Reacting to the Virus: I am just the... - SHARE Breast Canc...

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Reacting to the Virus


I am just the messenger but it is worth heeding.


I know we’re all tired of hearing/talking about it, but one thing I HAVEN’T really seen going around is advice for what happens if you DO get coronavirus (many of us will), we're only seeing advice for how to try to AVOID it. So as your friendly neighborhood RN, a wee thread:

Things you should *actually* buy ahead of time (Erm, not sure what the obsession with toilet paper is?): Kleenex, Acetaminophen (Tylenol) in 325 mg tablets, Ibuprofen (Advil) in 200 mg tablets, Mucinex, Robitussin or DayQuil/NyQuil, whatever your cough medicine of choice is.

If you don’t have a humidifier, that would also be a good thing to get. (You can also just turn the shower on hot and sit in the bathroom breathing in the steam). Also a good time to make a big batch of your favorite soup to freeze and have on hand.

If you have a history of asthma and you have a prescription inhaler, make sure the one you have isn’t expired and refill it/get a new one if it is.

You basically just want to prepare as though you know you’re going to get a nasty respiratory bug like bronchitis or pneumonia. You just have the foresight to know it’s coming.

For symptom management, use the meds I mentioned. For a fever over 101, alternate Tylenol and Advil so you’re taking a dose of one or the other every 3 hours. Use both cough suppressants and expectorants (most cough meds have both). Drink a ton, hydrate hydrate. Rest lots.

If you're sick, you should not be leaving your house except to go to the doctor, and if you do, wear a mask (regular is fine, you don’t need an N95). You DO NOT NEED TO GO TO THE ER unless you are having trouble breathing or your fever is very high and unmanaged with meds.

90% of healthy adult cases thus far have been managed at home with basic rest/hydration/over-the-counter meds. We don’t want to clog the ERs unless you’re actually in distress. The hospital beds will be used for people who apamctively need oxygen/breathing treatments/IV fluids.

If you have a pre-existing lung condition (COPD, emphysema, lung cancer) or are on immunosuppressants, now is a great time to talk to your PCP or specialist about what they would like you to do if you get sick. They might have plans to get you admitted and bypass the ER entirely.

One major relief to you parents is that kids do VERY well with coronavirus— they usually bounce back in a few days, no one under 18 has died, and almost no kids have required hospitalization (unless they have a lung disease like CF).

Just use pediatric dosing of the same meds.

(If you want to share, copy and paste.)

8 Replies

Great advice. Thanks.

Thanks I was just saying nobody is talking about what to do if you get it so it was nice to hear what to do

Thank you for the information.

I keep hearing about how people who have pre-existing condition are more likely to be affected by this virus. Then someone at work tells me ‘you have C so you should be extra careful’ but I finished chemo in October and Ive felt great these last few months but just this past week my toddler gave me her cold🤯 still, though my body was able to fight it and had no fever, just really congested and a minor cough.

in reply to Mmnyc

Our bodies are tired from all we have put them through, and it is important to remember that we need to be more careful. The virus is now less than 5 miles from me, and that is a bit frightening, although I refuse to panic. My docs caution me to be very careful, but not to overreact to the virus because our immune systems may not be as strong as they should be. (I am at higher risk because my cancer is still present.)

It is good that you were able to fight off the cold!!!

Great advice! One more item I purchased was a pulse ox. My Mother is 91 years old with a history of pneumonia. Keeping an eye on oxygen level seemed like a good idea.

in reply to Codeblack7

Good idea. I have lung ca right now, so the pulse ox is already important, In a long press conference they just disclosed there are 3 active cases within 2 miles of me :( Spooky

I am very nervous, tomorrow I am scheduled for a bilateral mastectomy. I've called the breast surgeon's office, plastic surgeon, and the hospital, all are saying they are ok with proceeding with the surgery. I'm worried about this virus and how my immune system will be. Just finished chemo a few weeks ago.

in reply to Karina66

Praying all goes well - please keep us informed

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