Covid-19 Positive? What I Did the First 24 Hours to Avoid Hospitalization
UPDATE** For those who prefer audio content, I recorded a podcast episode on this which you can listen to here.
So I was going to wait to write this blog post until I had received the results from my COVID-19 test. However, so many people are asking me what I did the first day my symptoms showed up that I decided to put this out now. For this article, I am including what I did within the first 24 hours that eliminated almost all of my symptoms. I’ll add updates or write another post as I learn more and continue to monitor my symptoms.
Here’s a quick recap for any just joining this narrative:
On Friday, July 10th I was going about my day, feeling perfectly fine. Around 2:30 PM, out of nowhere I suddenly started to feel full-body muscle aches, headache, weakness, shortness of breath, chest pain, sore throat, and chills. And when I say out of nowhere, I mean it. Literally one minute I was fine and 60 seconds later it was like a train hit me.
I quickly returned home as I was out at the time and immediately started to do everything I knew to help support my immune system in fighting off pathogens. For those who don’t know, I had an interview on my podcast with biochemist, Karen Hurd, at the start of the Coronavirus back in March. She walked us through several things we can all do at home to prevent getting sick as well as what to do if you do get sick with something like COVID.
For any interested in listening to that interview, you can find it here. I followed everything she said and then added in immune-boosting supplements I’ve taken in the past or recently learned about.
Below is a list of exactly what I did that first day and the following day. I truly believe that how I responded within those first few minutes and hours saved me from hospitalization.
Day One – Friday
- Full body aches
- Severe weakness
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Sore throat
What I Did Within 15 Minutes of Initial Symptoms:
The fact that so many symptoms hit me so fast, I knew that this wasn’t something to mess around with. I went home immediately and did the following:
- Drew a HOT bath, added some epsom salts since I had them on hand.
- Made some hot water and added lemon juice (NO honey).
- Took Boiron Oscillococcinum for Flu-Like Symptoms.
- I laid almost fully submerged in the hot bath, sipping on my hot tea for probably 30-40 minutes.
Getting out of the bath I was so incredibly dizzy and weak. I just collapsed in bed with my towel. I honestly couldn’t move for about 20 minutes. My heart was pounding like I had just sprinted in a race. Finally, the dizziness cleared up and I was able to put on my pj’s. One of the key tips Karen mentioned in our interview was to keep the body hot!
She made an excellent point in sharing that the fever is actually our friend. It is the body trying to heat itself up enough to kill off the offending pathogen. So rather than trying to cool ourselves down, we need to be helping heat ourselves up and maintain that heat.
As I was laying there almost unable to move I noticed my heart was still pounding and the pain in my chest, as well as congestion and shortness of breath, were getting worse. For a moment I felt myself get really scared, but then I reminded myself that fear won’t help me recover and I remembered that Karen had mentioned putting some kind of hot pad or pack on the chest. Thank God I have an electric hot pad and immediately put it on my chest.
- Put on sweatpants, a long sleeve shirt, socks, a scarf, and a beanie.
- Crawled under the covers in bed and sat up at an incline.
- Put an electric hot pad on my chest and stayed bundled under the covers.
- Dabbed some peppermint essential oil on my forehead to help with the headache.
- Wearing a face mask to help with my sore throat (the hot air helped with the burning).
Sitting at an incline was key to help keep the congestion at bay and allow fluids to drain easier. Now, the hot pad was critical for me. Truly, within 10 minutes of putting the hot pad on my chest all of my chest pain, congestion, and shortness of breath went away. This calmed my deeper fears significantly and by this point, my body aches and other symptoms were starting to diminish.
- Stayed in bed (sitting, not laying down).
- Took a variety of supplements throughout the day:
- Continued to drink hot tea (alternating between elderberry tea, chamomile tea, and hot water with lemon juice). Still NO honey.
- Did not consume anything high in sugar (even fruits).
I know this is a lot of supplements and not what I would normally take just for general health. But, I wanted to throw everything I had at it. Of course, some of it may have worked and some of it may have done nothing. I always have to recommend consulting with a medical professional (preferably an Integrative one) when adding new supplements to your routine.
In our interview, Karen explained how sugar dramatically reduces our immune system response. I have heard this before, Dr. Steven Gundry pointed out in an interview that sugar reduces the immune system response by 60% for up to 6 hours after consuming it. Read that again because that is powerful. Yes, there are 100 things we can do to boost our immune system, but if we are eating high amounts of sugar, it may all be in vain.
By about 7:00 PM I was feeling exponentially better. Body aches and a headache were almost gone, my chills, cough, congestion, chest pain, and shortness of breath were completely gone. I still had a sore throat, general weakness, and couldn’t stand up without getting severely dizzy.
I asked a friend if they could pick up a to-go order from a Thai restaurant. Another easy thing that Karen mentioned was eating cooked garlic. Yes cooked, not raw garlic. You’ll have to listen to the full episode to find out why because she explains it in-depth. But essentially, garlic is more anti-viral when cooked.
