COVID Update: Talking about the COVID long haul.. and what’s with the peanut butter craving?

Another COVID update from Jackrabbit land in Brookings as our state is moving towards continued high vaccination rates and great news coming from the State of SD on how we’re doing in the war against COVID.

As opposed to my COVID update from last week, I think I’ll manage to get through the weekend without a trip to the emergency room for some messed up COVID thing.  I think people are thinking I’m more infirm than I actually am, as I had someone send me a get-well card this week (thanks MC). Okay… I do appreciate it, but I’m on the mend.

Being on the mend, I thought I’d give an update, and keep the COVID briefings going as part as a firsthand account of what I’m experiencing, and why wearing a mask/getting your COVID vaccination is a good voluntary idea to avoid what I’ve been going through, as some of these symptoms are just kind of messed up.

So, right after last week’s adventure in COVID messing up my blood clotting factors, leaving me as a compression sock consumer and being put on a blood thinner, I was treated to a term on the morning news that I’d heard earlier when I was in 2 weeks ago getting something for a lingering cough/chest irritation, when the CNA remarked to me that they want to avoid patients becoming “long haulers.”

What’s a long hauler? Well. When it comes to COVID, that’s a term you should pay significant attention to, as it’s a term they use for some of the lingering symptoms that people who had COVID are finding they’re left with:

About 33% of COVID-19 patients who were never sick enough to require hospitalization continue to complain months later of symptoms like fatigue, loss of smell or taste and “brain fog,” University of Washington (UW) researchers found.

“We were surprised to have one-third of people with mild illness still experiencing symptoms,” said lead researcher Jennifer Logue. She’s a research scientist with the UW department of medicine’s division of allergy and infectious diseases, in Seattle. “If you contract coronavirus, there’s a good chance you could experience a lingering effect.”

And…

“Because it has a direct effect on the nerves of our nose, we think that likely there is an effect on brain structure. We know that definitively there are changes in our lungs that occur from it,” Gut said of COVID-19. “It has far-reaching implications we’re just now beginning to understand since we’re just starting to categorize the syndrome.”

Read all of that here at WEBMD.

Rocking the "Schoenbeck" look with a cardigan
Rocking the “Schoenbeck” look with my cardigan.

I had been given the monocyte treatment to prevent having to be in the hospital, but even with that experimental treatment, there are definitely some aftereffects. Luckily, I’m not suffering from a brain fog, and every day is pretty darned good, minding that I don’t overdo it, and get a good night’s sleep.  Also pushing liquids, and working on deep breathing, per the doc’s office.

The prospect of symptoms such as fatigue lingering for months underscores that this is not last year’s flu season, so paying it some heed is probably in your best interest.

And I have to admit that I am experiencing some lingering… weirdness.

I seem to be a bit dehydrated, which might be because of some of the minor meds I’m on. But then there’s the other thing. In particular, my sense of taste.  I have never been a big sweets person. Just never has been my thing. And that’s probably good, because in the last week or so, I’m discovering that my sense of taste when it comes to “sweet” is largely gone.

I began noticing it with Diet Coke the other day, where when I have a I DC out of the bottle, I don’t get a taste of sweet. I taste the bitter aftertaste of the artificial sweetener and the “water”, but not any “sweet” of the sweetener.   If I try a strong sugar sweet.. like a Reese’s peanut butter cup, I can pick up the sweet somewhat. But I’m honestly not sure. And it’s honestly a little disconcerting to lose a swath of what gives things taste.

And speaking of taste.. when it comes to peanut butter, since I’ve gone through COVID, I’ve got an almost insatiable craving for it, mainly in the form of spicy asian peanut sauce. I suppose it’s because it has a savory/salty versus sweet profile, so my brain registers that I’m actually getting what I’m eating.  So, think asian wraps with chicken/turkey, cilantro, lettuce, jalapeño slivers and peanut sauce more often than a person would normally have.

I’m guessing/hoping normal taste comes back in short order. Or at least my craving for peanut butter abates slightly.

And unless you’re big into peanut sauce, or other weirdness being introduced into your palate, it might be worth getting down and getting your COVID vaccination as soon as you qualify.

2 thoughts on “COVID Update: Talking about the COVID long haul.. and what’s with the peanut butter craving?”

  1. Clarification: One-third of ADULTS report post-covid complications, ranging from 27 percent for ages 18-39 to 43 percent for 65+. That’s par for respiratory illnesses of all types, as bugs body slam us so hard that we need time — often lots of time — to bounce back.

    Heal fast and well.

  2. It was my own experience with long-hauler symptoms that lead to the discovery that I already had Covid and never knew it.
    Following a low grade fever, cough, and negative PCR test in May I spent the summer having runs of Atrial tachycardia and hypoxia.
    Eventually, after several cardiac and pulmonary studies, a cardiologist’s report said “clinical correlation is advised.” The only thing that came up was antibodies reactive to Covid. That was at the end of September. Thinking if I had it, my husband probably did too, he was tested but his test was negative.

    Husband, though, got sick in early December with what was thought to be a bowel obstruction. He had an overnight hospital stay and since no symptoms of Covid there was no test done at that time. It’s the only time he has been sick with anything. But a Covid antibody test since then has come back reactive. So apparently it was Covid, with an unusual presentation that landed him in the hospital, getting an abdominal CT scan, which serendipitously spotted renal cell carcinoma and probably saved his life. We have yet to meet anybody else who can brag “Covid saved my life.”

    Winning!

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