The Long Haul: Part 1
Long Haulers is Nothing New
Long Haulers syndrome, also known for decades as Post-Viral Syndrome, has been an issue with Covid19.
Sadly, it is NOTHING new.
For those of us who have suffered for decades with Post-Viral Syndrome, we know all too well the neurological glitches, the out-of-nowhere fatigue where you literally need to lie down immediately for a nap (and tell your friends to protect you while you sleep next to them in public because you feel like you’re dying), the eye symptoms, the brain inflammation (leading to mood swings, foggy mindedness, and anger), the depression, the bone, joint & muscle pain, and the sometimes utter lackluster desire to live.
I know all too well. It about killed me when I was 19 and I had to be withdrawn from college and spend a quarter back at home where I cried and wasted away to nothing following a rather bad round of CMV. I spent 10 years squabbling with that one, although things got better with each passing year.
Then in the mid-2000’s during med school (whilst attending Naturopathic and Chiropractic colleges and assigned clinical rounds at both concurrently), I got smacked with influenza that turned into pneumonia, meningitis and wasting. That one set me back decently and I’m not sure I’ve been the same since.
I’ll tell you what both bouts had in common so far as where my life was at:
I was stressed out of my mind both times
I was drinking too much alcohol both times
I was frail both times
I was disregarding my sleep both times
I was in a toxic relationship that needed to end both times
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Post-Viral Syndrome, or Long Haulers, is a conglomerate of symptoms that persist following an infection by a virus, and most notably these days the culprit is SARS COV2.
It’s a culmination of symptoms which may include physical, mental/emotional, cognitive, cardiovascular and neurological issues that may be intermittent or constant and varies in severity and for length of time.
Fatigue, weakness, pain, sleep issues, brain fog and headaches that linger after the viral infection has cleared for weeks, months and sometimes even years.
Mind you, we’ve known about post-viral syndrome for DECADES. Just because the medical community and media are finally catching up does not mean it hasn’t been a very real issue for many of us for a long time. We were ignored, gas lighted and called hypochondriacs, but it was really happening.
As it is a diagnosis of exclusion and there are no standardized lab tests to diagnosis it clearly, it can be hard to get diagnosed. Most doctors simply were not looking for it or didn’t believe it existed until Covid19 put it into the forefront.
While I’m glad it’s gotten attention, it’s too bad it’s being used to promote so much fear. “If the Rona doesn’t get you the long haulers will!” is the going logic these days.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is actually a form of a post-viral syndrome, as an example.
Post-viral syndrome, so far as I’ve seen clinically and what the data currently is showing, is most prevalent in the SAME group most prone to poor outcomes with the virus. Ie. sickly, inflamed, frail, obese, elderly, etc.
As I’ve said on REPEAT since the day this pandemic started:
How you enter into any virus will dictate how you get through it.
Turns out MANY viruses can cause the SAME problems we hear about all the time in the news with long haulers.
Brain issues, heart issues, joint pain, etc. Seems like an alien has descended upon our planet with a unique ability to make it’s unique mark known.
Only, this isn’t unique or novel at all. For those of us who have suffered setbacks from viral infections, large or small, we know it all too well.
Have a look for yourself. Jump on your favorite internet browser and type in the words:
“Sequelae (Your Favorite Virus) and (Condition You Are Interested In)”
Example: Sequelae CMV Neurologic
Or: Sequelae Influenza Cardiovascular
Or: Sequelae Herpes Joints
See what comes up!
Be sure to check out the entire series: The Long Haul & my podcast episode all about Long Haulers:
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