September 14th, after choir practice
My throat is scratchy. I think I am getting a cold. I suck a Defend and Resist echinacea saturated throat lozenges.
I am stopped up. I coughed off and on all night in spite of sucking 3 more Defend and Resist. I got up and fixed the Bomb: 2 Sustained Release C, 2 Garlic tablets, 2 Lecithin (to loosen the phlegm), plus a cup of Throat Coat tea.
I text my hiking buddies, deciding it would not be a good idea to hike in the threatening rain when I feel so bad. I dig around for a thermometer. My temperature is 100.4. I mask up and go to the store for chicken soup and a few other things, even though I have no appetite.
I finish my newsletter and drive to the UPS store–I usually walk but have no energy for the mile distance–and get copies made. The place is crowded. I grab the copy-counter and when I’m done, hand it to my grandson who works there and checks my card. I’m good to go. I avoid everyone, keeping my head down.
I collapse on the couch when I get home and fall asleep until dark. My downstairs housemate catches a glimpse of me and says you better get tested. I go online and make an appointment for the next day.
I get the test. My fever is still 100.4. My kidneys hurt so I stop taking the Bomb every three hours. I stop tea and drink just warm water, and lots of it.
The text tells me to call. That has to mean bad news. I am positive. I have been contagious for seven days prior to the first symptom. They tell me to let people know.
I’ve been good. Honestly, I have. It has been 19 months since the lockdown. Eight months since I have been fully vaccinated. I wear my mask everywhere I go. Well, pretty much everywhere. Not in the car or on the street. I detour around a passing person. I don’t even look at that person. If our lips can’t smile, what’s the point of eye contact. I’m suspicious of everyone. I have ridden the bus. I have flown to Mexico and back, last March. I have been camping with family, hiking, picnicking outdoors. So it didn’t surprise me when I looked at my calendar that I had been with a lot of people during the previous 7 – 14 days. I had a lot of phone calls to make.
Our church choir had robed on the 12th, taking all precautions, standing apart as we vested for the first time since March of 2020. We had practiced the hymns for the morning, the liturgical responses. I was in a wash of glory.
It had been nineteen months since the last choir practice. We all showed our vaccination cards, sanitized our hands, stood so far from each other, I could not hear the pitch from my fellow altos. But we were together and it was glorious. I barely felt my heels on the floor; I was levitating with joy.
Making music together was perhaps the greatest loss Covid caused. I managed to see my children and grandchildren in backyard picnics. One of my grandchildren lived with me during the whole first year, June 2020 to May 2021. We masked up, cooked together, sang together outside around the fire pit. Our choirs continued to provide music for our online worship at the Cathedral. I played along, putting on a brave face, recording my part for the Christmas anthem, the Easter anthem. I stood in my home office, computer propped up on a pedestal, one earbud with the recorded piano part and the conducting arm of our choir director keeping the beat while I faced my cell phone and hit record. Techocapable people put my singular effort together with all the others and our faces tiled across the screen during the service. In the conglomerate, we sounded good. I knew my part, even with eight tries, was weak and a little offbeat and out of tune. But there my face was, singing. The congregation loved our efforts. Many choirs around the country made this technologically demanding musical presentation happen. But to the singer, it was nothing like singing together in one place in one voice.
My first email was to the choir director.
Then the leader of the intergenerational hike Sunday afternoon, the 12th. There was evidence: a picture of us all, me in front, no masks. It was windy and chilly. We were outside. Hopefully, that made a difference.
On September 10, tracking backward, nine family members spent an evening viewing the slides from a recent Wonderland Trail Mt. Rainier hike undertaken by two of them. I sat next to the other grandparent who is 97 years old. I felt panicky and texted everyone.
Back further, I spent three days with another family at their vacation home, and exactly fourteen days before my first symptoms, we went to a restaurant. I called them.
I called my grandson in the UPS store. His response? Oh, Grandma. I’m sorry. Can I bring anything by for you?
I may have endangered multiple people.
My choir director recommended that members get tested (no positives) and would not be allowed to robe up and sing together on the 19th. He didn’t mention my name so I confessed on FaceBook and was thanked for my transparency. A fellow hiker who watches my weekly hikes and is a nutritionist at a large facility left a big container of lentil soup on my doorstep. A daughter-in-law offered to shop for me. My best friends from South Africa heard through their FaceBook-reading children in England that I was sick. They called from Grahamstown. My priest called.
No one I have been with has come down with Covid. I breathe a sigh of relief.
Did I mention that I have another roommate, a woman who shares my bathroom and kitchen and who, it turned out after I agreed to a long-term stay, was not vaccinated? For health reasons, I hasten to add, not out of any conspiracy theories about nefarious government intentions against its citizens. She planned to get the vaccination, just not yet. We wore our masks in the house, cloistered ourselves in our rooms, sprayed all surfaces with disinfectant, repeatedly. When I heard her cough, I took her to be tested. She had Covid, too. We will never know who got it first or whether it was a simultaneous occurrence. We are both well again. Almost 100% but I still tire easily and take to the couch. She has gone back to work, busing downtown to an office of masked people.
