• runningfoodie

My COVID-19 marathon...

Updated: Jul 25, 2020

The picture below sums it up perfectly... Instead of finishing my training for London Marathon 2020, I had to face a completely different challenge: the Coronavirus. Yes, I caught COVID-19 which turned out to be the hardest marathon I've ever done. As I still hear, that ‘it’s just another flu’ and that ‘young and healthy people only have mild symptoms’, I decided to share what a mild course (mine is still considered just that) for a young and healthy person can look like. I don’t want to scare people, but I want them to take this seriously and I want to help people who are going through the same. At the end of the logbook, you can find a section with links to support groups, media reports on the long recovery, some links to research papers, links to blogs of other patients, as well as a section on what personally has helped me throughout the recovery. I hope it's helpful. The biggest thank you goes to all the medical staff who put their own life on the line to help others! They are sometimes as helpless as the patients as the virus is completely new and presents a vast array of symptoms and courses.

Sara fighting Corona Virus - by Felix and Leon.

#thisiscovid19 #covid19patient

Before I go into my logbook, I have to say that the scariest part of the illness is the unknown: not knowing what is ‘normal’, not knowing when to get help, not knowing what to expect next, not knowing how long it takes, not knowing how severe a symptom is, not knowing if the body is strong enough to fight the next attack...

My Corona logbook:

27 March: felt feverish in the evening. Took temperature: 37.8.

Day 1-4: slight fever 37.8-38, sore throat, headache. Thought It’s probably just a cold/normal flu.

Day 5: felt breathless for the first time. Anxious as it feels like you're just not getting oxygen even though you're breathing. Called 111 and got advice: sit in bed during the day, drink loads, take 2 Paracetamol every 6 hours, call if it gets worse.

Day 6: morning ok. Fever still 37.8-38.2. Afternoon I felt a weird pain in my left ribs/chest.

Day 7: The pain in my left ribs/chest got worse. Very worried. Fever still up, headache and sore throat are gone. Called 111 - they were worried about the chest pain. Sent paramedics. They checked heart and oxygen level - both ok. Suspected bacterial infection on top of the virus, which apparently happens to many. Prescribed 2 types of antibiotics (Amoxicillin & Clarithromycin). Told to monitor chest pain and call again if worse.

Day 8: felt good in the morning, fever down a bit and pain better. Got really bad in the afternoon though. Fever high up and chest/rib pain unbearable. Felt like someone was crushing my ribcage. Called 111 and they sent an ambulance which took me to A&E. Had an X-ray of my lungs and blood tests. Blood showed infection, lungs were clear. Got prescribed Codein (3x60mg) and was sent home. No Corona test as I’m not a risk group. There were 8 patients in my section, all with severe Corona symptoms. Only two got tested...

Day 9: felt better, meds helped with the pain, felt more relaxed even though fever still high. Got in contact with a couple of ppl who are going through the same (all young and healthy) - very good to be able to exchange and realise that my course has been ‘normal’.

Day 10: felt good in the morning. Afternoon, it worsened again. Fever up, back started hurting (burning sensation) I felt very breathless again. Called my GP but they told me that I should speak to 111 as I still had COVID symptoms.

Day 11: morning very breathless and light-headed. Back felt like on fire from the inside. Really scary sensation. Did breathing exercises and lay on my front for the whole day. Breathing got much better, back pain a bit better. Temperature still 38. Suddenly massive shivers, shaking uncontrollably. Temperature dropped to 37 within minutes. Felt so cold. Then temperature back up to 38. Happened 3 times in a row. Called 111 as very worried that my body was giving up on me. Got to speak to a doctor and she assured me that I’m doing everything right and I got the right meds. Also in contact with another doctor via WhatsApp. Very reassuring - helped to lower the anxiety. Felt better in the evening and tried to recharge to be ready for another fight.

Day 12: woke up feeling better. Temp 37.5. Took meds and got temp down to 36.9 for the first time in 12 days. Temp went up over the day and fluctuated between 37.4 and 38.1 - but felt better and more positive overall. Back pain gone but towards the evening pain along the left ribs. Late afternoon/evening extremely tired. Slept most of the time. Still lay on my front during the day and did breathing exercises every hour (if awake). Got an Oximeter and was finally able to monitor oxygen level. Was on 99% when resting and 97% when moving which was really positive news! Asked a friend to get me more vitamin D and C supplements as that seems to help.

