Relief time since past one week as critical time period has passed through successfully
By last week, Dad had crossed the critical stage of Covid-19’s dangerous effects, according to a visiting doctor’s update as 5 to 10 days from the time of Covid infection is the crucial stage, post that the patient is safe with there being no threat to life. However, the recovery period was uncertain, as post Covid recovery for senior folks like Dad take time.
The issue that needed to be addressed last week at the hospital
Last week’s hospital treatment on focus for Dad was controlling his blood sugar levels, and restoring his oxygen levels. Both are somewhat related because steroids were administered due to low oxygen saturation levels, which caused sugar levels to rise. Gradually, as Dad’s oxygen requirements were lesser, steroids was stopped and sugar was brought under control.
Oxygen Saturation levels were not upto the mark
Still, however, Dad’s oxygen saturation levels were not back to normal levels which are 95-96% levels, it hovered at just above 90% level without machine, with Dad’s lungs able to process just so much amount of oxygen, it meant Dad’s lungs is yet to recover from the toxic effects of Covid.
Generally, post 10 to 14 days after Covid infection, a person should recover the normal oxygen breathing levels but in Dad’s case that was not happening, perhaps due to advanced age. Expectation is that within 4 to 6 weeks, Dad’s oxygen saturation levels would get to levels of 95% at least as his lungs recover.
Friday’s visiting Doctor confirmed that Dad is Carona free now
Other than that limitation, doctor was clear on the latest update that Carona has left Dad’s body, he said after 9 days the virus leaves the patient’s body and at the time that doctor gave update it was 15 days since Dad got possessed by Covid-19, that forced him to get admitted at St Martha’s Hospital in Bangalore, although only on the 6th day of illness Dad got diagnosed for Covid and admission luckily happened the same day.
No clarity on discharge period of Dad
The medical doctors of the hospital had to decide on discharge of Dad, it was on this that I did not receive proper update from the doctor who came for rounds on Saturday. Earlier on Friday, I was told by a different visiting doctor that since Dad’s oxygen saturation levels were not normal so they would observe him till Monday and take a decision on discharging him.
There was always the option of renting an oxygen machine at home, which they were considering, but it’s possible his oxygen level recovery happens by Monday in which case there won’t be any need for organising oxygen supply at home.
Much further hospital stay for Dad was not preferred by the doctors as long stay there might have Dad get a secondary infection
Misguiding update given by Saturday’s visiting doctor related to Dad’s readiness for getting discharged
Suddenly on Saturday, a visiting doctor who earlier gave me an erroneous update,
told me that Dad will be discharged that day only, he can be collected from hospital, he is normal, his oxygen levels are above 90%. I had my doubts on the update that particular doctor gives because earlier he reported that Dad was spitting blood, when Dad was actually spitting medicine that was orange in colour and I was confused on the safety of having Dad back home without oxygen arrangements being made.
Inputs on weather oxygen supply was to be arranged at home not given rendering that visiting doctors update worthless
This was because that doctor, even though I pressed him, said he can be home without the need of any oxygen cylinder, oxygen machine etc, all Dad needs to do is do some breathing exercises. The only time when oxygen is required he said was when oxygen saturation levels comes down to 85%. Also, I asked him on weather Dad’s got immunity from Covid, he seemed to imply that he should have got it as he fought Covid off, although he should have made it clear to me that Dad’s got to be home and in rest for further 2 weeks strictly.
Basically, I was through with that particular doctor’s update, one major problem was there was no single doctor who was incharge of updating patient’s family member in quarantine and helpless at home. They all were given by doctors who come on rounds and in that one particular doctor was not giving me proper updates.
Well wishers and a flat doctor suggested to better organise an oxygen supply equipment at home for Dad
Everyone else, including a doctor at the flat said better to make arrangements for oxygen at home. Although I was told that generally the oxygen cylinder would be given on rent only when doctor’s prescription is presented and it is better to get it via the treating hospital channels. However, as mentioned, that Saturday’s visiting doctor told me that there was no need for any oxygen supply equipment at home. So all I could do was tell Dad to get the oxygen supplier number on the list with needed specifications on oxygen level requirements just in case when he is discharged.
Update till then was that Dad would come by himself on Ola Taxi soon.
Dad decided to come home only when Oxygen Machine is made available
However, Dad informs me that he won’t leave the hospital without an oxygen machine made available at home, and told me to have it arranged by contacting a number given by the hospital staff.
It was already over 3.30pm in the afternoon, I did not think it would be possible for the oxygen machine to come home early enough for Dad to come home following its arrival.
Oxygen Machine had arrived so it was safe for Dad to be at home now
However, by 5pm the Oxygen supplier company’s representative came and delivered the oxygen machine which we rented for 1 month.
I learnt that the machine was portable, there is no major installation required, the operating procedure was easy. So, after signing the invoice receipt, I confirmed to Dad that the oxygen machine has arrived, he can come, although I need to do some minor set up changes in Dad’s room to accommodate the well sized oxygen machine for Dad’s usage.
Sneak peak on how to operate the Oxygen Machine
The oxygen machine was easy to operate, it just needed to be plugged, and placed at a place with enough space, there should be no obstruction around all four corners of the machine. There is a bottle that needs to be filled with filtered water and should be tightly placed in the holder with straps so there is no leakage. Water should be changed every 24 hrs.
Oxygen levels can be adjusted according to the patient’s requirements, from the range of 1 to 5 liters and then the machine can be switched on, it will begin supplying oxygen. There is a connecting tube which should be placed on the nostrils of the nose of the patient for the intake of the produced oxygen.
Dad came back home on Saturday Night
Finally, Dad was not allowed to come by himself taking Ola Taxi, so he came by Ambulance back home. Since, Ambulance is on high demand, he had to bear a high rate for the service, Rs 2,600 while he was admitted and Rs 4,600 for getting dropped back home, paid to the ambulance driver, rates were bargained and negotiated with the driver.
Thank you Medical Staff of St Martha’s hospital for treating Dad successfully
Although, true that I did get some misleading updates from a certain visiting doctor of the hospital, St. Martha’s hospital successfully treated my Dad for Covid-19 and brought him out of danger. Therefore, huge thanks to all the medical staff who worked in treatment and care of Dad. Another article can be written on this, but it is Dad who has the experience, so I am not qualified to write on it, although might after getting feedback from Dad.
The Oxygen Machine is giving all of us peace of mind
The oxygen Machine is giving all of us peace of mind, since Dad is just able to maintain oxygen saturation levels of 90 without the machine. There is no doubt that it was a wise decision to rent the Oxygen Machine and have it home, as oxygen saturation levels below 90 definitely require oxygen supply.
Thanking everyone who supported Dad in this situation
I like to end saying that although the heading of my write up says - ‘Dad is a Corona Warrior’, he did not fight it alone. He was given support by others and I want to thank each and everyone for all that support given mainly for his timely hospitalisation. Starting from my area ward’s management of Covid-19 jointly by local Government and community volunteers, to my flat residents/volunteers, Dad’s friends who helped in getting Dad admitted quickly.
Finally, thanking all the well wishers, who wished for Dad’s recovery and others who prayed.