Thoughts and more

WHAT NOT TO SAY TO PPL WITH COVID:

Written May 9th, 2020

-But didn’t you test negative? (30-50% of negatives are false negatives and many ppl still can’t get tested)

-It’s probably just anxiety (Almost every woman or person of color in the covid support groups said this happened to them. )

-Do you even have a fever? (not everyone have fevers. Many, myself included, only have them at night)

-But you aren’t even coughing? (you can have severe pneumonia without coughing, I’m one of those ppl)

-Just rest and handle it yourself, don’t stress anyone else out (ppl with covid are already extremely stressed about having to ask ppl for help, especially ppl who are normally very independent. Sometimes getting help means that you can rest and not go to the ER. For days, I could not get up in the morning or couldn’t walk more than 5 steps. Encourage ppl with covid to ask for help bc they already feel ashamed asking for so much help)

-You are young, you can’t have covid this bad (this virus hits ppl differently and there are 200 different strands. Very healthy young ppl have died).

-How are you worse today? You were better yesterday (covid is a rollercoaster. My best days were followed by my worse days. There are also about 10,000 symptoms that change daily)

-You seem fine, you are on social media a lot (typing online is different than talking, walking or breathing. It is also a nice distraction. There were days I could type but couldn’t get up, couldn’t talk and every breathe hurt).

WHAT TO TELL PPL WITH COVID:
-I believe you

-I’m so sorry this is happening, what can I do for you

-You are strong, you will get through this. You’ve won big battles before

-I’m going to drop off food or send food to you (don’t ask, just do it)

-I’m praying for you or sending positive vibes

-The world needs you, keep fighting. How can I help you fight?

-Thanks for sharing your story.

-You sharing your experiences have helped others

-since I can’t send you flowers, here are pics of flowers from my garden

-since I can’t be there with you, here are pics of the stars and moon

-here are pics of my adorable cats, dogs are the worst 😂

MESSAGE TO THOSE BREAKING QUARANTINE & HANGING IN GROUPS:

Written: May 3rd, 2020

As I sat on my couch yesterday, struggling to breathe, after walking for only 10 seconds, I heard tons of people outside my window. I was unable to walk a few seconds, and definitely unable to walk outside to the receive the vitamin D from the sun, that I so desperately needed. 

As it becomes warmer, people are breaking quarantine more. After over a month of lockdown, I think people start to think these destructive thoughts:
-“I probably already had covid”
-“Everyone will get it eventually.”

My boyfriend said the exact same thing before he had covid. He had the worst flu of his life, the end of February, but he still said covid was 100x worse. 

I’m not religious, and having covid (and probably very high fevers) made me see family members who had passed, while I was half sleeping/half awake. My boyfriend started praying daily during covid.

Covid is by far the scariest thing that has ever happened to me. Yesterday, I was afraid to even take a few steps to the bathroom because my blood pressure & heart rate would sky rocket (luckily I got rolly chairs & stools in every room now). 

Covid is (for me at least): having head aches that won’t go away, even with 3000 mg of Tylenol; getting chest pains so horrible that you feel like you’re having a heart attack; having random leg pains and rushing to put on compression socks to make sure you don’t get blood clots (and I am a 125 pound pescatarian, who normally has very low blood pressure & works out a ton).

People, please take this seriously. I don’t want my story to scare you, but to wake people up. I know I will get through this, but it could take a few weeks. I’ve felt sick since April 12 and had some symptoms for over a month. 

To show people how real this virus is, on my way to the ER the first time, I sent my will to my parents. I also wrote my “final thoughts” and emailed it to myself. Keep in mind, I had covid fog brain, but here it is (and the end is super cheesy) lol:

[I’ve lived a long happy life of struggle, 100 lives in 1 life. I traveled to 31 countries, met Marxist Leninist socialists all over the world; loved real true love, to my boyfriend I love you; I’ve been active in 4 strikes, public and charter; I’ve taught the best students in this world; I have the best cats in the world, even though Nala is a trash monster and Elizabeth is a cuddly bully. Elijah, I love you, best roomie ever. Take care of my kitties, and cuddle them lots. I’m so proud of my union, CTU. I’m so proud of every single one of my students and my Lgbtqia+ students. Lgbtqia+ students, especially transgender students, you are beautiful just the way you are. You are leaders. Don’t mourn me, do what you do best, lead revolutions, fight racism, sexism, ableism, transphobia and classism. 
To Sue Garza, who helped me nonstop, love you sister.
I love my family so much. I’m so proud of my brothers and what they’ve accomplished. Devin, with your PhD and school. Colin, with your businesses and perseverance, staying strong and making me laugh. Dad, I’m so proud of you and all you’ve accomplished. You are amazing, you made me an activist. Mom, I’m sorry, I yell and fight with you. I learned to be a strong women from you. You couldn’t have prevented this. Be kind to yourself.

To my extended family and friends, I love you all, please take care of my family like how you took care of me. 