Day 13: the night was difficult. Whole body hurt, couldn’t find a comfortable position. Temperature up during the night but sank in the morning. Morning felt good, back pain gone, very slight pain in my left ribs. Reduced Codein to 30mg 3x/day. Afternoon not good. Fever up to 38.2, didn’t go down with Paracetamol. Took a bath and slept a lot. Head felt like full of cotton wool. Hard to concentrate on anything. Continued breathing exercises and stretched back and chest. Oxygen levels on 99-100%. Had a mental wobble - the illness seemed endless and every time I felt better, it got worse straight afterwards. Evening slightly better. Temp a bit lower.

Day 14: After another bad night, I woke up to 37.7 temperature. Took meds but my body didn’t respond to paracetamol anymore. Tried cold vinegar leg compresses, cooling drinks (I drink at least 3 litres a day) and pretty much any house remedy I could find. Lukewarm baths brought the temperature down for a short while. Spoke to my two doctors. Changed meds slightly. Both say that it’s unfortunately normal and there is not much I could do. I have to sit it out. I felt for my body, which had been dealing with constant fever for two weeks - but I’m staying positive. My doctors said that I’ve passed the most critical period and as annoying as it is that I’m not feeling better, I’m thankful for being able to breathe freely and for not having new scary pains or symptoms.

Day 15: Temperature at 37.4 in the morning but several fever waves throughout the day with temperature up to 38.4. Every time I got up to get food or tea, the fever spiked. Tried cooling down with lukewarm baths and ice packs. Finished the two antibiotics but still felt discomfort in the left ribs/chest. My friend who is a doctor suggested calling 111 the next day to discuss a second round with another antibiotic which seems to have been successfully used for secondary infections in connection COVID-19. Not quite over yet, but not worse.

Day 16: Temperature at 37.4 in the morning. Slept well but felt completely wiped out. Fever gradually increased to 38.4 around 1 pm which has been the case for the last couple of days. My doctor-friend checked up on me via WhatsApp and suggested I should call 111 to discuss a second round with another antibiotic. Took two Paracetamol as fever was up to 38.4 and I couldn’t concentrate anymore. Thankfully my body for once responded (probably as I had stopped taking them regularly) and temperature came down to 37.2. Took the short relief to take a shower and tidy up a bit. Evening, temperature around 37.8, pain in left ribs and stomach cramps. At 11 pm finally the callback from the 111 doctor. Was reluctant to prescribe new antibiotics so soon after the last ones. Suggested to take 1g of Paracetamol every 4 hours and Paramol for the pain as well as Vicks rub on the ribs and chest. Told me to call 111 again if not better on Monday.

Day 17: best day since the beginning of this saga. Felt more energetic during the day and the temperature stayed below 38 degrees throughout daytime. It only rose to 38.2 once in the evening. Again slight pain in the left ribs and stomach cramps in the evening.

Day 18: started well. Temperature down to 37.5 after a good night. Down to 37.2 after Paracetamol. Around 11.30, temp rose to 38 and stayed up all afternoon. Felt less well and had slight stomach cramps, slight pain in the ribs and a tingling back. Called 111 again and got to speak to a GP. He was concerned with my ongoing fever and sent an ambulance which took me to A&E to get further checks done. X-ray clear and blood pressure as well as ECG good. Blood still shows infection. Got new antibiotics (Co-amoxiclav) - a 5 days course. Still didn’t get tested even though I specifically asked for it. The doctor looked at me with tears in her eyes and said that she would love to test me to be sure what I have but that she wasn't allowed to do so as they just don't have enough tests... 😢

Day 19: nothing new. Fever still spiking over 38 degrees, basis temperature at 37.5. Difficult day mentally as it is dominating everything. Didn’t feel like talking to anyone that day.

Day 20: same, same. Fever still spikes but rib pain is gone. Mentally very challenging. No progress in sight, many fears and unanswered questions around.

Day 21: difficult morning, temperature spiked already at 10.30 and stayed above 38 the whole afternoon. Weird pains in the morning but side pain was much better. Afternoon and evening temperature constantly over 38.