So I ordered a hot veggie dish with lots of cooked garlic and ate that for dinner in bed.
- Stayed in bed bundled up with a hot pad on my chest (I was actually sweating at one point which is when I removed the hot pad from my chest), but kept all my other warm clothes on.
- Ate a hot meal (still in bed bundled up) with lots of cooked garlic.
- Continued to drink only hot liquids.
- Took my evening round of supplements from those previously listed.
- Went to bed around 10:00 PM and slept at an incline with my beanie and scarf on.
Day Two – Saturday
I woke up at 6:00 AM as I usually do with a burning sore throat and a headache. Basically all of my other symptoms were gone. However, I tried to walk to the bathroom and it made me very dizzy and short of breath. I knew I had to eat something to keep providing my body fuel, especially during the key morning and afternoon hours. So I got creative and just rolled around in my desk chair throughout the house to avoid having to stand up.
- Hot bath first thing in the morning with epsom salts.
- Continue to dress warm and keep extremities covered (beanie, scarf, socks, long pants, and long sleeve shirt).
- Took morning round of supplements.
- Had an easy-to-digest breakfast: I made my Garden of Life Meal Replacement smoothie with room temperature water (remember nothing cold).
- Avoided standing up as it was still too much for me and rolled around in my desk chair instead lol.
- Stayed in bed sitting up.
I knew my body had smaller energy reserves as it was desperately trying to fight off something nasty. So I knew I had to eat nutrient-dense foods, without sugar and that were easy to digest. Thankfully, a friend offered to pick up some things from the store for me and drop them off. I asked for ready-made soups, some Throat Coat tea (this particular brand uses marshmallow root, slippery elm, and other ingredients that are so wonderful for a sore throat), and a supplement called N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC).
I had read about this supplement being used to help with coronavirus from Dr. Jolene Brighten’s website. She goes in-depth as to the many benefits in her article here.
- Resting in bed bundled up.
- Continuing to eat hot foods and drink hot beverages. No sugar.
- Mid-Day supplements.
- Went outside on the patio to get some sunshine and grounding on the concrete.
By the early afternoon, I was able to walk around slowly without getting dizzy or short of breath, but I was starting to have ear pain. I thought I might potentially have strep throat, so I decided to go to the urgent care nearby and do a strep test and a COVID test. The strep came back negative and unfortunately, the COVID test takes 5-10 days to come back.
Now here is where I have to vent a little bit. After listening to my symptoms the doctor said that I most likely had COVID. They said someone would call with the results of the test, but that I needed to quarantine, if I got worse, go to the hospital. That was it.
Now I know there is no cure for COVID-19, but as this article has demonstrated, there are 100’s of things any of us can do to help support our body’s ability to fight off illness. I stood there dumbfounded thinking about how many people were having similar encounters like this and had NO IDEA what they could do to help.
I was counting my lucky stars that I had already known what to do the second my symptoms hit as well as what to do to continue in my recovery. But I was filled with anger at how flippant this doctor was. If they believed COVID-19 was dangerous enough that they had to walk into the office in a full hazmat suit, I would have expected a long list of things I could do at home to help fight it off. After all, how many people in the general public know about all of the things I have listed out in this post?
Very few, hence me writing this. And that is what ultimately pushed me to put this out. Anger and sadness at the way conventional medicine handles disease. Go home and don’t come back unless you are dying.
I know it’s harsh and of course, I know that this doesn’t represent every doctor working in conventional medicine. But I would say that it represents the vast majority of them. Now I don’t believe there was any malintent. I think this doctor genuinely didn’t know many of these things or maybe just thought I wouldn’t actually do any of them. I can’t know the reason why.
But what I can say is that people need to know this information. We need to be educated and enabled to care for ourselves in moments like this as best we can. As previously stated, I feel my quick response and the specific things I did truly saved me from hospitalization. I hope this information helps provide you with an arsenal kit of tools you can use should you fall ill of any disease.
End vent sesh.
By evening I basically just had a sore throat and some slight shortness of breath if I did anything more than a gentle walk around the house. I actually had a surprising amount of energy on Saturday and was getting a lot of writing and other things done on the computer in bed.
- Continued to drink hot beverages.
- Ate plenty of hot foods (mostly soups).
- Took evening supplements.
- Kept bundled up and warm.
- Didn’t overexert myself or try to do anything strenuous.
- Hot bath before bed with epsom salts.
- Slept at an incline with my beanie and scarf on.
I definitely want to share what I have been doing the past few days to help my recovery process, but I wanted to get this out ASAP for everyone asking. Stay tuned for more updates soon.
Thank you to everyone who has sent well wishes and who has asked for more information. I absolutely LOVE how many of you are eager to learn more ways to protect yourselves. Please leave any questions in the comments below or on my Instagram account!
**Please note: This is an account of my own experience and what I did and is not meant to serve as medical advice. Every person is different and you should always consult with a medical professional when taking new supplements.