Whenever you see someone with a bullhorn, I’ll be there with my abnormally obnoxious voice chanting, “CTU, CTU, CPAC now! Special ed rights are under attack, what do we do, stand up, fight back.”

Corona virus, I’m not afraid of you. You only killed me body, the movement lives on.]

Again, I will be okay. I’ll make it through this. But for those going out to hang with friends or groups, you might live through the coronavirus but some of your family or friends won’t. And even if you live through it, learn from my experience. It is horrific. 

Stay safe, love you all. I am finally improving slightly, after 21 days. 

Healthcare & insurance coverage

How to get your covid bills 100% covered:

In Illinois, if you have BCBS health insurance, you will pay $0

If you are having an issue with your insurance not covering your covid bills 100% or your hospital submitting “shortness of breath,” instead of a “covid” billing code, contact your insurance’s patient advocate. She said it’s a common problem, and helped me so much! She said she’s going to help me with fixing my ER bills so I owe $0

https://www.bcbsil.com/COVID-19?WT.mc_id=ILEMAEMA1260120‬

If you have Blue Cross Blue Shield Health insurance and you are in Illinois, you will pay $0 for ER visits, treatment, tests, copays related to covid.

It also depends on what the ER code is at time of billing. You may have to call your hospital to request they change their billing code to reflect covid.

Here’s the info below:

[We’ve taken steps to lower costs and provide easier access to care for members related to COVID-19. Currently, if you’re a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) member:

Testing: You won’t pay copays, deductibles or coinsurance for medically necessary lab tests to diagnose COVID-19. Your doctor doesn’t have to ask us for the OK to test for COVID-19.

Testing-Related Visits: You won’t pay copays, deductibles or coinsurance with in-network providers for visits related to COVID-19, whether at a provider’s office, urgent care clinic, emergency room or by telehealth. (Testing must be medically necessary, consistent with CDC guidance and at the direction of a doctor.) 

Treatment: If you are insured by BCBSIL, you won’t pay copays, deductibles or coinsurance related to treatment for COVID-19. This applies to costs associated with COVID-19 treatment at in-network facilities and treatment for out-of-network emergencies.

This includes these BCBSIL plans: 

Fully insured employer-based
Individual and Family  
Medicare (excluding Part D) 
Medicare Supplement 
Medicaid 

This policy covers treatment from April 1 to May 31, 2020. We will reassess this policy as events warrant. (We will work in partnership with self-funded employer groups that decide to offer the same waivers.)]

Rest, don’t relapse

Written May 8th:

Even after you feel better, keep resting. Do NOT overdo it. Studies are showing that many people relapse or have strokes after they “feel better” or are “symptom-free.” Some people might be symptom-free, but it doesn’t mean their body 100% fought off covid yet.

Also, after having covid, your body needs time to heal. My doctor said, “Don’t go back to running right away. Think of it like this: after you get your cast off, you wouldn’t run 5 miles, would you? Your lungs need time to heal. Start taking things slowly.”

False negatives (tests)

Holy moly this is HUGE! This is why my doctor said there are 30-50% FALSE NEGATIVES:

Results:
Over the 4 days of infection before the typical time of symptom onset (day 5), the probability of a false-negative result in an infected person decreases from 100% (95% CI, 100% to 100%) on day 1 to 67% (CI, 27% to 94%) on day 4. On the day of symptom onset, the median false-negative rate was 38% (CI, 18% to 65%). This decreased to 20% (CI, 12% to 30%) on day 8 (3 days after symptom onset) then began to increase again, from 21% (CI, 13% to 31%) on day 9 to 66% (CI, 54% to 77%) on day 21.

https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/full/10.7326/M20-1495

Read articles like this and other important articles here:
https://covidteacher.com/articles/

30-50% OF COVID NEGATIVE TEST RESULTS ARE FALSE NEGATIVES:

Written: May 4th, edited May 8th, 2020

My doctor, from the #1 hospital in IL, told me that 30-50% of covid negative tests are false negatives. When covid first started, they gave people more extensive testing with mouth and nose swabs. When they started having short supplies, almost instantly, they started doing only one swab test with way lower accuracy. I tested negative 2x, but my doctors said I have it, since my symptoms exactly match covid and my boyfriend is covid positive.

I’m in a bunch of covid support groups and I’m hearing story after story, where people have every covid symptom, their lungs look like covid, their doctors say they definitely have covid and yet they had multiple tests come back negative.

My doctor told me that some people in ICU, on ventilators, tested negative 3x, but tested positive on the 4th and 5th test.

I hear people worrying so much about getting tested. Obviously, we need way more testing and that’s a problem but testing in the USA is very inaccurate.

“If it sounds and looks like a duck, it’s a duck.” 

