How antihistamines saved me from long Covid

I never thought I’d be badly affected by the pandemic but then all my energy drained away


Mutating virus variant and cell mutation variants as a health risk concept and new coronavirus outbreak or covid-19 viral cells mutations and influenza background as a 3D render.

October 14, 2022 15:12

It’s holiday time again. The queues at the grocery shops are back to stress-inducing levels. Shuls are full and mask-free. Invitations to meals and family get-togethers are back to normal. Who would know there had been a pandemic that had us locked down, making us nervous to shop and even afraid to hug?

For two years, I avoided Covid. We’d had our vaccinations, worn our masks and quarantined after exposure.

It wasn’t until right before Passover this year that I caught the virus from someone in my immediate family.

All my close relatives tested positive, except two that somehow didn’t. For about six days, with various levels of misery, we waded through it. Some of us felt as though we had knives in our throats, others had a fever.

But all in all, everyone was done after about a week. Phew.

But a few days after I was able to leave the house, I nearly fainted. I had been fine, chatting with a friend, and then a deep exhaustion came over me.

My limbs became heavy, my head wouldn’t stay upright and I needed help to stand and walk home.

I crawled into bed, sinking heavily into the mattress. Tears leaked out of my eyes as I wondered what the hell was wrong with me.

For days afterwards, I was in bed. Sitting up was exhausting. Talking made my chest heavy. The stairs, which I normally bounded up, were steep, torturous mountains.

I’d read about long Covid and people who just didn’t fully recover from the virus, but I absolutely refused to believe it was happening to me.

I tried Chinese herbs, acupuncture and super doses of vitamins D and C. I did blood tests and tried not to think of what I was missing in the outside world as the weeks passed.

Some days were better than others. I could leave the house for a few hours but the exhaustion always came back. I didn’t have the heart palpitations some people experienced, but I had total exhaustion and a brain fog that had me searching for words that eluded me in simple conversations. I cried in frustration when my brain refused to work right and feared that it would always be like this.

I didn’t really talk or post about it at first. Then I saw how careless people were about catching the virus and I felt it was important that they heard that it was still out there and for many people it went beyond just being sick for a week. So I posted what I was experiencing on Facebook. Thank God I did, because someone saw my post and messaged me an article about antihistamines being used to treat severe fatigue after Covid.

It seemed that a few women experiencing long Covid found significant relief with antihistamines. I immediately began taking Benadryl at night and Claritin during the day.

Within a few days, I was less fatigued and able to get out of bed more often. After a week, I was out of bed far more than I was in it, and about three weeks later I felt back to normal and able to exercise. The difference was simply incredible.

Since then, I’ve been feeling normal again. But I’d be lying if I said that every time I feel more tired than expected, or whenever I need to take a day off to rest, I’m not terrified it’s coming back.

I think of those seven weeks as my lost spring. I spent my favourite season, the months when I’m usually out in the fields smelling flowers and hiking up green hills, stuck in bed wondering if I would ever, ever feel well enough to get dressed and walk the countryside.

It feels like the pandemic is far away, a nightmare from which we’ve finally awoken. But it’s so important to remember the lessons we learned from it: the importance of loved ones, the triviality of “stuff”, the blessing of a spring day.

I’ve learned that those who suffer from chronic illness, who are always in some level of pain or fatigue, must have an incredible supply of strength. Getting up every morning despite not knowing how you’ll feel and facing the day nonetheless is not a simple or easy task — especially when so many still don’t understand the illness that ruled our lives for two years.

October 14, 2022 15:12

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