I had flu symptoms at the end of a normal day and I suspected that it may be COVID-19. I then went to the Ext 28 Clinic in Vosloorus, east of Johannesburg, since I felt sick. At the clinic they did not test, they gave me antibiotics to drink at home and finish. The following day my breathing became worse and my body became weak. I called my sister to take me to J Dumane Clinic in Vosloorus. When we got there they took me to an isolation room and they did a COVID-19 test. They then sent me home but the doctor said if I don’t feel well I should come back.
The following day I became worse and I couldn’t breathe, I was coughing badly, with a headache and my temperature was high. My sister called the ambulance, and when I saw it at the gate I was so sick I thought I was seeing heaven. When I got to the hospital the paramedics took me to the consultation room and they took my vitals. After that they took me to the casualty room where the doctors were. We arrived there in the morning at about 10:15am and they attended me at about 11:30am. The sisters in the casualty room attended other people before me. They tried to put a drip on me but I didn’t have visible veins, so we had to wait for the doctor to come and do it herself. When the doctor came she explained that I have all the signs of COVID-19 so she needed to run the COVID-19 test again.
Around midday, I was admitted in Ward 10 and yhooo!! In that ward the majority of the patients were women with every sign of COVID-19 and some with Tuberculosis (TB). I was with the two elderly women who had the same symptoms I had. My doctor came in the morning after two days and told me that I tested negative for COVID-19 so they must move me to another ward because the two ladies in the ward with me were COVID-19 positive. They did this in the afternoon and took me to the other ward. I was alone for some hours then they brought someone else to the ward and then again on that the same day I was moved to another ward (Ward 9) where I found a lady who had multi-drug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). When I was in Ward 9 I discovered that I had lost my sense of taste.
The Thelle Mogoerane hospital kitchen staff gave us, the patients bad food. The tea was like soap water and was cold too, the meat was almost rotten and whenever they brought food they were always late and we had to eat cold food all the time.
Though wards looked clean when I was there, the nurses changed the sheets of the beds after two days. The beds don’t have pillows so when you sleep there for days you end up developing neck pain and the staff will tell you that there is nothing they can do. They say you can tell one of your family members to bring you a pillow.
I was discharged finally after some time and I’m glad it didn’t take longer because I was worried I was gonna get infected with COVID-19.
This personal account was submitted on 10 February 2021. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (www.Karibu.org.za), and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.