Rest Was Key for My COVID-19 Recovery With Duchenne MD

Columnist Hawken Miller works his way through his first bout with COVID-19

Hawken Miller avatar

by Hawken Miller |

banner for

Two weeks ago, I tested positive for COVID-19, which can be especially dangerous for people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. My lungs aren’t as strong as other people’s lungs, and taking a corticosteroid for nearly 20 years has weakened my immune system.

But after consulting with my excellent neurologist and with time, patience, and positive thinking, I have so far been able to get through my first bout of COVID-19. I understand that many others haven’t been as fortunate. I also may not be out of the woods yet as long as the pandemic continues.

Hopefully, people with Duchenne can learn from my COVID-19 recovery experience as the latest variant continues to spread this summer.

Recommended Reading
DMD diagnosis | Muscular Dystrophy News | illustration of two doctors with tablet conferring

Survey Highlights Mental Health Impact of COVID-19 on MD Families

My first inkling that something was off happened on July 29. It started with a sore throat, but I didn’t think anything of it. The next day, I felt even worse, and that night, I battled a 101-degree fever. A test the next morning was positive. I wasn’t exactly shocked, given the night before, but I wondered how it would affect me because it was my first bout with the virus.

Thankfully, I was already with my parents, who were able to take care of me while I was sick. We reached out to my neurologist, who recommended I start taking the antiviral medication Paxlovid. She told me it’s best to start the five-day regimen as early as possible after experiencing symptoms.

I’m not sure how much Paxlovid helped, but it’s hard to compare because this was my first time having COVID-19. One other thing to note, though, is that it leaves an awful taste in your mouth. I was so glad to finish taking it on day five.

The hardest part of COVID-19 recovery for me was staying away from friends and family for several days and being quarantined in the house. However, it did provide me with a lot of time to think about my future, goals, and everything in between. I also had ample time to read, which I don’t normally get.

This is where patience was important. I knew the best thing for me to do was to rest and recover, but my mind always enjoys moving and completing the next project. I had to give myself time and a mental break to get over the virus.

Because of that mental break, I was surprisingly the least stressed I’d been in a while. I track my heart rate with my Apple Watch and saw that it was consistently lower than average, especially while I was sleeping. And while I was still sick, my assistant noted that I seemed healthier overall and better rested.

I believe that reducing my stress was key to my COVID-19 recovery, though it’s still in progress. A few days after I thought I was over the virus, my nose started running and I developed a cough. I’m unsure if it’s what’s known as a Paxlovid rebound or if I now have a cold.

At the end of the day, I realize that it takes time for my body to heal, especially with Duchenne. Whatever health issue I face in the future, I’ll make sure to reduce my stress as much as possible and focus on taking things one day at a time.

Note: Muscular Dystrophy News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This 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. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Muscular Dystrophy News or its parent company, Bionews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to muscular dystrophy.


Nick avatar


I'm glad you are feeling better Hawkin!


Leave a comment

Fill in the required fields to post. Your email address will not be published.