Be the Squeaky Wheel - Part I

The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

In the past few weeks, we’ve been focused on risk assessment. It has been important to talk about keeping yourself and your family healthy and safe. As we see record increases of new cases spring up and the disturbing lag of COVID deaths, however, it’s important to take a time out from risk assessment.

Another discussion needs to rise to the surface. It’s a discussion none of us want to have, but is necessary, nonetheless. What if…God forbid…you or a loved one contracts COVID-19? We all hope it’s a light case, but this crazy coronavirus is no respecter of persons…there is no rhyme or reason for why one person breezes through with a slight cough while another languishes at death’s door for weeks, and hopefully still survives, life forever changed.

Let’s talk about the unlucky ones…and if that is you, what you can do about it. I am not a doctor. I am a writer, so what you are about to read is a compilation of articles read and digested, with an analysis made based on my years as a nurse. This is what I will do for myself or my family, and it’s up to you to figure out your own treatment parameters.

First of all, realize you have rights. Doctors are going to offer you a course of treatment they hope will make it all better, but no one really knows what that magic bullet is going to be. Right now there are all kinds of anecdotal studies circulating without the numbers to prove the efficacy of any one course of treatment. That said, you can request or rather, demand the course of treatment you prefer.

No, there may not be enough remdesivir to treat everyone, but there’s no definitive proof it would help you anyway. My purpose this week to let you know your options.

Option #1 You don’t have to agree to be on a ventilator. There is a robust discussion on the efficacy of ventilators in treating COVID-19. They are the last resort to keep someone alive, but the truth is, they aren’t pulling anyone through. They are buying time in hopes the body can fight off the specter of death. You get to decide if you want to be on a ventilator or not. Yes, you, but take responsibility for your decision.

Option #2 You can ask for anti-inflammatory medications. We know COVID-19 sets up an inflammatory process in the lungs. Hopefully, by now, doctors everywhere are routinely prescribing these, and if so, you’ll hear them talk about corticosteroids, medications like methylprednisolone, prednisone, or dexamethasone. You can ask for a breathing treatment with budesonide or a similar type of inhalant. That’s putting an anti-inflammatory directly into your lungs.

Option #3 You can ask for supplemental IV treatments. The MATH Treatment Protocol suggests adding supplements to the main course. Ascorbic Acid (Vit C) generated a lot of good press. It may not be a curative by itself, but intravenous Vit C is not going to hurt you. Thiamine and zinc are also being used to fortify the body with the building blocks to fight off infection.

Option #4 You can ask for anticoagulant therapy. Autopsy reports are providing evidence that mini clots are part of the COVID disease process. Many hospitalists are routinely prescribing heparin or other blood thinners to their treatment regimens. Be sure your doctor is doing just that.

Doctors are good people. They want to heal. They have your best interests at heart. But the evidence is sketchy. Don’t walk into this blind alley without a way out…be informed. Be reasonable, but firm. Make your requests known. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. You have rights.

The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.