Quick trip to COVID hell and back

1/24/2021 3:16:00 AM

'A 67-year-old with concurrent health conditions like myself is not expected to recover easily from COVID-19.'

'A 67-year-old with concurrent health conditions like myself is not expected to recover easily from COVID-19.'

A 67-year-old with concurrent health conditions like myself is not expected to recover easily from COVID-19. Having treated scores of COVID-19 patients, I now find it strange that I missed the earl…

Little did I know that my nonchalance would allow the virus to gain a foothold in my body. The rapidly progressive symptoms that appeared the next day—fever, chills, muscle and joint pains, profound weakness, nausea and loss of appetite—were unmistakable: the virus had caught up with me.

My mind was very active but I had no energy whatsoever. “You can do it, Raffy!” I told myself in an attempt at pep talk, but my muscles seemed to be in a total flaccid state.It was during moments of decrescendo that I’d doze off. At times I’d be awakened by some pain or spasm, and I’d contort myself to find a position of relief.

Read more:
Inquirer »

COVID VAX PLAN: Things you need to know about the PH COVID-19 vaccination programThe Philippine government is eyeing to start rolling out the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination program by the end of this month as initial doses of vaccines are expected to arrive this February. Should be -20 C, -70 C

COVID SCIENCE: One vaccine dose might be enough for COVID-19 survivors

COVID SCIENCE: Pollen level in air linked to COVID-19 rates

Duterte: 'If I get COVID, then I get COVID'As the country continues to battle the pandemic, President Duterte remained unperturbed by the prospect of getting infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Ms. Rona sana nga matagal ka nang nagkaroon ng COVID at sana matagal ka nang namatay! Ang hambog.. Sobra.. Hindi nakaka impress nakaka irita.. Sa totoo lang

Regeneron says its COVID-19 antibody cocktail helps prevent symptomatic COVID-19New Phase 3 trial data finds a single shot of Regeneron's COVID-19 antibody cocktail was able to prevent symptomatic COVID-19 among people exposed to the virus, the company said. investing with maria D bate was the best thing that have ever happened to me cause I ear u p to $5000 with $400 through forex trading she's the best I know of , after I was scammed , thanks very much mam . well if you are interested click and message her 👇👇👇 mariadbates2

/ 05:00 AM January 24, 2021 A 67-year-old with concurrent health conditions like myself is not expected to recover easily from COVID-19.(Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr.COVID-19 survivors might only need one shot of the new vaccines from Moderna Inc and Pfizer/BioNTech , instead of the usual two doses, because their immune systems have gotten a head start on learning to recognize the virus, according to two separate reports posted this week on medRxiv ahead of peer review.The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.

Having treated scores of COVID-19 patients, I now find it strange that I missed the early symptoms when I felt them. My oversight pushed me into a quick trip to COVID hell; it was by God’s grace that I was pulled back from the precipice. The government is aiming to inoculate 70 million Filipinos by the end of this year. I experienced severe throat itchiness late Monday night (Jan.  "The antibody response to the first vaccine dose in individuals with pre-existing immunity is equal to or even exceeds" levels found in uninfected individuals after the second vaccine dose, the authors of that paper said. 11) as I was preparing for bed.  Vergeire said for vaccines requiring 2 to 8 degree Celsius and -20 degrees Celsius temperature, the supplier will deliver the vaccines to the DOH rented private warehouse or to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), “which will serve as the government’s centralized vaccine hub. I assumed it was my allergic rhinitis acting up, and merely gargled with an oral antiseptic and took a tablet of over-the-counter Benadryl.  The study also reports that under similar pollen concentrations, infection rates were halved when lockdown measures were in place, because the lockdowns limited exposure to both the virus and the pollen that diminishes the immune response.

Little did I know that my nonchalance would allow the virus to gain a foothold in my body.  “The LGUs will then allocate vaccines to their implementing units, such as medical centers, hospitals, infirmaries, RHUs (rural health units), and private clinics where the vaccine will be administered to the eligible recipients,” she added.  COVID-19 patients with mild illness and at least one condition that put them at high risk for complications, such as diabetes or heart disease, received either colchicine or a placebo for 30 days. The rapidly progressive symptoms that appeared the next day—fever, chills, muscle and joint pains, profound weakness, nausea and loss of appetite—were unmistakable: the virus had caught up with me. My wife, Becky, and Angel, our baby in the house who sleeps with us, had to immediately move to the guest room. “Through a private distributor, the vaccines will be delivered to our hospitals and medical centers with cold chain capacity to store the vaccines,” said Vergeire. More than anything else, I was worried that I might have infected them.6% of those on colchicine versus 60% of those who got a placebo. No energy I promptly started the regimen I have been advocating for COVID-19. Health authorities also inspected the facilities of First Pioneer Distribution Center of UNILAB in Biñan City, Laguna and Zuellig Pharma Corporation in Parañaque City, “which could potentially be used in the first wave of COVID-19 vaccine rollout,” said Vergeire.  Watch more in iWantTFC Robust vaccine responses seen during pregnancy and lactation Pregnant and lactating women who received the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna had immune responses similar to those seen in non-pregnant, non-lactating women, a new study found.

