Other medical maladies in times of Covid-19…What can you do if become ill?…It happened to me!…

Tom took this amazing video while we were in a boat on the Chobe River in Botswana, in May 2018. Please see that post here with several more videos.

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Today’s photos are from our post one year ago today. Please click 
here for more details.

When visitors first come to Africa they often confuse cheetahs and leopards.  Cheetahs are easily recognized by the dark “tears” coming down their faces.

This particular article from the New England Journal of Medicine discusses the issues for patients without COVID-19 who are exhibiting medical symptoms that require attention from their doctors or local emergency room/hospital.

Many such patients are terrified of visiting a doctor’s office or a hospital emergency room which may be packed with COVID-19 patients awaiting treatment. 

Lilies beginning to bloom in the river.

Based on Mumbai as the nation’s worst hotspot and epicenter right now, we’ve known if one of us became ill, unless it was imminently life-threatening (from what we could decipher) we’d have to self diagnose and treat ourselves to the best of our ability. 

With all the hospitals in Mumbai including the private facilities filled with COVID-19 patients, there is no way either of us would consider a doctor or hospital visit if we became ill unless we determined we had the virus and needed emergency care.

Three elephants on the river.

In India, most drugs may be obtained without a prescription as long as it’s not a narcotic. Tiny pharmacies are found in busy open market areas. Before we were in lockdown, we stopped at one of those streets-side pharmacies to refill my meds for hypertension, as mentioned in a prior post. 

The pharmacy wasn’t able to refill my exact prescription containing two drugs so I opted for a dosing alternative, after checking with Dr. Theo in South Africa. But, no doubt its been in the back of my mind as to what we’ll do if one of us becomes ill with some other ailment. 

Lois and Tom, friends from the US who came to visit us for three weeks October, 2018.  We had a fantastic time when they visited and stayed with us.  We hear from them often.

At this point, there would be no alternative but to self diagnose and treat to the best of our ability. So, when five days ago, I started experiencing pain in my right cheek, I dismissed it as some type of weird headache. Since I am not prone to headaches, rarely ever getting one, after three or four days I started to be concerned.

When I was diagnosed with advanced coronary artery disease in February 2019 resulting in triple cardiac bypass surgery, the only symptoms I had for several weeks was pain in my jaw on both sides of my face. I had no chest or arm pain, shortness of breath or tiredness, which often present before having a heart attack.

Tom and I at Aamazing River View in October 2018 when friends Lois and Tom were visiting for three weeks.

Thus, a few days ago with a new pain in my face, of course, I worried about the grafts failing and causes a new series of symptoms in my face. I didn’t say anything to Tom, preferring not to worry him and decided to give it a few more days to see what would transpire.

The pain exacerbated. By early yesterday afternoon, I mentioned it to Tom, who’d asked me over the past few days on several occasions if I was OK, to which I replied, “I’m fine.” But I wasn’t fine.

Happy hippos…

I’d already spent considerable time researching online unable to find a direct correlation between cheek pain and heart symptoms. But, last year I’d never considered the weird jaw pain was symptomatic of three 100% blocked coronary arteries.

After all the research, all I could come up with was two possible conditions; an abscessed tooth or a sinus infection. There’s a facial nerve condition I’d researched, trigeminal neuralgia, but those symptoms just didn’t seem consistent with my current discomfort.

A bateleur we spotted in Kruger.

After researching possible antibiotics and treatments for each of these two other options, it appeared the best solution for either condition is almost identical: taking antibiotics, specifically Z-Pack (Azithromycin) for a five-day course, along with hot packs and Tylenol (Paracetamol).

Two females and one male enjoying the shade under a tree in hot weather.

Fortunately, before leaving the US, we stockpiled good-sized supplies of various emergency-type drugs, including Z-Pack (Azithromycin). I decided to start taking the first dose of two tablets the first day and one tablet, each of the following four days.

After taking the tablets with a big glass of water I began the hot packs using hot water from the tea kettle and a folded washcloth every few hours while continuing with the Tylenol.

It’s easy to spot male lions have the big mane surrounding their faces whereby the females do not as shown in this photo we took in Kruger.

This morning I awoke with a 50% improvement. Hopefully, I’m on the mend. We’ll see how it rolls out over the next few days. In the interim, I cut back on the walking to half my usual distance to give myself time to heal.

It’s only under these dire circumstances that I have self-treated to this extent. This information is not intended as medical advice for our readers and we suggest you seek medical care in the event of any medical concerns during this time of COVID-19 and into the future.

We couldn’t have been more thrilled to see a giraffe in our garden.  He took off quickly when he saw us so this was the best photo I could take.

It’s very different here for us here in lockdown while in Mumbai India. Most of you with any medical concerns can readily contact your usual health care provider for assistance. It’s not the case here during this challenging time.

Stay safe. Wash your hands. Wear a face mask in public. Social distance.


Photo from one year ago today, May 5, 2019:

Lounging lion laying low…For more details, please click here.

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