The following is a 6 part story on the personal COVID experience of Peg City Hippie. She hopes it can helps others. “If I can stop just one person from getting COVID/Long COVID by sharing my personal experience and educating people to the thousands of their fellow Canadians who are currently suffering then it’s all worth it”, Brittany adds. “We have a second pandemic on our hands of COVID Long-haulers and the both the federal and provincial government need to take this seriously and plan accordingly”, says Brittany. She feels if more people knew about the possibility of COVID causing long term medical damage they may convince people to take this more seriously. She feels that it is easier for most to ignore something when they don’t know anyone who’s going through it. And there is a stigma attached to getting COVID, though that has diminished over time with more people catching it and so she understands why some people feel uncomfortable telling people. It is also important for her to let other people going through Long COVID know that they are not alone… There are others like them suffering with the same illness. They aren’t crazy and their symptoms are real and they deserve recognition and treatment. Also here’s a great statement from the WHO, in which they urge governments to acknowledge Long COVID and plan accordingly. They stress the 3 Rs, Recognition, Research and Rehabilitation. The link is www.bmj.com/content/372/bmj.n405
My COVID Story by Brittany Maydaniuk
THIS IS MY COVID STORY – PART 1: I’ve struggled with whether or not I should go public with my story but I feel that if anything should happen to me I just want my story out there. I need to tell my truth. In late August 2020 I caught COVID-19 at my workplace. I knew the risks but I felt financially forced into it. I was hoping to bank enough hours before the second wave since I never qualified for CERB and still don’t qualify for any pandemic financial aid. I only made it 4 shifts for a grand total of 25 hours and a pathetic $300 paycheck before I caught COVID. I ended up quitting my job because my boss wanted me to work while sick and symptomatic, and even before I’d had a COVID test. Unfortunately my first test was a false negative (based on having the test multiple times now I know the swab didn’t go up far enough that time) so I never did get the satisfaction of shoving that in her face. It took over 3 weeks just for my doctor to confirm it was COVID. Though once I developed pneumonia and lost my sense of smell and taste 100% it became pretty obvious. Those first 3 weeks were pure hell and there was a moment where I honestly thought I was going to die. I forced myself to stay awake that whole night because I could barely breathe and I was afraid I could stop breathing if I went to sleep. It was in that moment, my worst moment, that I chose to live! Slowly I got a little better each day for about a week then I had a sharp decline and things have only gotten worse from there. I started developing heart problems, including pain in chest, heart palpitations and an increased heart rate for no reason. Even when just sitting. A few weeks ago my doctor sent me to the emergency room because I was having cardiac problems in her office. I worry it’s myocarditis but I’ll need to see a cardiologist before I can get a firm diagnosis. I recently passed the 12 week mark of being sick so I now qualify as having Long COVID/Post-COVID Syndrome (according to the WHO) they haven’t settled on an official name, though I personally prefer Long COVID because after 100 plus days now of being sick, all day, every day, it sure as hell doesn’t feel like I’m past COVID. And one of the worst things is no one can tell me when or if I will ever get better. Continued in the next post…
MY COVID STORY – PART 2: Currently I’ve had about 20 different symptoms with headaches, severe fatigue, brain fog, chest pains, sore throat, complete loss of smell and taste, fever, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, menstruation problems, muscles aches and pains, ear pain, sound and light sensitivity, a weird numbness in the left side of my face, left eye twitches, and those are just what I can think of off the top of my head. As much as the pneumonia, the severe fatigue and the multiple chest/heart problems are the physically the worst, mentally the worst was losing my sense of smell and taste completely. I couldn’t even enjoy my two favourite things, coffee and cannabis. I couldn’t smell/taste the terps and coffee was basically just warm water. At least I could dab but it just wasn’t quite the same. Not as satisfying, you know? Cannabis helped give me back my life, mentally and health wise, but COVID managed to take it away. That was a tough two in a half weeks. Everything tasted like cardboard and I had to force myself to eat. I still don’t have them back completely, I’d say it hovers at about 25% percent. Basically everything is just dulled. Every morning it’s like, spin the wheel on how I’m going to feel today, what symptoms will it be. Because that’s the thing, COVID affects the whole body. It gets in your blood and spreads to all your organs. It can even break the blood brain barrier. I feel like I am only a shell of the person I once was. But I know I’m not alone. There are thousands of COVID Long-haulers out there suffering like me, but in silence. I only learned about other long-haulers in late September. I thought there was something wrong with me personally. Like I was weak or crazy or something. I want to tell others who are going through this that you are not alone. You are not weak. You are not crazy. I don’t know when I’ll get better or if I ever will. No one can answer that question right now. There are long haulers who got sick in February 2020 that are still sick today. But I’m going to keep facing COVID head on and trying my best to stay positive. This is my war and I will defeat COVID! And if not, at least I’ll give it one hell of an ass kicking before I go out! Much love everyone! Stay safe and stay high!
