After surviving COVID, nurse looks forward to being vaccinated
June-Rose Msiya, a 43-year-old enrolled nursing assistant at Caledon Hospital, says she is looking forward to getting the COVID-19 vaccine, which will be rolled out to selected health workers in the rural districts of the Western Cape this week.
For June-Rose contracting an infectious disease has always been a possibility in her line of work. This became a reality when she contracted multiple drug resistant TB in 2016 after being exposed to a patient and had to be admitted to hospital. After completing her two-year treatment, June-Rose never anticipated having personally fight an infectious disease.
But in in December 2020 June-Rose contracted COVID-19. Experiencing shortness of breath and other severe symptoms, she was admitted to hospital and there received a positive COVID-19 test result. This is where her health rollercoaster began. While receiving oxygen treatment in hospital, it was discovered that she had diabetes and hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol levels), which contributed to her severe symptoms.
June-Rose now had to deal with the lifestyle changes necessitated by her newly diagnosed conditions. Thankfully after 10 days in hospital, June-Rose’s condition improved and she was discharged. “I assumed that things would return back to normal in my life,” says June-Rose.
“In 2015 I was diagnosed with depression and have been on antidepressants since then. When I was discharged from hospital after my COVID-19 treatment, I continued with my antidepressants along with the other medication prescribed by my physician to treat my underlying conditions and my COVID-19 symptoms. I noticed that I am not feeling myself. I sought help and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital,” explains June-Rose. June-Rose’s new medication did not work well with her existing medication. The healthcare staff worked with her to find the best treatment plan for her and she was able to return to work mid-February.
“I cannot wait to get the vaccine because I am at high risk for severe illness. Although I have had COVID-19 there is still a possibility that I can contract the virus again, and this scares me. It took so long for my body to recover from the coronavirus, I still suffer from shortness of breath and tire easily. I cannot imagine what else COVID-19 could do to me as I am at high risk of severe COVID-19,” says June-Rose. She says that although being a health care worker has its risks and tend to take a toll on her mental and physical wellbeing, she enjoys caring for her patients and the work that she does. “Getting the vaccine will enable me to focus on caring for my patients and to continue doing the work I love.”