Day 22: temperature 37.5-37.8 in the morning. Side pain back, generally not feeling well. Resting pulse up to 75. Spoke to two GPs. Both said to continue antibiotics and to be seen if fever is not gone by Sunday morning, I need to be seen by someone. Afternoon temperature slightly lower but still around 37.8.

Day 23: another uneventful mile of the COVID-19 marathon. Temperature 37.4-37.5 in the morning. Spiked up to 38 around 2 o’clock and stayed around 37.8 for the rest of the day. Still slight pain in the left ribs. Spoke a lot on the phone which was nice but is still very exhausting.

Day 24: Temperature in the morning nice and low at around 37.2. First spike to 37.8 after I made breakfast. The classic second spike came at 1 pm and went up to 38 degrees which meant that I had to call 111 again. Fever stayed above 38 all afternoon and I did not feel well at all. Didn’t get the callback from 111 but found a COVID-19 support group. Good to know that there are many who have the same symptoms over many weeks - looks like recovery time for cases like mine is 4-6 weeks...

Day 25: morning felt really good, temperature low and I felt well. Had my first coffee in 3 weeks. Gave ma a huge boost. Lods of energy during the day. Short fever spike to 38.3 at 3 pm. Took my last antibiotic and two paracetamol. Temperature came down nicely. Another later spike to 38.4 at 9 pm. Hardly any rib pain but a sore throat in the evening (realised that this had been the case for the last couple of days). Also, I suddenly had very sweaty feet 🤣

Day 26: turns out the COVID-19 marathon doesn’t end after 26 days/miles... it’s an Ultra 🤣😍 Felt better and very energetic today. Rib pain only slightly there, two fever spikes up to 38.4, 37.4 base temperature - but overall I felt good. Can’t remember the last time I felt this positive. Worked for a couple of hours, did some calls and most important: did my COVID test, which I bought privately. Should get the results tomorrow evening or Thursday morning. Found a study from Wuhan that shows that Corona can reactivate the EBV (Mono/Glandular Fever), which would explain my ongoing temperature. Really hope I have another day like this tomorrow 🙌🏼

Day 27: Another good day. Woke up to 36.8 - my normal temperature for the first time in 27 days without any meds. The temperature rose in the afternoon but stayed below 38 for the whole day. Felt still very tired, started sneezing often and had sweaty feet again 🤣 Did not receive my test results. It might be the first day of project rebuild - the long way to full recovery and back to full force. Felt incredibly happy and relieved.

Day 28: woke up to an email from the lab. The COVID test was negative. Soooo relieved as this means, that I’m no longer contagious and can finally leave my flat. Temperature in the morning 37.2. Got up and moved around a lot as I was so happy with the negative result. Might have overdone it as temperature spiked to 37.9 at 11 am. Made sure to rest and take it easier for the rest of the day. Temperature stayed up around 37.8 though and I didn’t feel well at all in the evening. It's definitely no linear recovery. Got the antibody test delivered, which I also bought privately.

Day 29: Woke up feeling weak and looking very pale with bright red fever cheeks. Quickly attended a work call at 9 and went straight back to bed. Despite not feeling too well, I went for my first walk in 30 days. It’s also the first time I left my flat in a month (with exception of getting into an ambulance). It felt amazing to feel the sun on my skin and I took a slow walk down my street. A real boost for my motivation. Had problems sleeping the past two nights as my heart beats very loudly. Managed to finally fall asleep using the Calm App. The app has helped me a lot during the illness - there are breathing exercises, an introduction to meditation and bedtime stories on there. It did for me what it says on the tin: it helped me to keep calm.

Day 30: woke up late to normal temperature, feeling ok but very tired. Took a shower, had a physically distant chat with a friend who brought me some moving boxes (what bliss to have human interaction) and went back to bed. Slept until 11:30 and then had breakfast in the garden, enjoying the sun. Spent the afternoon in bed again as I just felt tired and drained and my ribs still hurt. Temperature spiked in the evening but not as high as in the past few days. Another baby step towards recovery 😍

Day 31: Had a cracker of a day! Woke up not expecting much of it as I felt very tired. Temperature was down to normal but I struggled to get out of bed. Managed to fall asleep again and only got up around midday. Felt much more energised after that and after sitting in the sunshine for a while, I went for my second walk. Managed to slowly walk for 1 mile and did feel good after it. Temperature stayed down in the afternoon but spiked around 8 pm as usual. I've also had a sore throat in the evening for the last couple of days.