Talk to your doctor. If your doctor doesn’t believe you, go to the ER. If you have most of the symptoms, then you probably have it and should quarantine. You should also get your chest X-rayed and blood work done. I had NO FEVER, during the day, only at night (I noticed from bad night sweats). Also, I have no NO COUGH or lung congestion. My oxygen levels are good when I am sitting, but it still hurts to breathe and I get winded immediately from walking. I also highly recommend having them test your oxygen levels, monitor your heart and blood pressure, while u walk. My 2nd ER visit, my hospital only monitored my oxygen while I walked. I regret it now because I may have to go back to the ER to get those checked. (Edit: I ended up going back to the ER 2 days after this was written)

My lungs came back with at least 2 nodules, pneumonia and my ascending aorta was enlarged due to hypertension and fighting for oxygen. 

My doctor said the “10 SECOND HOLD YOUR BREATHE RULE IS FALSE AND DANGEOUS.” So many people are not going to the ER or to the doctor because they can hold their breath 10 seconds and believe that means they do not have covid. I was doing that test, and wasn’t going to the ER. I should’ve gone to the Er a week or 2 earlier than I did. 

One way also to test your breathing is to see if it’s easier to breathe on your belly, than on your back. Also, see if you get winded walking or doing something that you normally do. I think a week and a half before I went to the ER, I did a 1.5 mile “walk and talk” with 2 friends (on the phone). When I arrived at home, I felt completely winded. And keep in mind, before this, I was walking 3-6 miles a day. 

If you are finding yourself having to take breaks after walking like 5 min or doing something you normally do, call a doctor.

I thought mine was anxiety for a whole week before I went to the ER. Except nothing would help my breathing, which I assumed was anxiety. At night, it became way worse. I had night terrors too at night, but I realize now that was from my fever being so high.

Also, most the men in my life told me it was just anxiety. Even this week, when I talked about not being able to breathe and my blood pressure sky rocketing when I walk, multiple men told me that maybe it’s anxiety. My head almost exploded. I know what anxiety is and what isn’t. Why would taking 3 steps to the bathroom stress me out? Or making oatmeal stress me out for my pulse to jump from 55 to 120 in seconds?

BELIEVE WOMEN. My ER doctors, especially the black women doctors, and the ER nurses who call me every am, always trust me. They explained that these symptoms are all super common in covid patients. 

I think if I would’ve gone to the ER a week or 2 earlier, I wouldn’t have been in this bad of shape. 

Eat lots of potassium and food with iron. My potassium was so low that it was giving me an irregular heart beat!

I write this all to help you all, not to scare anyone.

I am very very slowly improving. I will get through this.

Treatment & remedies

If you think you possibly have covid. The top 4 things I recommend are (ask your doctor before doing any of these):

1) Eat a lot of potassium, like 2-3 bananas a day or drink coconut juice. If you are diabetic or prediabetic, then ask your doctor what are ways you can get potassium without taking in lots of sugar. (Many people with covid are very low on potassium, which causes heart irregularities. I was eating 1-2 bananas a day and was still low on potassium)

2)Sit in the sun and take vitamin D pills (many people with covid symptoms for long periods of time have low vitamin D)

3) Take zinc and vitamin c (improves immunity)

4) Buy a spirometer to do lung exercises as much as you can. My doctor told me to do it 10x per hour. Ask your doctor! It costs $8 on amazon. Athletes use it to strengthen their lungs:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000PAR7KQ/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_aXg4Eb0GM0HRG

FREE BREATHING WELLNESS BOOTCAMP

Someone in a covid support group wrote,

“My pulmonologist suggested the below website which has a boot camp program to improve breathing – she told me that others have found it helpful so might be worth a try.”

Ask your doctor first, but this has lots of breathing exercises to strengthen your lungs.

https://t.co/BPmgxXs0js?amp=1

Oxygen monitor with an alarm that you can wear while you sleep

I bought one of these oximeters that I can wear while sleeping. It wakes me up and vibrates if my oxygen levels drop below 90. It also graphs my oxygen levels and pulse in an app.

It was expensive but worth it. It’s on amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Overnight-Monitor-Vibration-Notification-Saturation/dp/B07SZ2NV5L

HERE ARE 4 OVER-THE-COUNTER REMEDIES THAT HELPED ME SIGNIFICANTLY (paired with my antibiotics).

These 4 things have been game changers for me in the last 24 hours (& ask your doctor first about these, I did):
1) The spirometer for breathing exercises. I did 10x per hour. There is no medicine in it, but it expands your lungs and gets oxygen to the areas with pneumonia. The exercises can be painful but they help a lot!! My doc gave me one. The nurse said if you don’t have one, you can use a balloon. You can also buy them with 1 day shipped off of amazon for $10-14:

https://www.amazon.com/Teleflex-Medical-Voldyne-Volumetric-Exerciser/dp/B01MRE62GD


2) Vicks vapo bombs that you put in the shower. I showered 2x yesterday with these and sat in the shower breathing it in for 30 minutes.

https://www.amazon.com/Vicks-VapoShower-Aromatherapy-Eucaplytus-Soothing/dp/B07PQ9C7F2


