Fibro-Covid - Is That a Real Thing?
Updated: Dec 14, 2022
A Scene from Chicago Med - Season 7 Episode 14:
Patient: "Why does my body feel like it's on fire?"
Doctor: "Given everything we've seen, we think you have a condition called fibromyalgia."
Patient: "(Groaning ) Fibromyalgia?"
Doctor: "We've seen it in long-haul COVID patients like yourself; there's even a name, "Fibro-COVID."
Patient: "What causes it?"
Doctor: "We think it's due to a problem in the way that the spinal cord and the brain process pain signals. It's not life-threatening, but it's terrible."
(Confession.... Chicago Med is one of my favorite TV shows....There I've admitted it. :)
When I was watching this episode and heard, for the first time, the term "Fibro-Covid"
I laughed! Leave it to Hollywood to get creative and invent a new "Medical" term. So I did what we all do - I Googled it! and sure enough! There it was....it IS a real thing!
Then I remembered that the diagnosis I received back in December 2020 by Joseph Garvin, P.A. was exactly that! He had diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia as a result of CV19.
Now recognized as Fibro-Covid.
I like PA Garvin. He's smart, genuine. sincere, patient and sadly, moved his practice to Poway, CA. He was very patient with me as I explained my journey to that point. He gave me the answers that I needed to figure out what had gone wrong with my body and to find a way to fix it. Still... easier said than done.
I'm not sure if it has gotten better or if I have just gotten better at living with it.
It doesn't stop me from doing my job as a caregiver, wife, mom and friend. For the most part I ignore the constant tingling-pins & needles-feeling that surges through my body frequently. Sometimes though, I have no choice but to stop and take a nap! If I don't, then the fatigue becomes to difficult to fight and as the day goes on, my whole body is in pain - Not fun!!
On the bright side a 15 to 30 min. mid-day nap will be enough to refresh and keep me going through the day. Then by evening time, I'm done. If I sit down to read, I fall asleep. If I watch TV, I fall asleep. Sometimes, I just can't tolerate it anymore and will be in bed and sound asleep by 8pm. Then there are some days that I feel almost normal.
The most frustrating part of Fibro-Covid is that both syndromes on their own can impact the brain. Now, with having the two combined - improving my short-term memory has been a frustrating journey. It's not senility or Alzheimer's. Neither of those run on either side of my family. The brain inflammation that comes with CV19, can impact anyone's short term memory. (Just Google it!)
So I write things down, record it on my phone or repeat to myself whatever it is that I need to remember. I have been taking supplements that support cognition that seem to be helping the healing process and reducing the inflammation.
Unfortunately, it has forced me to semi-retire and I can't push my self beyond what I can reasonably do. My body will rebel!! However, I still manage to get enough things done in the course of the day to keep me positive and feeling productive.
I was hyperactive as a child/youth/young adult and could work circles around most folks - That is gone for now, and I have accepted that, at the current time, I can no longer keep the pace that had previously been "normal" for me. I plan on continuing to experiment with protocols until I find what works for me.
So I'm sharing this personal journey with Y'all in case you find yourself in a similar situation. Stay positive! Don't let the fatigue and brain-farts get you down. Be glad you are still alive and well enough to enjoy the important things in life.
Simple things that might make a difference for some individuals
Get some sunshine on your forehead for at least 15 to 30 min. per day. It's best if it's at first light. Doing so can help us to stay positive! I highly recommend you do this laying on the ground (dirt or grass) so you are also absorbing negative ions from the earth.
Clean up your diet!! If it is not healthy food don't eat it. Period.
Focus on mostly fruits, vegetables, whole grains, grass fed pasture raised beef or pork (if your a meat eater). Real butter from grass fed cows or MIYOKO'S cultured vegan butter a blend of olive oil and cashew butter but looks and spreads like butter. It's what I use and I like it better than butter.
Drink plenty of water through-out the day. Keeping mind and body hydrated can help with energy and focus.
Rest when you need to and don't feel guilty about it!
If you are a coffee drinker, you might want to reduce or replace it. It can be an added stressor to our adrenals that are already stressed due to Fibro-COVID or just LIFE.
If you drink coffee it needs to be organic. Regular can be high in pesticides
As an alternative to coffee try Teechino (available at Sprouts or online) It is roasted chicory and comes in different flavors. I suggest the Mocha and/or Ashwagandha. Ashwagandha supports our adrenals.
Organic herbal teas are always a great choice to drink through the day.
For chronic pain:
Warm magnesium bath - soak in it awhile - it will relax the tension that results from the pain. Keep things quiet. No music or online videos while relaxing. Try this fix before trying other methods.
Cymbalta is an anti-depressant that changes the brains perception of pain and can be safer than the opioid pain relievers (prescription only) - I do not recommend daily use of it if possible. It does cause a dependency and requires more over time to be effective.
NANO- Vitality - A sublingual cannabis infused oil with 5-HTP. Not designed to get you high and works well with chronic pain. Vitality is a blend for medical conditions. CBD is combined with activated THC and 5HTP.
For pain I found it helpful to visit the Acupuncturist once or twice a week depending on how well I am doing over-all. If you are local to Escondido there is a great Acupuncturist team at the Community Wellness Center. It is beneficial to have regular visits when dealing with chronic fatigue,
This post might be updated from time to time