Well everybody I'm about 95% certain I've just recovered from a minor to moderate battle with the Coronavirus/COVID-19. I wanted to share my experience with folks since it's mostly reassuring, and I also want to share what worked.
Like a lot of people I was unable to get tested due to the non-severity of what I experienced even though I had a known exposure at my workplace, but let me start at the beginning...
Over ten days ago, I was notified by the place where I teach TaiChi (in a 55+ community) that someone who works there had tested positive for COVID-19. The facility had already planned on shutting down like a lot of place around here. But due to the nature of the population there was an urgency to prevent any further exposure or spread. We were all urged to self quarantine for 14 days from the last time we had been in the facility.
The last time I had been in the facility had been 7 days before the notification, and to be honest I have minimal exposure to anyone there only teaching 1 hour per week. Yes, there are some shared areas such as a computer work station and a clipboard that we touch, but I did wash my hands and use hand sanitizer.
So, I was pretty surprised and more than a little alarmed when I woke up the next morning feeling like I was coming down with something. Looking back, it's possible that the night before and even the day before I might have also felt kind of run down.
That Saturday morning I rested quite a bit, and I realized I definitely had swollen lymph nodes. I had started taking a Chinese Herbal Formula the evening before (I'll write a whole blog about the specific herbal protocol later!), and I continued that day and into the evening. I think I took two naps that day: one in the morning, one in the afternoon, and was quite tired in the evening. I took a quite warm bath that evening and felt better after sweating a bit. I did not have a measurable fever or cough.
The next day I actually felt quite a bit better, at least in the morning. I wondered if I had imagined the whole thing. However, as the day went on and especially in the late afternoon and early evening I felt quite a bit of fatigue and my lymph nodes swell repeatedly. This pattern would continue though gradually getting better over the next week...
I did eventually develop a very minor cough. It actually had a little bit of white phlegm, but it was not the dry cough that so many people have described. I also had some pretty uncomfortable and disturbing chest sensations including tightness and a burning sensation. I used Douglas Fir herbal steams and tea to work with this, and this produced a lot of relief.
This pattern continued for most of last week, with feeling mostly fine especially in the morning (able to work and teach online) and then feeling crummy at the end of the day. At no time that I know of did I have a temperature of more than 99 degrees.
One of the most interesting things happened in the middle of last week when I was feeling quite a bit better. I stopped taking the Chinese Medicine tincture. Within a couple of hours I felt distinctly worse! My lymph nodes felt swollen again (quite a bit) and my chest felt worse with a slight cough. It seems that the herbs were really helping.
I've been pretty much symptom free now for three days. I'm still taking the tinctures and probably will for another day or two. I never experienced any shortness of breath even though I have a history of some lung issues. There aren't clear guidelines for when I can end self-quarantine. Some doctors say 3 days after symptoms disappear, but others have noted that it may be safer to wait quite a bit longer.
So, what helped during the process and what didn't?
1) Resting, resting, resting!
2) Herbal anti-virals
3) Herbal steam inhalation and baths and showers
1) Doing too much
2) Eating sugar (I basically didn't eat sugar at all and then one evening I had some chocolate and felt considerably worse)
3) Stopping taking the herbs!
I will write a whole other post focusing on the very specific herbal protocol I used since people will probably find that interesting as well.
I am super thankful I am feeling well. Super thankful for the support of my family. I am also curious what happens next. Am I now immune to COVID-19? This might be very helpful and useful going forward.
One other thing: my wife did display some even more minor symptoms for about 24-48 hours, but no on else in my house including my son and my roommates have shown any signs of being sick at all!