Day 32: Started my day early, doing the antibody test - not that easy, collecting enough for the blood sample with the lancet provided (felt like milking a cow for blood ;-). Sent the test to the lab and hope to get the results by the end of the week. Temperature-wise I had a good day. No fever spike of 38 and generally lower. Unfortunately, there’s a new symptom: very swollen glands in my throat, armpits and groin. The latter make sitting for a long time very painful. Pain in my ribs was back too in the morning. Spoke to my GP who recommended to just wait, rest (but ok to go for walks) and drink a lot of fluids. Looking into getting more blood tests privately, including one for EBV to know what I’m dealing with. Finally, the media starts talking about the long recovery phase of mild cases: here’s an article in The Telegraph.

Day 33: Day with the lowest temperature since the start of the illness. Only had one spike to 37.6 in the evening, for the rest of the day, temperature stayed around 37.2 (still a bit higher than my normal one but significantly lower than on previous days). Glands in armpit, chest and groin still very swollen and painful. Hope that it's a sign of my immune system finally fighting back. Organised a zoom meeting for some members of the Covid-19 support group. Was so good to exchange and reassure each other. All 19 participants have been suffering for 30+ days and still experience symptoms. Really good to know we're not alone in this but also scary to hear that many are still suffering after more than 50 days...

Day 34: morning ok, temperature around 37.2 - had online meetings the whole morning and spoke a lot. Took its toll - temperature spiked to 38 around lunchtime. Tried to rest as much as possible and to drink loads - temperature came down. Pain in the groin and ribs is thankfully better. Will need to manage my energy better over the next days. It’s just incredibly frustrating and I think I’d already gone mad if I hadn’t had the support group and knew that there are many others fighting for such a long time. Going into Marathon recovery mindset now - one day rest for every mile run. I was ill for 30 days and am taking the same amount of days for my recovery.

Day 35: Definitely felt like I had overdone it over the last two days. Had to realise that talking and working still takes a lot of energy out of me. Got my antibody test results and unfortunately, it wasn’t yet positive for IgG. Thought about getting the other test that shows IgM done next week Also might try to get more blood tests. Temperature in the morning between 37.4-37.6. Suddenly had a very high heart rate - 100 while just sitting and writing emails. Took a quick nap over lunchtime and tried to stay as relaxed and lay down during the meetings in the afternoon. Pains in groin and chest less but still fire up from times to times. Overall didn’t feel well and had very little energy. Just realised that it has been 5 weeks since I fell ill... 😞

Day 36: Slept in as I've been very tired and struggled to sleep lately. Felt ok-ish over the day. Temperature low, slight sore throat, headache, problems concentrating and the occasional pain in my ribs and groin. Heart rate occasionally very high. Went to get more blood test done, should get them tomorrow. Another zoom call with the support group in the evening. Very good to talk to others.

Day 37: Another short night due to troubles falling asleep and waking up early. Felt absolutely shattered in the morning. Took me three hours to finally get out of bed and make a cup of tea. Headache and sore throat, temperature between 37.2-37.4., nauseous and either sweaty or very cold feet with toes going completely white from times to times.

I had decided to get in touch with a private clinic that was recommended to me by a COVID-19 patient I had been in close contact with throughout the illness. Her GP had been a brilliant support. So I gave Coyne Medical a call and had a video appointment in the morning. The doctor took a lot of time, went through my whole illness with me, listened and asked many questions. I sent him my blood test results and he gave me his feedback. Good news: blood results look normal again, white blood cells are back down (been high on the last two tests), which means that the inflammation is gone. What a relief. But that left the question of why I still had all these weird symptoms. The answer is most probably post-viral fatigue syndrome, which is believed to be triggered by COVID-19. Extreme fatigue, headaches, high temperature, cold or sweaty feet, swollen lymph nodes, sore throat... it's all there. While this is not the best news (this can take ages to get better and means I have to be very careful with physical and mental exhaustion for a long time), I'm glad that it gives me an answer. The video consultation gave me a huge uplift and I went out for my third walk since the illness. I'm now focussing on my recovery. Here a very good summary of PVF.

