How (I think) I survived COVID-19

Glucose, Zinc, Cholorquine, and a Fever

I’ve had time – nuthin but, actually – to reflect on getting sick.

Suppose the first thing to tell you is what I did to try to save myself.

I had gotten some base cholorquine for Alison when she was sick so I started taking that on the 28th. The dosage used by doctors for off-label empiric therapy is 500mg – twice the normal dose for those taking it as an adjunct to cancer therapy – but I was alone with no one to help if things went south quickly.

So, I stuck with a single 250mg dose in the morning along with a multivitamin.

As much as possible, I tried to take a Tylenol at 10AM so that by 5PM, I could take my temp again. The temps I wrote in my last two entries were either taken just before 10AM, just after 5PM, or before bed. So, my temps coulda been higher or lower than what I wrote because of when I took the readings.

More on Tylenol below.

I also took zinc gluconate five times a day for the first week. This should really be part of SOC considering that there’re years worth of well-founded research on this although some feel the aid is only slight. For me, every percentage improvement helped so I took it.

I also drank a lotta Propel water; my brother was worried about dehydration and I definitely felt worse when I didn’t drink enough.

In terms of preexisting conditions, I would guess it was a combination of smoking in my 20s and the resulting (slight) adult asthma I had afterward, which made my particular run of this damn thing that bad.

Still, with the exception of the loss of taste and smell, I didn’t really have any of the classic symptoms of COVID-19: I didn’t really have a cough, only one day of chest pain, and no real difficulty breathing. But the fatigue and loss of smell and taste made my brother and the professor feel that it was most likely COVID.

Me: What makes you say that?
Brother: Occam’s razor.
Me: Right.

The thing that they both found odd was my insane hunger. Again, this was the opposite experience of most people with COVID – Chris Cuomo ended up losing 13 pounds after only three days with COVID.

I ate so much that I ended up gaining a one-and-a-half pounds after this whole ordeal, going from 151.2 to 152.8.

Interestingly, glucose has been linked to better survival prospects for viral-based illnesses, like COVID-19, but worse survival prospects for bacterial-based infections.

Conversely, bacterial based infections require high fat/ketones for survival with worse survival outcomes with increased glucose.

Early on in my sickness, I felt this incredible urge to eat donuts, pancakes, noodles, pizza, and bagels. Alla which I ate and don’t normally eat.

I probably wouldn’t have done that, nor been as sparing with Tyleol, if not for Alison. You see, years ago, we had this conversation.

Her: You have a fever.
Me: Great. Can you get me a Tylenol?
Her: No! Your body is trying to get rid of something by heating it out. Try to endure the fever for as long as you can.
Me: Blargh. Well, can I at least have a popsicle.
Her: Yes, I’ll go get one for you. Your body probably wants it for a reason.

So, I like to think that Alison had a hand in keeping me safe. Which, I suppose she did, seeing as there was no one else here and I wouldn’t have had the choloquine if not for her.

Who knows, maybe I woulda been just fine without doing any of this. But, I didn’t wanna take that chance.

Harold’s next to worthless at times like this. The boy did keep me some company, though.

I probably made as much sense to him as he made to me.

Location: my empty and but cleaner apartment
Mood: pensive
Music: hope it’s gonna make you notice someone like me (Spotify)
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I got Covid-19, Pt 2

Would. Not. Recommend.

Sunday 04.05 – 101.7
I’m essentially non-functional this day. I do little but eat and try to sit upright. I start wearing a neck pillow to keep my head from slamming into the back wall  because I can’t keep my head up.

Before I do, however, I sit there, head back, looking up. I think, absentmindedly, “If I survive this, gonna have to dust the ceiling fan.”

Manage to make it the eight feet to my kitchen and eat half a box of donuts with six tablespoons of peanut butter and wash it all down with coconut milk from the carton. I sit down on the kitchen floor because I’m too tired to make it to the sofa. Use the carton as a pillow for my head along with the neck brace.

Pull out my phone to send an electronic key to my brother so he can unlock my doors from LA if he doesn’t hear from me and I need paramedics. I pass out, hoping to see Alison. I don’t.

Note that I’m still not really coughing so I think that there’s a chance it’s not Covid. But I clearly can’t taste or smell a damn thing.

