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Long COVID?

Andy Mink

Everyone loves spring skiing but not in January
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*No discussion of vaccines, what you personally believe about what went down over the last several years, etc. Thank you*

I tested positive for COVID back in early July. My symptoms were relatively benign with loss of smell for a few days and a few days of feeling exhausted. No respiratory issues, no coughing, no loss of taste.

Fast forward to ski season. While I know I'm heavier than last season and not in top notch "skiing condition", I'm not a slug. I have been on the hill 15 days now but have to cut those days short most of the time due to excessive thigh burn and just being pooped. I've had to stop fairly frequently on relatively easy runs and am breathing hard but with no coughing or phlegm. When I get home I can nap for several hours and a few times the next day has been total malaise. I could sleep for hours. I found this article which follows how I feel almost exactly.

I did see my doctor a few weeks ago and all my blood work came back as expected: all good except a little high cholesterol and triglycerides. I mentioned that I felt lethargic on occasion and he agreed that could be related to the COVID in July.

I'm wondering if any others have been going through the same thing and if anything has helped mitigate the symptoms.
 

scott43

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My COVID symptoms mimicked yours. I felt fatigued for a few days afterward but generally chalked up most issues to lying around for two weeks in quarantine. My hockey is back mostly to normal. Skiing is typical early season aches. I might say I'm not 100% but I also have two kids with snotty noses, coughs and bad sleeping habits mixing in there. So I'm reluctant to chalk up any downside to COVID. Although that may be the case in some small measure.
 

Cameron

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I had it in September and again in December on 2021 and I was just getting over all of the symptoms of the first time when I got it a second time. It took about a month to feel like I was back to normal when skiing but the cough did hang on for months. Fortunately when I got it once a gain 3 weeks ago I didn't have any of the lasting symptoms. I know several people who had lasting symptoms but no two people seem to have the same effect. Did they do chest X ray or any other tests besides the bloodwork?
 
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Andy Mink

Andy Mink

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Did they do chest X ray or any other tests besides the bloodwork?
No, nothing outside my yearly checkup so far. Lungs are clear, as far as the stethoscope can tell. I have had a couple of times where I'd have to take really big breaths to feel like I'm caught up. If this carries on much longer I will be seeing the doc again to discuss.
 

wiread

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I used a pretty heavy supplement regime

Company is standard process

Products were
Immuplex 2-3x's daily

E-Z Mg 2-3x's daily

and Cellular Vitality 1-3x's daily

Doctors don't know what caused the stuff for me, can't find any signs, but I can assure you the symptoms were pretty severe. Related? nobody knows and they had no answers so I found my own. I was changed within 10 days. Many others I know, about 7 for most.

I am still taking those 3 daily, but at 1/3 the amount.
 

Unpiste

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keeping up with vitamins/suppliments
Just FWIW, I think the standard medical advice these days is to take supplements only to counter known deficiencies. Supplements in the US are largely unregulated, and it's definitely possible to take too much of certain things. (Though, as long as you take some care, there's probably not too much to worry about in general.)

Not a doctor, YMMV, etc. all applies here of course.
 

Seldomski

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but have to cut those days short most of the time due to excessive thigh burn and just being pooped. I've had to stop fairly frequently on relatively easy runs and am breathing hard but with no coughing or phlegm.

Sounds to me like lactic acid buildup may be occurring? Instead of taking a nap right away when you get home, I suggest doing some very mild exercise to increase circulation. Treadmill or walk for 15 minutes to purge waste products from your muscles.

COVID is a circulatory system disease - it infects blood cells and vessels. In the past, you were better able to deal with the waste products of exercise, but your body needs a little help now until you fully recover.
 

In2h2o

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Just FWIW, I think the standard medical advice these days is to take supplements only to counter known deficiencies. Supplements in the US are largely unregulated, and it's definitely possible to take too much of certain things. (Though, as long as you take some care, there's probably not too much to worry about in general.)

Not a doctor, YMMV, etc. all applies here of course.

If you search google scholar or PubMed.gov you will find several research studies (non Pharma) confirming that vitamins, supplements and probiotics aid in recovery from long covid. But I agree this is something you would want to discuss with your dr. and with blood work up you would be able to see if you were deficient in B/D etc.
 

cantunamunch

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Sounds to me like lactic acid buildup may be occurring? Instead of taking a nap right away when you get home, I suggest doing some very mild exercise to increase circulation. Treadmill or walk for 15 minutes to purge waste products from your muscles.

To this reader, the section you quoted sounded more like deconditioning of core and posture control muscles in combination with whatever is going on at the metabolic level.

