My Niven-Covid And Me

Today marks the fifth day of feeling very unwell, and the second day since I tested positive for Covid. It feels like much longer than that of course, as I can no longer remember how I felt when I was still ‘okay’. From the skewed perspective of illness and lack of sleep, it seems I have always felt like this, not just for less than one week.

Covid seems to affect people in different ways, and at different levels of severity. So I have come to think of it as ‘My’ Covid. It has a personality, a sense of purpose, and seems to speak to me with an accent similar to that of the late David Niven. So I call it Niven-Covid.

There are definite rules.

I must not be allowed to sleep.
I must not be allowed to recline comfortably.
I must not be allowed to enjoy a meal.
I must not be allowed to relish a refreshing drink.
I must not be allowed to concentrate on anything, such as enjoying a film or reading a book.

I must feel as if I have molten lava tricking down my throat at all times.
I must pull all the muscles in my chest and stomach with incessant coughing day and night.
I must feel too hot under the bedclothes, and too cold outside of them.
Everything I try to drink or eat has to taste like a rusty tin can.

Niven-Covid is firm about those rules, and woe betide you ignore them. Try lying down in bed like a normal person, and seconds later you will be in a paroxysm of coughing that is violent enough to make you get out of bed and lean against the wall. So you sit in the bed, legs crossed, covers drawn around you to stay warm. That way, you can still breathe.

Trouble is, you eventually get so tired that you slide down into the bed. Then you can almost see that Niven-smile as you feel like you are under a lake of warm water that is invading your lungs as you fling bedcovers off in a panic.

Cough-Splutter-Choke. Repeat.

How much internal fluid can one elderly human man produce? I can’t give you a measurement, but I can tell you it is a lot. Much more than you might expect. Enough to refill my lungs every 120 seconds or so. Enough to make my eyes stream for sixteen hours non-stop. Enough to fill my mouth with water twenty times an hour until I want to run screaming out of the house into the constant rain that has been falling outside for days on end.

Lack of sleep can make you act strangely after a while. You start to imagine that you are actually recovered. There hasn’t been a Cough-Splutter-Choke moment for at least six minutes. Maybe I’m better? Now I can actually stretch out and lie down. Even as my legs move under the duvet, and I contemplate the luxury of real rest, I hear the voice of the actor whispering in my ear.

“Come now, Pete. Lying down? Really? I’m still here you know. Ignore me at your peril”.

Cough-Splutter-Choke. Repeat.

83 thoughts on “My Niven-Covid And Me

  1. Hi Pete! Have you tried taking steam? Try that thrice a day five-ten minute each time. It will reduce the phlegm build up in tear glands and throat. Also raise your back and head slightly, say add two pillow beneath your head and one below your back for support. It makes breathing easy. Drink loads of warm-hot water to cut the phlegm extra fast. Sending prayers for your family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Carol. I finally got some sleep last night, (almost 6 hours!) though I had to pay for it with a monumental coughing fit when I woke up at 04:15 this morning. The coughing is still on and off now, at 09:30.
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I reckon you could be stuck with the cough for a while, given the weather but at least if you get some sleep you will be better able to cope with it during the day although from experience it is annoying and draining , Take care xx

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  2. So sorry that you caught it too Pete. It almost took me a month to recover when we had Covid last year. And the worse thing is, it affected my sense of hearing. Be well. How’s Julie and Ollie too?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry to hear you are feeling rough Pete. If you have any Thyme, make a tea out of half a teaspoon of it with some honey/sugar to take the edge off the taste. If it’s loose thyme it might need straining before drinking but it’ll give your lungs some respite and might help you nod off.
    Try it. It really works.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Keith. I have been having some honey, which didn’t do much to help. But I slept last night from 22:00-04:15. I think it was just from complete exhaustion.
      Cheers, Pete.