Day 44/Week 6: Over the past week, I've been feeling better overall but still have symptoms. Had four really good days, fever free and with more energy, but then had to move house which was too exhausting and sent me back to bed with fever and chest pain for 4 days. Took a huge step back and reduced activity massively, giving my body time to recover again. Also had another antibody test done at Coyne Medical. The test was negative for IgM and IgG. The result scared me as 1. it means that I have no immunity whatsoever and 2. I don't even have 100% security that I have/had the virus. I discussed the result with my doctor who reassured me, that I am suffering from the virus even though the test is negative. With my recent blood test, everything else was ruled out. The clinic also sees many patients with ongoing symptoms and many who test negative with the antibody test. The reason for that is that in some cases, the body responds on a cellular basis rather than with the antibody. Had to ask my brother who is a microbiologist researching the virus what that means. Here a good explanation. Basically (caution, I am not a medically trained person and this is how I explain it in my own words), rather than producing an antibody that deals with the virus, my body sent out the t-cells to kill the virus-infected cells. I contacted a couple of researchers as well s the NHS Health Research Authority to raise awareness for patients with prolonged recovery times. Was invited by the Faculty of Medicine and Health of the University of Sydney and will participate in a workshop on COVID-19 recovery on 19 May. Also good to see the media speaking more often about cases like mine.

Day 51/Week 7: another week of very slow but steady progress. Still on a 50% sick note - so I usually got up early, started working at 7 am and finished at 1 pm. I saw tiny progress in the number of meetings I could do without having to have a nap or start feeling sick. Spent most afternoons just napping and relaxing. Sometimes my body still felt like being bleached from the insight - I have no other words to express that feeling. Generally, I still suffered from headaches, a sore throat, swollen glands and pain in my ribs. Midweek, I developed a rash on my forehead and shooting pain on my left scalp - felt like electric shocks. Called a GP via the Babylon app and she ruled out that I had a flare-up of shingles. Headaches were better the next day and gone the day after. The virus still has new surprise symptoms every day and waking up always comes with a full-body check to estimate the damage of the day. Started to do some gentle yoga and general stretches and tried using the balance board to carefully activate muscle fibres again - first only standing on it, then doing an easy squat. Managed to have an old and very basic stationary bike delivered and stated cycling slowly for 5 minutes. Did it twice but then had to take a day break as my body felt strained and my heart rate was high. Cycling had an incredibly positive impact on me and gave me loads of motivation and the will to fight. I've missed moving and feeling my body in action so much. I will continue to summarise my progress here describing my symptoms while I've created another blog post where I'll focus on my long way back to running and exercising.

Day 58/Week 8: progress overall continued. Over the past week, I continually got stronger and could do more. Still experienced moments of extreme fatigue and pains though. Especially the rib/chest pain has kept me busy. Towards the end of the week, it moved into my breast which was very uncomfortable. I continued increasing activity and low-intensity exercise, trying to keep my HR below 130. But I observed that my heart rate, in general, was very high, had a couple of night with palpitations (rather after rest days - so not linked to activity) and decided to schedule another appointment with my GP to discussing it's worth doing some test to see if my heart is ok or if it has taken a beating. Overall concentration better and less of 'feeling bleached from the inside'. Still made sure to be very careful with my energy - using the so-called spoon theory. It took me a while to understand, that working, reading, speaking to friends on the phone and watching TV all require much more energy than I was aware of and being mindful about these things have helped. I continued to consciously rest in the afternoon and tried to top up my sleep where possible.

