Affirming Ivermectin Personally
The Healthcare Wars, Part 8
Up front: I am amazed at what ivermectin just did for me, so I wanted to lay it out in an article for people to add to what they're read or heard. This is important for reasons that I'll talk about, including how I and several friends previously took ivermectin (IVM) without any reason to know whether or how it worked for us.
Understand that I've written far more about hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) than IVM not because I know for certain which medicine works better, but because I know the HCQ literature extremely well. I chose not to write about what Dr. Pierre Kory and several others could write more competently about.
Quick reminder: I took IVM last January for Omicron as part of the "kitchen sink protocol":
(Why don’t my own articles open with preview windows, anymore? Even the Substack team hasn’t gotten back to me about that.)
The only problem with starting a kitchen sink protocol on Day 1 is that you really don't know what worked. You definitely don't get to feel it work in any dramatic way because you just don't get very sick. The experience is different when you experience a more progressed illness.
Last Wednesday night a respiratory illness hit me like a brick wall. I'd been out to a four hour meeting with a partner in a new business without me feeling any sort of energy drag. In fact, we might have walked seven or eight miles while discussing some aspects of the company we're working on, and I came home feeling pretty positive. But sometime after dinner I quickly went from normal energy to "flu says go to bed" rather quickly.
The next 48 hours are a typical flu-like illness story. I took it easy and spent some of the time on the couch catching up on documentary recommendations and a sci-fi miniseries called Devs that a friend recommended. I barely even wondered if I had COVID (and I still don't know). I wasn't throwing up, and I didn't have diarrhea. I fell into my usual mindset with basic illnesses, which comes down to,
Treat symptoms with basic medicine.
Don't lay down too much so that drainage doesn't have a chance to pool in the chest as much.
This too shall pass.
I've had the flu four or five times since childhood, and I certainly wasn't particularly worried given that I wasn't vomiting or having bowel problems of any kind. I took vitamins and zinc, a habit reinforced when I got Omicron last year, drank tea, used throat spray, took mucinex, took allegra D (I really wasn't sure how much might be allergies, but I certainly don't want to contend with two problems at once).
I do have seasonal allergies, and they also flare up when the wind picks everything up and whips it around between cold/warm fronts, and at first I wasn't even certain this wasn't a sinus infection. But it did feel closer to a standard respiratory infection. I get a sinus infection every three or four years, but more often during childhood. I've learned the habits above that also cut them off at a day or two of significant symptoms, at most.
This Illness is a Little Different
I still haven't bothered to use a COVID testing kit. The ones that we have left are old enough that even outside of the discussion of how good they ever were, I doubt that they could be particularly well-calibrated to whatever coronaviruses might be out there. If this is an influenza or metapneumonia illness, I figured that my job was mostly to rest and not make it worse. I did hear from a business partner that his son was sick shortly before I was, and only tested positive toward the end of the illness, so it's unclear how good available testing is right now.
At this point, I'd like to describe the symptoms that I experienced because they are slightly different than other respiratory illnesses I've experienced:
Chest congestion that was drier than usual. I do worry that I may have ground glass opacity (GGO). This is different from "wetter" congestion that I usually experience.
Ear pressure and tinnitus. I was already suffering a bit from tinnitus over the past few months, but my ears really closed up. I'd say I lost half my hearing, maybe a little more, though it took 4-5 days to reach that point.
Brain fog. I'll talk about this a bit more.
In total, what I've had is closer to what I would have expected of the initial description of COVID-19.
Trouble Getting Meds
During the first couple of days, I thought I had a more standard illness, and chose to just rest. I needed the rest, anyhow. Through two days of watching documentaries and binging a TV series (I don't get that chance often), my throat irritated me more and more. It hurt to swallow, and I eventually strained my throat. It was the third night that things got really irritating because laying down pushed me into a two hour coughing fit despite taking multiple medications. My throat had started to get a bit raw, and I began to sound hoarse. I slept just an hour that night. The next night was similar, and I slept just three. Finally, I was ready to talk to a doctor who prescribed me a steroid for my throat and ear problems. The steroid did help quickly, but made it yet harder to sleep. I got eight hours total over three-and-a-half days/nights.
On day 6 Dr. George Fareed reached out to me and prescribed me the standard C19 protocol, which I should have reached out for before that point. Understand that my mindset was simply past COVID, and at this time of year I usually fear the possibility of a sinus infection (I have seasonal allergies that usually sting when wind whips up all the stuff). At that point, my wife mentioned that we still had a little ivermectin left from last year (we didn't take all the pills because we both got over Omicron pretty quickly). There were four, and each time I took one, I felt noticeably better within the hour. Most specifically, the second and third pills I took just before and just after sleeping, and I could feel the pressure in my ears change in just 15 minutes, and hear the cracking of little pops. That was particularly profound.
This past Thursday morning I drove to Walgreens to get my prescription from Dr. Fareed. Without telling me, they only gave me the antibiotic, but not HCQ or IVM. I was pretty tired, and just in the past year I can no longer easily read fine print, so I did not think to check the bag I was handed. I only found out when I got home. Calling Walgreens turned into a frustrating event as the pharmacist started questioning me about "an old COVID-19 protocol", though I had not tested SARS-CoV-2 positive, and we weren't sure exactly what I had. I told her that my condition was between me and my doctor, and asked why I wasn't given the HCQ after she told me that they didn't have ivermectin at all (how weird). She kept trying to change the subject back to me and my condition, which I wasn't interested in talking with her about. I asked why I wasn't given the HCQ and she said that she said she wasn't the pharmacist who filled the prescription, but assured me that it was her business to ask me about my condition before I would be given the medicine.
I will never give Walgreens business unless it is a matter of life or death, or time critical in helping somebody else.
Differences by Brand
I did get HCQ and IVM later that day from Walmart, and also ordered some from a telepharmacy. I want to mention this one more observation about the ivermectin:
The brand that worked extremely well for me was Stromectol.
The second brand I got was not so dramatic, and is made by Edenbridge.
It may be that the second brand is fine, but there is literature indicating variability by brand, so I wanted to share my experience. I'd go out and link that literature if I weren't still recovering energy, but both my wife and the FLCCC indicated this was correct. I have also had two friends mention that IVM made them queasy, so I want to mention that the Stromectol was well tolerated, but that the Edenbridge pill made me slightly queasy when I first took it (fine since).
The last three months have been difficult or simply busy for a half dozen different reasons, some of which are hard to explain without a great deal of time. I haven't gotten as much work done on the book as I would have liked, but that's still on my plate. I did get a new small company off the ground with the help of a few friends, and that's going better so far than I would have imagined.
I suspect that I am now in a place where I can return to writing or completing some of the more important articles I've been working on. I woke up at 2 PM yesterday having slept 22 of 40 hours. Most all of the symptoms besides a little wake-up cough and the tinnitus are gone, and I'm feeling much better. Hopefully I'll be able to tackle the tinnitus some other way, but I haven't found it, yet. (Tapping on the back of my head does relieve it somewhat, but temporarily.)