COVID Long Haul is a health challenge with psychological and social implications. Yesterday represented 520 days since I tested negative for COVID Long Haul. I am feeling better since getting the last Vaccine in June 2021. However my journey has overcome over 200 symptoms, requiring 55 hospital visits, 3 of them life saving 911 heart related emergencies, 2 of them, life threatening sepsis events.
When Long COVID wants to Kill you, the key challenge is to focus on what you can do, and manage your faith in science, medicine, faith, while you maintain a good attitude. Keeping calm as possible, managing your attitude, focusing on the positive, reducing the negative. This is my sharing practical COVID LONG HAUL tips for living, when Long Covid keeps trying to kill you.
My Story: Health Challenge- Heart, Lungs, Liver, Kidneys, Blood.
I contracted COVID in 2020, before there was a vaccine. For the first months of COVID, I was an essential worker, in the office every day. We wore masks, we safe social distanced, and I was fine. I began shelter at home for the month of May 2020. I only left the house 2 times for that month, both times to go pick up prescriptions at the pharmacy.
- May 2020, I went to the Walmart Pharmacy I safe social distanced, I wore a mask. I caught COVID. It began for me with what at the time was unconventional COVID Symptoms. I had sense of taste and smell, no fever, none of the symptoms.
- June 2020 I went to emergency I had the worst migraines ever, heart problems and the left side of my body was losing feeling, my vision was blurry. I was hospitalized for a stroke watch, sudden Type 2 Diabetes, and heart problems, but within a few hours I learned I tested positive for COVID.
- July 2020 I was negative for COVID, on home care, and even sicker, but the doctors called you “Recovered” when you tested negative.
- August 2020 I was hospitalized following being victim of a cybercriminal attack so extreme it triggered a stress based cardiomyopathy event from the intense stress on my already weakened heart muscle.
- October 2020 Emergency Room Visit with chest pain, breathing difficulty and high blood sugar.
- November 6, 2021 I received the troubling news about my heart’s Abnormal ECG, from October Emergency Room visit. Nonspecific Intraventricular block, in addition to my “Specific” Left Bundle Branch Block.
When Long Haul COVID Attacks the Heart
Cardiac arrhythmias including atrial fibrillation, supraventricular tachycardia, complete heart block, and ventricular tachycardia occur in patients infected, recovering and recovered from COVID-19.
For my story, Left Bundle Branch Block and hypertension were both pre-existing, pre-COVID conditions, resulting for me in a higher impact to COVID Recovery, and extending my Long Haul Covid journey. The symptoms that have taken me to the hospital most during COVID from the multi organ attacks has been on my heart. Uncontrolled Hypertensive Crisis, extreme Angina, Heart Attack and Stroke Symptoms. Hypertension is now under control, except in extreme stress or pain, through medicine and diet.
I learned of my cardiac arrhythmias when I was trying to get Kidney Stone surgery and kept failing the heart stress tests. Arrhythmia (heart murmur)… didnt sound so bad, until they got specific with the diagnosis yesterday of Non Specific Intraventricular block, in addition to the Left Bundle Branch Block.
The new diagnosis raised fearful new medical alarms for me. It feels like this particular challenge I can not “fix” on my own. But I know attitude, research, and curiosity can and has done so much on my journey, it surely cant fail me now.
While the existence of COVID related Impact and Heart Damage is clear, there is a lack of detailed post-mortem reports of if the COVID patients who died of a cardiac arrhythmia had viral infection in the cardiac conduction tissue. That said, given the choice of being a Post-mortem Statistic, or a post COVID Long Haul Successful Recovery Statistic, I surely choose the latter.
Dr Peter Block reports that women with existing left bundle branch block diagnosis have improved prognosis for survival with Cardiac resynchronization therapy. I could not find statistics for prognosis for women or patients in general with Left Bundle Branch Block AND Nonspecific Intraventricular block, however it is my understanding that Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy can improve the function by improving the coordination of both lower chambers of heart.
The solution seems extreme, but the impact of Nonspecific intraventricular block causes complications if it is not treated. The list of complications and problems that may arise if Nonspecific intraventricular block is left untreated include abnormal heart rhythms (which have gotten worse due to COVID and Stress) as well as the risk of sudden cardiac death.
So I began to educate myself on Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy:
The Psychological: Manage mind, wellness and gratitude where you are
What can I do besides wait for the treatment path to unfold? Manage stress, watch my diet, meditate, get good sleep, create happy positive moments, and CELEBRATE where healing HAS happened! With the new and not so good heart news, I had to reflect on how far I have come and appreciate that for the most part, I am so much better than I was earlier in my COVID Journey.
Keeping score with the symptoms was overwhelming, and now I am from over 200 to less than 20. I try to keep myself busy with work, surround myself with positive people, love, work hard, live my best. Many people would tell me I need to rest. I am learning to listen to my body. I sleep and rest more than I did before COVID.
I also find joy in working and solving business problems. It keeps my mind off of what I can’t control. This brings me joy.
The Long COVID recovery journey is very personal, no matter what others say. Just know that if you are too sick for too long, you will hear so much as people start judging you.
The Social: Yes we hear it all
- People get really sick, but it only lasts 14 days.
- What, sick again? I thought you said you were better.
- Oh you are always sick, I don’t know why I bother to ask.
- You are just grandstanding for attention, we know COVID is not real.
- I am proudly unpoisoned by COVID and the Vaccine, you should have been more careful.
- I shouldn’t lose my job, for not complying to work’s vaccine mandate, just because you had COVID.
Which brings me to Social Media. I spend more time in work than Social Media now. I love to keep in touch with family and friends, but i dont always feel well. My first priority is on Family, Health, Work Survival, and then Social Media.
Before COVID I had a wonderful normal social life and work balance. Post COVID Long Haul its over a year of symptoms, and there is a new normal. We all get busy with life, and forget those that we used to go visit, or who came to visit us.
I choose to keep my focus on Happy Moments, Positive Business, and Helping my community.