Well, it was a matter of statistics and it happened. After maintaining a COVID-free home for almost all of 2020, New Years Eve morning my teenage son walked into the room with a mask on and asked me to take his temperature: 99.7. Only 99.7, but I knew this was not like him and we promptly isolated him to his bedroom. He’d been in contact with just us: my husband, my other son/ his brother, and myself for all of the holidays- EXCEPT (we now realize)  contact with the virus 3-4 days before.  And of course, the night before he began to have symptoms I had spent over an hour with him in his room helping him with college applications.

With COVID cases and hospital admissions steadily on the rise and the opening of the convention center to accommodate more COVID patients, I felt it might be helpful to share my family’s story and steps I took  both as an Integrative Family Medicine Physician and as a parent of a COVID positive son.

Quick Reminder: This blog is for informational purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for seeking medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your physician. 

So it is  New Year’s Eve and my son has a fever- time to take action. We cleared out one bathroom for his use only (we are fortunate that we can do this.) I contacted his doctor and we were prescribed Ivermectin for the family.

Now let’s talk about Ivermectin for a moment, because the evidence is still developing.  Some consider it controversial. The CDC and FDA  have not yet approved it for treatment of COVID-19, but in reviewing the evolving studies, I am becoming more persuaded that it can be used safely. From what I have seen so far, I believe Ivermectin in synergy with other support measures can help decrease the damage this virus can do, as well as decrease infectivity and inflammation.

Applying the principle of a sliding scale of evidence from my Integrative Medicine training (ie the greater the risk of the intervention, the greater the need for evidence), and knowing the risks are low for Ivermectin if a patient has no liver issues, it made sense to me to add  this to our tool belt. I’ve used Ivermectin for patients over the years to treat scabies. It may not be perfect, but if it can help I am open to it.

I pulled out the supplements and counted out a regime for each of us. We tried to find a place to get a COVID test and since it was NYE there were no slots available. I fortunately had some at home oral saliva PCR tests from a company located here in Austin.The results confirmed he was positive for COVID19.

As 2020 came to a close, we welcomed in the new year by keeping my sick son isolated to his room and hoping for the best.

Here is what I Included in our regimen:

  • Vitamin D3:  2000-3000 iu/day (we actually took one  50,000IU dose weekly)
  • *Vitamin C: 500mg – two twice per day
  • *Zinc:  40 mg /day
  • Melatonin:  6 mg at bedtime
  • Metagenics SPM  Active  (Specialized Pro Resolving Mediators): 3 twice per day 2 wks
  • NAC 600mg: two twice daily
  • Quercetin 500mg: two twice daily

I considered adding these as well, but did not have on hand:

  • Aspirin 81-325 mg
  • curcumin, resveratrol, EGCG, astragalus

Come New Years day, I woke up with a small headache-and no, it was not a hangover from the night before! I went ahead and took the Ivermectin day 1 dose my doctor prescribed and so did my husband.

A few hours later, my headache worsened and I vomited 3 or 4 times.  I completely lost the day. I felt awful and isolated in my room. Honestly, I just prayed and slept. Slept and prayed. I didn’t want to eat or move.

I never did  develop a fever. By late evening, I felt like a cloud had lifted! I still had a lingering headache and continued to isolate in my room.

My husband and older son stayed away from us, except for some wonderful  masked room service from my hubby! They remained without symptoms and well the rest of the quarantine.

My younger (COVID positive) son broke his fever in 2 days and had some sniffles but thankfully that was all. For meals we used paper plates and continued to isolate from each other for the time being.

I lived out of my bedroom and stayed in self isolation for the rest of the week. I did go out and walk the dog a few times but I masked up any time I was outside my room. I worked from my room. I did yoga from my room. I did end up doing the saliva PCR COVID  test on myself twice,  both coming back negative. Some parts of me wanted a positive result  to “prove”  I had COVID, yet I still don’t know for sure.  My antibody tests are now pending.

I feel so, so blessed. We are ok with this one. I’d like to believe our efforts made a difference. I theorize that taking the Ivermectin when we did helped prevent the spike protein from being able to get into my cells through my ACE2 receptors- that possibly, it prevented my husband from getting any symptoms at all. I also believe that the combination of supplements we took helped to keep the virus out of our cells and dampen inflammation. I cannot know this for sure but I reviewed the information and evolving evidence available to me and applied it as well as  what I already knew.

My family still plans to get the COVID-19 vaccine when it is our time.

Other Considerations

Other things to consider if you’re exposed or develop COVID:

  • Chicken soup or bone broth can help clear nasal passages, reduce inflammation, and more
  • Avoid sugary foods as they fuel inflammation
  • Warm Epsom salt baths can help replenish magnesium
  • If you are at high risk for complications from COVID19, your doctor may want to refer you for monoclonal antibodies. This is an outpatient IV treatment to also help prevent the replication of the COVID spike protein.
  • If you have asthma or shortness of breath, consider talking to  your doctor to find out  if you are a candidate for nasally nebulized glutathione.
  • If you have already had or become infected with COVID19, you may consider donating your plasma to help others.
  • You may also want to check out our new LIVEIT minute video

Please please continue to practice self care, wash your hands, mask up, keep a safe distance, and have a plan in place in case you or someone in your household does become COVID19 positive.

This information is as of 1/13/2021 and will be subject to changes as new evidence and clinical trials evolve! As always, we will continue to keep you updated as we learn more!

1/15/21 update: NIH changes guidelines on Ivermectin for COVID19

You may also want to check out NIH’s COVID Treatment guidelines