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Recovering from Covid-19, Tested and Donating Convalescent Plasma, Ongoing Work

John T. Haller's picture
Submitted by John T. Haller on May 15, 2020 - 1:21pm

So folks in the community know, I had Covid-19, recovered, and tested positive for antibodies. I couldn't get tested while sick due to the ongoing lack of testing in the United States. My case was better than it could have been: One friend, a triathlete in his late 30s, was in the hospital for 27 days and needed surgery to drain his lungs. My 40 year old neighbor was rushed to the hospital with a collapsed lung and needed two surgeries weekend before last.

I was finally able to get an antibody test a couple weeks after most symptoms subsided by paying out of pocket. I tested positive and am scheduled to donate convalescent plasma in about a week and a half. Even after recovering, the exhaustion, mental fog, and loss of sense of smell/taste hung around for another month. I'm finally starting to feel normal now even though I still can't fully smell.

I've been keeping up with PortableApps.com work while sick and while recovering, though I waited on a couple of the more complex things until my brain was closer to 100%. Things like the Thunderbird/SeaMonkey launcher fixes to enable full portability of newer extensions, a Notepad++ fix to better handle extension restarts, and some platform work. I'll be devoting a bit more time to it starting this weekend, especially after my main financial services client went out of business due to Covid-19. I'll be sorting work/money stuff as time goes on.

Please stay well, stay safe, help those around you that need it. I'll include my Facebook post on the experience here for those who are curious, too.

Facebook Post About Recovering

We've recovered. (knock on wood)

We've been self-isolating for the past 14 days due to COVID-19-like symptoms. Low grade fever, dry cough, fatigue, aches and pains, loss of sense of smell and taste, etc. I also had chest pain and shortness of breath for which I got Zithromax/Azithromycin via a Tele-medicine appointment and a friend picked up and left at our doorstep. The shortness of breath felt a bit better hours after taking Zithromax likely due to its anti-inflammatory effects. The symptoms came and went in waves, so it was difficult to tell when you were getting better or worse. Since folks have asked, Abby is far enough out of chemo that she is not immunocompromised and my kidney donation does not generally impact illnesses like this.

Neither of us was able to get tested as there is still a severe lack of testing supplies. We finished self-isolating as per the current CDC guidelines of at least 7 days since the onset of symptoms, at least 72 hours after the end of fevers without fever-reducing medication, and all other symptoms gone or significantly improved.

It was stressful and scary, but we're thankful it wasn't much worse, given how some folks the same age and health as us are faring. A NYC friend our age is currently in the ICU and had surgery to improve his breathing yesterday.

The best advice I have is, if you start getting sick, immediately start to rest and take it easy. Hydrate as much as possible. A hydration tracking app is helpful there. Make sure you're getting all the sleep you need. And try to keep eating enough even if you lose your appetite a bit. To prep beforehand, check with your insurance website online and set up a tele-medicine account with whoever they have partnered with. If your insurance does not have it or you are uninsured, Mount Sinai NOW has video urgent care for $25 per visit: https://www.mountsinai.org/care/mount-sinai-now

We're both volunteering for the Mt Sinai convalescence plasma program. We'll hopefully be tested for COVID-19 antibodies and then donate blood to help other patients: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10163425335180416&id=775425415

Please stay safe and stay healthy.

Love to all.

Comments

Sorry to hear you are amongst the ones that got taken by this horrible virus.
I keep my fingers crossed hoping that you recover fully with as little lung damage as possible!
Get well!
Kind regards from the Netherlands, Rob

ANTICHRISTUS REX's picture

Thanks God ! Your health and life are more important than the apps out here. Take care and rest as much as possible !!

Be Great or Be Quiet !

I am sorry to know that you had coronavirus. I'm happy that you're better.
Get well soon. And don't worry about programs these days (unless this activity helps you to distress).

RaphaelRB - Brazil

Very sorry to hear about your illness. Glad to hear you are feeling better. Take care.

Bad to say that, Trump screwed it up!
But the main thing is, and it is very important to me, that you are fine again!!! Recover well...