MY COVID STORY – PART 3: I just want to thank everyone for all the kind words and messages I’ve received this week. It’s really helped to raise my spirits and this week has been particularly rough illness wise, with the heart palpitations, heaviness in my chest, headaches, brain fog and the severe fatigue have been especially draining this week. I slept for 28 hours straight at one point. I see people still denying the severity or seriousness of COVID and it hurts. It discounts the millions of people who are suffering, and the millions who’ve prematurely lost their lives. I especially feel for those who have lost loved ones and friends from COVID and are forced to grieve alone. I think because people infected with COVID are isolated throughout it, that people don’t get to really see first hand the effects. It’s easier to discount or ignore something when you don’t see it personally. We get lost in the shire size of the numbers and miss the human toll behind them. I’m hoping that by sharing my story it helps to put a face to this illness, and helps to convince even one sceptic to take COVID more seriously. Because COVID can have long term medical consequences, even for asymptomatic people, and just surviving the initial contagious period doesn’t mean you will automatically get better in 3 weeks. This is not just the flu! Thanks again for all the support and well wishes. It really means alot to me. Much love everyone! Stay safe and stay high!
MY COVID STORY – PART 4: For this post I wanted to talk about how to manage Long COVID. I am not an expert but after 4 plus months of this I have learned a few things that I hope can help others. Right now the stats say over 600,000 people in Canada have so far gotten COVID and if conservative estimates are that 10% of people with COVID go on to develop Long COVID/Post-COVID Syndrome, that’s 60,000 Canadians just like me that are suffering. So if you or anyone you know are struggling with Long COVID/Post-COVID Syndrome like me I highly recommend checking out this pamphlet published by The ME Association in the UK. It’s very informative and explains and validates what we are all going through. This is a debilitating illness and you can’t willpower your way out of it. I’ve tried! People with ME/CFS have similar experiences to this and I am forever thankful for this advice. Personally I find pacing, planning, and resting are the main things that work for me. I have on average 20-30 minutes of usable time/energy a day, and if I overdo it I’ll suffer for days because of it. So I’ll plan out what I both want to do/need to do and then focus on the most essential. And while I do it I plan plenty of rest before, during and after. I’ve been struggling with heart palpitations that spike whenever I stand or walk around, so now I plan time to sit every few minutes just to reset my heart rate. I’ve placed a chair at the top of the stairs because going up the stairs especially sets off my heart, and if I run up the stairs like I used to do I’ll get lightheaded and nearly pass out when I get to the top. I carry a stool with me and I’ll sit periodically while cooking, cleaning or even taking a shower. When I cook I always make extra so I can get another serving out of that effort. I mostly watch shows and movies I’ve already seen because it can be mentally difficult to watch new things. But mostly I just rest. And everyday try to find joy in the little things that I love that make me happy, like cannabis and my many pets. There’s a few support groups for people with Long COVID online so I’d check one out and you’ll get plenty more advice, resources and support. Stay safe everyone! The following is the PDF for the pamphlet…site Post-Covid-Fatigue-Syndrome-and-MECFS-September-2020
