A LANARKSHIRE nurse has described his experience being stuck in Barbados after being struck down with coronavirus.

Mike Delaney, from Shotts, was visiting a friend on the Caribbean island to celebrate his upcoming 60th birthday when he fell unwell.

Despite not displaying any of the common COVID-19 symptoms - like a coough or high temperature - a doctor realised his blood oxygen levels were low and tested Mike for the deadly bug.

He tested positive, and has spent the last 12 days in a makeshift hospital at a Barbados military base.

Glasgow Times: Mike DelaneyMike Delaney

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Mike said: “It’s all very organised and being very well managed here. Things could be so much worse.

“Fortunately my symptoms have been quite manageable. I had quite a bit of discomfort in my abdomen, back and organs for a few days in hospital and that got a bit difficult.

“The anxieties start to build about how bad things could get and whether anything could suddenly deteriorate."

Mike added: “There was a frightening incident with a young man in the hospital who had seemed quite well then suddenly collapsed unable to breathe.

"Thankfully, they got him going again but it makes you aware again of the severity of all of this.

“You have to try to stay calm and accept that getting caught up in your own head is a dangerous place to be. I do practice what I preach.

“You’ve got to reel your thoughts back in sometimes. You can become hysterical if you allow yourself to.

"I’m alive, not that ill and coping quite well. There are no shortages here at the moment. I got sick at a good time."

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It's hoped Mike will be discharged within a couple of days.

He continued: “This is my 11th day in this strange place. It’s not what I am  used to.

"There’s rigid rules, we’re wearing masks all the time, all the staff are in protective equipment like in a science fiction movie.

"It’s difficult but I am able to see beyond the difficulty of the moment.

"In a couple of weeks I’m going to be well and hopefully immune and invaluable."

Mike, a registered nurse, is keen to get back to the UK and resume his work at Delamere, which remains open to guests battling addiction issues despite the current crisis.

In addition, he plans to offer his services as a returner to the NHS.

He is in contact with Government officials who are trying to organise return flights for Brits stranded abroad.

Mike, is clinical director for Delamere addiction rehab clinic, in Cuddington, Cheshire and also has a private practice in Glasgow in The Centre of Therapy.

He has worked in addiction rehab and recovery settings since 1996 when he undertook rehab himself for alcohol and prescription drug issues. 

Mike said: “Addiction recovery has taught me to look on the bright side and make the most of whatever happens.

“I’ve had a lot of experience of reframing things into something more palatable and all of that is serving me well now.

“People in recovery have a bit of an advantage. We have taught ourselves to have an acceptance of things - that we can’t change some things. Although some things are difficult you have to try to work through them. 

“Right now for many, many people stress and anxiety are massive issues. People will be drinking more or taking more drugs than they normally would and becoming out of control is a real possibility for a lot of people.

“Because everybody is on lockdown there will be lots of issues with conflict and domestic violence. It’s a scary time for lots of different mental health issues, not just addiction.

“Try to share how you are feeling, pick up the phone, share your fears and anxieties - they lessen when you share them. And if you are in danger or you know someone who is please, please reach out."

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