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…