MY COVID STORY – PART 5. CBC Marketplace did a great segment on COVID Long-haulers last night and I wanted to give it a shoutout and recommend everyone check it out if you want to know more about Long COVID, COVID Long-haulers and the long term consequences that COVID-19 can do. It’s available on @cbcmarketplace and on CBC News YouTube and website. It’s not hard to find, literally just google it, it’s one of the top hits, but I’ll put the exact web address below to save you some time. I was one of the thousands of Canadian COVID Long-haulers that participated in this survey, and I’m thankful that CBC is doing more articles and videos on this debilitating illness. Both our provincial and federal governments are ignoring us and our own Health Canada doesn’t even acknowledge that COVID Long-haulers exist. It’s pretty fucked up! It’s important that we as citizens educate ourselves and continue to hold our governments accountable. As for my story, it’s now been 5 months that I’ve personally been struggling with Long COVID. I don’t even count in days or weeks anymore but in months at this point. And I too feel completely abandoned by my government. I couldn’t even get the CRB COVID sickness benefit or EI, even though I got sick AT work. I had to quit my job because my boss wanted me to work sick, fully symptomatic, and even before I had been tested for COVID. Months later it still kinda bothers me that they put me in that position. That I had to choose between my job or my health. But I don’t regret my decision and I’m relieved that I never infected anyone. Also I’m lucky that I do have a great family doctor and a therapist whom I can speak to regularly, who are supportive and actually care about me. Along with family and friends who have my back. It’s during your hardest lowest points when you find out who is really there for you, and I am thankful to each and every one of you who has reached out, provided mental and emotional support, and encouraged me to continue sharing my story. I know I am not alone. There are thousands of Canadians, along with millions of people across the world struggling with this. We all must continue to take COVID seriously and act accordingly. The third wave is already upon us and will hit Canada soon. Now is not the time to let down our guard. So ya check out the following video: Canada’s Forgotten Patients/COVID Long Haulers to learn more…
MY COVID STORY – PART 6. This week marks 6 months that I’ve had Long COVID and not much has changed in that time. Still the same symptoms of fatigue, brain fog, headache, heart palpitations, chest pain, diminished sense of smell (20% of my normal) and taste (80% back to normal), muscles aches and pain, menstruation problems, nausea, diarrhea, light and sound sensitivities, ear pain, left eye twitches and numbness in the face. It’s been a long never ending cycle of symptoms but I finally have some good news. I saw my doctor yesterday and was able to get a few diagnoses, and most importantly we now have a plan of action. Because there is no magic pill or any actual approved treatment for Long COVID, the only thing doctors can really do is treat the symptoms. Right now my main problem is inflammation, inflammation in my chest and brain specifically. So I’m trying a new medication today in hopes of bringing down the inflammation and pain and hopefully clearing up some of this brain fog. After we get that under control we will start treating my heart problems, but my doctor doesn’t want to put me on multiple new medications at the same time, which I completely agree with. She was able to diagnose me with ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), PEM (Post-Exertional Malaise) which is linked to ME/CFS and means I get severely fatigued after minimal activity, and probable PoTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) which means my heart rate spikes when I stand/move, but I still need to see a cardiologist to get confirmation on that last one. All are brand new problems and directly related to the long term consequences of COVID-19. She said something else but I completely forgot what that was. We are dealing with a second pandemic on our hands of COVID Long-haulers and even though the WHO, CDC, NHS, NICE and SAGE, all acknowledge Long COVID/post-COVID syndrome (name depends on the organization) our Canadian governments, both provincial and federal, refuse to even acknowledge we exist. That’s probably what angers me the most. But I do have hope. I am not alone in my struggles. I will never surrender. I will keep fighting COVID until my dying breath. Stay strong my fellow long-haulers! We’re all in this together!
