Hi everyone. If you subscribe to our (weekly) Sunday newsletter than you know I shared yesterday that I have been sick for last ten days with what could possibly be the Covid-19 virus.
This is not medical advice, simply my experience I decided to share. Your doctor is as always your best source of information about your health.
To be very clear, I have not been tested for the Covid virus so I am operating under an assumption from my symptoms that it is likely what I have. I was told “You can come in but your fever isn’t high enough so they probably won’t test you”. They clarified that based on my symptoms and the lack of available tests that I should stay home, quarantine and recover unless I got worse. Since there isn’t any difference in treatment even if I had a positive test result (and we’re taking all the precautions anyway), I followed this advice.
Also, I should mention that because of health issues in our family we self-quarantined very early, around March 14th. Outside of the few errands I absolutely had to do, I haven’t been out and about at all. How I contracted this is somewhat of a mystery especially since I am a fanatic about hand-sanitizing, disinfecting our home and such but despite all my best efforts I still was somehow infected with this very Covid-esque virus. Thankfully at this point nobody else in my household has gotten sick.
My symptoms started with a minor scratchy throat about 5 days before I really got sick, at the time I attributed it to allergies. A few days after I found I had a day with really bad lyme symptoms, which isn’t typical for me at this point in my treatment but then the next day after I felt fine again.
Then I woke up on Thursday, April 2nd and was hit with fatigue so intense I couldn’t get out of bed. I had a low-grade fever, body aches (unbelievable body aches), loss of taste and smell, a headache and some tightness in my chest with episodes of (thankfully minor) shortness of breath, these have all continued on and off since then. Some days I sleep most of the day, other days I feel like I am getting better and don’t sleep well at all. The symptoms come and go, one day I’ll think I am feeling better then the next day it’s right back to square one.
My husband has done a great job managing to work, hold down the household stuff and take care of me. My kids are older too, and they have been a great help since I have been quarantined in my bedroom now for almost two weeks. They bring me meals and are helping out with all the house stuff. You can be sure we’re taking extra care with hand sanitizing, wearing masks, and doing anything we can to contain the illness.
I want to share with you all a few things I have learned about what to do if you are infected, what precautions to take right now even if you aren’t, and how to support someone you know if they are sick.
First, though I wanted to say that while the symptoms of this disease are rotten, I think the worst part about it is the fear. Not knowing how severe it would be, if I’d need hospitalization, if I’d inadvertently passed it along to someone, all those thoughts are never far away and it makes this illness that much harder.
So—from my experience, here are a few (important) things you can do right now to help stay well and be prepared in the unfortunate situation you don’t:
1- Take 1000 mg of Vitamin C each day. You can also take 30 mg of Zinc, these will help boost your immune system. D3 is also recommended by some practicioners.
2— Stock up on gatorade, mineral water, and most importantly A PULSE OXIMETER. If there was one thing that I could say really helped it was being able to monitor my blood oxygen level. Rather then wondering if I was getting enough air (when I didn’t feel like I was) I could quickly check my levels. I was so fortunate, when they dipped they always came back up to a safe range shortly after. I’d probably have gone to the emergency room in panic several times had I not had this on hand to reassure me I was OK. I know these are in short supply, but if you get sick you will be so glad to have this. I was fortunate we already had an inexpensive one, it worked fine.
3—Prepare some soups and such (with bone broth if you can, it is good for the immune system) and freeze them. My husband had his hands full feeding everyone else so it was good to have a few easy things frozen soups that he could just heat up for me. I regret now I didn’t have even more stocked away. I’d never given thought to what we’d need for a 14+ day illness prior to this, I’ll be prepared differently from here on out for sure.
4—Stock up on paper plates, cups, and utensils if you can, this is another one of my regrets, that we didn’t have enough of some of these things on hand. This way there is less handling of the contaminated dishes and I could just toss them away in a dedicated trash bag in my room.
5—Buy a whole house air purifier I know this is a pricey recommendation, but this winter we added an Air Oasis Air Purifier (we have the Nano Induct) to our furnace (to help my son’s asthma and based on the recommendation of my lyme doctor to eliminate any mold) and I think this minimized germs in our air, and even a portable one will help. I also opened my window in my room every chance I got for air circulation.
What to do you are sick—
Most importantly stay in touch with your doctor and follow his or her direction. Here are some of the things that I felt like have helped me.
I take a 1000 mg of a high-potency vitamin C supplement daily, this C-Max was recommended by a pharmacist.
I drank at least two and sometimes more, mugs of hot water with lemon or green tea with lemon throughout the day.
I tried (as best I could) to eat really, really healthy food when I ate. A good part of the time I had no appetite but during those times my daughter made me smoothies with fruits and greens so my body was still getting the nutrition it needed. You can prepare packets of the smoothie ingredients and freeze them ahead of time to make this easy if you need them.
My lyme doctor (Also the director of Integrative Medicine at a major DC University) recommended I use Transdermal Glutiathione as it is a big-time immune booster. You can buy this over the counter as it is good for your skin too. This spray is quickly absorbed though your skin and it helps your immune system go into overdrive.
Drink Fluids –I drank Gatorade during my worst days, though it isn’t the best choice with all the sugar it has but it does make a difference when you are very dehydrated. I also drank mineral water. Dr. Patel told me this virus doesn’t like moisture so the more hydrated you are the less hospitable your system is to it. Mineral water is preferred to plain water as it contains calcium, magnesium and such and keeps you hydrated longer.
Stay off the news and be careful with social media. I needed the distraction of social media but found it also made me more anxious depending on the type of posts. The posts I appreciated the most were the funny ones! The posts I appreciated the least as you can imagine were the sharing of death, doom and gloom.
What to do if you know someone who is sick—
Pray for them. This mattered so much to me, during the times when I was the most worried and my breathing was feeling challenging I felt like I could feel friends supporting me in prayer.
Reach out to them. One of my good friends texted me literally every morning and many days again at night. She simply just said “how are you doing today?” Or “how are you feeling?” It was even ok when she said to me “I am worrying about you”—this is a very isolating disease as you can imagine, being quarantined in a room for weeks, so when someone reached out to me it really, really lifted me up. Also, one of my neighbors texted us every time she went to the store to see what we needed, these people are pure gold.
If you can cook, drop something off. While my kids are good with eating chicken strips or frozen pizza (my husband’s cooking specialities) that wasn’t what I needed to recover. Thankfully my amazing mom dropped of a large gluten-free pasta dish along with a huge salad. I was able to live off that without any extra effort on my husband’s part and I felt so much better about what I was eating. The food was very much appreciated.
Phew—I am sure I will think of more to say but I am tired. If this is helpful, be sure to read Christy’s cousin Stephanie’s blog post sharing her experience here, it is more technical since she is a medical professional and she’s far more eloquent than I am in sharing her experience.
In the meantime, obviously—STAY HOME! It goes without saying that a few more weeks at home are well worth avoiding this and to help protect those people caring for the most ill. The medical professionals risking exposure to this have my utmost admiration. Never, never take your health for granted!
Finally, I am very very grateful that I likely have what is termed a “minor” case of this virus, it is not lost on me that I am fortunate compared to so many others suffering with this. I am so very thankful for this. While I am not at the end of it yet, I still have more days of isolation and expect, from what I have read and heard, it will be a while yet before I am fully recovered. Thank you for reading, while I’m more comfortable writing about the lighter side of life I believe that God has brought these health-related storms into my life for a reason, so maybe my experiences will help someone else.
And of course, now as my son Jack told me “Now Mom, you can say you had Corona with Lyme”…There is that.
(My Lyme Story is here)
Stay well friends!XO,