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  4. Your coughing fits sound awful. I slept with three pillows, so practically sitting. I used a cortisone throat spray and also steamed using boiling water in a bowl and a towel over my head. It was horrid but did help the cough and mucus.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was using two large pillows and a ‘V-Pillow’ to keep me bolt upright. But once I fell asleep, I started to slip down and woke up coughing again, Robbie.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  5. One positive. You have managed to write your blog, is this the end of Niven covid or perhaps at least the beginning of the end. I can relate to no sleep had almost 70 hours of hiccups (side effect of chemo)
    Any way get well soon thinking of you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 70 hours of hiccups must have been a nightmare, Bobby. It took me most of the morning to write the blog post, between coughing fits. I don’t think it is going away just yet.
      Cheers, Pete.

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  6. (1) Mother Nature is wasting the rain. There’s no parade for it to rain on.
    (2) Covid affected me in different ways, but it was no picnic. And if it had been, the food would have tasted lousy anyway.
    (3) I’m amazed you can still write a blog post, considering how you feel. Please get well soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pete, when a friend’s granddaughter was about 3, she and the child had a “falling out.” The child was sent to her room “to think.” On her way there, my friend heard her saying under her breath: “I don’t yike you. I don’t yike your car. I don’t yike nothin’ you got!” That’s how I feel about Niven-Covid. I don’t yike it, and I want it to get outta Beetley! Blessings.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Wow, Niven-Covid is quite the taskmaster! You’re right that we seem to get our own personalized version of covid, and that likely has changed as each new variant emerges! I’m sorry you got this ugly one! Niven-covid seems particularly evil and I hope you kick him out soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sorry to hear you’re so unwell, Pete.

    Funnily enough both Janis and I have had colds for the past five or six days. We decided to test for COVID and we’ve both tested positive for the first time ever.

    It hasn’t affected us too badly, to be fair, but we’ve suddenly had to arrange Christmas at home (thanks to Deliveroo).

    We send you our best wishes (consider this to be your Christmas card) and hope all three of you have as good a Christmas as you possibly can.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. NIce to hear from you, old friend. I hope that you and Janis stay with mild symptoms, you definitely would not want the severe ones. I haven’t sent any cards at all this year, and we have postponed the family Christmas until some time in 2023.
      Cheers, Pete.

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  10. I feel for you, Pete. I’m at day 7 of flu symptoms (which is the persistent mild sore throat).. day four after testing positive. Sounds like you are having a tougher time. Won’t they allow you certain IV drug treatment at a hospital? They say that stuff does well if you get that bad.
    Just got a phone call from a buddy at our church who does the audio/visual stuff with me.. and he and his wife tested positive. Amazing how this thing just moves around!
    Anyway.. take care of yourself.. you and I ain’t spring chickens anymore.
    David Niven’s voice, huh. If anything I “hear” the ghost of my dead ex- mother-in-law and her sardonic laughter at my suffering.. the b***h.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The hospitals are inundated here at the moment. We have ongoing strikes by nurses and paramedics, and you have to be at death’s door to be admitted.
      I think I prefer David Niven to any of the mothers-in-law. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

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    1. I was able to see the funny side this morning, Ron. But when I woke up ‘drowning’ at 02:16 after almost three hour’s sleep, I had zero sense of humour.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  11. Oh Pete, that sounds terrible. I can sympathise with the watery eyes, as I have a permanent watery right eye. It’s miserable. Both Sam and I have said that a few drops of black seed oil in lemon and ginger tea helps with catarrh. Hope you feel better soon.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am taking various tablets, a medical mouthwash/gargle to soothe my throat, and the anitbiotics prescribed by my GP. So far, nothing has made a jot of difference. The main issue is lack of sleep. Since I woke up at 4am on Tuesday, I have had less than six hours of actual sleep. I am completely exhausted, but every time I go to sleep I am awake again within minutes, coughing and choking.
      Trying to stay positive, but not feeling it at all.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I must have been thinking about the Powell-Pressburger film, ‘A Matter Of Life And Death’. Then I got Niven stuck in my head.
        It does seem highly unlikely that we will have recovered by the 25th, Sarada.
        Best wishes, Pete.

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