My kitchen floor’s filthy. Alison would not be happy.

Monday 04.06 – 101.2
Can’t stand any more, at all. The first thing I do when I wake – because I want to be as clear-headed as possible – is to write my existing clients letting them know that, should I die, the work I did will be emailed to them before I pass and any unused funds would be returned to them.

They write back hoping I’ll be ok. Don’t respond. The hunger’s still off the charts and I order two dinner-sized noodle dishes for myself and finish it all off that day. Save some soup for the other days.

Note that this whole time, I’d also been monitoring my SpO2 levels, which are consistently between 96 and 99, so my brother tells me not to go to the hospital yet.

I’ve also not listened to any music this whole time. My head is angry and noisy and tells me I’m better off dead.

Me: Why do you hate me so much?
Me: Because, you’re a piece of shit. You let her die.
Me: (nodding) Yeah. Makes sense. I wonder if it’ll hurt?

Tuesday 04.07 – 101.9
This is the worst day yet. Still can’t stand longer than a minute. Finally start having slight breathing/chest issues. It might be anxiety or just in my head. Or I could be dying. Dunno. It’s also the first time my hunger slips. Feel nauseated and vomit. Lots of coughing but it’s not dry. O2 levels drop to 92, massive chills.

I decide that if I die, I want to die at home. And then I worry that the boy will be alone in the world and force myself to eat some goldfish crackers and pretzels. The daytime hallucinations have stopped. I’m disappointed.

Me: Alison? Alison? (sighing) Well, shit…

My SIL sends me a care package with a note saying she hoped I wasn’t dead. I struggle to get it into my apartment. Oh, and I forgot to mention that Daisy also wrote hoping I wasn’t dead. It’s nice, that people hope that I’m not dead.

Read that Chris Cuomo cracked his teeth, chattering, and mine are chattering non-stop so I put in a mouthguard from BJJ so it doesn’t happen to me. Go to bed and wake up freezing cold but absolutely drenched in sweat. Move from my side of the bed to the other side because everything is wet and gross.

I’d been avoiding Tyelnol to keep track of my temps but my brother tells me to take some to try and get some sleep. I do so, and crash hard. Alison visits me and we take the boy to a local playground.

Wednesday 04.08 – 101.3 but drops to 100.5 at night.
My hunger is replaced by nausea in the morning but I still eat. I dry retch a few times and get to my sofa. I pass out.

A few hours later, I wake up and make myself some coffee. I smell it for the first time at 3:30, I think. Not sure. If it’s real, it’s the first thing I can remember smelling since the 03.29.

Thursday 04.09 – 99.2
Wake up late. It’s the first time since Sunday, the 29th that I woke up later than 7AM. It’s 10:45 when I wake.

I’m tired but not exhausted.

Write my clients and apologize for scaring them. I cancel the checks and delete the files. End up staying out of bed past 7:30PM; it’s actually midnight when I go to bed. My brother’s happy.

Friday 04.10 – 98.8

Want protein again; can’t eat another carb. So I order some fish with lemons and a gyro for myself. Again, a splurge.

Speaking of lemons, you’re better off taking a cheese grater to your forearm, liberally salting said forearm afterwards, and finishing it with a twist of lemon than getting the coronavirus.

Would. Not. Recommend.

Dusted the ceiling fan today. Tomorrow, I’ll mop the kitchen.

I’m alone again.

Well, that’s not completely true; Harold’s here.

Location: my empty and dusty apartment
Mood: tired
Music: I could use somebody (Spotify)
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I got Covid-19, Pt 1

Get up, Logan

Man, the last 13 days of my life have been crazy.

Was feeling a bit off when I wrote my last entry but figured that it was just allergies or something. But then I kept feeling progressively worse.

Here’s  a quick breakdown of what it was like.

Friday 03.27 – Temp 99.1
I’m feeling off. Tired, irritable, cloudy-headed with some weird neck pain. Figure it’s allergies and me sleeping wrong. Pop a Tylenol and go about my usual day of nuthin. Note that I normally run at 98.3 but I figured it was just an anomaly.

Saturday 03.28 – Temp 99.5
The weird neck pain gets worse and the Tylenol doesn’t help, so I take a percocet. Percocet is lovely. This is when the hunger starts.