I'm not a slug. I have been on the hill 15 days now but have to cut those days short most of the time due to excessive thigh burn and just being pooped. I've had to stop fairly frequently on relatively easy runs and am breathing hard but with no coughing or phlegm. When I get home I can nap for several hours and a few times the next day has been total malaise. I could sleep for hours.

OP might still want to talk to a physical trainer. Mostly to assess whether added fitness structure might help their on-hill experience.

There is science to building up metabolic capacity but that's going to take several macrocycles and requires an extremely specialist trainer. I.E. not one affiliated with a gym.
 
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Seldomski

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To this reader, the section you quoted sounded more like deconditioning of core and posture control muscles in combination with whatever is going on at the metabolic level.
True, change in weight and atrophy of core muscles can affect where your COM is and this can end up putting you off balance, in addition to additional mass causing strain on its own. So you could be skiing in backseat (ie thigh burn) even if you think you are in the right place. I still think that some light walking after skiing (and then nap after the walk if still tired) would be good.

When I had COVID, I did very mild (for me) walks daily and they seemed to help with muscle fatigue/soreness and headaches. Initially it was slow pace around one block, then more than one block. As point of reference, I was running 3.5 miles 3x weekly before I got COVID. So the walks were way below what I normally would have done. Took me a couple months to get back to where I was running and longer for upper body.
 

AmyPJ

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*No discussion of vaccines, what you personally believe about what went down over the last several years, etc. Thank you*

I tested positive for COVID back in early July. My symptoms were relatively benign with loss of smell for a few days and a few days of feeling exhausted. No respiratory issues, no coughing, no loss of taste.

Fast forward to ski season. While I know I'm heavier than last season and not in top notch "skiing condition", I'm not a slug. I have been on the hill 15 days now but have to cut those days short most of the time due to excessive thigh burn and just being pooped. I've had to stop fairly frequently on relatively easy runs and am breathing hard but with no coughing or phlegm. When I get home I can nap for several hours and a few times the next day has been total malaise. I could sleep for hours. I found this article which follows how I feel almost exactly.

I did see my doctor a few weeks ago and all my blood work came back as expected: all good except a little high cholesterol and triglycerides. I mentioned that I felt lethargic on occasion and he agreed that could be related to the COVID in July.

I'm wondering if any others have been going through the same thing and if anything has helped mitigate the symptoms.
Yes! Me too! I had it in September, mild by most standards except the body aches, particularly in my glutes and hamstrings, was pretty gnarly. No respiratory effects whatsoever. And I am SO SORE now during ski season and it's really frustrating. I already take a lot of vit D, multi-vit for old people. I just am not able to go an entire run without stopping several times depending on conditions. Even groomers are wearing me out. (Yes, the runs are long at Snowbasin, but still...) I'm not having respiratory effects that I am aware of.

I used a Theragun at the gym yesterday. What a balm for sore muscles. I'm buying a percussion massager ASAP, even if a less expensive version. I've also quit drinking alcohol almost entirely, although I don't drink much anyway. I've also had fatigue and depression, although I've been blaming it on age-related insomnia that comes and goes and makes it difficult to function for a full day.

How much biking did you do after your infection? I got back into it for about a month and felt pretty OK, but definitely didn't go into this season as strong as I have in years past.
 

Sibhusky

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I have two friends suffering from long COVID since early 2020. They both still regularly post things like "I walked a half a mile today!". Granted neither were athletes but both walked daily prior to COVID -- one to work (which she has not resumed) and the other due to living in a beautiful area and that was her thing.

On the other hand, having had personally a season of skiing with a-fib, maybe you should wear a heart monitor for a while. Last season I took a nap every day I skied. And still slept at night. I was skiing only every other day at best, needing that day of recuperation. My heart monitor for 2 weeks at early season was showing 15% a-fib. By February, it was close to 100% of the time. I wasn't wearing the monitor at that point, but 100% of my doctor's office visits (many) showed me in a-fib, and what are the chances? I'm sure either your weight gain or your COVID or the combo could have brought that on. Your frequent stops on the hill and generalized "feeling pooped" sound familiar. I put it down to the extra weight, but that wasn't the total explanation. This season, after an ablation and the loss of 30 pounds, my stats are what they were back in 2015-2016 (justifying my obsessive recordkeeping.) I hope to improve them even more as the season progresses, but I'm 71 and it's a process.
 

crgildart

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Symptoms very similar to this are why I decided to go get the full battery of cardiopulmonary testing done this fall. My stamina and endurance has gone way down since I got a super mild case of delta December of 2020. I have put in 10-15 pounds since the days of coaching soccer and boy scout leader backpacking trips. But, nowaday skiing anything bigger than about 600' of vert per lap crushes me in less than 2 hours.

