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Hampshire 03-24-2020 11:40 AM

COVID-19 home care methods?
So, if the predictions are right a whole lot of us are going to get this and a majority of us will stay at home with it and recover there.
Being a respiratory virus are there any tips (non-supplement) as the best way to treat this?
For example, should one try to sit upright, reclined, flat?
If flat in bed is it best to be on your back, front, side, change positions often, try to stay in one position?
Should you do deep breathing exercises? Try to keep your breathing shallow? Breathe normally?
Should you attempt controlled coughing if you have to cough? Or attempt to suppress your coughing?
Breath dry air? Breathe moist air?

Inner Stickler 03-24-2020 12:04 PM

Get sleep, drink lots of water, call your doctor if you have questions about the severity of your illness.

Mama Zappa 03-25-2020 02:37 AM

That link, while decent, doesn't answer any of the OP's questions.

Note: the following is my own opinion, based on years of asthma with occasional nasty bouts of bronchitis. I have never had actual pneumonia, luckily.

I can pretty much guarantee that sitting fairly well propped up will be better than attempting to lie flat - anyone who has ever dealt with asthma can tell you it's easier to breathe while propped up. I personally find it easier if I'm sitting upright and leaning forward slightly - not sure why. If you're lying down, change positions as needed. There are actually specialty beds that are sometimes used on ICU patients, that continually rotate them to change the pressure on different parts of the lungs. If you can manage lying on your side while also propped up, that's easier than lying on your back.

Look up recommendations for pneumonia care. They seem to suggest that using a humidifier might be helpful (though make sure it's clean so you're not inhaling mold spores).

If your cough is at all productive, you don't want to suppress it too much. However, from my own experience with asthma / bronchitis, I've found that the automatic coughing tends to irritate the upper airway passages - leading to throat pain, but not producing anything. I've learned to tighten my throat muscles enough that I can put off coughing for a bit, while breathing deeply and exhaling firmly a few times in a row. That loosens up the bad stuff, then one or two good coughs and things are better for a few minutes. It's similar to the "huffing" technique.

RivkahChaya 03-25-2020 03:06 AM

When my son was recovering from croup, and had a dry cough, and had a pretty irritated airway, he was put on a pretty high dose (for a child) of guaifenesin, an expectorant, that makes your cough more productive by thinning your mucous (but if you are dehydrated, it's not good for you), and a low dose of a cough suppressant, dextromethorphan hbr, so he wouldn't go into coughing spasms, which had been happening to him.

Just a note-- dextromethorphan DOES NOT MIX with SSRIs, like Prozac, Zoloft, etc. If you need a cough suppressant, your doctor needs to prescribe either codeine or tessalon. Both are very effective, and until recently, insurance often rejected paying for the more expensive tessalon when codeine was available (codeine gives me migraines, so my doctor always had to call the insurance company and argue for tessalon for me). It's been better lately now that everyone wants to avoid narcotics.

If you are having an unproductive cough, but are tending to go into spasms, don't buy a combo dextro/guaifenesin med. Buy them separately, and take the max of the guaifenesin, and the lowest recommended dose of the dextro. You could even start with a half dose (I do) and up it if it doesn't help. That means buying a liquid, though, not the gelcaps.

Caveat: IANAD. Just someone with allergies who used to get a lot of tonsillitis before I got'em yanked, who has also lived through croup with her kid.

Also, if you get throat pain as a result of persistent coughing, IME, Tylenol, not NSAIDS works better. Tylenol actually works way better than even the tramadol or codeine you have left from your root canal.

That's all the practical advice I have from personal experience.

RivkahChaya 03-25-2020 03:27 AM


susan 03-25-2020 12:50 PM

A reminder that everyone should check all drug interactions. Dextromethorphan, Benadryl, and albuterol all interact with other meds (for example, Tamoxifen).

Inner Stickler 03-25-2020 04:06 PM


Originally Posted by Mama Zappa (Post 22209308)
That link, while decent, doesn't answer any of the OP's questions.

Well, I think you can interpret that one of two ways. Either the CDC doesn't know the best posture for viral infection recuperation or it's not relevant or too individualized for general guidance. Either way, if the OP is genuinely concerned about how he should sit, his best bet would be to talk with his PCP who knows his medical history best rather than asking randos online.

Manda JO 03-25-2020 04:29 PM

Except when we all need to know, the PCPs may not be available to take our calls.

puzzlegal 03-26-2020 07:21 AM

There was another thread where people talked about "proning", turning a patient who needs a ventilator face down. Someone gave a good description of why it is helpful to change which part of the lungs is facing down when you have pneumonia. I'm pretty sure it's also good to move around if you are still breathing on your own and well enough to do so.

There's a lot of discussion about nsaids (and steroidal antiinflammatories, but people don't usually pop those for a headache) and how they may interfere with your immune response to covid-19. See up-to-date or the internet book of intensive care if you want a solid reference with a lot of medical jargon. There is at least some evidence that taking ibuprofen (or aspirin, naproxen, etc.) early in the course of covid can give the disease a leg up. I'd avoid those drug for now if possible.

From the same references, there seems to have been a controversial study finding iv vitamin c helped in severe cases. (Controversial because not well done.) I have a bottle lying around and I'm taking it. Getting enough sleep is good for your immune system.

Like others, I've had good experiences with guifenesin to clear gunk out of my lungs. Although this bug may just kill cells more than it stimulates the production of mucus.

kanicbird 03-26-2020 07:32 AM

Besides the medical advice, don't overlook the care for oneself aspect. I learned about this late in life. One way to describe it is you have to act like a parent caring for a sick child for yourself. Don't hold back, if you are cold, put the temperature up, don't worry about fuel bills. You also have to 'parent' what you eat so you are getting good things, but perhaps with a treat that you really like, but also moderate treats as well. Want to watch something on TV, sign up for that service so you can. Watch out for unhealthy things, like if you want to play a computer game (which is fine), don't let it consume you and stay up very late). Put yourself to bed at a appropriate time.

puzzlegal 03-26-2020 08:27 AM

Since I seem to be able to log on from my laptop today (woo hoo!) here are the two references I mentioned above. A lot of it is geared towards what a doctor might do, and all of it is written in technical language, but some of it is applicable to caring for yourself:

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