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.

In 2020, I posted my initial experiences with Covid-19 HERE and HERE

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
  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Difficulty in walking particularly on inclines
  • Sweats
  • Swellings and pain of lymph glands
  • Joint pains
  • Painful abdominal cramps
  • Vision impairment
  • Covid toes…

Investigations

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.”

Fresh Air

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.

Nutritional Medicine

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.

Gentle Exercise

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

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

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.

Looking Forward

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.

Disclaimer

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

Facebook: https://facebook.com/watchingthedaisies/

Instagram: https://instagram.com/brigid.gallagher.90

Goodreads: https://goodreads.com/author/show/16119226.Brigid_P_Gallagher

35 Comments »

  1. Wrapping you in much love and healing energy, Brigid. From your post, I can tell you are getting better and your courage and practical nature shine through. May that continue for a long time. ❤ xXx

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Blimey Brigid that’s one tough couple of years. Love that you are cat-medicating. Very wise. And I hope a blooming garden casts some of its magic your way. Its not much fun being a case study. But I’m glad there’s light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not covid hunting you with its torch. Take care..

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Brigid thank you so much for this heart warming post and what you have gone through with COVID. Nice to see you back with good health. Even I am going to follow Brad Yates on YouTube. Good to see you back on blogging too. Much love and light.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh Brigid, what an ordeal. The effects of Covid still aren’t well understood and yet they’re very underestimated by the wider public, medical professionals and media, which is concerning. My heart hasn’t been right since I had it also March 2020. To see how much you’ve gone through, and the disconcertingly raised D-Dimer levels, is proof of just how dangerous and intense this virus can be.

    What a lovely kittykat to have as your new BFF. He’s lucky to have a forever home with you where he’ll know all the love in the world. Welcome home, Gabriel! Give him a cuddle from me (if he’s like my Virgil, you need to get permission first and even then, it’s unlikely he’ll allow it unless it comes with food 😂).

    Sending my very best wishes and lots of love your way 💜
    Caz xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Caz, Yes, you will understand how upsetting it is to have symptoms that are not yet understood. It takes a long time to recover. Gabriel says “Thank you” and hello to Virgil.
      I hope your health improves soon Caz. Hugs xxx

      Like

  5. Long time Brigid and so pleased you are feeling better.
    Enjoy your sister’s wedding and Please give Gabriel a stroke from me.
    I have still not yet made my trip to Donegal but maybe in the summer.
    Happy Easter ❤️🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Yours is the first first hand account I have read about the long term effects of covid. I had read just symptom list before, but not heard from a survivor. Thanks for posting this since I am sure I will meet other sufferers in the future and I will not dismiss anything they tell me.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy to hear your health has improved. I imagine this has been a very difficult time for you, and I’m sending positive healing thoughts across the pond to you. Stay well. Your friend in Nova Scotia, Canada. Xo

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Brigid I never thought that COVID took so long to recover. My God you have it for months & months. Anyways good you have come back and out of it.
    As you are a health freak it helped You. As said take long fresh air as many times as possible.

    Liked by 1 person

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