Post-Covid: How to Cope

Updated:   Published

Background:  I tested positive for the Covid virus in April and was off work through mid-May.  I refused hospitalization.   I am a Wound Care nurse (Inpatient, Outpatient, and the only nurse for a clinic one day a week).   I've worked surgical, oncology, dialysis, and skilled.   I was diagnosed with asthma two years ago.

My employer has been very generous; I've been with them nine years and had plenty of EIL and PTO.   I was allowed to return to work for a limited number of hours while continuing to receive EIL for the remaining hours.   It was very difficult.   At first it was all I could do to get to the office.  My strength gradually increased, my oxygen use improved, and I was able, with difficulty, to make it through about six hours a day.  I have known many of my patients for years and they were accepting and supportive.

I read through the NIH site and began taking Vit A,  a multiple vit B (that was at my husband's insistence),  Vit C, Vit D,, Gamma E, Flaxseed oil for Omega threes, and zinc.   I transitioned to an 80% plant-based diet (I aspire to 100% plant-based, but haven't managed to give up occasional meat).    I attempt to walk approximately  0.75 miles/day, which takes me 30 minutes with rests to re-oxygenate.   Prior to this, I could easily walk four miles in an hour.   If I walk a mile,  joint pain and exhaustion make the rest of the day useless.  I continue to take the Flovent, loratadine, and 800mg of ibuprofen every 8 hours PRN that I took prior to becoming ill.

I lost much of my hair in July/August.   I added Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides, kept up the vitamins, and began topical Rogaine (Costco has a 6-month supply for $50--the best deal I found).   I used the 5% version.    My hair has responded well to this.

I was fortunate in that I am retirement age and officially will retire next Monday.   I do not know how the younger nurses who have a bad case of Covid-19 will manage.  

My question:  Is there anyone researching the most effective methods of recovering from this virus other than medications?    I would love to hear of effective methods of increasing stamina, supporting lung health,  and decreasing inflammation and joint pain.   

The regimen described above has helped,  but I feel I have reached the limit of what it will do for me.  All research I find is understandably directed toward making the hospitalized patient stable enough to be discharged.    Is there anyone researching how to help the Covid-affected patient heal to close to baseline performance?   

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 9 years experience.

29yr F - old here. appreciate this post and am following. Very curious

Advanced Practice Columnist / Guide

juan de la cruz, MSN, RN, NP

9 Articles; 4,338 Posts

Specializes in APRN, Adult Critical Care, General Cardiology. Has 31 years experience.

Great topic! thanks for starting it.


117 Posts

Specializes in OB, Family Practice, Pediatrics. Has 22 years experience.

You're welcome. Slowly but surely. Take the time to do some reading that you've wanted to do. Or learn something new on you tube videos or watch travelogues or learn more about nutrition. This is the perfect time. Before you know it, all of a sudden you'll realize that you are feeling better.


2 Posts

I have not had Covid, so I can’t speak to that specifically, but I did have an abscess that was undiagnosed that progressed to sepsis and almost killed me. I had widespread inflammation and organ dysfunction, small clots in my fingers and toes, I was susceptible to repeated infections for many months. I looked like I had a sunburn for a long time. I’m left with an overreactive airway that I now have inhalers stashed around for, just in case. I never had an asthma diagnosis or any lung issues before this experience. It took me about a year to feel physically normal again, 2 years to feel psychologically well after my illness. I think best thing you can do is take it easy. Don’t push too much. You will recover, but it takes time a long for the body to heal from a widespread infection, and Covid does appear to impact multiple systems. Eat well, sleep a lot, go for walks. Be gentle with yourself. Little by little you will get your old strength back. I was told I had chronic fatigue, was given more wrong diagnoses. I don’t think I had any of it. It just takes a long time to heal. Around 9 months to a year, I felt more like me. I think you will too. Best wishes for your recovery. 


81 Posts

You are right--at some point I need to let go of trying to control  the healing process and simply trust my body to heal.   I'm sorry that you've had to go through what you've gone through.   I'll continue to exercise and to take supplements.   I'll add the black cherry in hopes that it will decrease inflammation and joint pain,  but perhaps I'm just getting impatient.   Thank you for sharing your story; I wish you the best.  

allnurses Guide

herring_RN, ASN, BSN

3,651 Posts

Specializes in Critical care, tele, Medical-Surgical. Has 51 years experience.

Sixty Minutes had a report. The young woman was told it was mental, not physical. They were wrong. The physician featured is suffering post COVID too. You can watch the video.

Puzzling, often debilitating after-effects plaguing COVID-19 "long-haulers"

Doctors are still searching for answers to why a portion of people who were diagnosed with COVID-19 are still suffering symptoms months later. 

COVID-19 was initially thought to be a disease that was serious for the eldery and people with preexisting conditions. A potentially tough, but temporary respiratory illness for everyone else. But now, eight months into the pandemic, younger patients who have had relatively mild cases of COVID, are showing up in doctors offices and emergency rooms with mysterious and debilitating symptoms. It's not unusual for viruses to cause aftereffects, but as you'll hear tonight, doctors tell us they've never seen anything like this. While researchers around the world are scrambling to figure out what's happening, Mount Sinai Hospital here in New York opened one of the first centers to study and treat people with what they're calling "Post-acute COVID Syndrome." The patients we met have a less clinical term - they call themselves "long-haulers."...