The docs and various cardio and lung folks found zero wrong with me. Basically said eat better, exercise more. AKA I'm getting old and fat.
 

bbinder

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I had Covid in October. It was like the worst cold that I have ever had. On my doctor's recommendation I took Paxlovid (I fit the "old fart" profile). Symptoms improved quickly and then 2 days after finishing the meds, I had rebound Covid - milder symptoms and a relatively short course. Then 2 days after those symptoms resolved, I had to go to the ER with severe abdominal pain. This was initially diagnosed as a bowel obstruction based on the appearance on CT, but fortunately resolved with non-surgical care. I asked the doctor (a surgeon) who was following me if she thought there was any relation to Covid. She said that there is nothing in the literature, yet, but she has been seeing all kinds of weird intestinal syndromes in Covid patients. Over the course of my short hospital stay, many on the hospital staff remarked that Covid is weird. FWIW, all blood work and all follow-up (chest and abd) imaging was normal.

To address the OPs main question: While I feel that I can exercise as vigorously as I did prior to illness, I don't feel that I can go all out 2 days in a row. I don't know if isat is due to Covid, recovery from intestinal issue, or just normal aging. I look forward to testing the hypothesis
 
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Andy Mink

Andy Mink

Everyone loves spring skiing but not in January
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How much biking did you do after your infection?
Very little. Between smoke from fires in CA, travel, and general "just don't feel it malaise" I rode hardly at all in the late summer/early fall.
 

johnnyvw

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I had covid the beginning of November. The worst day was the first, every day after I felt better. No major issues while I had it, but it seemed every day had a new symptom. My sense of smell went away around day 5, took almost 3 weeks to return. I still have a bit of a nagging cough related to some residual congestion. I do notice I get winded a little quicker, but that has improved over time. Some of that I am chalking up to the fact I have had almost no cardio exercise that past year and a half due to all the time needed for other things relative to our move from PA to NC. First ski outing should be early January...will be interesting to see how I fare
 

geepers

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Wife caught covid in May - quite sick for several days but nothing requiring hospital. Tried to return to work after about 10 days but couldn't manage 2 shifts in a row. Kept getting hit by fatigue, various pains in chest, irregular and racing heart beat. Caught covid again in July - the acute phase didn't last as long but the other symptoms got worse. A few trips to ER in the night but nothing found. Cardiologist referral, all the tests - nothing. Heart is fine.

Since then it has got steadily worse. Whilst never feeling well again she has slightly ok days and some pretty bad days. Used to be the bad days occurred maybe 2 times a week - now it's the majority of the time. On an ok-ish day she may be able to do two or three things: empty the dishwasher; hang out some laundry; go out. On a bad day practically nothing. Any attempt to keep pushing, to get things done, just slams her a day or two later. This from a person who in May had just finished a walking trip easily managing 20 km per day on challenging terrain.

There are no answers from doctors. Run out of specialists to see. Long covid clinics are under-resourced and in any case have no working treatment plans. My wife has gone from a well trained nursing professional and an active walker into some-one who can now rarely get past the letterbox. The lack of physical activity for over 6 months is also beginning to impose its own toll.

@Andy Mink - be very careful about continuing to push on. We suspect her early attempts to return to work and walking were counter-productive. Rest up when the body says. Hopefully you won't experience anything like the same situation as my wife.
 

Tony S

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@Andy Mink I haven't had Covid yet, to my knowledge. (Which is weird since Wendy had it about a month ago and we did no quarantining.)

But I totally relate to all the other malaise stuff that you and others report. Have failed to rebound from the change in physical habits that Covid occasioned. Plus other things.

All of which is just background for my possibly useful observation that for me it's critical to just keep getting out there as often as I can, regardless of whether I have the endurance or strength I used to. (I don't.) Go slow, quit early, whatever I have to do. The important thing is to get outside and DO something. I'm ALWAYS glad I did. It's a mental health thing. The important thing to NOT do is compete with my old skinny self. I'm going to lose that competition and then get all bummed out, which is not productive.

(Meanwhile Covid Wendy, her third time on snow for the season, skated 35km and then went out drinking with friends. Not competing with that either.)
 

luliski

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I’m wondering if you’re expecting too much of yourself this early in the season. I know you have easy access to snow and great skiing (and conditions have been good) but maybe you need rest days while you build your stamina.
 

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