Fear of sleep haunted director Jason Paul Laxamana after testing positive for COVID-19


Posted at Mar 23 2021 02:48 PM | Updated as of Mar 23 2021 05:18 PM

Film director Jason Paul Laxamana recalled his ordeal, including his fear of dying while asleep, after testing positive for the novel coronavirus last March 17.

In a lengthy Facebook post, Laxamana recounted how his mild symptoms escalated as he was having difficulty in breathing. 

“The symptoms were mild at first. I've had worse bacterial/viral infections in the past. I thought the peak of my sickness was when I had a fever accompanied by chills. All it took was a tablet of paracetamol and, voila, I woke up the next day feeling fine,” the director of the movie “100 Tula Para Kay Stella” narrated. 


“But then I noticed something happening inside my chest. It was getting hard to breath. Inhaling deeply was becoming challenging, as it either triggered an itch in the chest, resulting in coughing; or no matter how deep I inhaled, I didn't feel I was getting enough air in my lungs.”

He, then, shared how afraid he was to fall asleep because of his severe obstructive sleep apnea which could be deadly if experiencing difficulty in breathing. 

“There were nights I found myself teary-eyed -- no, crying -- in bed in the dark; how, if I fail to wake up, no one will find out until my body is maybe a one-week-old corpse already,” Laxamana said in his social media post. 

However, the “Just A Stranger” director also revealed he once tried to commit suicide a decade ago.

“But there were days I found myself unshaken by the thought of dying. As a suicide attempt survivor a decade ago, being intimate with the idea of death is a scenario I am very much familiar with,” he continued. 

Fortunately, Laxamana found himself fighting by adjusting to his situation. He also said his sense of taste did not disappear, which is a common symptom of COVID-19. 

“I was very close to having myself admitted in a state-run COVID facility, but the uncertainty of the existence of wifi in those places prevented me from calling the barangay health workers. After all, I was alternately binge-watching 'The World of the Married' and 'Attack on Titan' while suffering,” Laxamana also added. 

After days of battling the heavy symptoms of coronavirus, Laxamana heaved a sigh of relief when he woke up with freer airways and felt more energetic. 

“I guess the worst is over for me. Thank you to friends and family who sent me stuff to keep me nourished during my quarantine,” he quipped. 

“And now, back to regular life, but armed with yet another experience of flirting with the idea of death. I have no epiphany to share about this episode of my life, sorry.”

Editor's note:

A group in the Philippines is dedicated to addressing those who have suicidal tendencies.

The crisis hotlines of the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation aim to make these individuals feel that someone is ready to listen to them.

These are their hotline numbers:

Information and Crisis Intervention Center
(02) 804-HOPE (4673)
0917-558-HOPE (4673) or (632) 211-4550
0917-852-HOPE (4673) or (632) 964-6876
0917-842-HOPE (4673) or (632) 964-4084

In Touch Crisis Lines:
0917-572-HOPE or (632) 211-1305
(02) 893-7606 (24/7)
(02) 893-7603 (Mon-Fri, 9 am-5 pm)
Globe (63917) 800.1123 or (632) 506.7314
Sun (63922) 893.8944 or (632) 346.8776


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