I got COVID and here’s how I dealt with it

By now most of us had personal experience but let me share my journey, the mistakes I had made during the recovery period and tips. Please feel free to contact me via LinkedIn incase you want to have a personal discussion. I will be happy to discuss.

Note: I was a patient (neither a doctor nor a medical expert). So, any advice in this blog should be taken with caution. Also, I am not posting any info regarding medicines to avoid self-prescription.

Stage — 0: PreCovid

From April 15th, I was feeling headache, bodypains and slight fever. I got tested (RT-PCR) and was tested Covid +ve on 17th April.

Note: Results for RT-PCR test takes time but is more accurate (~80% time +ve will be detected) than Rapid Antigen Tests (~40–50% detected)

More info on CT value can be read here. In a loose sense, I got a mild Covid (strictly speaking, the severity of disease and CT value are not related).

So, I bought an Oximeter, thermometer and started my 14 day room isolation.

Using Pulse Oximeter for SpO2 (Oxygen saturation) values

The most important question I had was to know “Which finger to use to record O2 values?”. While now I realised that it doesn’t matter a lot, the middle finger of the dominant hand gives maximum value. So, either use the index (or middle) finger to record the values.

Optional: Refer to this paper to know more about the impact of SpO2 with various fingers.

A general rule of thumb is

  1. SpO2 values > 95 — Normal
  2. SpO2 values in between 90–95 — Need to take care, more vigilant
  3. Probably need to admit if SpO2 < 90 for a day (need to see other vitals and age before taking decision)

Using thermometer

  1. Taking temperature near armpit is recommended (though will not accurate readings) than oral or ear to avoid spread of unnecessary germs
  2. Anything <99-100F is safe (Usually it’ll be 95–99F)
  3. Super Optional: Check this link to know more about various methods used to take temperature

Stage — 1: Covid (April 17, 2021 to May 4, 2021)

April 17, 2021 — April 21, 2021

These 5 days went pretty quickly and everything seemed normal.

Symptoms:

  1. Slight body pains
  2. Not much fever. Temperature was around 100–101F.
  3. SpO2 levels around 95–96
  4. Slight loss of taste. (I’m not good with smell from the start)
  5. Lack of saliva secretion

Mistakes done:

  1. Most important mistake done is with the food. I continued consuming food the same way as before Covid (no substantial increase in proteins etc;) which might have worsened my condition.
  2. Medicines — Doctors started with normal dosage. This isn’t exactly a mistake but proper diagnosis (scans, blood tests etc;) took time thus indirectly a delay in proper medication.

April 21, 2021 — April 27, 2021

Because I made silly, unknown mistakes at the initial stages, my condition worsened.

Symptoms

  1. Body pains increased
  2. Very high fever. Temperature was around 103–104F. From morning to evening there was fever, reduced at night and again resurfaced the next morning.
  3. SpO2 levels are around 95–96 (with one day exception where it was around 90)
  4. Lack of saliva secretion
  5. Tiredness

So, I went to hospital, had CT scan, X ray, blood tests.

When to have CT Scan?

In most of the cases, there is no need to have CT scan as it doesn’t provide any new diagnosis. But if doctor asks to get it (in my case), one can’t avoid.

Changes in food, exercise:

  1. Started having lots of food. My mom took care to provide something for every 2hrs

2. Did some breathing exercises, pranayamas (this, kapalbathi etc;). Don’t force yourself. Try to increase your capacity naturally

Note: You can find a lot more useful information from internet. I just attached a few links.

April 27, 2021 — May 4, 2021

One big update is the usage of Favipir (an antiviral drug prescribed exclusively for Covid19) from April 27th, 2021 (which I believe had strongest impact on my recovery)

Symptoms

  1. Slight body pains
  2. No fever from April 28th, 2021
  3. SpO2 levels around 96–97
  4. Pain near throat and lungs (because of flum/inflammation) but started reducing as days progressed
  5. Feeling tired/restlessness after 30min walk

Stage — 2: Post Covid

By the time you are reading this, I will be in this stage. The only thing I need to do is to rest more often, avoid physical activities as lungs need time to recover from all the damage the virus had done (and these strong medicines take some time to flush out of body)

Side effects over the period

  1. As I stayed on bed for a long time (~14–16hrs of lying, with less physical exercise), there’s back and leg pains
  2. Consuming around 20+ medicines a day made me a bit dizzy for few days
  3. Tiredness: Because this affected lungs (which needs to provide O2 and thus energy), it might take time (maybe a month) to recover completely from all the flum. Pathetic to say that I can’t walk continuously for an hour.
  4. Acidity/Gastric problems: Continuous burping probably because of medicines

Personal takeaways on various home remedies

Note: Few remedies might be more effective than others (and it varies for individual). This is just my personal (unscientific) opinion and when I mean effective, it’s just how important I felt having that. My main intention is to list various things I have tried so you might not miss something.

  1. Zandu Balm — Temporary relief, no harm in using
  2. Vapour capsules (the green ones also known as Vaporal) — Temporary relief
  3. Gargling with hot water + salt — Highly effective
  4. Gargling with Betadine — Moderately effective (But healthy)
  5. Hot water + Lemon + Honey — Highly effective
  6. Spice foods — Not effective (infact don’t recommend despite craving)
  7. Curd, Buttermilk etc — Very effective
  8. Dates, Almond, Badam etc; — Very effective
  9. Eggs — Moderately effective
  10. Fruits: Apple, Kiwi, Orange, PineApple, Beetroot, Spinach, Carrot, Pomegranate, Grapes — Highly effective (bolded more important)
  11. Chywanprash, Ashwagandha etc; (Ayurvedic immune products) — Moderately effective
  12. Vaporizing/Steaming — Highly effective (but stop after few days)
  13. Binge watching comedy to divert mind — Moderately effective
  14. Talking with friends — Highly effective
  15. Pronal breathing, praanayamas — Highly effective (but do with caution, don’t force your capacity)
  16. Hot milk for twice a day — Highly effective

Quick side story

Despite all the precautions we took, my entire family was affected. My father was admitted in hospital, on oxygen cylinder, Remdesvir vials were given and bedridden for 6 days. He became pretty weak, can’t walk continuously for 10min and is still in post-covid quarantine. And he was vaccinated (1st dose) 12 days before detecting Covid +ve.

For most who got Covid, it might be just a fever. Though physically it might not have an impact, trust me, this is not just a normal fever. I took all the precautions, wore mask and believed (and am feeling a bit embarrassed to confess now) that Covid is chill, it’s nothing. (I know the skyrocketing cases and all, but intensity wise, I was not very serious, partly because of number of recovered cases). But when it did hit personally, I felt the pain. Despite all the courage, knowledge, common sense I had (my immune system can take care of it, 99% of cases are cured blah blah…), I became emotionally weak for few days (there will be lack of medicines, unavailability of beds and -ve news). It’s one of the most traumatic experience I had experienced (my entire family is safe and I used the word “traumatic”. So, imagine the situation).

This affects hard and my humble suggestion is to take care of yourselves. Wear masks, don’t go out and do whatever you can to be safe. There’s nothing new for me to tell and I am not going to preach.

I write on lots of topics, mostly about books. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/namburi-gnvv-satya-sai-srinath/ Website: namburisrinath.github.io