The whole story
After some minor cold symptoms and feeling run down, my wife Erika tested positive for covid on Tuesday, May 10, 2022. I am writing this three weeks later, on Tuesday, May 31, 2022. The main goal of writing all this down is to remember some of the small details that would otherwise be lost in time.
She was extremely tired and stayed in bed for the entire following day and night (Wednesday, May 11). She felt better and was able to resume normal household activities after about 24 hours in bed. However, she was still tired and feeling sick.
The “covid-negative” members of our family went to Chick-fil-A on Thursday evening for dinner. We intended to give Erika some space and peace and quiet as she continued to recover. That didn’t go as planned. Our youngest child threw up on me right when we got in the line to order food. I cleaned us both up as well as I could using the sink in the men’s room. After that, we got our food from the drive-thru instead. All the children tested positive that same evening (Thursday, May 12). I tested negative.
At work, I noticed some symptoms on Friday, May 13. I felt very tired and noticed minor muscle aches. I started to suspect that I might have covid. Or maybe it was just bad luck.
The following day – Saturday, May 14 – I took a covid test and it was decisively positive. It had a very dark “T” (test) line that appeared almost immediately. It looked like somebody had written on the test window with a Sharpie. I didn’t need anything close to the full fifteen minutes to know it was a positive test. My own early symptoms were similar to those that our children also had. The symptoms were generally minor and limited to muscle ache and fatigue.
On the night of Sunday, May 15, I went to bed in our guest bedroom. I was under my usual 20 pound weighted blanket. I woke in the middle of the night feeling extremely cold. That is very strange for me. If I ever feel uncomfortable when I’m sleeping, it’s almost always because I feel too hot. After I added an extra blanket on top, I slept well. I woke up later than usual on Monday, May 16, and felt well-rested and comfortable in bed. The muscle aches felt like I had done a good but difficult workout a couple of days prior.
My main symptoms, minor as they were, persisted for about 3-4 days.
After that, I had a persistent cough for several days. My symptoms in the middle or lower respiratory system did not really start until around day 4 or 5. I continued coughing up a lot of mucus for about a week after the cessation of initial symptoms. My feelings of fatigue and low energy persisted for around the same length of time.
Medications and at-home treatment
Since early on in the pandemic, I had augmented my daily vitamins and dietary supplements to include several supplements that had good anecdotal results for covid prevention and/or treatment. Prior to covid entering our house I was already taking the following:
- Vitamin D3/K2 (10000 IU D3, 180 micrograms K2)
- Zinc (30 mg blended – acetate, orotate, picolinate)
- NAC (N-acetyl-L-cysteine)
I had been taking the multivitamin, D3/K2, and zinc for many years prior to covid. After the start of the pandemic, I added in the NAC and quercetin based on a few things I had read.
After Erika tested positive on May 10, I started these additional treatments for prophylaxis:
- Ivermectin (30 mg / day, taken with a high-fat meal to increase absorption)
- L-Arginine (2000 mg / day, taken on an empty stomach in the morning and evening)
After I tested positive for covid four days later, I increased my ivermectin dosage from 30 mg/day to 45 mg/day, with no change to the method of administration (15 instead of 10 standard 3 mg tablets, still taken with lunch, my main high-fat meal of the day). I left the L-arginine dosage unchanged, although I was not very consistent about this supplement.
I also tried the so-called “vitamin D hammer” a couple of times. This simple DIY treatment is a single large dose of vitamin D3. I used 100000 IU which is ten times greater than my usual daily dose and over 150 times greater than the (dangerously low) RDA. Some reports suggest that this treatment is effective against common respiratory infections like colds and flu. Because of this, people also speculate that it might be effective against covid as well. In any case, a substantial and growing body of research points out the strength of the correlation between vitamin D deficiency and adverse covid outcomes.
That said, it’s hard to know on the scale of an individual patient (me) whether a given intervention actually made a difference. You can’t rerun the experiment with a different timeline to see if would have unfolded differently. The vast majority of patients have minor cases and make a full recovery. Because of this, you need very large sample sizes to give studies enough power to resolve the effectiveness of interventions. Because most people get better with little or no intervention, you need a big population group to demonstrate tangible benefit against severe disease and death.
So what did I learn from the past two weeks? Well, if I hadn’t known that covid existed, or if we had gone through this situation in 2019, I would have assumed we had all contracted some sort of strange, late-spring cold or flu. The symptoms were minor for all of us.
We showed no issues with blood oxygenation that might have indicated serious risk to the cardiopulmonary system. None of us had any difficulty breathing or other serious symptoms. It wasn’t very much fun (so it’s not like we want to repeat the experience) but it was certainly very different from what most of us were imagining in the middle of 2020.
We are grateful that we had age and general good health on our side. Being in very low risk groups, the chance of a bad outcome was also low. As everybody knows, this was not true for all, and many people have suffered badly and even died from their covid experience.
|Date and time||Dosage|
|2022-05-10 1630||30 mg ivermectin|
|2022-05-10 2030||10 mg melatonin, 1500 mg L-arginine|
|2022-05-11 0800||1500 mg L-arginine|
|2022-05-11 1300||30 mg ivermectin|
|2022-05-11 2130||10 mg melatonin, 1500 mg L-arginine|
|2022-05-12 0800||1500 mg L-arginine|
|2022-05-12 1300||30 mg ivermectin|
|2022-05-12 2100||10 mg melatonin, 1500 mg L-arginine|
|2022-05-13 0720||1500 mg L-arginine|
|2022-05-13 1240||30 mg ivermectin|
|2022-05-13 1500||1000 mg acetaminophen|
|2022-05-13 2100||10 mg melatonin, 1500 mg L-arginine, 1000 mg acetaminophen|
|2022-05-14 1030||3000 mg L-arginine, 1000 mg acetaminophen|
|2022-05-14 1200||POSITIVE TEST|
|2022-05-14 1230||45 mg ivermectin|
|2022-05-14 1430||1000 mg acetaminophen|
|2022-05-14 2100||10 mg melatonin, 3000 mg L-arginine, 1000 mg acetaminophen|
|2022-05-15 0730||2000 mg L-arginine|
|2022-05-15 0830||sinus med (650 mg acetaminophen, 400 mg guaifenesin, 10 mg phenylephrine)|
|2022-05-15 1130||45 mg ivermectin|
|2022-05-15 2030||10 mg melatonin, 2000 mg L-arginine, 1000 mg acetaminophen|
|2022-05-16 0730||2000 mg L-arginine|
|2022-05-16 1245||45 mg ivermectin, 1000 mg acetaminophen|
|2022-05-16 2130||10 mg melatonin, 2000 mg L-arginine, 1000 mg acetaminophen|
|2022-05-17 0500||2000 mg L-arginine|
|2022-05-17 1245||45 mg ivermectin, 100000 IU vitamin D|
|2022-05-17 2130||10 mg melatonin, 2000 mg L-arginine, 1000 mg acetaminophen|
|2022-05-18 0700||2000 mg L-arginine, 1000 mg acetaminophen|
|2022-05-18 1330||45 mg ivermectin|
|2022-05-18 2100||10 mg melatonin, 2000 mg L-arginine, 1000 mg acetaminophen|
|2022-05-19 0600||2000 mg L-arginine|
|2022-05-19 1430||45 mg ivermectin, 100000 IU vitamin D|