My COVID Story: Hydroxychloroquine led to swelling in my entire physique


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Sheethal V contracted COVID and underwent severe body pain and throat ache. While battling with COVID, she got the shock of her life when a rheumatologist diagnosed her of reactive arthritis. Here is how she fought the virus…

My name is Sheethal from Bangalore and this is my COVID story. I thought coronavirus is like any other viral fever and should be fine in a couple of days. But it went on for more 4 months with inflammation in the body with pain in ankles, wrists and hips where I was not able to walk and also could not do a small job like opening a door.

It all started on Saturday, 8th of August with fever and body pain. I took paracetamol and by end of the day, my body pain became very severe, with bad headache, which made even turning sides a painful activity. I had a terrible hip pain and was moaning with pain in the night. Early morning I fainted when I tried getting up. By this time, I told everyone at home that it can be COVID. However, my parents insisted that it might just be a normal viral fever.

Next two days, the fever continued with slight body pains. My husband was concerned since I still had body pains, so he took me to a doctor, who asked me to get RT PCR test. The test came out positive and I panicked, thinking of my aged parents with co-morbidities and my husband and my child.

Hospital recommended home isolation and did triaging and gave me all the medicines and sent me back home. After taking Hydroxychloroquine, my entire body got swollen. When I called my doctor, he asked me to take a medicine for allergy.

Next few days were uneventful and I literally counted days and kept checking on my ageing parents if they were experiencing any symptoms. Luckily, no one from the family got any symptoms. After 1.5 weeks, I got throat pain, which did not heal even with gargling.

After 17 days of isolation, I contacted my family doctor for persistent throat pain and body pains. He put me on antibiotics and got my throat pain resolved but body pains persisted. He asked me to contact a rheumatologist for swelling in my ankles since it looked like reactive arthritis.

So started my long journey. I got in touch with a Rheumatologist whom I searched online and she did a series of blood tests, ANA,IF ,Anti CPP, RH Factor tests. All tests came negative and she put me on medicines and monitored my liver function tests to see how medicine impacted. I was then told I was suffering from reactive arthritis. There was very bad hair loss because of COVID.

So after 4 months of my battle with COVID, I can now say I am back to my pre-COVID life.

I have been a very careful person to take all precautions when outside from wearing a mask to washing my hands religiously but still contracted Corona. Maybe I contracted since I was low on immunity.

So please try to develop immunity and wear a mask ,wash hands and maintain social distancing.

Did you fight COVID-19? We want to hear all about it. ETimes Lifestyle is calling all the survivors of COVID to share their stories of survival and hope.

Write to us at [email protected] with ‘My COVID story’ in the subject line.

We will publish your experience.
The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Please consult your treating physician for more details.

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