Day 65/Week 9: Steady progress. Had a really good week with more energy. I could feel that I'm getting stronger and stronger. I'm still getting tired after too much activity (mental or physical) but I can do more and more if I rest accordingly. I pretty much worked 100% over the week, dividing it into two chunks and having a long rest in between. Feels so good to be back. I worked from 8am - 1pm, then took some time off, had a healthy lunch rested or when very tired even slept and then worked form around 4pm - 7pm. I steadily increased my exercise and got up to 35min on low heart rate on the stationary bike. Still took at least one rest day after every day of activity. Had one they with very low energy and took it very easy. Overall, only had light symptoms during the seek: occasional chest/rib pain, sometimes tight chest, still a rash on my forehead and random nerve pains. Went for another antibody test to the clinic and unfortunately got another negative result. It really looks like my body did not respond with any antibody. My GP was happy with my progress but referred me to a cardiologist. He wants to make sure that I haven't suffered any long term damage before I start increasing my exercise. My heart rate came down a bit while exercising but still is much higher than usual - maybe that's just down to the fact that I lost 79% of my fitness. I continued taking supplements every day (Vitamin D and C, Potassium, Magnesium, Vitamin B complex, Cod liver oil, Zinc, CoEnzyme Q10) and focused on a healthy diet incorporating many anti-inflammatory foods (cinnamon, tumeric, tomato, nuts, salmon, green leaved veg, blueberries, oranges...).

Day 72/Week 10: Another week of good progress. Back to working 100% and I rarely need a long break in the middle of the day anymore. I still focus on resting as soon as I feel tired though. This week I re-introduced strength training with the help of Ed, my PT whom I've known for 6 years and have been working with intensely in the build-up to the marathon before I got it. It's quite a new way of working together for both of us as instead of pushing me to give my all, he now has to keep me from pushing it too much. Ed did a fantastic job just testing my fitness status in the first session and then adapting in the second one. Overall I felt really good and did not experience any setbacks (you can find more information in my comeback logbook). Symptom wise, I only have the bad skin on my forehead (still look like a pizza) and eventual discomfort in my chest/ribs. The palpitations are almost gone. Had an appointment at the clinic this week for an Echocardiogram and an ECG. Unfortunately, they forgot to do the blood tests so I will have to go back in and have those before I can discuss the results with the cardiologist. Until I have the results, I'm continuing with low HR exercise and won't push it. This week, I had days where I completely forgot that I had been ill and I feel absolutely healthy most of the time. Still continue with eating very healthy and I don't drink any alcohol. Really want to give my body all the time to recover - especially knowing that the virus is still out there I don't have any immunity.

Day 79/Week11: A week of increased activity and more answers. I managed to work normally throughout the week and didn't need to nap in the afternoon anymore. Still tired to rest over lunchtime and after work but other than that felt healthy most of the time. Did a couple of workout sessions with my PT and went for two walk-runs. Still can't properly run as my heart rate shoots up very quickly and I'm trying to keep it under 130. Had my blood tests done on Monday and a consultation with the cardiologist on Tuesday. All test came back clear - my heart looks good and strong. Nevertheless, my heart rate is still way too high (10 beats higher when resting and shoots up quickly when I exercise). My cardiologist suspects that I had Covid induced myocarditis and that I'm just recovering from it. He ordered a cardiac MRI and a 48hours halter monitor for the coming week to get more information. Until then, I'm allowed to continue my low heart rate workout. Still taking my usual supplements: Vitamins C, D and B complex, Potassium, Co-Enzyme Q12, Magnesium, Zing and Cod Liver Oil as well as probiotics every morning. Other than the high heart rate, I was symptom-free for a whole week.

Weeks 11-16: Good news first: I feel 100% healthy again. It took a long time but I made it back. Somewhen within theses weeks, the fatigue lifted and I started to feel stronger every day. My body switched from recovery to build-up and I'm back running 20km, can do speed sessions and tough workouts. I did the cardiac MRI as well as the 48h holter. The diagnosis was inappropriate sinus tachycardias with exaggerated heart rate. I had an average HR over the two days of 76bpm. My cardiologist prescribed Ivabradine to lower the HR. At the same time, I started taking 10% CBD oil which was recommended to me by another athlete who had the same problem with the HR. While I was waiting for the diagnosis and the meds, my HR already started to come down. I took the Ivabradine for two days. Then I stopped. I felt extremely uncomfortable with the drug, it lowered my heart rate massively and I couldn't fall asleep. Since I stopped the meds, my HR has been absolutely normal. Maybe my heart needed the meds to show it that beating at a normal pace is absolutely fine ;-). Ever since I have recovered extremely well. I still make sure to rest a lot and to build up slowly. I've increased workouts and have since run a 20km without any setback. I've been feeling strong and healthyI'm continuing taking the supplements and am eating healthy. But I can now say, 4 months after getting Covid, that I'm feeling healthy - a feeling I will never ever take for granted again.

