an accidental abortion. My thoughts were all about my sister for a few minutes. Let her soul rest in peace. I was back from my thoughts within a moment, with a loud noise outside the room. A few of my seniors (probably drunken) are shouting outside the room. They are not at all bothered about this man inside this room..!
I can feel a warmth all over my body, from my forehead to the tip of my toes (though it's still raining outside). I don't know when this illness is going to end or whether it is with my end..! I have taken 7 oseltamivir tablets, 7 cetirizine tablets and 13 tablets so far in this week. Fever is still persisting. I think it is better to die taking 20 tablets of paracetamol all at once than remaining febrile even after taking it thrice daily. I read somewhere that this drug named 'Oseltamivir'(tamiflu) has an adverse effect that patients show a tendency for self harm. 20 teenagers are believed to have committed suicide after taking this drug. Anyway, I'm not in a mood to commit suicide as I have got a few loved ones at home.
I haven't informed my parents about my illness. My mother will be down at the moment itself, if she hears I'm ill. My father, who is abroad, use to call frequently after hearing the news about epidemic in the area. He always wanted me to take care of my health than my studies. That's why I love him so much..!
The mosquitoes are trying hard to disturb my sleep. They are of course, successful up to an extend. I couldn't sleep well in the previous two nights as I was disturbed by nightmares throughout the sleep.
Nov 20, 2009 :
I woke up in the morning with the call from my friend for break fast. Temperature was still there. After having food, I got ready to get consulted in the casualty. After having a thorough clinical examination and giving throat swab for examination, doctor asked me to get admitted in the Chest Hospital. After getting my chest X-ray and other investigation results, I got admitted there in the evening.
Now, I'm in isolation ward in Chest hospital. I got a warm welcome here with a test dose..! The pain due to the injection almost took my breath away..! Cannula was already there on my other hand.
Only two of us are there in the ward. The other one is an already confirmed H1N1 case..! A middle aged man, who just returned from abroad. It's a complicated case as he is an asthmatic patient too. He is bedridden and his father is there with him as bystander for help. His father is still energetic in his 70's. I cannot see his face as he is wearing a N95 mask for protection. I don't have a bystander with me. I just informed one of my friends to bring me food on time.
After having food, I just lied down on my bed. After taking medicine and having my body temperature recorded, I got ready to sleep. The other one kept disturbing me with his noisy breathing ( which we call ' wheeze'). Bystanders are not allowed to stay inside the isolation ward for long. So this man kept asking me to call his bystander frequently. I somehow managed to get a good sleep that night.
Nov 21, 2009 :
I woke up in the morning at around 8 am when the nurse called me to record my body temperature." Temperature is down.." she said. I feel better, but the mask over my face keeps me uncomfortable. Another nurse came with packets of bread and milk ( which is meant for all inpatients in the hospital). I kindly rejected it, as I was not in a mood to try out making a bread- roast or milk shake myself..!
Doctor came to examine me at 10 am. He told me that I can get discharged . My five day treatment course is already over and no need to worry that someone else will get the disease from me. My friend came for help to get my discharge card ready. I got discharged by the noon.. I saw that the old man standing in the front of the ward, as if he was waiting the call from his son. I left the hospital after thanking those staff who helped me there. I threw out my mask on the way to enjoy the fragrance of fresh air.
On reaching hostel, I saw one of my lecturers standing in front of my hostel. She had come to see the person in the isolation room. That's none other than me. With a smile on her face, she asked me " Are you fine now ?". I just smiled in reply, to show that I'm perfectly OK.
After having a bath, I went outside the hostel to take food and to buy the remaining antibiotic tablets which the doctor prescribed me for 5 days. Then back at hostel room to enjoy the new freedom and of course to struggle with my text books again..!!