3) Liposomal vitamin C, which is fat soluble and is absorbed faster. I took a pill every 4-5 hours (some ppl might take less bc it could upset your stomach):

https://www.amazon.com/DACHA-Nutrition-Natural-Liposomal-Vitamin/dp/B07DR13XSX


4) Liposomal vitamin D, which is fat soluble and absorbed faster. They are finding that many ppl with covid are very low in vitamin D. I took 2 of these pills (again ask your doc):

https://www.amazon.com/Dr-Mercola-Liposomal-Supplement-Servings/dp/B07YGYM2SH


Also, if you feel sick with covid, and especially if your breathing is bad, I highly recommend that ppl quickly go to the doc or ER to get chest X-ray and other tests. I went to the ER 3x in 2 weeks. Covid progresses so rapidly so they can see your pneumonia worsen within days or a week. I know doctors are very busy and working non stop, but I also wish my doctors would’ve given me the spirometer and recommended these things 2-3 weeks ago.

34 NATURAL REMEDIES TO HELP ALLEVIATE COVID SYMPTOMS AND/OR BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM TO HELP FIGHT COVID (of course ask your doctor 1st & use with Western medicine)

Some herbs could lower blood pressure or thin blood, so definitely ask your doctor. If you are feeling like you have covid, go see your doctor! Many people, like myself, needed chest X-rays, ekgs, bloodwork and other tests.

Natural remedies are sometimes necessary because there isn’t currently a medicine that kills the virus. And sometimes medicines like Tylenol don’t help with some of the pain or horrific symptoms. 

I’ve had covid for at least 3-4 weeks, but probably more like 5 weeks. I joined a bunch of covid support groups. I also went to the ER 3x and have had virtual appointments with my acupuncturist. She’s had many patients with covid, who she has helped to get over it quicker or alleviate their symptoms. These strategies have been helping me and my friends with covid. I’ve compiled these strategies based on recommendations from my doctors, acupuncturist and others with covid. Since nurses call me every am, I ran EVERYTHING I’m doing by them or my doctor to make sure it’s okay and helpful.

My boyfriend, who was very sick. Is also 100% symptom free now and he said that many of these remedies helped. These are things I wish I would’ve known 3-4 weeks ago:

-Cutting up a garlic cloves and swallowing it raw with juice. (Swallow, don’t chew)

-Taking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar 

-Having decaf green and ginger tea. Adding turmeric and lemon to my tea 

-Drinking lemon water first thing in the morning and throughout the day. Also, drink lots of pedialyte or coconut water to replenish your electrolytes (especially if you have digestion problems)

-Eating bananas or other foods with potassium because many people get too low on potassium, which can cause heart beat irregularities 

-Eating spinach and taking iron supplements 

-Taking fast absorption liposomal vitamin C and D

-Taking a teaspoon of black seed oil (helps support lung function and improves immunity. Been around for thousands of years and was even found in King Tuts tomb)

-Putting vapor rub on the feet before sleeping

-On the chest, wearing a lidocaine patches or vapor rub to alleviate chest pain and tightness

-Using icy hot or Bengay all over the ribs, back, neck and temples 

-Using a dry brush on one’s lymph nodes at least 3x per day, especially if your lymph nodes are swollen. You can buy one here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073T2T5B1/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_v8ZZEbHAFV9H9

-Doing breathing exercises at least 10x a day. You do a set of 5 at a time and hold your breathe for 5 seconds. My doctor recommended that I do them 10x per hour (that I’m awake) and use a spirometer. You can also find videos on covid breathing exercises with YouTube or use a balloon if you don’t have a spirometer: 

-Taking zinc and magnesium 

-Turning the shower on all the way hot and dropping eucalyptus oil or a vapor rub bath bum in the shower. Then, sitting on a seat and breathing in vapor rub. I also put it under my nose, chest and ears 

-Ask your acupuncturist if there are herbs you can take. My acupuncturist prescribe me a couple that are helping.

-Drinking fruit smoothies, no sugar added

-Eating crackers and rice, especially if you have diarrhea. Soup is good but add crackers. I add garlic and black pepper to my my soup 

-Putting an ice pack on my head or neck

-Putting a heating pad on my chest 

-Trying to move my legs or walk once an hour. If I can’t, using the vibrating back massager on my legs to prevent blood clots. Also, wearing compression socks. 

-Dark chocolate 

-Ease your anxiety by getting a finger oxygen reader and tie it in a necklace so you don’t lose it. Since they are mostly sold out, ask your friends and family 

-Lie on your belly or sit on a chair with no back. Having your back against something can make breathing hard

-Buy an air purifier. Move it to every room to clean the air in all of the rooms. Then, turn it off and use a warm humidifier and add eucalyptus 

-Go to bed with a pedialyte bottle and banana in your bed. In the am, I am often so bad, I can’t move. This helps a lot.

