Freelance journalist Emiliano Chamorro is already a survivor of Covid-19. On the days he had the disease, he felt tiredness and a constant smell of blood and tobacco that will always be related to the coronavirus. Anxiety and depression were also added to the condition.
Chamorro will never know where he got Covid-19, but he admits that before he got sick he did not take seriously the recommendations to prevent it: he did not use a mask or alcohol gel. Now he regrets his stubbornness.
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He had to go through all the stages of acceptance to admit that he was sick: denial, sadness, depression, stress and talk about it to accept his condition. The symptoms began to be felt in mid-May: back pain and headache at first, but she refused to accept that she had something serious. At that time he was apart from his family, living alone with a relative who insisted that it was best to go to the doctor, but he refused.
«There was a moment that I could not stand, I was almost collapsing. I got a fever in my feet, I felt my feet boiling, that smell of blood and tobacco came out. He spent all day drenched in sweat. The pressure went down, it went up, I felt like I was going to die. I had to confess to my daughters that I felt bad, “she says.
“Despite the fact that I stopped smoking 24 years ago, I had a horrible smell of tobacco and blood,” says the reporter.
The words of his daughter, Martha, were what made him react and take his health seriously. “Look, Dad, I’m not going to let you die,” she told him via telephone after hearing him talk about all his ailments. Chamorro said he cut off the call to his daughter because he was still playing loud and did not want her to hear him cry. He wanted to be alone, he didn’t want to talk to anyone, he felt guilty, he was very anxious, he confesses now.
But he assures that those words of his daughter were the ones that anchored him to this life. Martha was the one who launched the aid campaign for her father, which had a great response from friends, journalists, priests and organizations.
Although Chamorro accepted the help of his children and also agreed to be in the family home to be cared for, he says that it was painful for him to remain in confinement in a room where his two-year-old granddaughter came to find him.
“That girl from the time she gets up looks for me and says to me grandfather or daddy, so she called me from the door: ‘grandfather’, and I had to stay silent, so that she didn’t know that I was there. And the girl cried and said ‘papitooo’. That filled me with sadness, “he says.
The opinions and diagnoses of the doctors many times accentuated their hopelessness and depression, in addition that as a patient with symptoms of Covid-19 in Nicaragua, you never have the certainty of the disease and it is like a cycle that never ends at the stage of acceptance.
The chest plate was the one that revealed that his lungs were not right and in part it was because he smoked for more than 10 years 24 years ago. According to Chamorro, the doctor told him: «His lungs look quite affected by tobacco. I could not tell you that you are a patient with Covid, even though you have the symptoms, but we cannot because the official test is only done by the government ».
Chamorro reveals that his family suffered discrimination, because because his condition was made public through the media for being a well-known journalist, in the sales near his family’s house he did not attend to his children when they arrived to buy.
“I went to my children to pass the critical stage of the disease and in the grocery stores (close sales) they did not dispatch my children and told them that they were not attending, and perhaps they were attending to other people who were buying.” Chamorro says that the solution to that was to ask other neighbors to do their shopping at the grocery stores or they had to go shopping at the supermarkets.
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The journalist says he has no words to thank for the help he received, mainly from his family who feel that their lives have been returned.
«It is important to be close to the family so that the person does not collapse or go into depression, because they are sick and attack everything, the nervous system, blood pressure. Closeness, solidarity and love is very important so that the patient can have optimism to recover, “he says.
Chamorro adds that he will never forget what he lived and saw in hospitals: “the line of people connected to oxygen, others with serum bags, desperate people, people crying, that scared me.” “I am grateful to God because he has given me an opportunity to live,” he says.