Covid Day 5
How a Brain Injury Survivor Defends the Brain Against Damage from Covid
Remember that scene in Jaws when they catch a shark and certain townspeople are all too eager to declare the emergency over, but others know better? They reopen the beach. Brody (Roy Scheider) sits there watching the waters vigilantly.
Well, that’s Covid Day 5. At least for me and my wife. Your mileage may vary.
Days 1 through 4 were so mild, it lulled me into a sense of hubris and complacency. I didn’t even take my cold shower in the morning.
Here’s what I think happens with Covid. The novelty of the virus (something the immune systems of our ancestors never encountered before) causes an immune response that creates an opportunity for other latent viruses in your body.
This phenomenon has been documented in people with both the vaccine and the live virus. All of sudden, people are getting Shingles or Guillain-Barré-Syndrome or other conditions that are triggered by viruses, but not necessarily Covid.
In effect, Covid is like a Batman villain who inadvertently recruits or inspires other villains to take action whilst the Commissioner is busy with Covid.
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Covid Day 5
I wake up and instantly feel relieved that my throat has not worsened and I’m so glad I woke up to get the zinc lozenge and do the breathing at 2:30 or things could have really taken a turn for the worse.
I have my coffee. My wife woke up early. She reports feeling better than the day before, but still meh.
The heatwave has ended, and it’s a bit difficult to tell how much of what I’m feeling is relief from the heatwave or some positive progression through Covid. I have almost a hangover feeling, that kind of lowered energy you get after some major exertion of energy.
I have coffee and supplements. I do the Vielight X-Plus and later the Neuro.
When my son wakes, he also looks a bit hangdog, though he reports feeling pretty good.
He takes his supplements, does the Vielight X-Plus, and also has a zinc lozenge. By the afternoon, he says his throat is feeling much better than yesterday.
For the first time in days (in part because of the heatwave) my wife has the energy to go to her office, which is in a fancy detached shed in the backyard (it does not have air conditioning).
I also have enough mental energy to dive into work, which I do from about 11 to 4:30 at my desk, with a break for lunch.
My son makes lunch. He says he’s feeling much better.
At 3:45 I take my first dose of SynaQuell.
At 4:00 I have a video call with a colleague in Australia, who tells me his family had Covid three months ago. He said his wife is only just now starting to feel better.
“Did she lose her sense of smell?” I ask.
He says yes, she did—in fact, that was how they realised it was Covid. One morning, she said “I can’t taste my coffee.”
A three month recovery from a head trauma is not uncommon.
He tells me it took about two weeks before he felt like himself. He says that during that time, if he did a video call like this, he would have been wiped out and had to lie down for a spell.
When the video call ends at 4:30, I do feel tired. It’s the kind of trapdoor energy loss that my wife reported having yesterday.
Around 6:30 I take the second dost of SynaQuell.
Around 7:00, I realise that this morning, I did not take my cold shower! I also realise that, other than the sessions of breathing I’ve done with my wife and son (three in total so far) I haven’t done any of my own breathing sessions.
In other words, today, I really took my eyes off the ball, expecting to just keep sailing toward a full recovery.
I lie down on the couch, completely prone, and do 5 rounds of breathing on my own. I feel the locus of control within myself.
I get up and go to the kitchen, where I put some dishes away. My son walks in and asks me how I’m feeling. I tell him, “I was expected to keep progressing and getting better, but it feels like I’ve taken a bit of a step back today.”
He says, “The same thing happened to me. I felt worse, and now I feel much better. The same thing will probably happen to you.”
I lie on the couch listening to Marc Maron interview Neil Gaiman about The Sandman and Death. About growing up in Sussex with parents who were both Jewish and Scientologists.
I’m having a strange sensation that feels like it is either my brain and body struggling to maintain various pressures (blood, cerebrospinal) or dealing with small surges of electrical activity in different neural circuits.
If it’s a pressure thing, I might be low on electrolytes. Respondong to this idea and a sudden craving, I drink an entire bottle of Gatorade on ice. I drink it the way a man might after spending hours in the desert.
My wife and son stay up for a bit watching TV. I feel bad enough that TV doesn’t fully distract me from bad sensations.
I take my usual sleep cocktail of Magnesium Bisglycinate and L-Theanine. I forget to take the Inositol.
In bed, I finish listening the the Gaiman interview whilst doing 7 rounds of nasal Wim Hof breathing. My last round of inhales and exhales end as Maron strums his guitar in an ethereal rising and falling fashion.
I check the time. Nearly midnight.
I sit there for a moment. Then in a silly voice that I usually use to sing terrible songs— or beautiful songs in a terrible way—I begin singing, “And you want to travel with her, and you want to travel blind…”
And I wonder what song that is, and I look it up. “Suzanne” by Leonard Cohen. Of course. I play it.
As Cohen sings the verse, chorus, verse, I can’t help but wonder if the neurons linked to this song are offering it up to me in a moment of respite amidst a great battle.
Forsaken, almost human
He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone
And you want to travel with him, and you want to travel blind
And then you think maybe you'll trust him
For he's touched your perfect body with his mind
In my next post, I will share the notes I took on Covid Day 6. If that might be helpful to you or someone you know, please subscribe and share.
Brainwave is an informational resource for people whose symptoms haven’t resolved after a concussion or mTBI. I aim to present this information in a clear and concise way, spelling out what’s backed by science and what remains unknown. Nothing here is meant as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. I am not a physician or a healthcare practitioner of any kind; I’ve had a lot of sports-related concussions and had to learn this stuff the hard way. If you found this information helpful or know someone who might benefit from it, please share and subscribe to Brainwave.