-Don’t drink caffeine because many people’s heart rates are very high with Covid 

-Reduce dairy intake because it can increase congestion for some people

-Take probiotics 

-Get “respiratory cough drops” online or menthol ones

-Sit by a window for more vitamin D or buy a sun light

-Oregano oil to reduce blood pressure

Symptoms & covid journey

My covid journey

Written June 5th, 2020

I had covid for over 60 days. I’m 33 years old, was super healthy, pescatarian, 125 pounds, and ran and did yoga every day. I couldn’t walk for two weeks besides a couple steps. It was the worst illness of my life.

Covid has been such a rollercoaster, so many ups and downs. I ended up making a whole blog about my experience. It has 20k views from 76 countries.

I’m a special education teacher and I think the reason I got such bad covid symptoms was because I didn’t put on my metaphorical mask first before helping others. I work in a schools with over 90% students below poverty. I was so worried about my students and their families. I would work 16-20 hours a day to compile lists of financial resources and other support and I would call parents every day. Some would call me crying at midnight and I would always answer.

Also, in 2 days, 2 of my students’ parents died. I worked non stop to help them and started getting only 3 hours of sleep. That’s when my covid symptoms became unbearable and my family made me go to the ER.

I live in Chicago, USA and was terrified to go after seeing the pictures of the hospitals in New York looking like morgues. My family made me and my roomate drove me.

I didn’t realize I had covid symptoms for weeks. Here were the early signs:
-waking up sweaty (I normally don’t sweat at night)
-slight sporadic chills but no fever (or I thought I had no fever bc I only took my temp during the day)
-I could smell fine but would have weird smells like metallic or gas. Also, tasted metallic in the past 2-3 weeks. Apparently, a metallic taste or smell is related to lung problems
-loose stool but not terrible

Then, I started having:
-shoulder pain
-severe neck pain and headaches
-difficult breathing (but not congestion in lungs). I just thought it was anxiety
-night terrors and foggy thoughts. I believe due to night fevers
-ear congestion, felt like a cold
-worse anxiety & breathing problems at night because laying on my back made breathing worse

2 weeks later I had:
-Way more difficulty breathing if anything is even touching my back, especially lower back. It’s way easier to breathe while laying on my belly or sitting on a stool (because nothing is touching my back)
-A few nights, I had feelings of intense dread because my fever was so high, I couldn’t even move, was drenched in sweat and almost delirious from the fever. I’ve heard multiple covid patients describe it as “feeling like covid is taking over ur body.”
-Lots of digestion problems but probably from the tons of antibiotics I’m on
-Severe chest pain and some rib pain. It feels like a gorrilla is sitting on my chest and someone is squeezing my lungs so every breathe is work but my oxygen levels are mostly normal.

There are so many common misconceptions about covid. People think you have to be coughing and congested with a fever. I never had lung congestion or a cough. I also only had fevers at night. My doctor said my symptoms are super common in covid. Covid can affect people very differently. Some people’s lungs fill up and some have extreme tightness and pain.

Also, that “hold your breathe for 10 seconds” test is false. People are dying from this “made-up covid test” because then they don’t go to the hospital.

Also, doctors usually put you on antibiotics to make sure you don’t get another infection. I had to take 3 sets of antibiotics.

Breathing exercises help you reach the lower part of your lungs that are near your low back. One reason covid is so dangerous is that it hits the tiny air sacks at the bottom of the lungs which can cause double pneumonia. If you google covid breathing videos, you will find what to do. I highly recommend people buy a spirometer to practice breathing exercises. It’s the #1 thing that helped me.

Also, my doctor said 30-50% of covid tests are false negatives. She said that in the beginning they were tested with a mouth and throat test and they were way more accurate. Now, due to low supplies, hospitals only give patients one test.

My doctor said ibuprofen is totally fine. 1 small study said that people should not take ibuprofen and media went crazy with it. My doctor said that Tylenol is preferred to reduce fevers. Ibuprofen reduces inflammation.

This is what has helped me:
-Drinking lemon water all day, especially in the morning. It cleans your organs and reduces inflammation. It has helped me breathe better
-Eat garlic every day
-Use a lymph node brush on your lymph nodes along your neck, chest, armpits, etc. This cleanses your lymph nodes. My lymph nodes were horribly swollen. After doing this for 2 days, they went down
-Sit outside in your backyard or take vitamin D. Vitamin C and zinc are very helpful too
-Lidocaine patches on my chest every 12 hours has helped a lot
-I’m also drinking some Pedialyte, coconut water and Gatorade to help keep my electrolytes balanced
-Tylenol for chest pain and to reduce fever
-Herbs or tea from an acupuncturist.

-Black seed oil is very good for lungs and immunity has been around for thousands of years. They even found it in king tuts tomb.
– Eat as many fruit and berries as possible
-Drink green tea
-I’ve also been taking my oxygen levels about 10x per day and blood pressure 2x per day
– I bought 2 air purifiers for my living room and bedroom. They have helped immensely
-Also, don’t just lay in bed or sit there. Many people die from blood clots. Even if you are exhausted, try to walk a little or use the vibrating machine on yourself so you don’t have blood clots

After going to a very good hospital, clean and calm, they call me every single day around noon to ask me a set of 10-15 questions and to see if I need anything. They also have a social worker on call that I can call day or night, since covid is so stressful.