Thank you for sharing this Brittany… We wish you the fullest possible recovery and we love you. Stay Lifted! <3
– Freedom Wares Admin Team
This story is dedicated to everyone affected by COVID-19…
The Endocannabinoid System within our bodies is implicated in COVID-19 as it is also with all diseases & disorders. The following abstracts are supportive in showing that cannabinoids, a compound from the cannabis plant can be beneficial in the treatment & recovery of those diagnosed with COVID-19. For your consideration…
Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of the Covid-19 pandemic has proved itself as the deadliest pathogen. A major portion of the population has become susceptible to this strain. Scientists are pushing their limits to formulate a vaccine against Covid-19 with the least side effects. Although the recent discoveries of vaccines have shown some relief from the covid infection rate, however, physical fatigue, mental abnormalities, inflammation and other multiple organ damages are arising as post-Covid symptoms. The long-term effects of these symptoms are massive. Patients with such symptoms are known as long-haulers and treatment strategy against this condition is still unknown. In this study, we tried to explore a strategy to deal with the post-Covid symptoms. We targeted three human proteins namely ACE2, Interleukin-6, Transmembrane serine protease and NRP1 which are already reported to be damaged via Covid-19 proteins and upregulated in the post-Covid stage. Our target plant in this study is Cannabis (popularly known as ‘Ganja’ in India). The molecular docking and simulation studies revealed that Cannabidiol (CBD) and Cannabivarin (CVN) obtained from Cannabis can bind to post-Covid symptoms related central nervous system (CNS) proteins and downregulate them which can be beneficial in post-covid symptoms treatment strategy. Thus we propose Cannabis as an important therapeutic plant against post-Covid symptoms.
“Cannabis sativa is widely used for medical purposes and has anti-inflammatory activity. This study intended to examine the anti-inflammatory activity of cannabis on immune response markers associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) inflammation. An extract fraction from C. sativa Arbel strain (FCBD) substantially reduced (dose dependently) interleukin (IL)-6 and -8 levels in an alveolar epithelial (A549) cell line. FCBD contained cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG) and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), and multiple terpenes. Treatments with FCBD and a FCBD formulation using phytocannabinoid standards (FCBD:std) reduced IL-6, IL-8, C-C Motif Chemokine Ligands (CCLs) 2 and 7, and angiotensin I converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) expression in the A549 cell line. Treatment with FCBD induced macrophage (differentiated KG1 cell line) polarization and phagocytosis in vitro, and increased CD36 and type II receptor for the Fc region of IgG (FcγRII) expression. FCBD treatment also substantially increased IL-6 and IL-8 expression in macrophages. FCBD:std, while maintaining anti-inflammatory activity in alveolar epithelial cells, led to reduced phagocytosis and pro-inflammatory IL secretion in macrophages in comparison to FCBD. The phytocannabinoid formulation may show superior activity versus the cannabis-derived fraction for reduction of lung inflammation, yet there is a need of caution proposing cannabis as treatment for COVID-19.”
“Coronavirus disease-19 caused by the novel RNA betacoronavirus SARS-CoV2 has first emerged in Wuhan, China in December 2019, and since then developed into a worldwide pandemic with >99 million people afflicted and >2.1 million fatal outcomes as of 24th January 2021. SARS-CoV2 targets the lower respiratory tract system leading to pneumonia with fever, cough, and dyspnea.”
“Novel anti-TNFα and anti-IL-6 cannabis extracts can be useful additions to the current anti-inflammatory regimens to treat COVID-19, as well as various rheumatological diseases and conditions, and ‘inflammaging’ – the inflammatory underpinning of aging and frailty.”
“The SARS-Cov-2 virus caused a high morbidity and mortality rate disease, that is the COVID-19 pandemic.“
“The endocannabinoid system is found in multiple systems within the human body, including the immune system. Its activation can lead to beneficial results such as decreased viral entry, decreased viral replication, and a decrease in pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-12, TNF-α, or IFN-γ. Moreover, endocannabinoid system activation can lead to an increase in anti-inflammatory cytokines, mainly represented by IL-10. Overall, the cannabinoid system can potentially reduce pulmonary inflammation, increase the immunomodulatory effect, decrease PMN infiltration, reduce fibrosis, and decrease viral replication, as well as decrease the ‘cytokine storm’.”
“Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection may lead to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) which, in turn, may be associated with multiple organ dysfunction. In this review, we present advantages and disadvantages of cannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating phytocannabinoid from the cannabis plant, as a potential agent for the treatment of COVID-19. CBD has been shown to downregulate proteins responsible for viral entry and to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication. Preclinical studies have demonstrated its effectiveness against diseases of the respiratory system as well as its cardioprotective, nephroprotective, hepatoprotective, neuroprotective and anti-convulsant properties, that is, effects that may be beneficial for COVID-19. Only the latter two properties have been demonstrated in clinical studies, which also revealed anxiolytic and antinociceptive effects of CBD (given alone or together with Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol), which may be important for an adjuvant treatment to improve the quality of life in patients with COVID-19 and to limit post-traumatic stress symptoms.“
“Exposure to viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens is unavoidable. Yet, the mere presence of these threats is not enough to automatically predispose to illness. The susceptibility of an individual to viral or bacterial infections is dependent upon immune competence. Many factors can interfere with the functioning of the immune system.” “ Cannabidiol can both directly and indirectly improve immunity by enhancing natural killer cell activity, reducing inflammation, and relieving stress. Other dietary supplements backed by solid scientific evidence to show they act as immune enhancers are astragalus, a yeast fermentate (EpiCor®), olive leaf extract, berberine, N-acetyl cysteine, and garlic.”
“With the current COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), there is an urgent need for new therapies and prevention strategies that can help curtail disease spread and reduce mortality. The inhibition of viral entry and thus spread is a plausible therapeutic avenue. SARS-CoV-2 uses receptor-mediated entry into a human host via the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), which is expressed in lung tissue as well as the oral and nasal mucosa, kidney, testes and gastrointestinal tract. The modulation of ACE2 levels in these gateway tissues may be an effective strategy for decreasing disease susceptibility. Cannabis sativa, especially those high in the anti-inflammatory cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD), has been found to alter gene expression and inflammation and harbour anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.”
“ The extracts of our most successful novel high-CBD C. sativa lines, pending further investigation, may become a useful and safe addition to the prevention/treatment of COVID-19 as an adjunct therapy.”
“The recent emergence of SARS coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has resulted in the alarming spread of the highly infectious and contagious COVID-19 pandemic that is causing catastrophic damage and affecting health, life and death around the world [1,2]. SARS-CoV-2 has also created a COVID-19 ‘infodemic’ crisis with an overabundance of information and misinformation about the origin of the virus, potential therapies, and whether it was engineered in the laboratory.”
“Phytocannabinoids, such as Δ9-THC and cannabidiol have been demonstrated to reduce inflammatory cytokine storms [7–9,12–14,22,25]. What’s more, the approval by the US FDA for medical use of cannabidiol and Δ9-THC  supports the hypothesis that cannabinoids could reduce the damage caused by COVID-19 by dousing the inflammatory cytokine storm provoked by SARS-CoV-2. Thus, the immune-regulatory properties of cannabis and cannabinoid formulations suggest their use in the treatment of immune-related disorders.”
“Along with many ongoing studies and clinical trials, cannabis and cannabinoid adjunctive treatment in COVID-19 could be of use in countering SARS-CoV-2 infections by quelling the cytokine storm, but require more studies and trials.”
It is interesting to remember that physicians in the late 19th century used anodynes of opium tincture as a treatment of “bronchitis” and other ailments in infants and children, as case reports and experience “demonstrated the efficacy” of the concoction in controlling coughing and facilitating breathing. Also, today some products of cannabinoids are used to modulate an inflammatory response. This permits us to rediscover the past and utilize the present, with hopes of finding the missing links in the pathophysiology of COVID-19, and raises the issue of opioids/cannabinoids utilization in the context of COVID-19. It is suggested that clinical trials could be conducted on opioids/cannabinoids products with immunomodulatory activity. We hope that, with great efforts, scientific support, and sharing of information, the overcoming of COVID-19 will come soon.
“Our findings suggest cannabidiol and Δ (Yu et al., 2020 )-tetrahydrocannabinol are possible drugs against human coronavirus that might be used in combination or with other drug molecules to treat COVID-19 patients.”