I’m normally hungry. The running joke is that, out of all our friends, there’s only one guy – Panda – that can regularly out eat me. Starting this day, however. I felt a hunger that I can’t describe to you.

Ate an entire shelf in my fridge and continued eating anything I could get my hands on for the next 11 days. The weird thing is that things are losing their flavor. They didn’t taste like anything. I could taste major things – salty, sour, etc – but not any nuance.

Sunday 03.29 – Temp 99.7
Neck pain continues, eyes are tired. This is the last night that I sleep normally – which was never that normal to begin with.

Continue to eat everything in the house. Stop intermittent fasting because I can’t get full. Find that I can’t focus on things like 30-minute shows and such. Can watch the news because they’re 90 second segments and my attention span doesn’t last longer than that.

Monday 03.30 – Temp 100.3
This is my 19th night of isolation and when things started to really head south. Checked the allergy charts and it said that pollen counts were a 10 out of 12 in my area and chalked it up to that. Took some of my strongest sleep meds but had a completely fitful night of sleep, even though I was in bed from 7pm to 9AM the next morning. Probably slept no more than three hours total.

Still wasn’t sure it was coronavirus because my appetite remained insane. I ate nonstop from 10:30 to 5:30 including a box of protein pasta and a pound of sausages myself (serves four people or one Logan Lo). My sense of taste was clearly gone by this day.

Tuesday 03.31 – Temp 100.9
Woke up feeling even worse. Checked the pollen count and it was lower, at a 7. There goes that theory.  Hoping to taste something, order super spicy Chinese food delivered – and I never order anything delivered because I feel it’s an unnecessary extravagance. Bought two lunch specials including soups and ate everything. Felt the burn but zero flavour.

Took some of my sleep meds at seven again and this time they worked(ish) – woke up at 3AM. Took more meds at 5AM and slept until 9AM the next day.

Wednesday 04.01 – 100.6
Woke up feeling roughly the same. Ended up taking some more percocet for the neck pain. Tried to update my will but I realized I didn’t have witnesses to validate it so I stopped. Lay down on my living room floor because I couldn’t make it to the couch two feet away. Another fitful night of sleep.

Thursday 04.02 – 98.4
Last of the neck pain and I feel much better. Figure that I’ll be fine by the next day.

Friday 04.03 – 101.3
I am very wrong. Wake up with blood in my eyes again, a splitting headache, fever and just ravenous hunger. As soon as it was 11AM, I ordered a large pizza. Had the delivery guy leave it on my steps so as not to potentially contaminate him.

Promptly drop a slice onto one of my new chairs. Fuckballs. Somehow manage to clean it and then lie on my floor again.

Saturday 04.04 – 100.9
Now, things start getting weird.

I hallucinate that Alison is here. In the day time. I know in my head that she’s not really here but I pretend it’s real. It was the nicest thing that’s happened to me in months.

She’s telling me to sit up and get out of bed because my lungs will collapse if I don’t. I refuse. She says, “I’ll carry you if I have to.” I tell her about the Women of Weinsberg.

The story goes that, in 1140, the German king, Conrad III, defeats the Duke of Welf and placed Weinsberg under siege. All the men would be killed but the women would be allowed to leave in peace with whatever they could carry on their backs.

So, the women left all their money and belongings and – one-by-one – walked out of the castle with their husbands on their back.

The king, true to his word, allowed them safe passage.

Years ago, I collapsed at my front door due to food poisoning. Alison carried me back to bed all the way on the other side of the apartment.

Her: (laughing) Only you bring up a history lesson in the middle of being sick, Logan. Anyway, I did it once before, I’ll do it again if I have to.
Me: You’re not really here, are you?
Her: (shakes head) No, Logan. I wish I was.
Me: Oh, I wish you were too. I’ve missed you so much.
Her: (gently) Get up, Logan. You got this. You have to get up.

I did, because she asked me to. I could never say no to her. Even when she’s just in my head.

I’ll tell you more tomorrow.

Gonna go sit and cry for a bit now, if you don’t mind.

Location: my empty apartment
Mood: heartbroken
Music: I traveled the way. Wait for me, wait for me (Spotify)
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