I hope people take covid seriously and wear masks and social distance. Covid has been the worst illness of my life. And living in the USA, with for profit healthcare has also been a terrible experience. I think that’s why so many people are dying at home.

Did you know this about covid…?

Written June 8th, 2020

Did you know that you can have pneumonia and covid with no cough or fever? I had no cough at all and no fever, besides maybe at night. And a chest Xray showed I had bad pneumonia.

Did you know, you can also have bad pneumonia and covid even with your oxygen usually at 97-100% while sitting. Some people with covid have difficulty breathing while walking, with exertion or lying down. Some people have normal oxygen levels but just chest tightness.

Did you know that metallic and/or gas smell and/or taste is a sign of lung issues? That’s why people with covid often have this. I got random wiffs and tastes of metallic when I would walk, especially up the stairs.

I DIDN’T KNOW I HAD COVID FOR 2-3 WEEKS. MY FIRST SYMPTOMS WERE:

-Night sweats (and I usually don’t sweat at night)
-Some random mild chills
-Diarrhea
-Random metallic smell and taste a few times, especially while walking or doing exercises

SHARE: EVEN IF SURVIVAL RATES ARE FAIRLY HIGH FOR COVID, DO YOU REALLY WANT THESE SYMPTOMS FOR WEEKS OR MONTHS?

Someone in my covid group made a list of about 60 symptoms. I had 42 symptoms at some point over the past 2 months:
1) chest pain/tightness
2) body aches/muscle aches
3) headaches
4) respiratory distress
5) fatigue, lethargy, weak
6) GI issues
7) body ache, muscle ache
8)having symptoms in waves
9) emotional distress, sadness
10) high heart rate, palpitations
11) brain fog, forgetfulness
12) talking causes exhaustion
13) blurry vision (had for 2 days in one eye)
14) chills
15) no appetite (that only last a week or two)
16) insomnia
17) tachycardia/pots (High heart rate, heart palpitations)
18) tingling body sensation
19) lung, heart pain
20) changes in taste/smell
21) sinus press headache
21) heavy sweating
22) symptomatic 30 days
23) phantosmia (smelled metallic or burning)
24) increased blood pressure
25) constricted throat (hard to swallow)
26) dehydration
27) oxygen under 90
28) tinnitus
29) ride side rib pain (that’s where my bad pneumonia was)
30) breast pain
31) irregular heart beat
32) enlarged lymph nodes (very painful)
33) blocked ear drum/ear ache (very painful)
34) pneumonia
35) low temperature
36) hallucinations (at night when I think my fever was very high)
37) leg pain
38) abdominal pain
39) enlarged aorta (from my heart trying to pump blood)
40) gum sensitivity/pain
41) dizziness
42) seeing spots

And I’m lucky because I never had some of the other symptoms, such as:
-rashes
-inflamed eyeballs
-kidney issues & dark urine
-cough
-covid toes
-terrible joint pain
-burning in lungs
-loss of taste, smell
-sore throat
-numbness in fingers and toes
-blood clots
-pink eye
-crackling lung
-restless leg
-vomiting
-tremors
-hives

Some people also have permanent damage to their lungs, heart and other organs. Even young healthy people have these horrible symptoms. Covid is no joke.

#StayHome #WearMasks

Symptoms of Covid & countering mis-information:

Written April 27th, 2020.

Now, I think I actually started having covid around 4 weeks ago. Here were the early signs:
-waking up sweaty (I normally don’t sweat at night)
-slight sporadic chills but no fever (or I thought I had no fever bc I only took my temp during the day)
-I could smell fine but would have weird smells like metallic or gas. Also, tasted metallic in the past 2-3 weeks. Apparently, a metallic taste or smell is related to lung problems 
-loose stool but not terrible 

And 2 weeks ago I started having:
-shoulder pain
-severe neck pain and headaches 
-difficult breathing (but not congestion in lungs). I just thought it was anxiety 
-night terrors and foggy thoughts. I believe due to night fevers 
-ear congestion, felt like a cold
-worse anxiety & breathing problems at night because laying on my back made breathing worse 

The past week and a half, I’ve had:
-Way more difficulty breathing if anything is even touching my back, especially lower back. It’s way easier to breathe while laying on my belly or sitting on a stool (because nothing is touching my back)
-A few nights, I had feelings of intense dread because my fever was so high, I couldn’t even move, was drenched in sweat and almost delirious from the fever. I’ve heard multiple covid patients describe it as “feeling like covid is taking over ur body.”
-Lots of digestion problems but probably from the tons of antibiotics I’m on
-Severe chest pain and some rib pain. It feels like a gorrilla is sitting on my chest and someone is squeezing my lungs so every breathe is work but my oxygen levels are mostly normal. 