“We hypothesize that CB2R agonists, due to immunomodulatory, antiinflammatory, and antiviral properties may show activity against COVID-19. Based on the organoprotective potential, relative safety, lack of psychotropic effects, and druggable properties, CB2R selective ligands might make available promising candidates for further investigation.”
“Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a highly infectious respiratory disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. A significant proportion of COVID-19 patients develop Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) resulting from hyperactivation of the immune system and cytokine storm, which leads to respiratory and multi-organ failure, and death. Currently, there are no effective treatments against hyperimmune syndrome and ARDS. We propose that because immune cells express cannabinoid receptors and their agonists are known to exhibit potent anti-inflammatory activity, targeting cannabinoid receptors, and endocannabinoids deserve intense investigation as a novel approach to treat systemic inflammation, cytokine storm, and ARDS in patients with COVID-19.”
“Considering lack of target-specific antiviral treatment and vaccination for COVID-19, it is absolutely exigent to have an effective therapeutic modality to reduce hospitalization and mortality rate as well as to improve COVID-19-infected patient outcomes. In a follow-up study to our recent findings indicating the potential of Cannabidiol (CBD) in the treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), here we show for the first time that CBD may ameliorate the symptoms of ARDS through up-regulation of apelin, a peptide with significant role in the central and peripheral regulation of immunity, CNS, metabolic and cardiovascular system. By administering intranasal Poly (I:C), a synthetic viral dsRNA, while we were able to mimic the symptoms of ARDS in a murine model, interestingly, there was a significant decrease in the expression of apelin in both blood and lung tissues. CBD treatment was able to reverse the symptoms of ARDS towards a normal level. Importantly, CBD treatment increased the apelin expression significantly, suggesting a potential crosstalk between apelinergic system and CBD may be the therapeutic target in the treatment of inflammatory diseases such as COVID-19 and many other pathologic conditions.”
“The endogenous cannabinoid signaling system (ECS) is a highly conserved, ubiquitous, pleiotropic biochemical system known as a gatekeeper in immune homeostasis.1 A multitude of ECS-mediated immunosuppressive effects have been demonstrated to date, including inhibition of immune cell proliferation, migration and antibody production, induction of apoptosis, and cytokine suppression (via downregulation of immunoregulatory genes). Given these effects, are phytocannabinoids helpful or harmful for immune competency in the context of the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic?”
“Our results suggest a potential protective role for CBD during ARDS that may extend CBD as part of the treatment of COVID-19 by reducing the cytokine storm, protecting pulmonary tissues, and re-establishing inflammatory homeostasis.”
“Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) causes up to 40% mortality in humans and is difficult to treat. ARDS is also one of the major triggers of mortality associated with coronavirus-induced disease (COVID-19). We used a mouse model of ARDS induced by Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB), which triggers 100% mortality, to investigate the mechanisms through which Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) attenuates ARDS.”
“A database analysis of human COVID-19 patients was also performed to compare the signaling pathways with SEB-mediated ARDS. The treatment of SEB-mediated ARDS mice with THC led to a 100% survival, decreased lung inflammation, and the suppression of cytokine storm.”
“Collectively, this study suggests that the activation of cannabinoid receptors may serve as a therapeutic modality to treat ARDS associated with COVID-19.”
“These studies suggest that CBD is a reasonable candidate to be studied in preclinical coronavirus models. ”
“Therefore, as SARS-CoV2 induces significant damage through pro-inflammatory cytokine storm mediated by macrophages and other immune cells and based on the fact that CBD has broad anti-inflammatory properties, CBD might represent as a potential anti-inflammatory therapeutic approach against SARS-CoV2-induced inflammation. In this regard, first a deeper understanding of the specific effects of SARS-CoV2 on human macrophages and T-cell physiology and immunological functions is needed. As CBD is already a therapeutic agent used in clinical medicine and has a favorable safety profile, the results of in vitro and animal model proof-of-concept studies would provide the necessary supporting evidence required before embarking on costly and labor-intensive clinical trials.”
For more on this, the Endocannabinoid System, or any othere disease or disorder please, we welcome you to search it out in our CannaPosts. Thank you.