Note: The beginning of this is copied and pasted from all of my other COVID blogs, because it is simply too much for me to have to try to change simply for the sake of making each blog different; I’m not trying to impress people but help them, so I’m not worry about all of that. Accordingly, feel free to just skip past this part if you’ve already seen it before.
If you are seeing this in passing, please be sure to bookmark or copy and paste this link to a note on your phone: https://www.smitashares.com/covidbrainfog/
Just like my other blogs, this, too, is purely anecdotal based on my own experience with COVID and that of others. Please consult with your physician before doing ANYTHING as it relates to any aspect of your health and especially your care as it relates to COVID. Also, as I did in my previous COVID-related blogs (& will be repeated in every blog as it relates to this topic), I am also going to ask in advance that – if you derive any benefit/value from this info – that you please consider making a donation (any amount helps) towards my fundraising efforts in this GoFundMe; it was no small thing to feel how I have been feeling and put all of this together (6 different blogs), and, more than anything else, I am sharing personal health information (& that, too, as a South Asian where the crux of our existence is “what will other people think”) that most would never share in a public manner for the benefit of others.
& I am sharing because – had my only communication been with the healthcare practitioner from the private testing center who called to inform me that I tested positive – the only information I would have received would have been, “take Tylenol for a fever” and nothing else (including no mention of the possible aftermath of COVID known as #longcovid or #longhaulers), and that experience was COMMON. I did a survey in one of the groups I am in and 80+% of people said they were not told to do one of the (or at least so I believe) most important things when diagnosed with COVID.
Thankfully, that was not my experience as it relates to #acuteCOVID, and I spoke to at least 6 different healthcare practitioners who all offered advice for our care (I gave COVID to my mom; full story in this #videoshare). However, I had NO IDEA that so many people experience an entire slew of long-term effects following their acute/active COVID experience until about 2 weeks after I thought I was done with COVID, the aftermath badness hit me like a freight train which resulted in me ending up on Le Google and, for the first time, even learning about “Long COVID/Long Haulers.”
On that note, let us dive right in!
*End copy & paste*
I will update this blog shortly (I needed to get the 3 other ones out), but I wanted to say this.
I felt like LIFE WAS OVER 2 weeks after COVID. The worst of it was the brain fog, headaches, vision/hearing impairment, and other cognitive issues. I am writing this 2 months out from that time and feeling SO. MUCH. BETTER. Like 80-90% better most days and 100% better some days. That being said, I am not “back to (my) normal” – not even close – but I am so hopeful.
If you landed on this blog in particular, I recommend starting with my For Long COVID/Long Haulers blog; it will direct you to go back to 2 of my other blogs, so – if you are super serious about feeling better (while realizing everything I am sharing is anecdotal) – I would get onto a desktop computer with a notepad in hand and do a deep dive into ALL the blogs that I shared. You may already be doing a lot of this stuff and some if it may be new to you; whatever the case, please do not feel like you need to go “zero to hero” and fold all of these things in at once (I don’t even know if all of what I am doing is actually good-good for me, but I feel so much better, so I am going with it), and – if you can’t do the supplements (for whatever reasons including they would be contraindicated to something you are already taking or affordability) – just start with the lifestyle stuff.
That being said, I wanted to expand a little bit about my experience (if you want to read about COVID’s impact on the brain, please feel free to read “How Does Coronavirus Affect the Brain”, “The Hidden Longterm Cognitive Effects of COVID”, and “How COVID Attacks The Brain”).
For my full experience with actual COVID, please see here (#videoshare; including this hashtag so I can update the blog after I go live), but, in summary, I thought COVID was a big old NOTHING which is why I was so shocked at how terrible I felt 2 weeks after I thought I had cleared it.
As I mentioned above, I experienced a whole world of cognitive/neurological badness, and I was TERRIFIED. I learned that I was experiencing “Long COVID/Long Haulers” syndrome – something I had no idea was a thing pre-COVID – got into the groups that I mention at the end of my other blogs and learned SO MUCH. What I have shared in my blogs is that information distilled down into one place AND – as this definitely happened to me – sparing yourself from spiraling into doom and despair reading the stories of so many people suffering so badly so long after they got COVID.
I also want to mention what my neurologist said… He said that COVID can – for a lot of people and not all – have a cognitive impact that can be comparable to traumatic brain injury (TBI); however, unlike in TBI, you have not had a physical trauma but your entire body has experienced a multi-system micro-trauma.
There are also some very fascinating (albeit disturbing) reads about how COVID crosses the blood brain barrier:
- New Evidence Suggests COVID-19 Crosses the Blood-Brain Barrier
- SARS-COV-2 Spike Proteins Disrupt the Blood-Brain Barrier, Potentially Raising Risk of Neurological Damage in COVID-19 patients
As you’ll see in the blogs that I wrote, I went with the “throw whole kitchen sink approach,” but please consult with your healthcare provider before starting anything as it relates to your health and wellness. I wish I could tell you which one thing is helping the most, but I do believe there were a few things that really did help the most with the cognitive issues.