Hi John,

I just learned that you are recovering from COVID-19.

So many people seem to think "it's no big deal" if people get COVID-19. As your blog post points out, they are quite mistaken.

I am immunocompromised, and am concerned it will kill me if I get it.

Thank you for your generosity in donating plasma to help other patients.

It sounds like you and Abby have really had some big challenges lately. I'm relieved to hear that you are both recovering, and I wish you both the best.

John T. Haller's picture

I have several friends who are either immunocompromised or have autoimmune conditions. They're still isolating as much as possible. While convalescent plasma does make their chances of recovery and survival better, we'll hopefully have even better ways to treat it soon. They're also supplementing vitamin D if it doesn't interfere with their other meds as some studies have shown a correlation (not a causation, but not being deficient is usually good). Ask your doctor, of course.

Thanks for the kind words. It wasn't so bad for us, really. Some of my friends have had it much worse. They are recovering. Several friends' relatives, coworkers, etc have passed. The local funeral home had to stop accepting new deceased for weeks. It's been tough in NYC.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

TheDarkGiganotosaur's picture

This infamous, nightmarish, and apocalyptic virus kinda put us all on edge. It's really depressing when we can't go outside and do our daily activities anymore because of this ruthless, merciless, and microscopic enemy. Sure, we can still go outside if we protect ourselves (with masks, bottles of hand sanitizer, and other means), but due to the limitations and rules (distancing between people, few places still closed, hanging out with friends, etcetera) and until there is a vaccine and/or a cure, life, as well as we know it, will never be the same as before. Although I'm still safe and uninfected (for now), all of this made me feel a bit anxious and slipped into a mild depression...

Anyway, I truly regret to hear that you've been through a very difficult time, John (the symptoms and the experience you described really shocked me and fear that it'll happen to me and the others), but I'm glad to know that you're recovering and getting better. I hope everything goes well to your family and friends and especially you (because PortableApps.com would never be the same without you).

I don't know what else to say as I'm not good with words, but stay safe and healthy, be strong, and fight on... you WILL prevail!

The Dark Giganotosaur, the ghastly dinosaur
"Portable and stealth apps are all that matters to me!"
Windows 10 x64 (NEVER USED) | Knoppix 8.1+ x64 | Linux Mint 20.2 Xfce x64

Hope You are going to feel better and better!
I write from Milano (northern Italy) in the region where we had the worst cases/problems, and I understand what You've been passing through...
Take care and stay safe!

John,

it's about two weeks since you've share your thoughts and feelings with us.
I hope you're ok now, so let us know how things are nowadays. And if you need something we can help.

RaphaelRB - Brazil

With friends in NYC and immune-compromised, I'm very close to this. I've been running the Folding@Home program (https://portableapps.com/apps/utilities/folding-at-home-portable) as much as possible to hopefully find proteins that may not find a cure, but could at least disrupt or otherwise interfere with the virus. I hope that having this project helped give you something to do while recovering, as software projects have helped me when I've been sick in the past.

Good luck,

Wf

Moderator at portablefreeware.com

Hi John,

As happy as I was seeing the release for Thunderbird 68, it disappeared the moment I saw someone mentioning you getting Covid-19.
(I was AWOL for a while on the website, so I didn't got the news yet...)
Especially with all your other family things going on, this is a tricky one.
I'm really happy to see you got through this without major symptoms, and are on the way back to a full recovery. And also it didn't affect other family members.

Life is really strange right now, and we all seem to struggle mentally, financially & health wise.
I truly hope you will survive all of the above, especially with the situation as it is now in the US.
Looking in from outside the US, I cannot understand sometimes what the news brings us on everything going on there atm.

I myself dreading the end of the holiday season here in the EU, as we already see new outbreaks again in a lot of countries. There's no holiday location really 100% safe atm here. People will bring it back home again, and we will start all this madness all over again. Sad

But again, I'm glad to read you're getting back on your feet, and I truly hope all things will work out for you.

And of course a massive thank you! for all your work on the portable apps.

Stay safe to all,

Rob
Holland