I got COVID for the first time eight weeks ago. I thought I was immune, perhaps because I had wonderful genes, or because I was a Naturopath… But no, it hit me for the first time, and it hit me hard.
The sight of the little pink line was a surprise, I couldn’t really believe it. I found it quite exciting I suppose – I have finally got this thing that has triggered the whole world to change.
The first few days weren’t too bad. I isolated myself with my greyhound, Bert, who couldn’t care less because he spends most of his day sleeping anyway. I felt like I had ‘flu, blowing my nose, sweating a lot and generally feeling ‘down in the dumps’. Friends brought me soup, waved from the window and took off quickly. I expected all this great food and rest would knock it on the head in a few days.
Two weeks later the little pink line had faded a bit but was still staring at me. Friends had stopped deliveries, I rested more, carried on drinking lots of water, took my supplements, drank a heap of beef broth and nourishing soups.
At around the two-three-week mark, I started feeling really achy in my joints and so I began investigating a few articles about the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. Then my chest was aching, and I assumed that I had myocarditis. I had no energy. Even Bert was beginning to get bored. I started sending a friend my scores out of ten. My best score was a 4.
One day at around three weeks, I woke to think that perhaps I had some energy. I think, in retrospect, that it was my brain telling me that it was about time I vacuumed the house and took the poor dog for a walk. I marked myself 5 out of 10, so followed the brain.
The next day I was a 3.
The scoring carried on going up if I did absolutely nothing and radically dipping when I chose to go out. Then, miraculously, I woke one day at about 5 weeks feeling like a 7. I went for a short walk, lugging my poor sorry body around for 10 minutes. I was still a 7. Gradually I increased the walks by about 5 minutes a day, until I could just about have a decent walk around the block.
I am now building up, doing a few hills, bringing in yoga. It was a very long journey, and I don’t want to go through it again.
Some lessons that I learned, which I thought I would pass on:
- Accept that you are sick, very sick, and treat yourself with plenty of bed rest, water and nourishing food. Avoid any food that is likely to stop you healing, like processed foods, coffee and alcohol.
- Don’t exercise, except perhaps pottering around the house. Exercise will only make you more inflamed. Even yoga made me inflamed. Breathing exercises, however, are an exception and are likely to help to clear debris from your lungs.
- Don’t even consider going back to work, volunteering, or doing anything outside that you would usually do. Arrange for other people to pick up children from school, do the cooking, take over at work, etc. If you go back too early, you stand the risk of having Long COVID.
- Stick with the convalescence. Keep eating the nourishing foods. Know that it will help and you will get better.
- Grade yourself out of 10. Once you have been at a 7 for a couple of days, you may be ready to bring a little exercise back in. Do this really gradually, just 5 minutes at first, build by 5 minutes a day and then start to incorporate hills. Stop if you are feeling tired.
Treating yourself as a true invalid for this time will help to prevent you from getting further effects of COVID, which I have outlined in my ‘Long Covid post.
Get well soon.