My 13-year old daughter Alina recently had COVID19. Her case presents an interesting perspective on COVID19 in children which will hopefully be helpful to the homeopathic community.
Alina is generally a cheerful, creative, active child. She has a fine bone structure and slim build. While in utero, Alina experienced intrauterine growth retardation and was born weighing only 4 pounds at full-term. When she was very young, Alina had a compromised immune system.
She got sick very frequently, and her illnesses were much more severe than they were for others. There was no such thing as “just a cold,” since every illness resulted in high fever for days. Every time Alina became ill, she’d have a lingering cough for weeks, such that she was coughing about half of the time.
Through constitutional and miasmatic homeopathic treatment, Alina’s immune system has been strengthened dramatically over the years. She gets sick much less frequently and with much less severity now. Her constitutional treatment also cured her chronic constipation, low appetite, and weight gain problems.
Although her immune system is much improved now compared to when she was much younger, Alina does still tend to get sick a little more frequently and has somewhat stronger symptoms when she gets sick than most kids do. Therefore, she may be somewhat representative of what the illness would look like in kids who don’t have a very mild presentation.
My Daughter’s COVID19 Progression
Days 1-6: Very Mild Illness
Alina’s illness started with a week of very mild symptoms. Her symptoms were so mild that it wasn’t clear she actually had COVID, because she was just coughing lightly about once or twice a day with no other symptoms. This was happening at a time when there was a lot of smoke in the air from wildfires, so it was assumed that she was just coughing from the smoky air.
Around Day 5, Alina started coughing a little bit more in the evening. It still wasn’t clear that this illness was COVID, and the only thing I had to prescribe on was that the cough seemed worse after waking and in the late afternoon/evening. Given that these time modalities matched Lycopodium‘s keynote aggravation times, Alina had a dry dose of Lycopodium 30c. The cough settled right back down after the dose.
The same thing happened again the next night. A second dry dose of Lycopodium was given with the same results.
Day 7: Sudden Worsening of Symptoms
Around day 6-8, COVID19 commonly gets worse. On Day 7, Alina’s occasional cough seemed to be getting slightly harder; then in the evening, within just about an hour, Alina suddenly got much worse, coughing a lot and coughing hard. She gagged when coughing and vomited a small amount of food. She was chilly, miserable, weeping, not wanting to talk, and sensitive to light. There was no fever.
Although the repertorization at this time indicated Natrum Mur as the most likely remedy, I decided to try another dose of Lycopodium since it had been beneficial the previous days. At 8pm, I administered a wet dose of Lycopodium 30c (from a solution of one pellet in ½ cup water, with 50 succussions). There was a clear strong improvement from the dose. By 9pm, Alina was feeling much better, only coughing occasionally and feeling chipper.
Alina started exhibiting strange symptoms: swelling of her eyelids and forehead, and swollen red finger joints. These symptoms led me to the diagnosis of COVID, which is known to have unusual swelling symptoms (and “COVID toes”) especially in children. Despite these symptoms, Alina continued to feel relatively well through bedtime, so no further doses were given. Once these new unusual symptoms were added to the case analysis, Lycopodium was at the top of the remedy list.
Days 8-11: Lycopodium Working Well to Minimize Symptoms
On Day 8, Alina woke coughing at 4am. Her bottom lip was now swollen. A second wet dose of Lycopodium was given, which alleviated the cough within a few minutes and she went back to sleep.
Over the next couple days, Alina needed wet doses of Lycopodium about every 4-6 hours, when the cough would start to increase. The cough calmed back down to only occasional after each dose of remedy. She continued to exhibit transient weird symptoms that each lasted from a few hours to a day or so: one of her big toes swelled up, her finger and toe joints swelled, she had urticaria-like itchy rashes in different areas, she had a swollen red node on the bottom of one foot.
These all felt strange to her, but none of them were particularly bothersome so I continued to use the cough as the main indicator for further dosing.
Alina never had any obvious fever during this illness, and the ear thermometer never read any higher than 99.7 degrees F. (This is unusual for Alina, who tends to get fevers of 101-103 F with most illnesses.) Her temperature actually seemed to run lower than usual at times during this illness.
