My 1 Yr Old Daughter was Covid Positive: Requirement for Cochlear Implant Surgery #calears

After getting the CT Scan, and finishing all the lab tests and getting clearance from her pedia, the final requirement before Nia's surgery was RT PCR swab test for her and her companions. Because of the pandemic, any medical procedure such as an operation will require a negative swab test for the patient and companion. I have been in touch with the hospital (where Nia's surgery will be done) about their policies and rules for admission and the procedure itself. It was very important that I keep posted about the rules because they change protocols and policies so often, because of the pandemic. I remember the first time I called, the companions just needed xray and not RT PCR test, the patient will have to have a negative swab test and validity is 14 days. However, as Nia's procedure drew closer, they changed policies and required companions to also have a negative RT PCR test and the validity is only 5 days.

So I scheduled the RT PCR test 2-3 days before admission, which gave us enough time to wait for the result. My husband and I will be Nia's companions. For non-pedia cases, hospitals only allowed 1 companion or sometimes even no companion at all. When I talked to the hospital though, the allowed for both my husband and I when I explained that I needed a runner, and I will be staying with my daughter the entire time. Obviously, right? 

We decided to have it done in a hospital for credibility and accuracy. After the ordeal with the lab tests, we just wanted it to be done and over with. I was nervous going in. It was our first time to have a swab test. And Nia was just a baby. I actually asked and asked and asked if Nia really needed to have a swab test, because I read that babies and small children are exempted. Well unfortunately, she still did.

Honestly, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Obviously, Nia still cried. But it was quite quick and compared to what happened during the lab tests, it was fairly less painful. I kept praying thanking God for a lesser stressful time. The results were to come out the following day. We just kept praying that we get negative results. I was, I'd say, 85% confident that we were negative. The kids and I don't really go out. My husband does, for work, but practices safety protocols and once he's home, he takes a bath and changes before mingling with us.

When the results came in, I checked it right away. As expected, my husband and I got negative results. And then the biggest shocker came, Nia was covid positive. WTHHHH? When I told my husband, he actually thought I was joking. 

We were shocked and in disbelief. It was difficult to process because my husband and I both got negative results. Nia doesn't go out at all except for her appointments. That's when we suspected that maybe she got the virus when we were doing her lab work. Why? Because that was the only time we brought her out. We couldn't keep her face shield on because she was moving and struggling.

So for the next 2 weeks, we quarantined and isolated. We kept her in just one room, with me as her primary carer. None of us went out, even my husband. We disinfected every single thing, UV all the rooms especially the one where Nia and I stayed at. We kept her away from her siblings especially Niko. 

What's weird but I'm thankful for is Nia never had any symptoms. Nothing at all. She was still her energetic happy self, no cough, no colds, no fever. My mom gifted us with an oxymeter and thermal gun, which we used every single day. We checked each one in our household. Each of us wore masks. There was alcohol in every room, sometimes even two. We all took vitamin c with zinc. 

I went a step further and decided to quarantine for 3 weeks, just to be sure. I continued to breastfeed her because I know that my antibodies will be helpful to her. 

Video chat helped so much. It was difficult having her away from Niko, and having myself away from both Niko and Ro. We are such a tight knit family, but obviously, I have to protect all of my kids. Nia would sometimes cry out of frustration because she's stuck in just one room and couldn't do much.

During this time, we already contacted our LGU to ask what we need to do. I also contacted our pedia and told her that Nia was positive. She just said to continue her vitamis (multi vitamins she takes Nutrilin and vitamin c, she takes Ceelin Plus). She advised to separate Nia from Niko just to be sure.

That was the most difficult thing. Having to separate Nia from her siblings. :( It was usually just me and Nia. If I had to breastfeed Niko, I would take a shower first or change my clothes before going to him. I was also away from my husband. Again, so thankful that my sister, Dane, was with us. She helped me look after Niko while I was with Nia.

After 3 weeks, we went for another RT PCR test. We decided to test Nia first, because every test is costly. It was P4000 per person per test. By that time, Nia still didn't show any symptoms and our entire household was sill healthy and okay.