There are so many common misconceptions about covid. People think you have to be coughing and congested with a fever. I never had lung congestion or a cough. I also only had fevers at night. My doctor said my symptoms are super common in covid. Covid can affect people very differently. Some people’s lungs fill up and some have extreme tightness and pain. 

Also, that “hold your breathe for 10 seconds” test is false. People are dying from this “made-up covid test” because then they don’t go to the hospital.

Also, doctors usually put you on antibiotics to make sure you don’t get another infection. I’m on a lot of antibiotics. I just finished 4 pills, for 10 days. Now, I’m on 2 new antibiotics for 5 more days.

Breathing exercises help you reach the lower part of your lungs that are near your low back. One reason covid is so dangerous is that it hits the tiny air sacks at the bottom of the lungs which can cause double pneumonia. If you google covid breathing videos, you will find what to do. I highly recommend people do them 10x per hour or two.

Also, my doctor said 30-50% of covid tests are false negatives. She said that in the beginning they were tested with a mouth and throat test and they were way more accurate. Now, due to low supplies, hospitals only give patients one test. 

My doctor said ibuprofen is totally fine. 1 small study said that people should not take ibuprofen and media went crazy with it. My doctor said that Tylenol is preferred to reduce fevers. Ibuprofen reduces inflammation.  

This is what has helped me:
-Drinking lemon water all day, especially in the morning. It cleans your organs and reduces inflammation. It has helped me breathe better
-Eat garlic every day
-Use a lymph node brush on your lymph nodes along your neck, chest, armpits, etc. This cleanses your lymph nodes. My lymph nodes were horribly swollen. After doing this for 2 days, they went down
-Sit outside in your backyard or take vitamin D. Vitamin C and zinc are very helpful too
-Lidocaine patches on my chest every 12 hours has helped a lot
-I’m also drinking some Pedialyte, coconut water and Gatorade to help keep my electrolytes balanced
-Tylenol for chest pain and to reduce fever
-Herbs or tea from an acupuncturist.

-Black seed oil is very good for lungs and immunity has been around for thousands of years. They even found it in king tuts tomb.
– Eat as many fruit and berries as possible 
-Drink green tea 
-I’ve also been taking my oxygen levels about 10x per day and blood pressure 2x per day
– I bought 2 air purifiers for my living room and bedroom. They have helped immensely 
-Also, don’t just lay in bed or sit there. Many people die from blood clots. Even if you are exhausted, try to walk a little or use the vibrating machine on yourself so you don’t have blood clots 

After going to a very good hospital, clean and calm, they call me every single day around noon to ask me a set of 10-15 questions and to see if I need anything. They also have a social worker on call that I can call day or night, since covid is so stressful. 

Anyway, I hope this list didn’t stress people out. I just wanted to help inform. I think I might’ve turned a slight corner today. I can breathe slightly better. Still not good but at least I don’t have to lay on my belly all day just to be able to breathe.

SHARE: HOW TO PREPARE FOR COVID, IF YOU START TO EVEN HAVE MILD SYMPTOMS:

Written: April 30th, 2020

Many of these things you should do now anyway! And these are my experiences, obviously talk to your doctor first and ask what you should do:

Make your will!! People can do their will on legal zoom. It’s super fast and cheap. You can notarize your will online with a notary app. Finalize your will early on because you become too exhausted. I did mine 1 month ago before any symptoms began, but I’ve still been too exhausted to get it notarized. When I was on the way to the ER, I just emailed it to my parents and said, “I sign and approve this will.” 


Early on, you should definitely buy a finger oxygen monitor monitor and thermometer because they are hard to find and take weeks to deliver. It’s a good idea to have a blood pressure machine too because many people have strokes from covid.


Also, have 2 – 3 bottles of Tylenol ready because doctors ask you to take it multiple times a day to reduce fevers and help with pain. Some people, myself included, only get fevers at night. I honestly think that’s why a bunch of people die at night, from covid. I didn’t realize I was having fevers until the docs told me. I woke up drenched in sweat, so now I take Tylenol before bed so my fevers don’t get too high.


Buy 24-48 packs of water so u don’t have to stand up constantly and become winded. Don’t drink too too much water because you’ll throw off your electrolyte balance, so drink Pedialyte, coconut water or gatorade too. Pedilayte are coconut water are preferred because they have less sugar than gatorade.

Also, keep a banana and 1 Gatorade or Pedialyte next to your bed, so you have it next to you in the morning. Whenever I wake up, I feel horrible & have difficulty breathing and getting up to eat. My acupuncturist and doctor told me that it’s probably from sweating so much at night from the fever that I’m dehydrated in the am. So now, before I get out of bed, I normally drink some of a Gatorade and a smoothie (link on bottom) so I am able to get up.


Buy iron pills because many people (myself included) end up having low iron, hemoglobin and red blood cells.


