OK, I didn’t have COVID ALL that time. And I’m getting better…

Reporting from my official home-office recliner: Things are looking better. This was Sunday morning.

About the third time I bothered my primary care doctor on the phone about the fact that I still felt like crap after three weeks (and after a second positive COVID test), he put me together with a pulmonologist — largely because my oxygen levels kept dipping in weird ways. (Like, down to 90 and below a time or two last week.)

I had a fascinating phone conversation with that specialist Thursday evening, and learned a lot.

First, he said I didn’t have COVID — not anymore. Not even when I got the second test. He said that was some leftover virus RNA strands still littering the lining of my nose. Of course, I always thought that that’s kind of a virus was — random, disorganized strands of more or less living material — but he sounded quite certain, and I was convinced.

So what was wrong with me? What was with the continuing, irritating, hacky little cough that interfered with talking to people? Why did I continue to run a low fever and have chills? Why didn’t I feel up to doing anything?

He said those were post-COVID effects, the most salient of which was probably inflammation in the tiny, hair-sized ends of my bronchial tubes, interfering with respiration enough to cause that cough and keep me feeling low. Also had something to do with the low fever, I think.

He put me on a course of prednisone — for the inflammation — plus 5,000 units a day of Vitamin D, because he was sure I had a deficiency. And he was right. He sent me to the hospital Friday morning for some blood tests, and one of them confirmed I was well under the normal range on D. I’m to see him for a followup later this week.

Anyway, I’ve been on the steroid and the D since Friday, and I’m dramatically better. No cough. No fever — in fact, I didn’t even think to take my temp for a couple of days. I 3made myself take it last night, and it was 96.1. That’s not even a fever by MY low standards.

The O2 levels remain very good — like 98 percent, frequently with my heart rate in the 50s where I’m used to it being. That had been elevated before, when the O2 was lower.

I’m still not walking or anything — I don’t feel that good. And I’m still spending all my time, including sleeping, in my home office, at least until I find the time to start moving my junk back to other parts of the house. In the meantime, I’m getting some work done. And I’d better get back to that now…

28 thoughts on “OK, I didn’t have COVID ALL that time. And I’m getting better…

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    I’d like to think I’m feeling better because of the D, but it’s probably the steroid. That acts pretty quickly. I start stepping down the dosage today, and I’m looking forward to continuing to feel better. You just never know with steroids…

  2. bud

    Glad you’re feeling better. Given that according to CDC data an unvaccinated person is 97 times more likely to die from COVID that a fully vaccinated and boosted person it’s really good you respected the science and trusted in modern medicine. And yes, I’m shamelessly politicizing your situation. But damn it why are 20% of Americans so stubborn on this.

    1. Doug Ross

      Because 99% of the 20% will not have a serious outcome from Omicron COVID and 80% of the 1% who do have a deadly outcome will either be elderly, immuno compromised, or overweight. Those are the people who a) should have been protected more since day 1 and b) for those in the latter category, should have spent the past two years getting in shape if they didn’t get vaxxed/

      1. Doug Ross

        And if you think I’m making up the 1% number, check the CDC for incident fatality rate. It has hovered around 1.2-1.5% for many months. And that is for people who tested positive – which doesn’t include everyone who was asymptomatic.

        1. Barry

          The 1% number is a LOT of people.

          A case fatality rate of even 0.5% would still be 5 times the commonly cited case fatality rate of adult seasonal influenza.

          1. DOUGLAS ROSS

            It’s 1% of those who tested positive AND it is primarily elderly people.. probably 30-40% were in nursing homes where the average length of stay before death is 13 months.

  3. Carol Smith

    So glad you are on the mend! Steroids make a huge difference, but you may have more energy than you can handle!

  4. Doug Ross

    I wrote this on January 27 – I’m not a doctor, but my initials are D.R.

    “Have you taken any additional tests to see if you are still positive? Are you too unwell to go outside or choosing not to (if you can get outside, some fresh air might help)? Are you taking anything besides acetaminophen? No harm in taking some D, C, and Zinc. There are plenty of studies that have shown a correlation between vitamin D deficiency and COVID outcomes.”

    I have been drinking daily a Emergen-C powder that has high amounts of C, D, and Zinc mixed in water since about May of 2020 when I heard a doctor on a podcast go through the science of why it could help. Something to do with the Zinc helping the D be absorbed. I also get outside for a five mile or more walk every day (400+ straight days now). It’s a shame that doctors weren’t allowed to make the response to COVID about prevention via building up immunity vs. scaring people into washing boxes, wearing masks outside (EVEN STILL – Los Angeles is requiring masks for high school athletes OUTDOORS!)… And the message related to higher BMI resulting in worse outcomes was ignored due to not wanting to “fat shame” — it’s ridiculous how fear and phony empathy did so much damage to people.

    1. Barry

      “A fit and healthy” 42-year-old who loved climbing mountains and lifting weights has died of Covid-19 after refusing to get vaccinated, leaving his twin sister and mother heartbroken.

      The two women warned others not to think they are invulnerable to the dangers of the virus.

      The father of one, John Eyers, a construction expert from Southport in Merseyside, was described by his sister Jenny McCann as “the fittest, healthiest person I know”.