But for the next four hours, the symptoms became worse. I felt too weak even to reach for the glass of water that was less than a foot away from my side of the bed.  Two members: either a doctor, nurse, or midwife for the screening and assessment of patients.  "Given that colchicine is inexpensive, taken by mouth, was generally safe in this study, and does not generally need lab monitoring during use, it shows potential as the first oral drug to treat COVID-19 in the outpatient setting," the researchers said. My mind was very active but I had no energy whatsoever. “You can do it, Raffy!” I told myself in an attempt at pep talk, but my muscles seemed to be in a total flaccid state. One member: either a doctor, midwife, or a nurse who will administer the vaccine. At one point our cook asked me through the bedroom door what I wanted to eat.4% with 12 or more weeks between doses, compared to 54.  She added that the study addressed an important question as COVID-19 vaccines are rolled out, given that there is currently "limited to no data on how they work in this population.

She said she had cooked my favorite “bulalo” (boiled beef highlighted by bone marrow), but I said that just the thought of food made me feel like vomiting. The vaccination team has a target of vaccinating 100 people per day. She reminded me that it had been 21 hours since I last ate. I didn’t answer her.  “With the initial limited supply, frontline health workers and uniformed personnel are prioritized since they have higher risk of exposure while on duty and to allow them to continue fulfilling their duties in both the public and private sectors,” it said.  Europe's medicine regulator has said there is not enough data to determine how well the vaccine will work in people over 55. I cried and asked God how I’d get well if I couldn’t even eat. In the darkness of my bedroom I felt I was in a jungle, and the aches, chills and other symptoms seemed to transform into a cacophony of discordant sounds rising and falling.  The local government units (LGUs) were tasked to come up with a masterlist to determine the residents who will fall under the priority list. The test, for now, is not capable of differentiating between them, so positive samples would need further testing to identify the particular variant, said David Alland of Rutgers University in New Jersey, coauthor of a report posted on Monday on medRxiv ahead of peer review.

It was during moments of decrescendo that I’d doze off.. At times I’d be awakened by some pain or spasm, and I’d contort myself to find a position of relief. So part of the requirements is to be able to list all our beneficiaries and it will help us monitor their second dose and also adverse events if these are felt,” said DOH Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje. Always dreaming Probably due to the high fever, and as a side effect of the high-dose melatonin I was taking, I seemed to be in a constant dream state, as though I were slipping in and out of “The Matrix” film. Much of my dreams I cannot now remember; I just knew I dreamed something. The next goal is to control and minimize disruption of social and economic functions. But some details come back to me as vividly as when I was dreaming them, such as when I found myself in a big place as dark as Space Mountain. "This will distinguish variants .

Instead of riding in a roller-coaster, I was sliding down a huge, labyrinthine slide and trying to slow my fall by grasping at its sides.  “In our pre-registration, we have a vaccination date and time schedule so they don’t come at the same time— this is for crowd control,” said Cabotaje. I was yelling to God that I couldn’t hold on any longer: “Lord, hindi ko na kayang humawak!” Came the telepathic reply: “Just let go, and let Me!” I must have slept fitfully for more than two hours, and it was dark outside when I woke up. I was perspiring profusely, probably from the two soft gels of ibuprofen that I took a few hours earlier.  A waiting area will be set up where patients will have to wait for their turn to get vaccinated. I went to change my undershirt, and I realized that I now had the energy to get up. I was also feeling hungry. The individual’s QR code will be scanned and other necessary documents such as “health declaration forms” and “informed consent” must be submitted. In those cases, the temperature at which the probes change color will be altered, and any unforeseen color change will flag a sample as likely containing a new mutant, Alland said.

So I texted our cook to ask if she had some bulalo left. I didn’t eat much, but I was able to finish a small portion of what she served me without throwing up. A video will also be played, explaining the COVID-19 vaccines. The fever was gone and never recurred. The other symptoms were still present, but much more tolerable.” The individual will now go to the screening station, where his or her medical history will be reviewed and a physical examination will be performed. I slept well that night and felt even better the next day.  This is the second late-stage, randomized trial to show that the antibody cocktail is effective at treating mild-to-moderate COVID-19.