Lidocaine patches on the chest help extremely with chest tightness. Icy hot or bengay on the back and ribs help with this to. 

Also, if you have asthma or your doctor prescribes one, definitely get an inhaler. Since pharmacies are backed up, it could take a few days to receive one.


Buy compression socks because many people, with covid, get blood clots. My one leg was more swollen so compression socks helped.


Also, make sure your list of medicines and emergency contacts are updated in your phone emergency log and email it to your family. You could end up having “covid fog brain” (is what I call it) where you can’t think straight. This is often due to fevers, exhaustion and low oxygen. 


You might even want to have an ER bag set because I had to go 2x and it was hard for me to think of what to tell my roomate to pack for me


Look up nearest emergency room to you because that is where an ambulance would bring you. If that ER is terrible like mine is, you should have the private ambulance number, like Medex +1 (773) 725-9111, in case you need it (I realize this is expensive and many people can’t afford it). Also look up the nearest “good” hospital.


Also, it is common for whyte men in the medical profession to not listen or believe women, people of color or LGBTIQ+ folks. When I was in the ambulance, they kept saying, “It’s probably just anxiety, not covid.” I was too out of breath and could barely talk but kept trying to tell him “No, I already went to Er once, I have covid.” And he wouldn’t listen. He wouldnt even hook me up to machines until I made him. 

Write a letter or list to give to doctors, in case you can’t talk. Also, if you’re in a union, wear your union hat or pin because some hospitals will treat you better. My first time in the ER, with the union hat, they treated me far better. The second time in the ER, they wouldn’t even come if I pressed the button, they kept forgetting to hook me up to the vital monitor machines and my family had to call the ER nurse station to help me. And be extremely nice to the healthcare staff. They are way over worked and many are our students’ parents too!!


Make sure you have a therapist because having covid is very stressful, especially when you can’t breathe. Luckily, some good hospitals have a social worker on call 24/7 and they will give u her number if you ask the ER. It’s still best to have your own therapist because social workers are rotating.


I think it’s tricky for people who live alone. You can’t break quarantine but if people have bad cases of the virus, living alone is super dangerous. I think I would’ve died without my roomate here. You need people to check on you (can be verbally through your bedroom door or phone calls so there is 0 contact) because often you feel very light headed and like you could faint. There were many days where I couldn’t get up to get food or liquids, so my roomate had to bring them to me.


Also, think of who will take care of your pets. Even if you are home, you may become too winded to do it. Maybe, buy automatic feeders.


There are many other things that are helpful but the things listed above you should get right away. These things help a lot but aren’t urgent (ask your doctor first):

-warm air humidifier and add essential oils like mint or eucalyptus 

-Benedryl and mucinex works for some-vitamin d-zinc-vitamin c

-chair to sit in or cushion to sit on that doesn’t touch ur back (very hard to breathe while anything touches your back). Or buy a pillow u can lay on a your belly 

-cough drops, cough medicine-heating pad for chills

-sleeping medicine or take Benedryl. Only take it if the doctor says it’s ok because you don’t want to be too knocked out

-garlic (boosts immunity)

-black seed oil (boosts immunity and good for lungs. Been around 1000s of years, even found in king tuts tomb)

-apple cider vinegar (boosts immunity)

-vapor chest rub or shower vapo bombs

-Kleenex

-disinfectant 

-something to do like video games to keep your mind off the pain (animal crossing is life) 

-know your work and union rules for taking the covid sick leave (ctu gets 2 weeks off for covid without using sick days. Also, BCBS IL’s policy now is that everything is 100% covered for anything covid related, even if you don’t test positive but are presumed positive since 30-50% of tests are false negatives. You won’t even have to pay a copay. $0).

-tons of lemons, help with breathing and clean the organs

-smoothies and soup

– lymph node brush to drain your lymph nodes

-ice packs for headaches

-air purifier or warm air humidifier 

-ginger tea for stomach problems

-tea kettle you can plug in next to you 

-extension cords because you might have a lot plugged in

-darkening drapes and sleeping machines because sleeping is difficult and you become afraid to sleep because covid symptoms often worsen when you sleep

-wash your clothes early on because you could have no energy to do so and can’t leave to laundry mats

-buy mask and gloves

-Mouthwash: good for you and sometimes you arer too tired to brush your teeth

-stools or rolling chairs so you can sit while you do things like brush your teeth 

-buy bananas because doctors are finding that many ppl with covid are low on potassium, which can cause heart beat irregularities (it did for me)

-also buy a large vitamin pill box because you may have to take so many different medicines and vitamins, that you have “covid fog brain” and will forget what you take-you get exhausted

-Get a basket or big pot to put all your vitamins and medicine in, so you have it in one place and won’t lose any

-You might not have energy to eat so also buy some easy to eat or drink things like these smoothies:
https://www.amazon.com/Superfood-Smoothies-Variety-Organic-Smoothie/dp/B07G29JSNL

Again, before doing any this, see your doctor and ask them.