Regardless of all the efforts on lockdown globally, social distancing guidelines, and increased sanitization, the number of COVID-19 cases has been rising across the world. However, with the exceptional efforts of doctors and other healthcare workers, over two million people have recovered from this infectious disease. But does your life return to normal after recovery?
Clean chit for the healthy life
The World Health Organization (WHO) stated that in the case of mild infection, the patient may recover in about two weeks, without any further complications. However, in severe or critical cases, patients may take three to six weeks to recover from it.
Patients are discharged from the hospital when they show negative viral load in two consecutive PCR tests and are symptom-free.
The journey of recovery
The recovery time estimated by WHO is just the time an infected person takes to recover from the symptoms of COVID-19 in the hospital. However, the actual recovery may take a much longer time.
People with mild disease may get better with time and may not face any long-term health issues. However, the recovery time for people who faced serious complications of COVID-19, such as respiratory distress or delirium, is definitely higher.
People with serious complications need ICU care and ventilator support for breathing, which can take a toll on their physical as well as mental health in the longer run. In many cases, the person may need assistance to breathe even after coming off a ventilator. The patient may need a mask or a continuous positive airway pressure ventilator (Cpap) at home, which would provide the required oxygen support.
People who have been in the ICU may require support while sitting, standing and even lifting their arms off their bed.
People who stay on the ventilator in the ICU for a long period would require physical therapy to be able to walk again, breathe again and sometimes even to speak and swallow.
The patients might need psychotherapy to deal with the mental trauma associated with the disease and its treatment.
Life after recovery
Lack of energy, breathlessness, and loss of appetite have been reported in people who were previously infected and have recovered from the symptoms of COVID-19. Due to the damage caused by the virus to the lungs and other organs, the body takes time to recover and get back to its former state. Till that time, the person may have to pay attention to their immunity levels and would have to maintain social distancing as there could be chances of remission of the viral disease. However, evolving evidence does point out that those who recover from COVID-19 may face several long-term issues including shortness of breath, fatigue, headaches, and confusion. Whereas on an average, a corona virus-infected patient usually recovers in 3 weeks, studies have pointed out that people may suffer from kidney, lungs and heart ailments post-recovery as well. Other possible long-term impacts of COVID-19 include neurological conditions and mental health issues as research shows that the disease can also attack the brain and central nervous system. While the data is still limited and non-conclusive, it is still strongly advised to regularly monitor your symptoms post-recovery to look for any warning signs.
We are also listing down 6 ways you need to take care of yourself after testing negative for COVID-19.
- Give yourself some time
- Try puzzles or memory exercises
- Pay attention to warning signs and symptoms
- Save your energy
- Ask for help
- Remember, you are not IMMUNE to coronavirus
Give yourself some time
For starters, do not expect to bounce back to your previous life as soon as you get back home or test negative for the disease. Hence, give yourself some time to slowly adjust to your old routine, taking one day at a time. Remember, you have just fought a ravaging illness and it is better to get into your old activities gradually, rather than just diving straight in.
Try to involve in memory recall exercises
In order to gradually get back your memory and concentration levels on track, invest some time daily in playing puzzles, memory games, and exercises to rack your brain. Try to memorize your childhood moments with your friends and family members and this activity will help you to be active-minded.
Pay attention to warning signs and symptoms
Whether it is a nagging headache or a bout of breathlessness, it is important to pay attention to any warning signs that your body is not doing okay. Always get yourself connected with your family doctor if any such issues crop up, post-recovery.
Save your energy
As you are on a road to recovery, it is important to priorities the most important tasks and leave everything else. Preserve your energy as much as possible and postpone unnecessary tasks for a later date.
Ask for help
After COVID-19 recovery understand that you do need proper care to feel like yourself. Therefore, ask for help whenever you need as it will help you conserve your energy and battle fatigue. Even it is grocery shopping or home chores, accept the fact that your body needs enough time to recover right now and adjust your expectations with yourself accordingly.
Remember, you are not IMMUNE to coronavirus
While recovering from COVID-19 you may have encountered your body with a certain degree of immunity from the disease, emerging studies have suggested that it is most likely temporary. Hence, continue wearing face covers or face masks in public places and practice social distancing.
The earlier a patient with coronavirus can begin rehab, the better their chances for a full recovery. Although a combination of right time of diagnosis and medical treatment can cure patient at early stage but some you can recover yourself with a will power that you are absolutely perfect. CLINLAB laboratory in Lahore is serving since 1984 and during the pandemic serves the community as a front-line force. Visit CLINLAB for more details.