Date: Monday, 10th, July, 2023
My Experience With Long COVID
I’ve been prompted to write this up and share my thoughts and experiences of what I believe is Long COVID in the hope it helps others, researchers or those experiencing similar circumstances. And perhaps along the way we might find an answer, or just learn to live with it.
19 months and….
For me it kind of began about nineteen months ago, just after the New Year in 2022. At first I thought it was just winter coughs and colds, that came around again every few weeks. I ignored it, it is common for me to pick up all the bugs going and drag through the months with them at that time of the year.
It was only after about five or six months that I began to question why I was repeatedly coming down with fatigue, a higher temperature, illness and general unwellness. That was when I began looking into a deeper cause and whether it had anything to do with COVID.
That was also when I began to notice that these repeated occurrences of fatigue and illness, brain fog and other minor symptoms kept coming back about every three weeks.
It was after about the fifth or sixth bout following Easter that I began to take this more seriously and start logging it down.
Everyone appears to react differently with this, which the symptoms tell me is some form of Long COVID. The rise of aches in my chest and legs, the “fuzziness” in thinking, when nothing regular holds my attention (even though my levels of creativity seem to have leapt up) and the increase in dryness and dehydration to drink twice my normal consumption during the day.
As the majority of these are known symptoms of COVID that is how I began classing it for myself.
And on and on it went.
I found the brain fog to be a problem as I noticed my normal critical sense of judgement wavering, I take a few more imaginative leaps and risks that I wouldn’t in normal conditions. Now I take care to hold everything in during these periods; but it has made me think what other people are going through, those more seriously effected, and how it may be effecting their behaviour and society as a whole. Are we, as a society, prepared for behavioural alterations and long term effects of “brain fog”?
When it hits peak my (approximately) 21-day cycle slows me down and needs special care and attention. I can continued working, slower and more carefully, part-time not full-time, and take more liquids, especially warm drinks to heat up my chest. The liquids seem to ease the aches so I now suspect that those aches are just a by-product of the fevered dehydration and the extra fluids are helping to wash the bug from the system.
Resting up for a couple of days helps at peak, or working only a few hours in those days.
Usual medications for light fevers and colds of course.
But then what, why isn’t it easing after all these months?
Booster Shots of COVID
Every year since COVID began in 2020 I’ve ben hit by a couple of “heavy” bouts of what appear to be the current variants over summer. June/July, and a touch into August, are the peak times for me. As I write this I am just coming out of my last 10-day bout.
Reflecting on this most recent experience I began to wonder why I wasn’t able to completely cure and clear the COVID. It’s not seriously crippling, just like a bad bug dragging me down. And then I began to wonder whether fresh bouts of the latest strain were acting as COVID boosters.
Instead of curing the Long COVID after several weeks or months is it getting a lift up from catching the next version to come around?
Is this why many other people are reporting very long periods of Long COVID – exposure to the next variant reviving it?
We know COVID is a very agile disease, mutating quickly and spreading very, very fast, perhaps too fast for some of us to clear our heads before the next one bounces around and catches us out?
I had one “heavy” bout immediately after a cold just before Easter this year, so I can imagine what that did to me, including a cough that lingered for several weeks.
This is what prompted me to write this up today. Perhaps my experience will help create strategies to deal with Long COVID, to cure it or just manage it more effectively. If you are suffering these repeated bouts and recurring cycles, you’re not alone.
I didn’t mention the strange tummy bubbles that have also effected me in the last few months. Beginning with one bout overnight several months ago at the start of one COVID session I began developing a reoccurring series of grumbly tummy, wind and other unsettlement. I’ve never had anything like this before and can only think there’s a connection between unsettled tummy bubbling in the night long after a meal and the COVID I go through at the same time. As the COVID fades so does the bubbling, until the next eruption.
I’m sure to remember more after I’ve put all this down.