Before we continue, I am not a doctor and this article deals with information I collected from people who have had to deal with serious, sometimes long term lung diseases and still live a life and be productive. Any serious medical questions or concerns are something you should forward to your doctor. Also, if unfortunately you do get coronavirus, and it escalates to the point it is starting to choke your lungs, head to the hospital especially if it is night time and you feel sleepy- you do not want to choke in your sleep.
So, how are bronchitis and asthma similar to pneumonia, including the one caused by coronavirus? Here are a few bullet points:
- Bronchitis can be viral or bacterial and causes cough, chest discomfort, bronchial inflammation, mucus production that you cough out, you get shortness of breath as well as fever and chills. As it gets worse, your lungs hurt more and more when you cough and your mucus may have a tiny bit of blood in it.
- Asthma is often caused by different allergens and causes discomfort and inflammation to the lungs. It easily causes coughing as well as breathing difficulties simply from laughing, exercising, allergic reactions etc. Shortness of breath and wheezing are not uncommon either.
- Pneumonia is a lung inflammation and infection that also causes a cough with mucus, shortness of breath, rapid and shallow breathing, sharp and stabbing chest pain if you try to inhale fully, fever sweating and chills...
The first thing is to understand that all three of these involve lung inflammation and harm to lung tissue. Here in Canada, a typical approach is to get two puffers- one is anti-inflammatory, the other is a steroid spray that can boost your lungs and help your body deal with these illnesses a lot better, and even recover faster. If you were to get coronavirus, demanding these two puffers from your doctor would not be a bad idea, but as always it is up to you.
The second thing is to ignore your loss of appetite which you are likely to experience due to pneumonia. You must eat. If you are also nauseous, add in some pepto bismol but do not stop eating and do not just each chicken soup. When I make my chicken soup, it has huge chicken breast chunks so my soup could do wonders in fighting disease. If your soup is not like that, you must eat everything you can. If you are worried about chocking on food, blend a fruit, veggie and protein smoothie and sip it on a really thick straw- just do not choke. The reason why food matters is because food helps fuel your immune system. For example, a Harvard study showed that the effect of flu vaccine on older people is weakened if they are experiencing micronutrient malnutrition- a long-term lack of proper amounts of vitamins and minerals. So, you have to eat even if you do not feel like it. Force yourself if you have to. Same goes for water and tea. Have some close by and drink throughout the day.
Speaking of micronutrients, when you are sick do not rely solely on your food to get the right amount of all of your vitamins and minerals. At least add a good multivitamin if you are not taking one already. When dealing with any serious virus, stack the deck in your favor simply because you can, and at almost any North American budget.
Finally, you need to realize when you are sick that you are just that- sick. Many people out there, myself included, want to bounce back really fast and as soon as we feel a little better, we think it is completely ok to speed up and get back in the rhythm with work and life. This is completely wrong. Even if you manage to do everything right, your body will still be fighting the virus for survival, using every single bit of vitality you have. Us humans need to finally understand that our feelings of well-being are not particularly accurate at pinpointing things like how bad an illness is or which stage of recovery your body is in. It is much better to go by reliable online medical sources, especially when it comes to recovery times. If it says two weeks on average, for example, why on earth would anyone think they are so superior they can beat it in one? It boggles the mind haha. Be mindful of what you do and how you do it when you start feeling just a little better. People with asthma know this best. They constantly have to be mindful of their lungs and think before they act, or else they may get in trouble.
There you have it, dearest readers. I hope you stay healthy and avoid coronavirus. However, if the opposite happens, I hope you will follow this wellness advice and more, and that you will not hesitate to seek professional help if the symptoms escalate beyond your ability to control them.