Covid is a strange disease. After a week, I felt strong enough to drive to Capitol Hill, about twelve miles from my West Seattle house, to make a product delivery to a customer—without talking to her, I add in case you are raising your eyebrow over my escape from quarantine. It was a beautiful day and a drive would do me good. My GPS took me on the usual detour (West Seattle’s bridge is under repair), up highway 99 through the express tunnel, onto eight-lane Mercer St. To the I-5 northbound lanes, and then across six lanes of sixty-miles-per-hour traffic to the Lakeview exit. I have made this maneuver many times and delight in the thrill of navigating multiple lanes of traffic.
The battlefield inside my body was not happy to have all the reserves stripped by the adrenalin rush required to make this traffic-dodging trip. When I got to my customer’s house, I was exhausted, barely able to carry the small package to her front door. I realized I could not drive home. I drove down to the Arboretum thinking I could rest in the beauty there. I found a parking place near the visitor center, got a blanket out of the trunk of my car, and slowly, deliberately, walked to the first out-of-the-way sunny spot and lay down. Within minutes I was sound asleep. When I awoke thirty minutes later, I had the strength to walk to my car and drive the back roads home where I spent the rest of the day sleeping on the couch.
Who knew the adrenalin it took to navigate the six lanes of fast traffic would deplete my body’s internal army? Have I learned my lesson on healing? This week on Wednesday, September 29th, I joined my hiking buddies for a level meander around Traditional Lake at the base of Tiger Mountain. I drove there in the slow lane sandwiched between the trucks, keeping to the flow of traffic with no darting around, squeezing in, alternate routes to get there faster. I noticed my heart never revved up. My calm disposition, listening to a novel with no thought about the damn slow traffic stayed with me for the entire hour and a half it took to join my friends for the three-mile hike.
Covid illness lessons
Rest, rest, and more rest. Reduce stress from any quarter. Let your body heal.
What nutritional support is there for Covid?
Can we count chicken soup? Lentil soup? I asked my alternative medicine resources what the non-traditional medicine people were recommending. I will share their answer with the caveat that I would never go to the extreme measures some people have taken to alleviate the symptoms of a severe Covid reaction. I would put myself under my doctor’s care if I had breathing problems, a continued rising temperature, a persistent cough that prevented sleep. I do not recommend the more advanced measures.
Probably helpful to alleviate symptoms and combat the replication of the virus.
*Cold Eeze zinc lozenges (these help with the RNA replication in your throat) I used Shaklee’s Defend and Resist lozenges several times a day and night. They contain echinacea, zinc, larch, and elderberry.
Extra zinc 100mg with Quercitin (I have not tried the Quercitin, but I plan to get some, 500 mg 2x daily)
Vitamin D3, as much as 20,000mg daily. I use Shaklee’s D3 2000mg each, several, several times a day.
Vitamin C 1000mg every 6 hours (for me this was too much and my kidneys complained. I always take 2000 a day.)
Melatonin 10mg (this is an antiviral, something I had not heard before)
Physical actions to help. I went outside every few hours and sat, stood, or walked around depending on my strength.
Prone (lay on your stomach so oxygen can get to the most important part of your lungs) I didn’t need to do this.
Get up and walk every 2 hours, around the clock. I used no alarm clock.
Stay outside or create a negative pressure room (fan sealed in window, pointing out)…. this helps with not re-breathing your own viral load and continually reinfecting you.
The following suggestions are beyond me and my comfort level. I offer them to you as they came to me. Consult your health care provider before embarking on any of these. I feel we have left the world of prevention and natural remedies when we get to these suggestions.
*Pepcid 80mg 3x daily (this has been shown to reduce the need for intubation)
*NAC 600mg, 2x daily
*I—M—tin 24mg daily x 5 days
*HCQ 200mg BID x 7 days
*Azithromycin 500 daily OR
*Doxycycline 100 BID (both prescription) these are to avoid or treat pneumonia
*Colgate Peroxyl, antiseptic mouthwash (multiple times daily). This stops viral replication.
*10% Betadine solution, mix 1/2tsp with 44ml nasal saline spray. Spray in nostrils 4x daily. This stops viral replication.
*Dexamethasone 6-12mg daily (prescription-to reduce inflammation)
*Prednisone 20mg x 7d (prescription-to reduce inflammation)
*Pulmacort 2x daily (prescription-breathing treatment to reduce inflammation)
*Fenofibrate 145mg daily (prescription)
*Monoclonal antibodies (needs prescribed at a center that does them)
*PulseOximeter- purchase one at your local drug store, this goes on your finger and tells you your oxygen level and pulse.
If your oxygen is below 90 with all above “at home” remedies, check with the health care provider for prescriptions and next steps.
THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE, THIS IS MY OFFERING.
Strengthen your immune system now.
If you are worried about exposure, you might strengthen your immune system to increase your protection. I use Shaklee Nutriferon, Vita C, Vita D3, Vita-Lea Gold (which has zinc). I plan to add Quercitin.
STRENGTHENING IMMUNE SYSTEM/PROPHYLACTIC CARE:
Quercitin 400mg daily
Vitamin C 1,000mg daily
Vitamin D 5,000mg daily
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May you be well. May all in your household and extended family be well.
Keep moving, Betsy