My Journey through Long Covid
Millions of people around the globe are suffering from long Covid, which can affect every organ in the body.
I have been one of them.
My symptoms on this journey have included:
- Burning sensations of lungs and lymphatics
- Shortness of breath, and tightness of the chest
- Moving chest pains
- Painful ribs
- Brain fog
- Difficulty in walking particularly on inclines
- Swellings and pain of lymph glands
- Joint pains
- Painful abdominal cramps
- Vision impairment
- Covid toes…
I attended the Accident and Emergency Department of our local hospital on three separate occasions at my GP’s request, and I have also been followed up at the Pulmonary, Haematology, and Cardiology Departments, plus a Long Covid Clinic in Dublin.
Tests have included 2 echocardiograms, umpteen E.C.G’s, a CTPA on my lungs, a CT angiogram, a spirometry test for lung function, 4 chest X-rays, numerous blood tests plus an ultrasound of the lymph glands of my neck.
My blood pressure was raised, and my inflammatory and blood clotting markers remained elevated for a considerable time after contracting the virus on 22 March 2020.
The scariest symptoms were the moving pains in my chest, and the shortness of breath but they have thankfully gone since December 2021.
It has been a challenging time, but I am so very glad to be alive.
I am also thankful for a LOT of new learning experiences along the way, and feel prompted to share what helped me in my recovery.
The Support of My GP
The support of my GP was key to getting the follow up investigations that were necessary. I was particularly concerned about my raised D-Dimer levels which can indicate blood clots. These levels were still raised when I attended a long Covid clinic in Dublin, 9 months after the onset of the virus.
The long Covid clinic staff were particularly helpful, as they were seeing many people with similar symptoms.
Rest, Rest and more Rest
Rest was key, despite well meant advice to the contrary.
I gained a lot of insights on the need for rest when I joined an online Covid support group. Indeed, I learned that many people in the group had been diagnosed with myocarditis or pericarditis – inflammation of the heart or the pericardium. Rest was key to their recovery.
As a bulge on my heart had been detected on a chest x-ray prior to admission to hospital, I took this advice “to heart.”
I remember one of the earliest bits of advice I was offered from a medical professional. It was to get plenty of fresh air.
I listened, and heeded her advice.
After six months of rest, I was ready to tackle a bit of gardening, and as I pottered outside, my energy and my mood lifted.
Although a healthy diet is key to good health, we may need additional supplements in times of ill health or chronic illness.
I found the following supplements helpful:
- Vitamins A, C, and E plus Zinc and Selenium – all supports for the immune system
- Omegas 3, 6, 9 and Turmeric for their anti-inflammatory properties
- Magnesium which studies suggest may help heart health
- Vitamin D3 for immune support, anti-imflammatory properties and benefits for heart health.
I eased my way gently into exercise, after six months of rest.
It was a challenge as my confidence was much diminished. However, my sister was a terrific exercise buddy, and we practiced yoga together and took walks as weather permitted.
A New Feline Companion
On 22 September 2021, I adopted a rescue kitten who has since been christened Gabriel. In his first 14 months of life, he had been passed over for adoption many times, and when I brought him home he went into hiding behind my fridge freezer for 2 whole weeks!
As you can see, he has adapted well to his new residence, and is a wonderful companion. I cannot imagine life without him.
Online classes have provided a much needed boost for my mental health.
I have participated in singing classes, a clutter clearing seminar with author Denise Linn, E.F.T, crafting…
My reading and writing “mojos” took a holiday, but are thankfully back from vacation.
Reflexology and Kinesiology
I avoided having any hands on natural medicine treatments, until my blood clotting issues were resolved.
It then felt safe to resume my regular reflexology and kinesiology sessions.
Both therapies have helped in reducing my long Covid symptoms.
E.F.T (Emotional Freedom Technique) also known as Tapping uses the fingertips to tap on acupuncture points, to relieve stress and transform negative thoughts and feelings.
It is a technique that you can do for yourself.
There are lots of tapping videos available on Youtube. My favourite tapping teacher is Brad Yates: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiHZMZejDS4RIxDdBwoie9A
Although I completed an initial training in this powerful therapy in 2005, I have only ever used it for self help.
As I contemplate further training in E.F.T. this may change.
It was a great blessing to have a very joyous event on the horizon, as I navigated the pandemic.
My sister is getting married soon, and wedding planning has been a HUGE tonic throughout this journey.
I hope that we can all leave the lessons of the pandemic behind us, and look forward to a brighter future ahead.
It is also my hope that all those who contracted long Covid, may find their way back to optimum health.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment, and before undertaking a new health care regime. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it, because of something you have read on this website.
Brigid P. Gallagher is a retired natural medicines therapist, passionate organic gardener and author of “Watching the Daisies- Life lessons on the Importance of Slow,” a holistic memoir dedicated to the art of mindfulness and healing from debilitating illness.
She lives in Donegal, Ireland – an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/r5GCjaetgZk
Categories: Additional Self Healing Tips