Welcome to Motherhood Voices
SURVIVING CORONAVIRUS AS A MOTHER AND THRIVING IN A PANDEMIC
Oneinspiredmum: Good day ma’am. We are so excited to have you here.
Guest: Thank you. I am glad to be here.
Oneinspiredmum: Firstly, we have some quick questions we will like to ask you. Here we go.
Quick fire questions
1. What book are you currently reading?
Guest: I am currrently reading the book, Autism (How to Raise a Happy Autistic Child) by Jessie Hewitson
2. Who or what inspires you?
Guest: I am daily inspired by me and who I am becoming.
3. What does motherhood mean to you?
Guest: Motherhood to me means to support, care, discipline, encourage, nurture, respect, provide for and pray for my kids.
Oneinspiredmum: Thank you ma’am for taking out time to answer these quick questions. Once again, I am glad to have you here and I appreciate you for taking out time to share your story with us.
So over to our Main Questions.
1. Can you tell us who you are?
Guest: My name is XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. I am a Nigerian living abroad. I am married and I am a mother of two lovely kids.
( For confidential reasons, we have decided to take out our guest’s name as requested by her. I stated to my interviewees when I contacted them, that you can choose to be seen or remain anonymous and I will surely respect that choice.)
2. Can you describe yourself?
Guest: I am first a woman, then a wife, mom, daughter, sister, grand-daughter, friend, colleague and a woman of faith.
3. How did you discover that you had contacted Coronavirus?
Guest: It was on the 16th of March that I suspected that I had contacted the virus. I started experiencing some of the symptoms related to the virus – coughing, shortness of breathe and loss of smell.
4. Were you tested to confirm that you had the virus?
Guest: I was not tested. However, at a point, I started to show signs of the other symptoms associated with the virus. One of which was weakness. I was assisting my body with my hands as I could not use my legs. I had to take paracetamol tablets every 4-hours to calm my temperature. I had chills and a sore throat for weeks.
I rang the ambulance services during one of the episodes, when I had shortness of breath, and they advised that I stay at home. They stated that the fatigue I was feeling was my body fighting to recover. They also added that going to the hospital was not a good idea, as I could potentially come back home worse.
5. Were you at home in isolation or eventually taken to the hospital?
Guest: The EMT personnel advised that I self-isolate at home by myself in a room.
6. What are the symptoms that you experienced?
Guest: The Covid-19 symptoms that I experienced are as follows:
Shortness of breath (you feel your life is ending before your eyes), fever, dry continuous cough, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, sore throat, loss of smell, stiffness of the nose, chills and headache.
7. What kind of thoughts ran through your mind while in self-isolation?
Guest: I must say that this was when my faith kicked in. I prayed and asked God for mercy, and that I did not want to be one of the statistics of the virus.
We release certain hormones when we are sad and worried, and that is not good for our heart and blood pressure. It is believed that most people who died of the virus, died because they were worried and afraid.
8. How long were you away from your husband and young children?
Guest: The lock down had kept us all in isolation in our homes for weeks. However, with my symptoms, I was asked to isolate myself and keep away from other members of my household for some time. I had to stay away from my husband and children for some days locked in a room by myself.
9. What are some of the things that you did to carry you through your time of isolation and treatment?
Guest: I made sure to always stay hydrated. I carried out breathing exercises, inhaling (steam) from hot water filled with onions, ginger, garlic, lemon and lime.
I placed chopped and crushed onions in a cloth and placed it in between my chest for 18-hours to help with my breathing. I made ginger lemon paste and added to ginger tea to drink. I blended beetroot and turmeric for energy. I also took Omega and iron supplements etc. The fatigue was out of this world, so I also slept a lot, sang songs of praise and prayed.
10. Did the thought of dying ever cross your mind?
Guest: Apparently they say that majority of Covid-19 patient would go into a state of confusion for at least one or more days. And so yes, I thought about death.
