It’s been a little quiet on LGG lately- I admit it. One reason should be obvious given the general crappiness of the summer quarantine so far- I got Covid. Yeah, lousy luck but the good news is it’s over and it appears my body has almost completely recovered. Sitting at home for as long as I did in quarantine before, suffering during the illness and recovering after, I had time to do a lot of research about the healthiest ways to recover and get back to life as usual after this nasty virus. I wanted to post about this now about what I learned in the hopes of helping others who get that nasty positive test result.
But first, I want to talk about how I got sick. I had been relatively careful about exposure but to be honest, was more intent on building up my immune system as I believed it was inevitable I would eventually catch the virus. I don’t have any underlying factors that would put me in the category of having a severe reaction so I didn’t worry too much about it. Starting in February I worked on consistency when it came to eating clean, regular exercise, staying hydrated and most importantly, sleeping at least 8 hours a night. Some doctors recommend stepping up your Vitamin D and zinc as well. I always forget to take my vitamins so I will admit I didn’t do too well there.
The trouble began when a family friend died of a non-Covid illness. My 77-year-old father who has lung issues and had been very good about limiting his exposure attended the funeral, fully masked up and distanced with my entire family. Trouble was, his wife is a realtor and had been to her office in the previous week and unknowingly been exposed to another agent who had a symptom-heavy case of Covid. Within two days of the viewing, my dad started showing symptoms and took a test along with his wife- sure enough both were positive. He immediately notified me and we went into lockdown- within 24 hours of his call I woke up feeling exhausted and achy. My husband felt that way too- Covid ripped through our house like wildfire, infecting us all at once. My 20-year-old son and 17-year-old son spiked fevers for about three days but were generally symptom-free within a week.
My husband and I were a different story. We immediately started pounding zinc and Vitamin D. We also sat outside in the July heat because we read that was the best way to absorb Vitamin D. Our sense of taste and smell left almost immediately but we weren’t hungry anyway. Sleep at night was helped a lot by my evening cocktail of a shot of Nyquil followed by two Acetaminophen and a Melatonin. I tried to get as much uninterrupted sleep as possible and as much water as I could drink at night when my body would be doing the most healing. During the day I found it impossible to sleep, think clearly or do anything that required energy. The body aches were the worst, Acetaminophen was the only thing that took the edge off, but even after two all I could muster the energy to do was stare off into space. Days blended into one another and I cursed my initial hopes that I would lose my sense of taste so I wouldn’t want to eat and could lose a couple pounds. I would have done anything for the brief pleasure of tasting anything. All my meals tasted like my own saliva, that part was awful. Epsom salt baths helped to relax my muscles and allowed my body to absorb Magnesium which is said to help people suffering with the virus.
Except for the limited recommendations that sleep, fluids and Vitamin D and Zinc helped with recovery, I could find almost nothing online about other preventative medicine measures I could add into treatment. I avoid medication as much as possible during viruses as I want my immune system to get a workout but I expected to find more information about how to help your body recover.
My father’s symptoms quietly worsened and the virus settled in his chest. He was hospitalized for three days as his blood oxygen levels dipped perilously low. He was angry with himself for waiting too long to go in and get treatment. He couldn’t sleep at night, was constantly coughing and had trouble breathing. He kept hoping it would get better and it didn’t. Finally things were so bad he was admitted into the ER but the first thing he wanted everyone to know when he could talk again was not to make the same mistakes he did. Admit yourself to the ER right away f you experience any of these symptoms:
- Trouble breathing
- Extreme weigh loss
- Consistent coughing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Bluish lips or face
My dad is home now and off the oxygen but he still feels tired, he thinks it will be weeks to months before he is back to normal.
As for my husband and I, it was a full three weeks before we started feeling better. A good day would be followed by two bad days, over and over- just a peek of light at the end of the tunnel. Finally the good days outweighed the bad and I jumped back into my normal routine like I didn’t miss a beat. Big mistake- but in my defense there is almost no information online about how to safely come out of Covid besides not leaving your house until you have a negative Covid test result.
The reality is your body has just fought a war and its resources are depleted and need a boost, the last thing anyone wants is a relapse situation. It’s important to really keep up the fluid intake- limit exercise to three times light impact a week but do keep moving- try to take a nap once a day or at least lie down quietly and close your eyes. Sleep is the greatest healer and your body needs it now that you are in recovery mode. Limit alcohol use and eat clean foods with good carbs like yams, and brown rice. Eat a lot of protein and don’t neglect your supplements. Be patient with your body and treat it as you would if you were coming out of any traumatic event, you will get there. I feel much better now but can’t sustain my usual level of energy past 9:00 at night. Big improvement but I have a ways to go. That’s okay by me- I will take it!