How to deal with post-corona effects
Dear Patient, Greetings
Enclosed for your reference is information regarding recommendations for changes in lifestyle to cope with post-corona symptoms. It is important to emphasize that the recommendations are not a substitute for medical advice required to address and treat the various symptoms, but they may facilitate your recovery period. We will be happy to be at your service in case of any inquiries or questions.
Wishing you full health,
The Pulmonary Institute Team
What is the Post-Corona Clinic?
The Post-Corona Clinic is where medical and functional evaluations are performed for patients who have recovered from the acute stage of the disease and who are no longer (positive) carriers for the virus. This evaluation is personally tailored to the patient's condition and includes referral to expert physicians in other specialties and the performance of essential tests, if required. It is recommended that an appointment be made at the Post-Corona Recovering Patients Clinic about one month after recovery. The clinic operates three days per week and offers the services of a pulmonologist and additional expert physicians, a nurse, a nutritionist, a neuropsychologist, and rehabilitation experts, as well as occupational therapy and physiotherapy, as needed.
What are the effects from which those who have recovered from corona are expected to suffer?
Those who have recovered from the acute stage of the disease may suffer from various effects, which may appear or continue, at times for up to about three months and even more.
These effects include:
* Shortness of breath
* Fatigue, weakness and exhaustion
* Joint and muscle aches
* Chest pains
* Loss of sense of smell or taste
* Headaches, sleep disorders
* Impaired memory and concentration.
* Hair loss
* Worry, anxiety
* Mood disturbance, even depression
* PTSD - post-traumatic stress disorder
* Tingling in the limbs, muscle weakness
Additional effects may also appear. It is important to note that effects vary between people and may be dependent on the severity of the initial Corona illness.
Recommendations for coping with post-recovery corona effects
The goal of resting is to allow recovery from the infection. Rest is important for both body and soul. Take short breaks during the day, even when you don't feel the need to do so. Stop and do nothing, and calm your mind: try soothing breath-based techniques - meditation or guided relaxation methods. You don't have to go back to work right away. You will probably need more rest than usual.
Following are several recommendations that may help you rest and relax your mind and achieve quality sleep:
* Create a regular sleep routine - go to sleep at the same time, and get up at about the same time.
* Avoid napping before sleep.
* Reduce your use of alcohol / caffeine / nicotine / high-sugar beverages in the hours before your bedtime.
* Avoid eating heavy meals up to two hours before your bedtime.
* Avoid performing strenuous exercise about two hours before bedtime.
* Limiting your screen time allows your brain to go into sleep mode.
* Read a book or listen to soothing music, instead of watching TV or using your cellphone before falling asleep.
* Perform breathing exercises or time management exercises; this can help you review your day and give you a sense of calm / relaxation.
* Sleep in a relatively cool and dark quiet room with no lights.
* Thinking about not having fallen asleep yet or having woken up, and looking at the clock at night, can be detrimental to a good night's sleep.
* If you're really struggling to fall asleep, get up for a few minutes and go back to bed when you're a little sleepier.
Limit your screen time and exposure to the media
* It is recommended that you reduce your use of screens and computers.
* Reduce your use of social media and TV
* Make sure to watch the absolute minimum amount of news necessary, to avoid information overload and increase your sense of control.
Practice healthy activities for your mind and body, such as breathing exercises, yoga and meditation such as mindfulness. Mindfulness is a method to focus your attention on a given moment with no judgment, and it has been found helpful in situations of chronic respiratory illness, among others. It can be performed even while paying attention to only one action - breathing.
Adapt your nutrition
Loss of appetite is a common phenomenon experienced during corona disease and when recovering.
It is important to ensure an adequate supply of calories, protein, and fluids. Take vitamin supplements if necessary (vitamin D), and monitor your ability to swallow. If necessary, nutritional counseling can be arranged to tailor your nutritional treatment to your medical condition.
Balanced physical activity
Exercise improves muscle strength, increases pulmonary endurance, increases vitality and improves energy levels, reduces pain and reduces stiffness in the joints, boosts the immune system, improves one's sense of ability and self-worth, and has a positive effect on mood.