11. Were you able to communicate with your family during your time in isolation?
Guest: Yes, I was still able to kiss my boys goodnight through video calls. They asked why I was calling them via video call and I cried. My husband kept coming to give me stuff in the room and we communicated via our mobile phones.
12. Tell us a bit about what being a coronavirus patient/survivor looks like?
Guest: What they do not tell people is that this virus does not really disappear overnight. I still had problems with my breathing up until the 13th of May.
I was telling my pastor this yesterday when he visited, and he said the same thing, that it does not disappear automatically as a church member who had it also confirmed this. It takes a very long time. My symptoms started on the 16th of March and I still have my struggle from time to time even up till date.
13. Did your other family members get the virus?
Guest: People ask me how I contracted the virus. I always say that it could have been from anywhere. My oldest child came back home with few of the symptoms days before mine started. But I had to be a mom and take care of him.
Next was my 3-year old who had asthma. I saw him struggle to stay alive. For the very first time, I saw him cough so bad and tears came out from his eyes. Two of my neighbors also had the virus as well, so I could have gotten the virus from anywhere.
My husband was asymptomatic so he did not show any signs or symptoms. However, when he called his job and told them about my symptoms, they advised him to self isolate for 14-days.
14. What lessons did you take away from that experience?
Guest: The lesson I learnt from this experience is this – your family over everything. We propose but God disposes. God is our source, our job is only a means. The means can end but the source can never end. Have faith and know God for yourself.
15. What has this pandemic taught you?
Guest: I always tell people never to look down on anyone. And this pandemic has proved me right, because Covid-19 does not care if you are black, blue, white, rich or poor. It has affected people from all walks and cadres of life.
16. What is your word of advice to those who still think that Corona Virus does not exist especially here in Nigeria?
Guest: I lost some church members to the virus. I wish my words can change what certain people believe, but that may not be the case. This is a pandemic that has affected the whole world and Coronavirus is real.
18. Did you experience any form of stigmatization after getting a negative result and a clean bill of health?
Guest: No! I did not experience any stigmatization.
19. In what ways should we as humans show support to each other in this pandemic.
Guest: Stop complaining and be the change you would like to see. The government did not come knocking on our doors with baskets of food. We as a community come together to support one another. And I believe that no one here in this country, where I live can say that they are hungry during this pandemic.
We can build strong communities in times like these. If you have extra food, share with your neighbors. I helped my elderly neighbor buy things at the store and did not take money from her.
I was also involved in helping some Nigerians via a group through donations (monetary). We did not give because we had enough, we gave because we cared.
You can also show support by calling your loved ones more often. Some people who are alone need a lot of emotional support as well. Find ways to give and be a blessing in this pandemic.
20. Can you share with us three tips that can help you thrive in this pandemic?
i. Stay positive – If it has a beginning, it will definitely have an end.
ii. Spend less time watching the news and scrolling through social media.
I had to stop watching the news as it can make you panic more. There are more people who left the hospital alive compared to those who died of the virus. The news does not make it look that way.
iii. Be productive – Do something for yourself during this pandemic. You cannot come out of this pandemic the same way you were before it started. Use the opportunity of the partial lock down to learn a skill and develop yourself.
21. Your final word to everyone
Guest: Covid-19 is real. Never ever take it for granted. Obey the rules/guidelines given by the government in regards to the virus.
This lock down is also a good time to equip yourself. Find your niche, enroll in courses, exercise and take your health seriously because it is your greatest wealth.
Right now, our aim is to stay safe and alive. I believe that we would come out of this pandemic bigger and better. This too shall pass.
Oneinspiredmum: Thank you ma’am for sharing your story with us. We appreciate you.
Guest: Thank you for having me.
Did you get a lesson or two from our guest’s story?
Or perhaps you are strengthened and encouraged by her story.
Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section or feel free to reach out to us through the contact segment of the blog.
You can also send us a mail here – firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have a story or experience to share. We will be excited to share your story and experience with our audience.
Until next time.
Love and light.