Articles highlighting the prolonged recovery:















Blogs by other patients: 






Support groups: 

Here you can find information on the COVID-19 support group. It helped me massively to be in contact with other patients. If you want to join, fill in this form.

There is also a UK & Ireland specific support group on Facebook.

And here the link to an international support group on Facebook.

Research papers: 

Post-viral fatigue (PVF) and Post-viral fatigue syndrome (PVFS) following coronavirus infection

Positive Epstein-Barr virus detection in corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients

How The Body Reacts To Viruses

Exercise in the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) era: A Question and Answer session with the experts Endorsed by the section of Sports Cardiology & Exercise of the European Association of Preventive Cardiology (EAPC)

Personal recovery tips (please note, this is by no means medical advice, just sharing what I think has helped me): 

REST: Absolute rest was key. And that does involve mental rest as well as physical rest. The virus didn't allow me to push anything. I only started moving again after 50 days. Listen to your body.

Breathing exercise: This breathing exercise has saved my life and made breathing much better and easier. Also sleeping/lying on my front has helped a lot.

Fluids: I drank at least 3 litres a day - especially during the time I had a fever. I had: Tea, lemon-ginger and honey infusion, a small Yakult (helped me to protect my guts during the antibiotics), Vitamin C tablets dissolved in water and most important: sports drinks. They made sure I had enough electrolytes. Before bedtime, I had a calming sleep tea and hot milk with honey, turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon and ground ginger. Later in the illness, I started my day with 1 small glass of Kefir (helped me with my nausea), a Sea Buckthorn shot every morning and a coffee blended with coconut milk - all to boost my immune system and get more energy.

Food: Thanks to my running, I know my body very well and know, that it needs fuel to fight. So I forced myself to eat loads even though I didn't feel hungry at all for 45 days straight. I focussed on eating very healthy and adding anti-inflammatory ingredients. During the worst weeks, I only managed to get up and make food twice so I made sure to prepare huge portions and eat them slowly during the day. I had for late breakfast/lunch: Big bowl of oats, chia seeds, flax seeds (helped me a lot with my bowel movements while I was taking codein), honey, cinnamon, one spoon of peanut butter, banana, raspberries, blueberries, dried apricots, raisins, almonds, cashew nuts and yoghurt. It took me a couple of hours to eat that. In the afternoon, I had at least 5 different fruit (mango, papaya, oranges, guava, apples, kiwi, banana...). For dinner, I usually had fish or tofu, 2-3 types of green vegetables, and brown rice or potatoes. I also enjoyed lentil stews a lot. Once I felt better, I added eggs and avocado for lunch to my diet and slowly re-introduced meat and cheese, and dark chocolate. I basically just listened to what my body told me to eat and doubled the amount (I still lost 1.5 kilos).

General Supplements: I took 10% CBD oil (3x 2 drops) which helped me a lot with lowering my Heart Rate and decreasing the feeling of inflammation. Furthermore, I took Vitamin D & C, Vitamin B complex, Cod liver oil and Zinc, CoEnzyme Q10, Magnesium and Postassium.

Nerve Pain: Taking a high dose of Vitamin B complex has helped me with the nerve pain.

Sleeping problems: Since I've been taking Magnesium and Tryptophan, I haven't had heart palpitations which kept me from falling asleep. Also taking a bath with Epsom salts before going to bed helped me.

Pain in my ribs/chest: besides taking Paracetamol and during the worst time Codein, rubbing the painful parts with Vicks VapoRub has helped me a lot.

Equipment: If you're coming down with COVID, make sure you get a good fever thermometer and an Oximeter - these two things will help you a lot to monitor your state.

Meditation: I started easy meditation through the CALM app when I was most anxious. I am not very spiritual but just doing the breathing exercises helped me to relax. Also doing yoga (after around 45 days) helped me to relax my body again.