Covid Circles Back
It's a tricky one. Here's how I got off the merry-go-round.
I’ve recently gotten through my second round with Covid and wanted to share my thoughts and observations.
The first time through in Fall 2021 was much harder than this bout. This round was quite easy, but weird. I’ll explain:
I have suspected, for some time now, that there is a component to Covid that is rarely being discussed or handled appropriately and that is secondary respiratory bacterial infections.
In my medical training I was taught that OFTEN secondary bacterial infections will latch onto a patient who is struggling with a primary upper respiratory infection of viral origin.
Basically, the virus comes in an compromises the terrain and any opportunistic bacterial infections lingering around will take their shot and get in there. Think of it like a vacancy sign on a motel. Once the virus induces the inflammation, the secondary bacterial infection takes hold.
This was the case during the 1918 Flu. The influenza virus took hold, however, what really ended up killing so many was the secondary bacterial infection. They didn’t sort this out for some time, and unfortunately that bacterium was causing a lung tissue to essentially melt down, but once they got on top of it the game changed a bit. The bug was dubbed haemophilus influenzae because it was essentially piggy backing on the influenza virus.
When Covid hit, I was entirely unsure WHY the standard of care that I had learned wasn’t being implemented.
I’ve spoken on this before, but I’ll reiterate here:
I was taught that when a patient is struggling with an upper respiratory viral infection, to treat them holistically and support them to endure the process as successfully as possible. The difference between allopathic medicine and Naturopathic medicine is that the former is trying to apply a drug to “treat” a disease and the later is trying to support the human to endure and repel the disease process.
For example, I’m never trying to conquer a disease. None of this is about treatment, prevention or cure. When I address a patient I am merely trying to invoke their inherent ability to heal and stoke their vitality while attempting to arrest the destructive processes occurring inside their bodies.
I was trained that when a patient presents with an upper respiratory viral infection that, in addition to supporting their innate ability to heal, that we should also consider prescribing an antibiotic in case of secondary bacterial infection, a rescue inhaler to help if bronchioles start to spasm and make breathing difficult, and potentially some type of steroid support (either oral pills or inhaler) to keep inflammation at bay. These 3 drugs are to be used if the natural approach is not cutting it. I would counsel the patient to hold onto the scripts and implement this “Plan B” if sputum began to turn green or taste funny.
Patients didn’t always need these drugs, of course, but I was trained that it would be prudent to cover for unchecked secondary bacterial infection of the lungs and inflammation that may begin to run rampant and make things worse. So the offer was always on the table and we would discuss.
Seems logical, right?
And it is logical. It is also the way I have always understood how to handle any patient presenting with severe enough cough, regardless of suspected cause. The whole, “It’s viral, antibiotics won’t work here” theory is garbage when you consider that an opportunistic bacterium could easily jump into the party. Patients are allowed to be struggling with MORE THAN ONE affliction.
Some common culprits in secondary bacterial pneumonia would be the two bacterium that are often implicated in community acquired pneumonia (aka “walking pneumonia) and those are mycoplasma pneumoniae and chlamydia pneumoniae.
It is my hypothesis, that in years down the road, we will look back and discover that perhaps one of these organisms was in part responsible for the severe illness and pneumonia that comes with dealing with Covid. They will say, “shoot, we missed this super obvious thing and patients may have done better if we treated for a secondary bacterial infection.”
Here’s what I noticed with this round:
It started with my very healthy, robust husband as a deep and heavy cough. It was so fast and furious that I automatically assumed secondary bacterial infection (we were in VERY crowded Vegas at the time). I hit him with ALL the things, including antibiotic coverage. You can find out more about how I address The Winter Crud, as I like to call it, VIA THIS LINK. Again, it’s not about prevention, treatment or cure of any particular conditions or virus, it’s about addressing the human being trying to heal.
We didn’t know what he was dealing with at the onset, but he felt way better after a few days and we flew home. After getting home I started in with symptoms and he then tested positive with Covid.
(Side note that no one tells you: you’ve got to be like 5 days into symptoms for those tests to give you a reading. Using rapid home tests with no symptoms seems like a complete waste to me, but that’s my opinion.)
The second he tested positive and I felt a tickle in my throat, I started “all the things” myself prophylactically, including antibiotics. He and I both blew through the illness relatively unscathed.
But here’s the caveat, it loves to circle back!
While my hubby was pretty sick for a few initial days, then bounced back and cleared it over about a week’s time, I rarely even felt sick. Mild symptoms at best. That said, it circled back on me! And it was super weird.
One day symptoms, the next day fine, the next day different symptoms, the next day fine. This on again, off again nonsense went on for approximately two weeks straight. And each time I had symptoms they were something different than the two days prior. It was very annoying, frustrating and strange. I’ve never experienced anything like it.
I should mention that we are both rocking natural immunity and are purebloods.