Post Viral Fatigue
As the first wave of the Sars Covid 2 virus made its way across the globe, I made contact with a friend and community nurse in London who was very sick. I treated her as best as I could from a distance given the limited information she was able to give me about her symptoms mostly because she was too weak to even speak or text. We managed to keep her out of hospital, which is what she most wanted. But there were days when her oxygen saturation levels dropped too low for my liking and when the burning in her lungs kept her up for hours and hours through the night. Still, she refused to be admitted, preferring to stay home where she was cared for by flatmates and loved ones.
Suffering months later, she added me to a long covid group on social media where I read thread of comments from those who had already passed through the infectious or active stages of the virus and who were now left with residual symptoms. Back then, Vitamin D, C, zinc and Hydroxychloroquine had been as much as banned as a treatment, though many, including Dr. Zelenco and Dr. Simone Gold (and others who joined the American Frontline Doctors movement), were having tremendous success with them, as well as with Ivermectin and antibiotics. In no time, they too were censored and to this day the battle continues. The mainstream medical institutions at large insisted no treatment was effective or available, and people continued to suffer. Though I had only managed palliate my friends’ symptoms, I offered my services to those on the group and was inundated with request. People who might not normally consider Homeopathy, were desperate to try anything, since medicine had nothing to offer.
The one thing they all had in common was extreme post-viral exhaustion. Some couldn’t manage more than a shower every other day and many couldn’t get up to feed themselves. Those who were once fit and active, walking or jogging miles every day, now found themselves breathless just walking to the front door, and many were depressed, suffering from what we call in homeopathy, ‘despair of recovery.’ It reminded me very much of the symptoms I have treated in patients with chronic fatigue or myalgic encephalomyelitis - ME.
(Myalgia is the medical term for muscle pain, and encephalomyelitis is inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.)
Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome is a condition where the nervous system is affected for months, sometimes years after the infection has been brought under control. For example, the Herpes virus is known to sit dormant in the nervous system and express itself when the organism is run down or depleted - an example of this is Chicken Pox expressing itself later as Shingles. The Flu, and the Epstein Bar Virus, which is closely affiliated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or ME can also create this condition, and now we see it in the aftermath of the Sars covid-2 virus.
While modern medicine has little to offer, Homeopathy has a long list of remedies to treat the symptoms of post-viral fatigue. For example, one of the first remedies a homeopath thinks of when a patient feels collapsed at the onset of a flu or the common cold, is a remedy called Gelsemium. The Gelsemium symptoms include paralytic muscle weakness, leathargy and trembling. Within minutes of taking the remedy, the patient feels better, their energy starts to return and the exhaustion starts to lift.
Stanum is another remedy we use to treat exhaustion with respiratory problems. The Stanum symptoms include a complete depletion of physical energy, weakness, weariness, despondence and depression. The patient cannot tolerate company and can barely talk from shortness of breath. The cough is hard and dry much like the cough of another remedy we find useful for this virus, called Bryonia. The Bryonia patient is also exhausted from the cough, he holds his chest and is too weak to move. In Stanum, the limbs give way, the muscles twitch, the chest is weak. Kent says: Stanum is especially suited to persons who have long been growing feeble. Respiration is difficult - the patient has to sit down to rest while getting dressed.
Muriatic Acid is a liver remedy with collapsed exhaustion as if the organism has totally given up. The organism is tired, weak and indifferent, with no energy to even sit up in bed. There is a complete mental and physical depletion of the organism with great debility. The patient is anxious, restless and yet too weak to even support his own head as he slides down the bed.
Then there are remedies whose exhaustion comes from an emotional or hormonal disturbance, like Phosphoric Acid and Sepia. In Phosphoric-Acid, the disturbance starts in the emotional plane with grief and disappointment which eventually lead to a frozen apathy and indifference. But it can also be called for when the organism has faced loss of vital fluids or been exposed to extreme acute disease which have completely wiped out the patients vitality.
Sepia is a remedy we often give to exhausted mothers recovering from the hormonal changes of pregnancy and labour coupled with the high physical demands of motherhood. (If these women have also had the virus, it adds to their general fatigue). Often by the time they find homeopathy, they are often too tired to care about anything and anyone, their energy is flat and unresponsive, their bucket is empty, they have nothing left to give and they wish to create a smoke screen (or a sepia screen) to separate themselves from the demands of their family. Sepia is a remedy made from the ink of the cuttlefish, who ejects a sepia screen to escape her predators. Thyroidinum is also an excellent remedy for exhaustion in those with a history of hormonal imbalance or thyroid problems, which seem to be exacerbated by this virus.
Baptisa is a remedy about which we say it has 'the smell of death'. It is a remedy we use for complete prostration and collapse of the organism. I recently made contact with my friend who has become something of a long Covid survivor pin up girl. She is blond and vivacious by nature and happy to share her story. She has been interviewed by My London News and is educating the public about the long term problems associated with the virus. And we are working together again with Homeopathy to get her through her fever states where she drops into a state of catatonic prostration almost every day. Baptisa has been helping her as well as the homeopathic remedy China, made from the Peruvian Bark and used as a treatment for Malaria. (Interestingly, China shares its roots with hydroxichloroquine). It is a remedy used for periodicity about which Kent says: Periodicity is the symptom for which Quinine is given.
While she is far from out of the woods, as we strengthen her organism slowly, using the right sequence of remedies, she improves, symptom by symptom, and slowly she is making progress towards reclaiming her vitality and strength with the support of Homeopathic remedies.
Rebecca Bermeister is a Classical Homeopath practicing online and from her home clinic in Israel. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org