Good advice from a respiratory therapist! Joyce.
CORONA Common Sense
Since they are calling on respiratory therapists to help fight the corona virus, and I am a retired one, too old to work in a hospital setting, I’m gonna share some common sense wisdom with those that have the virus and are trying to stay home. If my advice is followed as given, you will improve your chances of not ending up in the hospital on a ventilator. This applies to the otherwise generally healthy population, so use discretion.
1. High temperatures kill viruses, so let your fever run high.* Tylenol, Advil. Motrin, Ibuprofen etc. will bring your fever down. Use common sense and don’t let fever go over 103 or 104. If it gets higher than that, take Tylenol, not ibuprophen or Advil, to keep it regulated. It helps to keep house warm and cover up with blankets so body does not have to work so hard to generate the heat. It usually takes about 3 days of this to break the fever.
2. The body is going to dehydrate with the elevated temperature so you must rehydrate yourself regularly, whether you like it or not. Gatorade with real sugar, or pedialyte with real sugar for kids, works well. Why the sugar? Sugar will give your body back the energy it is using up to create the fever. The electrolytes and fluid you are losing will also be replenished by the Gatorade. If you don’t do this and end up in the hospital they will start an IV and give you D5W (sugar water) and Normal Saline to replenish electrolytes. Gatorade is much cheaper, is pain free, and comes in an assortment of flavors.
3. You must keep your lungs moist. This is best done by taking long, steamy showers on a regular basis. If you are wheezing or congested, use a real minty toothpaste and brush your teeth while taking a steamy shower. Deep breathe through your mouth. This will provide some bronchial dialation and help loosen the phlegm. Force yourself to cough into a wet wash cloth pressed firmly over your mouth and nose, which will cause greater pressure in your lungs forcing them to expand more and break loose more of the congestion.
4. Eat healthy and regularly. Gotta keep your strength up.
5. Once the fever breaks, start moving around to get the body back in shape and blood circulating.
6. Deep breathe on a regular basis, even when it hurts. If you don’t, it becomes easy to develop pneumonia. Pursed lip breathing really helps; breathe in deep and slow. Then exhale through tight lips as if you are blowing out a candle. Blow until you have completely emptied your lungs. You then will be able to breathe in an even deeper breath. This helps keep lungs expanded as well as increasing your oxygen level.
7. Remember that every medication you take is merely relieving the symptoms, not making you well.
8. If you’re still dying, go to the ER.
I’ve been doing these things for myself and my family for over 40 years and kept them out of the hospital, all are healthy and still living today. Thank you all for sharing. We gotta help one another.
[Editors’ note: * There is no scientific evidence that the high temp of a fever helps you actually get better. It may or may not be good advice to not take any medication for fever. Not only does that increase suffering, but may also increase dehydration. Please consult a doctor.]