Antivirals and you – what you were too afraid to ask so I experience it for you.
Wife and I got the dread purple line within days of one another. We’d both had Influenza A for five weeks at that stage, just been feeling well enough to go shopping before the weekend and that must have been the acquisition date. Just to put icing on the cake, our shower has been somehow leaking water under the bathroom top flooring and the building floor and making the carpet damp just outside the bathroom door.
We’d told the landlord, who came and tried several likely causes but finally he came back with his builder in tow and they found the cause, the shower base had been modified by the original owners and was pouring water between the floors. So while still shaking off the last effects of the flu we now had a temporary shower set up over the bath, and my wife was still feeling unwell so we decided she should go to stay at her sister’s in the city for a few days.
I’ll diarise this.
Sun 16th: Wife went to her sisters and her flu surged again.
Mon17th: evening we Skyped and – it wasn’t the flu. We’d tested when we caught the flu, and also a few times in between, but this time her test was positive. I did a test here at home and it was negative. Meanwhile she’d contacted the Coronavirus Hotline (1800 675 398 if you need it) and organised for her to get antivirals ASAP due to being in the at-risk group.
Tue 18th Her antivirals arrived and I bought a new pack of tests in case ours were insensitive, but I was still negative. Her condition became – concerning – but she’d also suffered a far worse bout of Infl A than I had.
Wed 19th when we Skyped that evening, I tested positive. Lucky I had the 1800 675 398 number, I rang and was directed to talk to my GP in the morning as I’m also in the at-risk group.
Thur 20th I spoke to my GP and Paxlovid arrived delivered by the pharmacy at 11:15. When we Skyped that evening my wife seemed a little better but while we’d planned for her to come home 19th or 20th, she was a) too unwell yet to travel and b) in any case supposed to remain quarantined for a week.
I should note that one of the pharmacists rang me before the delivery and asked me to ring so that they could discuss the medication with me, and urged me to take the first dose right away and then arrange to have the second dose as close to 12hrs later but not wait up for it, 10hrs would probably be okay as long as I ate with the dose.
By the evening I noticed a really feral bitter ‘coating’ in my mouth but forced myself to eat some cheese and crackers despite them tasting like they’d been drenched in quinine, then took the next dose, and prepared to hit the hay. I also felt the surge of a real fever flush like I’ve only experienced three or four times in my life, and one of those was suspected malaria… Luckily between a hot shower and a paracetamol tablet that abated – I’m guessing that at this stage the antiviral was stopping the virus from reproducing as it was designed to, but my body was coping with an existing viral load that had built up until then.
Another happy finding during the evening – a chip of chocolate let dissolve slowly, lessened the bitter taste. See? Every cloud has a chocolate lining.
Fri 21st The bitter taste wasn’t as pronounced – until I took the morning dose… Then it came back in force but slowed down as I ate lunch. But another thing was happening. I noticed ANGER issues, real irrational make me want to throw punches kind of anger, the slightest thing enraged me, and I was also clumsy, so I did a lot of things that gave me and excuse to get really pissed at the Universe.
Not sure if it’s the Paxlovid, or the virus acting on brain. All I know is that I don’t like it. Three more doses of Paxlovid might see me rampaging and homicidal. I hope it’s just the medication and not another effect of COVID on the brain…
(to be continued in another post. . .)