      She added that her brother had been climbing Welsh mountains and camping in the wild four weeks before his death.

      But he was left in intensive care after catching coronavirus, and told his consultant before he was ventilated that he wished he had been vaccinated. His twin said his death was “a tragedy”.



        Barry.. look up the definition of anecdote. Your little stories are meaningless when it comes to the actual effects of COVID. They are outliers. Feel free to live in the fear bubble.

        1. Barry

          I did-

          the definition I saw had this blurb beside it “I have been drinking daily a Emergen-C powder that has high amounts of C, D, and Zinc mixed in water since about May of 2020 when I heard a doctor on a podcast go…”

          and the comment beside the definition was “stories like this are meaningless”

        2. Barry

          He’s an Ironman. COVID-19 nearly killed him

          The COVID-19 mystery of Ben O’Donnell, a 30-something Ironman athlete, remains as baffling today as it did March 10 — when Minnesotans learned the state’s first coronavirus case needing intensive care was someone in his prime.

          Odds are better when people are young and strong, and O’Donnell had that going for him. He finished the 2017 Ironman in Madison, Wis., and was training for another one.


        3. bud

          10s of thousands of young people have died of COVID. COVID patients continue to stress our medical systems. The vaccines are very safe. Refusing to get vaccinated is both dumb, selfish and hurts our country. Anyone defending the decision to not get vaccinated is wrong. And besides Doug you are the worlds worst at using anectdotes to defend some destructive libertarian nonsense so stop trying to be cleaver. You just come across as a contrarian for the sake of being a contrarian.

          1. DOUGLAS ROSS

            I just showed you statistics. Please give me an example of all these anecdotes I use.

            I’m not a contrarian, just smarter than the average Democrat or Republican sheep.

          2. Barry

            Yeah Bud, but what about vitamins, and Epsom salt baths, and lotions, and eating lots of carrots and stuff

            what about drinking mouthwash, and eating antacids, and washing with Lysol.

            I heard it from a guy on a podcast – he seemed smart – I guess- sort of ..

        4. DOUGLAS ROSS

          Barry you should go buy a lottery ticket because according to what I see in the newspaper, someone won a million dollars. That apparently means everyone wins.

        1. Barry

          The point of my story is crystal clear – that anyone should be able to figure it out.

          That no matter how many Flintstone vitamins you take, or how healthy you think you are, or how you won’t let fear bother you, COVID can make you sick. No one is exempt. It can make you very sick. It can put you in the hospital.

          IN some cases it can kill you like it killed one of my best friends and it doesn’t care how many vitamins you are taking or that you heard some crackpot doctor on a podcast talking about taking vitamins.

          That’s the point of my story? Get it?

          1. DOUGLAS ROSS

            I guess you’re suggesting that Brad should ignore his doctor’s instructions and that the studies that show a correlation by between vitamin D deficiency and COVID outcomes are bogus. That’s fine. You do you. Enjoy your misery.

            1. Barry

              Brad’s tests showed he was deficient in Vitamin D. Many people are in the winter time. It’s obvious that someone should avoid being deficient. Hardly new.

              Taking a daily vitamin is certainly fine. I do myself for various reasons.

              The evidence of Vitamin D preventing COVID is – uh- very, very questionable – at best.

              The evidence of Vitamin D deficiency causing increased stress on the respiratory system of someone sick with COVID is slightly more plausible- in some situations.

              I’m hardly miserable. I’m not sure why you are stuck in the mud on this idea.

              Today I was on the USC campus enjoying a nice day, and had a nice picnic lunch with my college junior. When I got home, I worked on my boat a little because it’s so nice outside.

              I’m not sure how that is supposed to be misery but if you say it is- ok. It sure seemed fun to me.

              1. DOUGLAS ROSS

                You live the life of a hermit who spends a good part of his day monitoring the activities of Donald Trump and random Republicans. Enjoy!

                1. Barry

                  Let’s see…

                  I’ve visited Charlotte this week – two different days – along with Rock Hill.

                  Nice day yesterday on the USC campus.

                  Some time on my boat earlier in the week.

                  A hermit indeed.

                  I do have a cell phone. They say it’s like having the world at your fingertips. I guess…….

  5. Barry

    Canceled field trip to Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. draws backlash in Central Bucks

    Tamanend Middle School 9th graders were originally planned to head to the nation’s capital on March 31, but the motion failed approval in a 7-1 vote Tuesday night.

    A Twitter post from Diana Leygerman, a former school board candidate and Philadelphia teacher, lambasted the vote saying one board member’s stance on vaccinations robbed students of an important opportunity.

    “Our SB (school board) just cancelled a field trip to DC where students were supposed to visit the Holocaust Museum because a School Board Member’s kid isn’t vaccinated. An important educational trip cancelled because she made a choice but isn’t willing to accept the consequences of that choice,” Leygerman wrote.


    1. Doug Ross

      That was a bad decision by the school board that ignores both science and statistics. Kids are not at no significant risk, especially with omicron – and they never were with other variants either.

      Not surprised though as too many school boards are full of ignorant people who like to play God.

Comments are closed.