MANILA, Philippines — Iza Calzado admitted that besides fighting to recover in the hospital, she also had to keep “dark thoughts” at bay.
The actress said in a DZMM TeleRadyo interview with Karen Davila on Tuesday, April 7, that she was treated not only for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) but also a bacteria.
She was diagnosed with pneumonia prior to receiving her COVID-19 test results and has since tested negative for the infectious disease.
“You question are you going to pull through this, are you going to survive, is this your time? These are the thoughts that really will enter your head,” she said.
“You really just need to keep a hopeful, optimistic and faithful mindset to pull you through these times.”
Calzado said she was surprised at how seriously ill she had become. “When they told they wanted to take me to ICU, it was a complete shock to me. I couldn’t believe it.”
“I felt I was a healthy human being, and then what is this, ICU, intubation. The doctor said if this is COVID, it’s gonna be fast.”
‘I was battling two things’
Before being admitted to the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Muntinlupa, she said she had been sick for a week.
“It really started from the dryness from my throat, I pushed my body hard, I will not deny it. I was working hard for two months and working out hard as well,” she said.
“The next day I started coughing and by the evening of that Friday, I already had a slight fever which kept progressing.”
Calzado said she avoided taking antibiotics and did vitamin drips, but she lost her appetite and had diarrhea.
She also did not want to take a COVID-19 test at first. “I was too dyahe (embarrassed) to try and get a test because I didn’t want to seem like I was a privileged celeb imposing that I need a test, so that hindered me which was also a bad call.”
After she took the test, it was determined that she had pneumonia and was brought to the hospital on the same evening.
“Immediately they started treating me for COVID even if of course, at that time the results were taking much longer. It took me eight days to find out if I had COVID or not,” she said.
“On the first day there, I was OK, but on the second day my pneumonia progressed and I was almost taken to the ICU and there was a possibility of being intubated. That’s when it really got real for me,” she revealed.
“At the beginning, it was just normal stuff, except I needed oxygen. After that it was just a series of challenges including them finding a bacteria,” she said. “They don’t know if I got it from the hospital or prior to being admitted, but it’s actually something you can get in the hospital, so for those people in the hospital still take extra care.”
She said getting treated for the bacteria was a struggle for her besides fighting COVID-19. “They said that it was very hard to treat. They started giving me very heavy antibiotics for that bacteria. It was actually I felt what I battled with more than the COVID. I was battling two things.”
Based on her experience, Calzado encourages self-assessment during this pandemic. “If you start feeling any signs or symptoms, you have to be a responsible sick person. Consult your doctor.”
“Please inform anybody you come in contact with. That is your moral and social responsibility,” she stressed.
She also appealed for sensitivity toward COVID-19 patients. “I’d also like to talk about being sensitive around people who have tested positive because there is a bit of stigma, people treat it as if—you feel na parang pinagdidirihan ka (like you are disgusting) in some way. Let’s be more sensitive about that.”
“When it comes to life realizations, all our material possessions, all the things we work hard for, you know success, fame, these are not the things that truly matter in life,” she said. “It is your faith, your hope and the love around you so please treasure every relationship you have in your life and your relationship with God if you believe in God and a higher source.”
She emphasized that a good mindset is what helps get one through the hardships. “Really, a hopeful and positive mindset, by the grace of God, it is what life and death is about. When you’re faced with dark thoughts, just immediately, you have to counter it with the good thoughts.”