Besides the short period of time on Day 7 before I administered the first wet Lycopodium dose, Alina never actually felt very bad during this illness. She’d start feeling a bit worse when her cough would ramp up, but then she’d have another wet dose and go right back to feeling happy and chipper.
From Day 8 onward, in addition to using the homeopathic Lycopodium remedy, Alina also spent ~10 minutes sunbathing each day (for Vitamin D) and had extra vitamin C (in the form of diluted fresh honey lemonade, plus one 500-mg Vitamin C pill stirred into applesauce).
Her appetite was great throughout the whole illness (this is also unusual for Alina, who very easily tends towards diminished appetite during illnesses). She spent day 8 happily reading and playing games on the couch, but by the following day she was already spending some time off the couch playing quietly.
Days 12-18: Minimal Lingering Symptoms
She was completely back to her normal activity level by Day 12, and only needed 2 doses of Lycopodium. On days 13-17, her activity level was normal and she was given one smaller Lycopodium dose daily for just a tiny amount of coughing.
On day 18, I administered one dry dose of Sulphur 30c because there was still a very small amount of lingering cough. (Homeopathic Sulphur often works well at the end of many respiratory illnesses when there is a cough that lingers on after all other symptoms are resolved.) The dry dose of Sulphur completely resolved the lingering cough, and Alina has now been symptom-free for over a month.
Additional COVID19 Symptoms to Watch For
We’ve all seen the lists of COVID19 symptoms to watch for: dry cough, shortness of breath, fever, loss of smell/taste, etc. It is known that COVID19 is often quite mild for kids, so their symptoms may not be so obvious. Having witnessed my daughter’s illness, I was able to see some more specific symptoms to watch for as well:
- overall progression of illness, starting with dry cough only (typically no/minimal nose symptoms or sniffles)
- initial mild stage lasting ~1 week
- sudden worsening of respiratory symptoms around day 6-8
- swollen face (eyes, forehead, lips)
- swollen and/or red joints and bumps in the fingers, toes, and feet
- itchy rash
The swelling and rash symptoms are more common in kids specifically. Kids generally don’t exhibit the loss of smell/taste with this illness. Alina never exhibited any shortness of breath, although it is possible I may have just caught her illness early enough that the lung involvement didn’t become severe.
Interesting Case Notes
There were a few interesting things in the treatment of my daughter’s COVID19 illness.
Here in New Mexico USA, the COVID rate has been very low throughout the pandemic. Alina must have contracted the illness from an asymptomatic carrier (presumably another child), and no one else in our family or close contacts has shown any symptoms of COVID.
In fact, my daughter is the only person I know that has shown any symptoms of COVID. (I did administer a prophylactic dose of Lycopodium to each person in our household towards the end of Alina’s illness, but we did not do anything to limit contact/spread at all for the first week of mild symptoms when I did not yet realize she had COVID.)
Acute Dosing and Potency
For Alina’s doses, I used my standard acute regimen of wet doses (from the 1st dilution) with 40-60 succussions before each dose, and ~1/4-1/2 tsp per dose (using smaller dose amounts as the symptoms became less-pronounced).
One thing that was interesting and different in this case (compared to other illnesses) was that I actually had to keep increasing the potency after every 4-6 doses when the remedy’s positive effects were becoming less pronounced.
I started with 30c potency, then moved to LM2, then LM4, then LM6, and finally LM7. Typically, I use only the 30c for illnesses in our household (and for most of my clients, too, although there are a few who do better with a 200c potency for illnesses). So it was unusual that I needed to continually increase the potency of the remedies for Alina’s doses over time.
COVID19 in Children
For Alina, compared to the flu, this illness had much less impact on her daily life and she felt much better. In contrast, when she has had the flu or even some colds, she is typically on the couch with a fever and dizziness for a few days. (She often tends towards a Gelsemium state during illnesses.) So Alina’s experience agrees with the general conclusion that COVID19 is relatively mild in kids.
Homeopathy Led to Full Recovery
Overall, homeopathy was quite effective at treating my daughter’s COVID19 illness. She recovered quickly and completely, with no sequelae. Prompt treatment was likely an important key to this success.