It took 16 days of intubation and seven days of ECMO, and there were sequelae that affected hand and foot movements. Photo: Personal Archives / Robert Gessner Junior
Robert Gessner Junior, chemistry teacher in public and private schools, was hospitalized for 35 days during the end of the year festivities, due to contamination by the new coronavirus. He was intubated for 16 days and 7 days using ECMO (Extra Corporeal Oxygenation Membrane).
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Among the post-Covid sequelae, the professor contracted Guillain-Barré syndrome, with atrophy of the left foot and limited movements of the left hand, which makes his movements and other actions difficult. “According to my neurologist, the movements will improve little by little, reaching normality, but not completely,” he explains.
Recovered, even with sequelae, Robert returned to class in person with mixed feelings, as he put it: “It was a lot of emotion, a lot of joy, it was a mix of feelings because I love this. that I do and I really wanted to go back to work. Thank god I did. Of course there is a bit of fear because of the limitations, like tripping and falling, but I’m going to take it easy and like that all gets better ”.
Both support in the work environment and in the family were essential in overcoming the difficulties, whether stemming from after-effects or from fears of further contamination, facilitating Robert’s return to work.
“It’s great to be with my family. They have always supported and encouraged me to return to work, so that I am not discouraged by my limitations and difficulties, always moving forward. They have inexplicably contributed from the start of treatment until now, when I returned to my activities, ”says Robert.
Rosane Melo Rodrigues, psychologist at Marcelino Champagnat Hospital, explains that it is common for a return to face-to-face activities to generate discomfort, insecurity and even fear, given the pandemic context in which we let’s live.
And for those who have already had Covid-19 or who have lost someone to illness, that feeling is even stronger. “It will take a long time for us to lose the fear of contamination, because so many lives have been lost in an extremely brutal way,” she said.
However, it is necessary to find ways to cope with the fear of leaving home and to seek the most common life possible. The psychologist warns that many people have ended up contracting disorders during the 18 months of the pandemic, and many are associated with the constant fear of contamination.
Therefore, in addition to professional intervention, at this time of overcoming difficulties, motivation and family support are essential, as happened to Robert. Rosane believes that it is necessary to demonstrate the importance of living with other people, always maintaining basic care, whether you have already suffered the contamination or not.
Supported by the school where he teaches, Robert maintains care. “I wear alcohol gel in my gown, I spend all the time in my hands and I have no contact with the students, because what they have to show me, even if they are in person, they do it through the platform, and if they don’t have Internet access during class, they do it when they get home, ”he concludes.