covid-19

Re-infection After Long Covid | My Experience

Quite possibly my greatest fear in life during the second half of 2022 was the prospect of being re-infected with COVID-19. My previous infection in July of 2022 led to the worst form of illness I have ever experienced with seemingly no bodily system left untouched. You can read about my experience here.

On November 15th 2022, with a knot in my stomach and worsening upper respiratory symptoms, I waited for the results from the rapid test. Of course, it was positive.

This was my third infection in the past 12 months, and after my previous experience with long covid, I was worried that this time it would be even worse. Fortunately, I had learned a lot from my previous experience and was able to take specific steps to help me recover more quickly. By day 3 of my infection following the protocol below, I was out of bed and virtually symptom free. I waited a full month before writing about my experience, as I know Long COVID can take a few weeks to rear its ugly head, but as of mid-December 2022, I am still completely symptom free and very optimistic about future infections during the expected cold, flu and COVID season of the winter months here in the Northern Hemisphere.

In my previous research on both acute and long COVID recovery protocols, I had aggregated a list of the most likely actions, supplements and therapies to try in order to speed my recovery and reduce my risk of experiencing another brutal Long COVID health crisis.

Digital art showing exploding dna double helix.

The 10 Step Protocol I Followed During Re-infection after Long COVID

1. Blazing hot epsom salt bath infused with essential oils for 20 minutes twice a day

Epsom salt is a natural mineral compound (magnesium sulfate) that can help to reduce inflammation and pain in the body. When dissolved in hot water, the magnesium can be absorbed through the skin, allowing the body to access its therapeutic benefits. By taking a hot 20 minute epsom salt bath twice a day for my acute covid infection, I experienced a number of benefits. First, the warm water and the epsom salt helped to soothe my muscle aches and pains, which were particularly severe during the early stages of my infection. I also found that the bath helped to reduce my fever, which was a welcome relief. In addition, the warm water and the relaxing atmosphere of the bath helped to promote a sense of calm and relaxation, which was beneficial for reducing my stress and anxiety levels. Overall, I found that taking a hot epsom salt bath was a simple and effective way to improve my symptoms and support my body’s natural healing processes during my acute covid infection.

2. Followed by a Hot/Cold contrast shower

To take a contrast shower, first turn the water to as hot a temperature as you can handle without burning your skin, and let it run over your body for one minute. Then, quickly switch the water to as cold as your shower will go and let it run over your body for another minute. Repeat this process three times, ending with cold water.

I found that taking a contrast shower was beneficial for my recovery from viral infection. The hot water helped to relax my muscles and promote circulation, while the cold water helped to stimulate my immune system and promote a healthy inflammatory response. The contrast between the hot and cold temperatures also helped to improve my overall sense of well-being and invigorate my body. Taking a contrast shower was an effective way to support my body’s natural healing processes and improve my health and wellbeing during my recovery from this viral infection.

3. Senna and Probiotics to flush stool and toxins and support Gut Health

During my covid infection, I found that using senna was an effective way to flush toxins (hello, spike protein and viral debris!) from my gastrointestinal tract and support the health of my microbiome. I took senna twice a day, to clear my bowels entirely, as research suggests the SARS-COV-2 virus likes to hide out and propagate in organic material in the gut. In fact, this same research has linked covid severity to overall microbiome diversity and health. The gut microbiome is a complex community of microorganisms that live in the gastrointestinal tract and play an important role in supporting overall health and wellbeing. A healthy gut microbiome can help to protect against infection and support the body’s immune system, but an imbalanced or unhealthy gut microbiome can make individuals more susceptible to infection and disease. In addition to the senna, I took several strains of probiotics to support this immune function of my gut.

4. Water Fasting for 48 hours with Electrolytes

I had been practicing this 48 hour water fast every two weeks to heal from Long COVID, so I figured the same theory of autophagy and cellular regeneration would hold true for an acute infection. Water fasting can be beneficial when fighting a virus like COVID-19, because it can help to support the body’s natural immune response and allow the body to focus its energy on fighting the infection. When the body is fasting, it shifts into a state of metabolic flexibility, which allows it to burn stored fat for energy instead of relying on glucose from food. This can help to support the body’s immune system and allow it to more effectively fight the virus. Fasting can help to reduce inflammation in the body (hello, dreaded Cytokine Storm), which is a key factor in the severity of many viral infections. Inflammation can damage healthy cells and tissues, making it more difficult for the body to recover from infection. I also made sure to take fasting salts (sodium, potassium and magnesium) while fasting, to prevent electrolyte imbalance in my body.

