. . . there’s a feeling of . . . coming out of a fog.

Yeah. Turns out . . . I haven’t quite finished talking about my Covid adventure (or . . . mis-adventure?) quite yet. Because there is more to the story.

You might recall that two weeks ago today (to the day) I touted my joyous “re-entry” following Covid. And I did have several quite nice days of reprieve there — feeling good, testing negative — before Covid reared its head again with Paxlovid “rebound” infections, first for Tom and then for me.

Not what we were hoping for.

By now, you’ve probably heard all about Paxlovid. It’s a highly effective anti-viral treatment for Covid — especially effective for people over 50, and double-especially effective for people who are at risk for complications of Covid. Paxlovid . . . keeps people out of the hospital. The bad side of Paxlovid, though? Rebound infections. (And a really vile taste in your mouth while you’re on the drug.)

I happen to fall in that category of people at (I would say only slightly) higher risk of complications from Covid. Not because I have rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune disease) or because of any medications I currently take . . . but because of a medication I last took in late 2018. This particular medication really messes up your immune system for a number of years (something about T-cells. . .  or maybe B-cells? I can’t quite recall, but it wipes out immune response for up to 5 years). (It also works really well, and I’m sad that I can’t have it right now. But the outcomes are too risky for casual RA treatment during Covid times.) Anyway, because of my history with this particular medication, I am on “the list” of compromised folks. My doctors recommended that I take Paxlovid as soon as I tested positive. (Tom took it, too.)

And the Paxlovid worked really, really well. After just a couple of doses, both Tom and I felt much better — and it didn’t take us too long before we tested negative again, either.

But, like I mentioned, both of us experienced “rebound” . . . with our Covid symptoms and postive test results returning. For both of us, the rebound symptoms were more like . . . bad head colds. Neither of us had fevers or body aches; just stuffy noses and annoying coughs. Tom slept a lot. I got terribly out-of-sorts (really awful crankiness) (but that happens to me whenever I get sick; I am just not a good sick-person). The rebound symptoms were milder than our original Covid symptoms — but still highly irritating. Because between the two of us – tag-teaming Covid from the beginning – it just seemed like such a huge step backward.

At first, I kept wishing I hadn’t taken Paxlovid in the first place. But . . . you really never know. I only had about 2 really bad Covid-symptom days before taking the Paxlovid. Who knows how things might have developed without Paxlovid. I am at (slightly) higher risk. I was at the end of my booster cycle (I’d been scheduled for my new covalent booster the day after I began taking Paxlovid). I was probably more vulnerable to Covid than I had been since being vaccinated. Who knows how I’d have responded without Paxlovid, y’know?

“You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.”
Cormac McCarthy in No Country for Old Men

The Paxlovid did what it was supposed to do. It minimized my Covid symptoms, and then – when I rebounded – my resulting symptoms were manageable (but irritating; have I mentioned that already???). I was uncomfortable for a few days. I had a nuisance cough and a baaad attitude. BUT . . . I didn’t end up in the hospital, nor did I need attention from my doctor. It was a like a bad head cold. And I got through it.

(FINALLY. Officially out of the fog.) (Just this morning, by the way.)

So I guess all this is to say . . .
I’d take Paxlovid if I had it to do all over again.
Tom . . . would not.

The scariest thing about Covid . . . is that people die from it (are still dying from it). And it seems awfully random sometimes . . . who struggles with Covid, and who doesn’t. As for me, well. I think I’d rather deal with a horrid taste in my mouth and risk a possible “rebound” . . . than end up in the hospital.

If you’re not at risk, I don’t think I’d recommend Paxlovid. But if you are – or if someone you love is – I think it’s an option worth considering.

(And I hope this is my last post about Covid.)