SEEING THE LIGHT “I get my daily dose of sunlight in the garden. A trained doctor, midwife, or nurse will administer the vaccine. Everyone is advised I’m going out and all doors, sliding doors are left open so I don’t have to touch anything,” says Dr. Rafael Castillo. This includes the date of the first vaccination and when the second dose will be administered. Swab test I informed our medical director at Manila Doctors’ Hospital (MDH) and my colleagues at the Professional Regulatory Board of Medicine (PRBOM), with whom I met a few days earlier, that I had experienced possible COVID-19 symptoms that were promptly relieved. My wife, Becky, told me it couldn’t have been COVID-19 because it’s most unusual for the fever to be gone completely in six hours.  “After vaccination, we keep them in the area for 30 minutes to 1 hour so that we will monitor the adverse events. European regulators authorized its use in March.

“It was just an ordinary flu,” she said. I nodded in agreement.. But as I ate dinner that night in our lanai, and she was safely 5 meters away behind the glass panel, I explained to her that the symptoms were different from any of the bouts of flu that I had experienced in the past. We decided that I should get tested. I went to MDH the following day, two days after I experienced the severe symptoms.

By that time I was already symptom-free. The throat and nasopharyngeal swab yielded a positive result. The blood test suggested that my immune system had taken a big hit—hence the significantly low level of my white blood cells (WBCs). I imagined the thousands of my WBCs that died vanquishing the virus. There was also residual inflammation in my body, as evidenced by increased serum ferritin.

Talking with God Noted pulmonologist Dr. Milo Roa and Makati Medical Center director Dr. Bong Javier, warned that I should watch out for a second cytokine storm, or an overreaction of the body’s immune system. I was already asymptomatic, but there could be another cytokine release by the second week, they said. I’m now on Day 10 as I write this, and by all indications, God has healed me completely, and with a miraculous rate of recovery.

Also to my relief, my wife and the rest of our household have tested negative for COVID-19. During my illness, I realized that we can actually talk with God, and get answers. Not that I saw His image or any bright light, nor did I hear His voice. Nothing of that sort. It was like receiving a telepathic reply to my question.

Sometimes it came immediately, sometimes not. But once I received it, I just knew it was God’s message. Could it have been just an effect of my delirious state when I had high fever? Possibly, but the fever was completely gone in six hours. And I still got answers to my questions afterward. Friends and family now ask me if I’ll resume work after what I’ve been through.

But it’s a risk I signed up for as a practicing physician. Three days before I came down with symptoms, Dr. Lumi Ramos, our top cardiovascular surgeon at MDH, told me while we were waiting for the elevator that I’m the only senior consultant still making rounds. I said, “For so long as there are patients we need to see, we can’t abdicate our responsibility.” I have other responsibilities, too.

On top of hospital work, I have administrative, quasi-judicial and quasi-legislative duties as a member of the PRBOM. The days before I developed symptoms were particularly hectic, with an administrative hearing to preside over and an en banc face-to-face meeting with the board members. The PRBOM is also busy preparing for the March physician licensure exams, and with more than 1,000 questions needed from each board member, my average sleeping time had been 3 a.m. (It might have contributed to the weakening of my resistance.

) We have been happy with our modest contribution as the only regulatory board that administered face-to-face exams in 2020 to more than 6,500 medical examinees, to answer the need for more doctors to help fight COVID-19. But, with all of us in the PRBOM suitable for profiling as high-risk elderly individuals, we may have pushed our luck too far and compromised our own personal safety. I think we can still maintain reasonable safeguards and play heroics without ending up as martyrs. Treatment Many have asked about my treatment regimen. For nondoctors, COVID-19 is no infection to self-medicate on.

You need to consult a specialist immediately. Every minute counts as you don’t want to give the virus time to strengthen its hold on your body. But I also call on my specialist-colleagues: this may be an opportune time to review and determine up to what extent we can allow the body to heal itself without the use of potent medicines and aggressive interventions. My complete regimen consisted of high-dose melatonin, Vitamins C and D, zinc, coenzyme Q10, Aspilet and one dose of ibuprofen for the fever. The fever broke in six hours, with around 30-percent relief in severe symptoms, and progressive improvement until I was symptom-free in 48 hours.

A key factor to success in treatment is to start even without the result of the COVID swab test. Much delay is caused while waiting for the result, and that allows the infection to become more severe. For elderly and high-risk patients, it’s better to initiate treatment early with natural immune-system boosters than wait for the results two or three days later. Like they say, it’s better to err on the side of caution than on the side of tragic error. (Dr.

Rafael R. Castillo writes a weekly column for Inquirer Lifestyle’s Wellness page. –Ed) Subscribe to Inquirer Lifestyle Newsletter Subscribe .