5. Re-Feeding after Fasting with Bone Broth followed by Low Carb Diet

The approach to re-feeding your body becomes even more important on longer fasts. But, even at 48 hours, I found I needed to slow my roll, and introduce my body to nutrition slowly. I started by drinking a cup of warm bone broth about an hour before eating a light meal of mostly lean protein like chicken along with a few veggies. For the first few days after fasting, I try to keep carb consumption low to reduce blood glucose spikes. When infected with a virus, your fasting blood sugar is already elevated (part of the inflammatory response), so you want to avoid spiking this even higher and causing any additional issues related to high blood sugar.

6. Everything on the FLCCC protocol for early COVID treatment 

During my first COVID infection with the Omicron variant in January of 2022, I had followed most of the items mentioned in the controversial FLCCC Protocol with good results. It was an 18 day illness with no secondary Long COVID symptoms. However, my second infection in July, I had not practiced any of their recommendations, mistakenly trusting in my ‘immunity’ from prior infection. This of course led to my difficult 3.5 month Long COVID experience.

I wasn’t going to make the same mistake this time. With the exception of Hydroxycloriquine, I followed the FLCCC protocol religiously for 7 days. I believe my rapid 3 day recovery was due in part to this decision. You can click through to their website for more details, but this is basically what the protocol looks like. I’ve linked to the specific supplements I used. The controversial Ivermectin, I personally ordered from India, but you can also get doctors to prescribe it locally now that the anti-Ivermectin campaign has died down somewhat.

FIRST LINE THERAPIES
Ivermectin: 0.4 to 0.6 mg/kg – one dose daily for at least 5 days or until symptoms resolve.
Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ): 200 mg twice a day for 5 to 10 days (I avoided the risk of this anti-malarial drug).
Zinc: 75-100 mg daily.
Mouthwash: Gargle 3 times a day.
Nasal spray with 1% povidone-iodine: 2-3 times a day.
Aspirin: 325 mg daily (unless contraindicated).
Melatonin: 5-10 mg before bedtime (causes drowsiness).
Curcumin (turmeric): 500 mg twice a day.
Kefir and/or Bifidobacterium Probiotics. The linked L. Plantarum strain has been shown to fight the C-19 virus.
Vitamin C: 500-1000 mg twice a day.
Quercetin (or a mixed flavonoid supplement): 250 mg twice a day.
Home pulse oximeter – I just used my trusty Garmin Sports Watch to continuously monitor my Oxygen Saturation levels and track my stress levels and energy levels with their unique “Body Battery” feature.
SECOND LINE THERAPIIES
Nigella sativa (black cumin): If using seeds, take 80 mg/kg once a day (or 400 to 500 mg of encapsulated oil twice a day).
Vitamin D3 with K2: 10,000 IU daily (two 5,000 IU capsules) for two weeks.
B complex vitamins. One of the tests I took during my Long COVID illness showed my B1 at beriberi levels and the other B’s were all low as well. COVID seems to drain these from your body rapidly.
N-acetyl cysteine (NAC): 600-1200 mg orally twice a day.
Omega-3 fatty acids: 4 g daily.

7. Deep Breathing: Box Breathing and Wim Hof Method

Box breathing is a breath work technique that can help to improve overall respiratory function and increase oxygen flow to the body. To try this yourself, breath in counting to four slowly, hold your breath for four seconds, and then breathe out counting to four as you exhale. Count to four again before breathing in again and repeating the process.

The Wim Hof breathing method is a breathing technique developed by Dutch extreme athlete Wim Hof. The method involves a specific breathing technique, cold exposure, and meditation. It is claimed to have numerous benefits, including improved mental and physical health, increased energy levels, and improved focus and concentration.

One potential benefit of the Wim Hof breathing method for viral infections like COVID-19, is that it may boost the immune system. The method has been shown to increase the production of white blood cells, which play a crucial role in the body’s immune response to infections. This increased immune response may help the body fight off viral infections more effectively.

It has also been shown to have lasting improvement in lung function. This may be especially beneficial for individuals who are suffering from a viral infection that affects the respiratory system. By improving lung function, the Wim Hof breathing method may help to alleviate symptoms of respiratory infections and make it easier for individuals to breathe.

I practiced both deep breathing methods during my acute COVID infection, and continue to practice them as part of my longer term health protocol. Watch the guided video below to learn this breathing technique from the man who developed it.

Guided Wim Hof Breathing Method
8. Budesonide Nasal Spray

Inhaling this nasal steroid spray a few times a day was part of an earlier version of the FLCCC protocol. I found it quite helpful in reducing upper respiratory inflammation and potentially preventing lung fibrosis. At minimum, it helped me breath easier with the sinus congestion from COVID.