Nia always had this face when we went out. Robyn even said she pities Nia because the only time she goes out is when there's something to be done to her. And more often than not, it's hurting her. :( Ro asked us if we can bring Nia out to somewhere fun, somewhere she will enjoy and not cry. My thoughtful firstborn. But with the pandemic, what can we do? Safety is still number 1.

We received another shocker when we got the results for her second covid swab test.

She was still positive. At this point, it was just senseless. We couldn't put two and two together. How is it possible? We stayed at home, quarantined. She didn't have any symptoms whatsoever. Haayy... My husband actually got to talk to a doctor from the LGU when they called us and he mentioned that sometimes the tests shows false positives. Normally, they don't require a retest anymore once the quarantine period is over and there are no symptoms anymore. My husband and that doctor got to talking about symptoms, tests etc. 

Anyway, we didn't have any choice but to quarantine again. I was starting to get scared. Not because of covid; because thankfully, my daughter was asymptomatic and we were all okay. I was scared that the pedia clearance will expire and we will have to do all the lab work all over again. Nia's pedia extended the clearance to 1 month, the surgeon also agreed. If Nia still didn't get a negative result and the clearance expires, there was no choice but to do all the lab tests again before having the surgery.

Her clearance expires on May 11. And so on May 5, Nia got tested again for the third time. Our confidence was down, we didn't know what to expect. We didn't know if it's finally negative or still positive. Alas, we got the result and it showed that Nia was still positive. 

I don't know about you but all common sense went out the drain. My husband and I honestly didn't understand what was going on. To my frustration, I was able to befriend a tech in the molecular department of the hospital. I was venting and she was such a sweetheart to listen. She actually helped us expedite getting the result. She also told us the numerical value of the virus. It was so low already, but because they were still basing it on the value, it was still positive.

She explained to me that sometimes virus still lingers inside. Even though a patient is no longer contagious and he is already clinically recovered, tests still show that he has the virus, thus still positive. She mentioned that positive frontliners, after quarantining for 14 days, go back to work without needing to retest. Sometimes it takes a while before tests will show a negative result even though technically, the patient is already negative.

But unfortunately because Nia has a medical procedure to be done, she needed a piece of paper to say that she's negative.

I contacted our surgeon, called her secretary, explained what the results were and how Nia was. I explained that we've been in quarantine for almost one whole month, no contact to the outside world. We maintained cleanliness at home and nobody was sick. I also told them how I was hoping that we could do the procedure and not need to repeat all the lab tests anymore because of everything Nia has gone through. Luckily, God must be listening. They said that they're okay to proceed. When the secretary of our surgeon said those magic words "Go na po tayo.", I immediately started bawling. I was crying so much over the phone. I was so overwhelmed. I was so relieved that Nia won't have to go through lab work again. I was happy that we can finally proceed with what we were planning for.

I just need to send mine and my husband's RT PCR results and have clearance from the hospital because even though our sugeon and anesthesiologist gave us the okay, the hospital still needed to clear us. So we did just that. We received our results, and what do you know, both H and I got negative. It made us wonder even more why Nia was still positive. 

I contacted the hospital where the surgery was going to happen and they said we needed clearance from the Infectious Department. So I called an appointment with the doctor, got an online consult and sent over all our RT PCR results including all the lab work results and pedia clearance. And she finally gave us clearance to proceed with the surgery and for Nia to be admitted in the clean ward. 

That was also a concern for me. Because if they were going to treat Nia as a covid positive individual, they might put her together with other positive patients and she might get more virus and actually be symptomatic. I kept praying and thanking God because finally, we were a step closer to her cochlear implant. 

Here are the link to all the requirements:

Part 1: CT Scan

Part 2: Pedia Clearance & Lab Tests

Part 3: RT PCR Swab Test

For Nia's #calears journey, click here. And for continuous donations for Nia's therapy and other medical expenses, you may refer to her story here. Thank you so much.

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