Surviving COVID at Home

Updated: Oct 7, 2021

I am writing this down for the sole purpose of being a help to somebody who tested positive and wanted to be admitted to a hospital but could not be accommodated due to a long list of patients for admittance.


We were supposed to fly to New York last Sept 22, but God had other plans for us. After returning from Pangasinan on Sept 11, I fell sick on Sept 13, my mom on Sept 15, and my dad on Sept 16. I recovered after three days in bed while my dad recovered after a week. Our symptoms were obviously Delta Variant. We had headaches, tonsillitis, sore throat, cough, fever, and loss of smell. While I and my dad recovered quickly, my mom slowly became weaker and weaker until she stopped eating and became unconscious for 24 hours. This was when my dad decided to bring my mom to the hospital.


On Sept 25, I called the two major hospitals within the Lipa area for their procedures on admitting a patient. The first requirement was an RT-PCR. If negative, they can accommodate us in their clean ward but if positive then our only option was to be put on their waiting list since COVID wards are full.


My mom and I, then, took an RT-PCR for the purpose of being admitted to a hospital. Thankfully, Mary Mediatrix Hospital here in Lipa released our test results in less than 24 hours. My test turned out negative but my mom was positive. I called the hospitals again and they said that they cannot accommodate us because they were full. Patients in their ER had been waiting for almost a week to be given a room. Since my mom stopped eating on Sept 26 and became unconscious on the afternoon of Sept 27, my dad decided to find somebody who can put an IV on her. Hence, my search for home-based Covid care began. Two hospitals have home-based Covid-care programs but their programs do not include an IV (which we needed) and all the medical paraphernalia included in their package were already in our house. Friends and family helped us look for other companies offering home care for Covid patients.


I called two companies. The first one already stopped accepting patients because they were already full. I was able to find a slot on the second company. Here's a breakdown of our medical expenses and our contacts:


1. HELPCARE - ICare

Helpcare or ICare is a private company based in Marawoy, Lipa City. Their services include home care nursing services, on-call duties of caregivers, and private duty nursing services. The owner, Mrs. Rome Morcilla, is a very accommodating person.


HELPCARE - ICare Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/privatedutyservices

HELPCARE - ICare Contact Number - 0977 746 2415/09176505832

HELPCARE - ICare Email Address - helpcarehr@gmail.com


This company literally saved us from being exposed to more viruses in the hospital, definitely recommendable to everyone. Also, if you are going to avail of their services, ask for Nurse Zion or Nurse AJ. They are the best nurses that helped my mom recover back to health.


2. Home Lab Diagnostic & Medical Services Philippines


When the doctor said that we need to undergo a series of laboratory tests and the hospitals were not accepting Covid patients, this laboratory sent its medical technicians to our house and did the tests that we needed. They are very professional and have numerous medical services that they can provide right in the comfort of your own home.


HomeLab Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/HomeLabMedical

HomeLab Contact Number: 0917 176 4009

HomeLab Booking Site: https://book.homelab.ph/?fbclid=IwAR3YlLmAxKlVUYECDdGluu-fDJstJghHh4ERo3S2AkspRe715C3sdvxNrb4


3. Shalom Medical Diagnostic Laboratory

Our doctor also needed an X-ray of my mom and, unfortunately, HomeLab's x-ray machine is not working at that time, so we looked for other laboratories that can cater to home-based x-rays. Friends recommended Shalom Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, which is based in Batangas City. Their services are RT-PCR and rapid tests, ECG, X-Ray, Ultrasound, 2D Echo, Complete Blood Chem, and other medical services. Our experience with them was very excellent as they arrived 2 hours after booking and the results arrived within the day also.


Shalom Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/shalomlaboratory

Shalom Contact Number: (043) 786 1798 / 09055072204

Shalom Email Address: shalom@shalomlab.ph


4. Oxygen Tanks

When my mom's oxygen reached 84, we decided to buy an oxygen tank to help with her oxygen. Since it was almost midnight that time, we found in Facebook marketplace one that is open 24/7 and delivers here in Lipa. We bought a 50kilos oxygen tank worth P16,500 complete with a regulator set. Their delivery fee here in Lipa City is P400. Since it's an oxygen tank that needed a refill, we found Virgo Air in Laguna that offers a refill of an oxygen tank. All of the stores in the Batangas area were out of stock with medical-grade oxygen.


Sir Rico Oxygen Tank Contact Number - 09532314869

Virgo Air Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/virgoairlagunabranch


After being friends with Ma'am Rome of Homecare, I saw in her stories that they rent out an Oxygen Concentrator wherein there's no need for a refill. It only costs P8,000 per month to rent. If we had known that this technology exists, we would have rented this out instead of buying an oxygen tank. It will remove the hassle of looking for a refilling station.


Here's the breakdown of our expenses:


We did shell out 200k in the process but, I think, recovering from Covid right in the comforts of your home is the best way today. The nurses told us stories that if we were admitted to a hospital, there are cases where only 1 nurse is assigned to numerous patients. And some other hospitals don't even allow a companion for the patient.


My mom was also able to recover after 3 to 4 days with Remdesivir antibiotics. She was able to do and eat anything she wants and the nurse's care is customized to her needs.


One disadvantage of availing this home-based kind of service is that we have to go out and look for the medicines that the doctor prescribed, while in the hospital, almost all of the medicines you need are available in-house.


Remdesivir is a popular antibiotic that doctors are pushing to be used in Covid patients. HelpCare provided us with this medicine at a more affordable price compared to buying from hospitals or pharmacies.


HelpCare also doesn't honor Philhealth. They did honor my mom's senior citizen discounts on some of the medicines, though.


That's it! My mom's IV was removed after 8 days and she is 80% recovered. All she needs is more rest and boost her immune system. We are still in quarantine and will do an RT-PCR test at the end of quarantine. We will also be looking for a company that will deep-clean and does a Germ-Proof process in our house. I called one company but if you can recommend one, please drop their names on the comment section below! Thanks!


Also, friends and family, if you are reading this, thank you for the love, prayers, and support. To God be all the glory!


As always, keep safe!


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