Author: Vanessa Hamalian APRN
As many as 80 out of every 100 people infected with Covid-19 may suffer with lingering symptoms. When these symptoms persist beyond the acute illness then the term “long covid” starts to be used. Some start to identify these symptoms as long covid 4 weeks after acute illness, others wait for 12 weeks to give the “official” diagnosis.
No matter what the eventual definition of long covid is, people are suffering after Covid-19 and need to be treated! While many do recover with time, others do not seem to improve without intervention.
Symptoms of long covid are wide ranging. We most commonly hear complaints of severe and overwhelming fatigue. This fatigue feels insurmountable, makes working very difficult and sometimes impossible. Nearly as common is shortness of breath, usually with minimal activity, like walking to the mailbox, or up a few stairs. This is terrifying, especially to the person who has been athletic or active and healthy for their entire lives.
Other common long covid symptom is headaches, often new headaches, sometimes quite severe and sometimes nagging and persistent. Body aches, joint pain and muscles cramps are all common with long covid as well.
One of the most bothersome symptoms of long haul is the brain fog, the brain feels like it is trying to wade through a bog! Words don’t come out properly or sometimes cannot be found, this is called word searching. Feeling like one is losing their clarity of thought is probably one of the most disconcerting feelings associated with long covid.
Changes to smell and taste range from the loss of either or both to having strange phantom sensations of smells that do not exist or taste that does not match reality. We don’t realize the importance of, or our dependance on, the sense of smell and taste until they are gone or altered!
There are many medication options and combinations that can be helpful in reducing and eliminating long covid. It is better to seek treatment sooner rather than later, but don’t lose heart! There is almost always benefit to be had at any time that treatment is started.
The vast majority of long covid patients recover fully. While no promises can ever be made, doing nothing will likely get you nothing. Seeking treatment on the other hand, may well be the beginning of getting back to your pre-covid state of health.
Treatment starts with a review of current symptoms and then a custom plan is tailored for you. Depending on the severity of symptoms, a follow up will be done a few days or a week later and your treatment plan is continuously monitor and adjusted as you recover.
The I-Recover Protocol published by the FLCCC is the foundation for our treatment, however we spend every spare minute scouring the horizon for any other perspectives or ideas. Dr Bruce Patterson is doing amazing research which we are following carefully, as well as Professor Resia Pretorius.
We encourage our patients to read and research as well and are happy to discuss any findings or ideas they may have.
“Learning to live with long covid” is NOT the answer. Finding solutions, or continuing to research until we do, is the ONLY satisfactory answer! We are here at your side, as you summon every ounce of determination in your body and take this bull by the horns!