August 2022 Update: Nothing helped me more than eliminating meat, dairy, & eggs from my diet and going WFPB (whole foods plant based). See this blog. What I wrote below is from when I first started experiencing long haulers symptoms but it took me almost 10 months of suffering before – like a light switch – turning it all of with this change in what I was eating.
- Using Benadryl as a test to see if your body is in a world of badness re: a next level histamine response (due to Mast Cell Activation). Once I learned about this response, I decided to take Benadryl at night and, I kid you not, but my headache reduced by at almost 80%. I continued this for 3 nights, felt infinitely better and then began an anti-histamine diet (I have not stuck to this 100% – food is my WEAKNESS – but any time I have come off of this, I have suffered). I did not continue the Benadryl beyond this time period and it would be best to consult with your healthcare practitioner to talk about longer term solutions to combat the (very likely) histamine response going on in your body. If you do start Benadryl, be aware that it can cause drowsiness (so it is best to take it before you go to bed) and you may consider taking a half tablet to start with; I held the tablet under my tongue which is likely why I felt a speedier response as it went directly into my bloodstream versus going through first-pass metabolism (I experienced an odd tingling sensation but it went away by the time I woke up)
- If Benadryl helps you at all, you MUST begin on anti-histamine diet
- Hydrate like it is your JOB. You may not be “actively” sick with COVID anymore, but you need to treat your body as if you are (start here and work your way backwards to my first 2 COVID blogs linked in that one)
- I don’t know what it is about COVID but it feels like it sucks everything good out of your body and, most of all, the MOISTURE. Everything (your hair, skin, nails, BEING – okay, I’m sorry – but it feels like it, become brittle). Accordingly, while water is great, I highly recommend keeping up with electrolyte drinks:
- Lastly, Zencrack – I have mentioned this in my previous COVID blogs and I truly believe that this wellness gadget has helped me so much in these last 3 months and, more than anything else, in keeping my mental health on point because the experience of Long COVID is so difficult and depressing to endure. It is like nothing like anything else (health-wise) than any of us have ever experienced. As for the gadget, I describe it as equal parts meditation, therapy, and hypnosis and it uses binaural waves/brainwave entrainment to make deep impressions on your subconscious. Every aspect of my life has been impacted (my health & wellness, ability to focus/organize, mood, resiliency, and more). Get a 45-day trial ($45 value) to the audio sessions here (the headset is separate and, in my opinion, a huge part of the immersive experience), and you can find all of the science and my brain “before and afters” here and please feel free to contact me on Facebook for more info or feel free to email me at zencrackwellness(at)gmail[dot]com. While I had COVID, I listened to sessions on immunity and wellness, and, after, I listened to quite a few about having a positive attitude and what was most remarkable was (before discovering Benadryl) when I had a splitting headache one day, did a session, and it WENT AWAY.
I promise to make this more comprehensive – while having a better flow later – but I wanted to get the most basic versions of these blogs up as soon as possible to start helping the most number of people, while keeping in mind, that is a huge strain on me to be writing these with how I feel at present, so I am going to copy & paste the ending to each of my blogs here:
A REQUEST: If you have derived any benefit from the above, I am kindly asking you to please consider making a small donation to my fundraising efforts here (I am recovering financially from being a domestic violence survivor in a brief 3-month dating relationship in which I was held hostage and suffocated and then spent $60,000 in the legal battle and aftermath while also being laid off 5 times in 3 years). Again, as a “cosmic/energetic/spirtual/good karma” thank you for me taking the time/making the effort to do the #videoshare and all of these blogs which – while I am still recovering from COVID – took everything out of me to do. Any amount – no matter how small – helps and you can donate to the GoFundMe directly or, in order for me to avoid paying fees, via Paypal (pay as friend to paypal.me/smitamoon), Venmo (@SmitaC), Cash app ($smitamoon), or Facebook.
A few final things:
- If you are not the kind of person to doom scroll or obsess but want to see the experiences of those who are newly diagnosed or living through #longcovid/#longhaulers, then check out the following Facebook groups (sharing in order of my favorites): Coronavirus Experience and Recovery, Survivor Corps, Long Hauler Advocacy Project
- Other blogs I wrote: www.avoidgettingcovid.com, www.ifyougetcovid.com, www.forlonghaulers.com, www.covidhairloss.com
- In addition to making a donation if you are able, please kindly consider sharing my #videoshare on Facebook or these blogs for the benefit of others. The more people we spare from getting COVID or suffering the worst should they get it/after getting it, the better it is for all of us, because – as I truly believe – “what happens to one of us happens to all of us.”
Thanks for taking the time to read and be and stay well,
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* Disclosure: Smita Shares is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties. Amazon, in turn, offers a small commission on products sold through their affiliate links. Each of your purchases via our Amazon affiliation links supports my being able to share the things I love (& genuinely personally use and recommend to friends and family) at no additional cost to you.
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I do not write sponsored posts. I want to bring you real, unbiased information. However, if a post is sponsored by a company, I will disclose this clearly in the beginning of the post.
As for my social media pages where I use Amazon & other affiliate links for product recommendations, I will include a link to this post, or put “(affiliate link)”, or #ad in the post.