Ya, we probably got coronavirus

Submitted by John on Wed, 04/08/2020 - 21:08

Phew. It's been a ride. I don't really want to talk about it because I've been talking about it, with friends, and family, and coworkers, and it's been quite the rollercoaster for the past two weeks. Also, it makes me nervous saying "oh, yeah, I had it and blah blah blah," when I have not gotten a test, and I cannot even get a test in my state.

Whatever sort of mystery virus I had, it was horrible (and still is horrible.) The weakness and sudden onset of symptoms was as fast as 15, sometimes even 5 minutes, no warning, just BAM suddenly I can't get out of bed. Or I went for a whole two days feeling like I was breathing through glass.

Here are the things that helped me:

  • Spending a minimal amount of time laying on my back. I didn't know this at first, and discovered (after a friend suggested spending time on my stomach) that spending time resting on my back was aggravating my symptoms.
  • Aggressively rest. My best days were the days when I rested when I was feeling well, and rested when I was feeling the slightest bit out of sorts, and resting all the time. No running. No heavy lifting. No going up and down stairs.
  • Doing deep breathing exercises. I avoided these because they hurt so much. As a friend put it "If you break your ankle, and have to go do physical therapy, it's going to hurt. Do the PT anyway. These deep breathing exercises are like physical therapy for your lungs."
  • Melatonin in the evening to help me sleep, Zinc and Vitamin C in the day.


None of the above is medical advice! Unfortunately, the medical establishment has been quite unhelpful when it comes to helping folks with mild to moderate coronavirus infections, riding it out at home. I tried to contact my doctor and it was impossible. I got a telemedicine thing going with the hospital system, and, after they lost my first attempt at telemedicine entirely, they said, "stay home, you probably have it, go to the hospital if you can't breathe" which was what I was doing anyway.

Unfortunately, when I rested aggressively, this meant that I was feeling the best when I was feeling most useless. I'd be laying in bed thinking, is this really it? Is this really the coronavirus? I am SO BORED. I should be GETTING THINGS DONE. But then some days I would feel absolutely fine in bed but if I got up, dizzy and weak.

Then, after I had a couple good days and I was feeling mostly back to normal, I got up, I did a mildly active day, and at the end of the day I just crashed, crashed hard, in 15 minutes or less, and just kept crashing and crashing no matter how much I rested.

I crashed like that twice, about a week apart, the second time was very bad, and in the middle of one night I came to the realization that if I didn't stop this downward trajectory I was on, I was going to have to go to the hospital immediately. Or die. Dying felt like a real option, and I was more annoyed that I had a lot of stuff I wanted to do first and I wasn't going to get to it.

In fact, its hard to explain the state of mind that I was in, because I found that when I was crashing hard, my whole brain didn't work right. In a way that is not easy to quantify. I have a lot of "missing hours" or even, I'd say, whole missing days where I don't even remember what happened when.

Anyway, this is where I'm at right now, I'm trying to take it moderately easy. Still avoiding any hard physical activity. I'm back to work, and sleeping on my stomach.