Long-Haul COVID: WSJ — the Single Thing that Works Best for (slow) Recovery
This note for anyone suffering from long-haul COVID-19, which is a confusing term, because COVID-19 as a viral infection is long gone. A better term would be something like chronic COVID-induced fatigue (CCIF), or, since it is my view that viruses in general can induce chronic fatigues, chronic viral sequelae (CVS).
It’s more than just fatigue, for example, 5 months of gastrointestinal issues including very loose stools and reactions to foods for no apparent reason. Along with various other issues, which can very by person.
It is my hypothesis that CVS is actually a vagus nerve nerve issue, possibly involving the brain stem and brain itself. This would explain all sorts of strange apparently unrelated symptoms. This hypothesis is not about saying that other body areas are without additional issues, but that numerous physiological systems throughout the body cannot restore themselves to homeostasis because the “boss” (vagus nerve and brain) are all out of kilter.
Symptoms (some come and go, some have evolved away as new ones arise)
I am not alone—sharing these things with an MD acquaintance also suffering from it, we share many of the same issues. Like me, his EBV was a post-COVID nuke to his system.
I have had six months of many symptoms:
- Exercise intolerance — initial recovery was OK, but each time I went to normal baseline, I get whacked really hard for days or a week. I am weaker now than 5 months ago. A one-mile walk is sometimes too much, two miles is a strain unless it’s a strong day—and I pay dearly for it (for days) if I misgauge.
- Highly disrupted sleep — needing to sleep, unable to sleep. Sometimes a need for two naps per day up to two hours each.
- Extreme fatigue — needing to sleep 14 hours a day or more.
- Entire body aches (especially the back, very bad recently), joint aches (mostly resolved).
- Motivation — wanting to just sit and do nothing
- Attentional issues — concentration.
- Unexplained shortness of breath (no environmental causes). Fortunately, magnesium deals with it longer and better than any prescription inhaler.
- Gastrointestinal issues — diarrhea and loose stools for months, then resolving but being intolerant of some foods.
- Total loss of appetite, apathy towards any food for up to 30 hours (twice recently).
- Evolving symptoms that keep me guessing.
- Cyclical effects that keep me guessing.