9. Stretching, Meditation and Daily Gratitude Prayers

I found that stretching can help to improve circulation (hello, micro clots), which can help to boost the immune system and speed up the recovery process. When you stretch, you increase blood flow to your muscles, which can help to deliver immune cells and other infection-fighting agents to wherever the roaming spike protein cells decide to go in your body. I also found that stretching (specifically after my hot epsom salt bath and contrast shower) helped to relieve the extreme muscle aches and pains caused by the virus.

I’ve written more in-depth about how transcendental meditation can help cure Long COVID, but I found it helpful to practice this during my acute COVID infection as well.

Prayers of gratitude have been shown to lower stress in the body and improve outcomes in ill patients sick with a variety of pathogens, including viruses like COVID. I found it helpful to make a mental list of all the blessings in my life I am thankful for and thank God for each one individually in combination with the deep breathing. The combination of these two practices helped my body reduce the extreme stress it was under from the viral infection.

When I say my body was stressed, this is what that looked like on my Garmin Watch stress meter.
10. Hot tea throughout the day with all the antiviral herbs: rock rose (cistus incanus), oregano oil, red sage, holy basil, fennel, garlic, peppermint, rosemary, echinacea, elderberry, licorice, astragalus, ginger, dandelion root and leaves

Many herbs have shown promise in extensive clinical studies to help the body fight viral pathogens including COVID-19. I basically took the approach of listing the top 14 herbs with viral fighting capabilities and making hot tea to drink throughout the day from these herbs. I may spend some additional time writing about the specifics of these herbs, but for now, I recommend simply Googling the names of each herb if you’d like to read up on the specifics of how each herb supports the miracle of human body immunity.

Conclusion

Following this 10 step protocol, my first re-infection after Long COVID ended up being a 3 day head cold. I am thankful to have access to the resources mentioned, and for the freedom to research and discover pragmatic and emerging treatment ideas as we all seek healing from this pandemic. Hopefully this article has been helpful to you in your own search for better health.

All the peace, all the joy, all the love!

— Josh

Surviving Long Covid

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Welcome to the Surviving Long COVID website. We are survivors of long COVID. We are not among the 6 million who died from this pandemic. We are SURVIVORS! But, as survivors, this illness has left us with often debilitating symptoms and unexplained medical challenges that traditional medicine has all to often been unable to find solutions for. In quiet desperation, by the millions, we have taken the route of medical experimentation. 

Hi, my name is Josh Champagne. I am a Long COVID survivor. I created this website to share my Long Covid journey in the hopes that it will help you on yours. I have tried the diets, the protocols, the therapies, the supplements, the substances (yes, I know), the specialists, the tests, the imaging, and more. In short, I’ve tried ALL THE THINGS in a quiet Herculean effort to restore my mind, body and soul to some semblance of my pre-COVID conscious existence.  If this sounds like you, welcome to the journey, and I pray you find healing and wellness. 

What is Long COVID and Co-infections?

Long COVID, also known as Long Haul COVID,  or PASC (post acute sequelae of Covid), or chronic COVID is (according to the Mayo Clinic) any new, returning or ongoing symptoms that people experience more than four weeks after getting COVID-19.  These symptoms and their severity are somewhat unique to your body, genetics and immune system, which is part of what makes the illness so difficult to manage and treat effectively. The SARS-COV-2 can also activate other dormant illnesses including EBV, Lyme Disease, and other pathogens as it pushes your body into an immuno-compromised state of being. All that being said, here is a short list of some of the common symptoms of Long Covid. I have linked several of them to resources I found helpful for treating them in my journey to healing from this illness.

Symptoms of Long COVID 

General symptoms

  • Exhaustion or fatigue
  • Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental effort, known as PEM (post exertion malaise)
  • Fever or inability to moderate normal body temperature and feeling of histamine or “allergic reaction” inside your body 

Respiratory and heart symptoms

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath (SOB)
  • Cough
  • Chest pain
  • Elevated heart rate or pounding heart (also known as heart palpitations)

Neurological symptoms

  • Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes referred to as “brain fog”)
  • Headache
  • Sleep problems / Insomnia 
  • Dizziness when you stand up (lightheadedness)
  • Pins-and-needles feelings 
  • Change in smell or taste including “smell memories”
  • Depression, extreme anxiety, adrenaline dumps, panic attacks, feelings of impending doom 

Digestive symptoms

  • Diarrhea / Constipation 
  • Constipation 
  • Swallowing difficulty 
  • Gastrointestinal pain and/or swelling

Other symptoms

  • Joint or muscle pain and swelling 
  • Rash
  • Changes in menstrual cycles