* At the start of your recovery period, it is important that you not overexert yourself. However, when possible, you should perform moderate exercise, carefully and gently, several times per day on a daily basis. It is important to make sure you have someone accompany you while you exercise, at least at the start of your recovery period.
* Walking or several movement exercises may maintain mobility and improve your mental wellbeing.
* Try to incorporate activities within your daily routine, such as: gardening, climbing stairs, getting off the bus one stop before your destination and then walking, light swimming, fitness and flexibility exercises - stretching, yoga and tai chi.
* It is important to perform physical activity that is fun and interesting and which you enjoy, so that it becomes part of your routine.
* If you are suffering from respiratory morbidity or respiratory symptoms, it is important to plan your activity:
1. Usually, a feeling of mild to moderate shortness of breath while exercising is expected and safe; it means that you are performing healthy and good quality exercise.
2. Make sure to warm up and stretch before and after you exercise. Stop exercising if you feel pressure in your chest, dizziness or nausea, a feeling of cold, a worsening in wheezing, muscle or joint pain, or extreme fatigue.
Physiotherapy after corona
Designed for patients who need to improve their daily function and / or respiratory function. Physiotherapy concentrates on exercises and instruction for independent exercises.
* It may help improve muscle strength and cardiopulmonary endurance.
* A personal training plan is built for each patient, tailored to their condition.
* The referral for physiotherapy is given after consultation with a pulmonologist / physical medicine and rehabilitation physician.
* Details can be obtained at the Physiotherapy Department - 02 - 6776519.
Invest in intellectual activities
It is important to invest time in intellectual activities, such as memory games, crossword puzzles, sudoku, reading books, etc., to strengthen your mind.
* It is recommended that you try to organize your thoughts around daily activities such as checking your email, shopping and decision making.
* When engaging in activities that require your concentration and attention, plan ahead to choose a quiet and suitable place and ask others not to disturb you during this time.
* It is recommended that you take proactive breaks and prioritize planned activities.
* It is recommended that you keep an electronic diary on your mobile phone, which may help with memory problems.
Give yourself time to recover
Your recovery may take time!
You should know that in contrast to the flu, from which recovery is generally rapid, recovery from corona disease may be more prolonged. Be patient.
It's important to have fun!
It is important that you engage in activities that you enjoy and that interest you, which take only a small amount of energy, such as reading or watching TV, accompanied by rest at regular intervals.
Keeping in touch with people
Make sure to stay in touch with a variety of people. A balance must be found between the need for human contact and the observance of safety rules, wearing a mask, social distancing and hand hygiene.
As someone who has recovered from corona, you have the opportunity to contribute to others who are in need and are afraid, and share and your story about coping and recovering from corona disease. Helping others may give you meaning and interest, and enhances your sense of personal well-being.
When should you refer for medical assistance?
* If, despite acting according to the recommendations above, you still suffer from unexplained effects that show no improvement, refer to a doctor.
* When symptoms of shortness of breath, cough, significant fatigue, neurological effects such as tingling in the limbs, muscle weakness, headaches or emotional / mental distress appear, it is especially important to refer to a doctor.
* If you have additional comorbidities that require medical evaluation after your recovery.
The Post-Corona Recovering Patients Clinic, The Pulmonary Institute Hadassah Ein Kerem
Telephone: 02 - 6777453, 02 – 6776817
Email: [email protected]
Clinic days: Sunday 12:30 - 13:30 Monday 10:30 - 12:30Thursday 8:30 - 12:30
The information sheet was composed by: Dr. Darawsha, Fares; Ms. Rivka Harrari; Ms. Galit Cremisi, Ms. Polina Cohen Goichman
And approved by Prof. Berkman, Neville, Director of the Pulmonary Institute.
Content editing: Revital Zelker, The Quality and Safety Division.
The recommendations that appear in this sheet are based on NHS recommendations (2020) for the support of recovery after COVID-19 disease.
The information in this publication is intended for education only and does not constitute a medical opinion and under no circumstances does it replace professional medical advice. All rights reserved to Hadassah ©. Do not photocopy, duplicate and use commercially without written approval from Hadassah. 2023. Additional Hadassah information sheets are available for review on its website: www.hadassah.org.il