Regular readers will know this blog is usually dedicated to prosperity and success strategies. Today, we’re taking a little bit of a departure because I’ve been slogging through a recovery from COVID-19. And as you know, health and wellness are vital when it comes to manifesting prosperity. So I thought it would be helpful to share some tips on what’s working for me. NOTE: I’m not a doctor, and don't even play one on TV, so this is NOT medical advice. Please see your healthcare providers for that. These are just tips from a layperson about getting back to a healthy lifestyle after you experience the coronavirus.
First the bad news: There’s a strong possibility your recovery will be painful, frustrating, and take a lot longer than you wish. (Don’t want to affirm that, and hopefully this won’t be the case with you. There are many different levels of impact with this disease.) In my case, and from many I’m hearing about, it’s been wearisome and quite challenging.
For those that don’t know me, I’m 61 years old and until recently, been in the best shape of my life. I’ve been HIV positive, but undetectable since 2006. Because of that, I’m currently taking an antiretroviral medication, and also taking a statin drug to maintain a healthy cholesterol level. For the last ten plus years, I did cardio 20-30 minutes every morning and a one-hour resistance training six days a week. I played softball weekly on a couple championship Masters-level teams. In early February I started experiencing shortness of breath. Then it became so severe that simply doing a 30-second plank had me breathing like I had just run six blocks. It progressed to the point I was having difficulty breathing only lying in bed at night. I started self-isolating and there were several nights I got up to unlock the deadbolt on my front door and brought my cell phone next to my bed, just in case. I went from an energetic athlete to someone who got so winded making my bed, I would collapse back into it. If we share a coffee sometime, you can hear the arduous story of how I finally found out it was COVID. But let’s skip all that drama and look at how you can best recover if you do have it.
First, know that you can be “over it,” but feel worse than when you actually had it. That’s because of the damage the virus can do to your lungs and other organs. If you can’t breathe well, you don’t take in enough oxygen, which makes you feel even more exhausted. Don’t self-medicate with junk food to try and get energy. You get a quick sugar high but ultimately feel more run down. You eat more, exercise less, gain more weight, which makes for a vicious cycle of declining energy. And your lasting memory of COVID-19 will be the 19 pounds you gained during isolation.
From my perspective, being intubated in the ICU looked like a path to certain death. (I shouldn't even say that, but just being real, that’s how I actually felt.) So I started forcing myself to do anything that made me force more oxygen into my lungs. Literally the longest I could do cardio was one to two minutes at first. I built up a minute or two more, as I could. Some days were easier than others. Some I simply couldn’t muster the energy to do anything. You need to get your lung capacity back as quickly as possible. Some important steps in the process:
Anyway, that is what is helping me. Like you, I wish it was quicker, but it is what it is. But being proactive about building up your immunity, lungs, and energy will get you there quicker. If you have any other suggestions, please share them in the comments below.
P.S. And please share this with anyone you know who is fighting COVID-19 themselves.