Jane Fowler – Head of Customer Support Services
Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s wellbeing Wednesday. Let’s bypass the weather today…… And welcome the fact that we certainly won’t be facing a drought this month nor heatstroke!
Thanks to those of you who signed up for our wellbeing walk – and sorry that we cancelled it due to the weather – it would have been a little more like wild swimming than walking today.
We had a lovely wildlife experience at the weekend – the swallows that nested at the apex of our roof fledged their young – and because the nest is above the window, we had a ‘bird’s eye view’ of the whole proceedings. A couple were nudged out of the nest by a parent and managed to land on the windowsill, so we could see them up really closely through the glass. They didn’t look keen to make the next leap! Fantastic to see them flying around once they got their confidence up – better than the telly.
Following feedback from you, our readers, today we are looking at two post-viral conditions that have similar symptoms and both may involve uncertainty in diagnosis, treatment and prognosis. If you or anyone you know is experiencing any of these systems, please do look into it and get support.
And don’t forget to fill in our Wellbeing Survey – particularly if you have thoughts/ideas about how we are providing you with Wellbeing information or support. Let us know what you think of Wellbeing Wednesday and what you think about frequency, content etc. This is for you, so we want to get it right.
I’ll be on leave now for a couple of weeks, so we will have guests covering the intro. See you soon!
Most people’s symptoms of coronavirus get better within 4 weeks but for some people, symptoms can last longer, or new ones can develop. Symptoms can also change over time and can affect anywhere in the body. This has been referred to as long COVID.
These symptoms are not limited to people who were seriously unwell or hospitalised with coronavirus.
Healthcare professionals may refer to long COVID as:
- ongoing symptomatic COVID-19 (4 to 12 weeks)
- post-COVID-19 syndrome (over 12 weeks)
As this is a new condition, understanding is developing all the time. Experts are learning more about how long symptoms will last, and it’ll vary from person to person. There can be different symptoms which often overlap. It can’t be said exactly how long coronavirus symptoms will last. The reassuring evidence is that symptoms improve over time in most cases.
Advice is based on:
- evidence from research so far
- experience and expert knowledge of healthcare professionals
Research is ongoing, so advice may change when its results are known.
Signs and symptoms of long COVID
Signs and symptoms after coronavirus can be different from person to person. The most common ones include cough; fatigue; breathlessness; joint and muscle pain; loss of smell or taste; low mood; anxiety and “brain fog” or concentration loss.
It’s not known whether vaccines have any effect on the ongoing symptoms of coronavirus. NHS Scotland recommend you get the coronavirus vaccine when offered it. Vaccines can help to reduce the risk of further infection.
Patient information booklet
There’s a patient information booklet for people who have symptoms that last more than 4 weeks. It’s written by experts from National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN). Long COVID (sign.ac.uk)
Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland’s new Long Covid Support Service
Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland (CHSS), have been funded by the Scottish Government to provide a service that can support people with the most common symptoms of Long Covid such as breathlessness and fatigue.
CHSS have a Long COVID Support Service with trained health professionals available to support anyone experiencing Long Covid symptoms.
The Advice Line provides support to help people manage their condition at home. It does not provide medical diagnosis or treatment and will always recommend that contact be made with a GP to confirm a diagnosis (or presumed diagnosis) of Long Covid
You can contact the Long Covid Support Service via email at email@example.com or call 0808 801 0899. The service provides access to:
- Advice Line Nurses and other health professionals who are trained in managing some of the most common Long Covid symptoms such as breathlessness and fatigue.
- Someone to speak to and help sufferers live day to day with Long Covid.
- Someone to support individual’s wellbeing while they are off work, waiting for tests or NHS treatment.
- Someone to signpost to the latest Long Covid advice and health information.
For more information on the symptoms, treatment and support for those with Long Covid – visit:
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
ME, also known as CFS, is a long term (chronic) neurological condition that affects the nervous and immune systems.
People with ME/CFS experience severe pain and fatigue associated with post-exertional malaise (PEM). This is when the body is not able to recover after using even small amounts of energy. This fatigue feels very different from ordinary tiredness. It might take a day or 2 to kick in after physical, mental, or emotional exertion.
ME/CFS affects more women than men, can affect children and adults of all ages and from all social and ethnic groups. It doesn’t go away with sleep or rest and affects everyday life. It can sometimes be diagnosed as post viral fatigue syndrome (PVFS).
People with ME/CFS experience severe pain, fatigue and a range of other symptoms associated with PEM. This is the body and brain’s inability to recover after using even small amounts of energy.
Simple physical or mental activities, or combinations of activities, can leave people with ME/CFS feeling completely exhausted. It can also lead to an increase in other symptoms such as muscle pain, poor concentration, dizziness, speech difficulties, poor sleep, loss of appetite and feeling generally unwell.
Some sufferers may also experience anxiety, depression and frustration due to the impact of the condition and its symptoms on their lives.
Further research is needed to confirm what causes ME/CFS. There might be various factors involved and there may be a number of different types of the illness. ME/CFS may appear suddenly or more slowly over time. It may follow an infection, typically, but not always, viral.
Other possible triggers can be trauma, surgery or stressful major life events. In some cases, there may be no identifiable trigger.
For more information and sources of support visit:
Wellbeing Survey reminder!
Our Wellbeing Survey is still live until Monday and we would ask you to please take 5 minutes to complete this, as it will help us provide you with the support you need in relation to your wellbeing: Wellbeing Survey – Help Us to Help You! (argyll-bute.gov.uk)
Argyll &Bute Alcohol and Drug Partnership are organising free and certificated Naloxone training with basic CPR in Dunoon Community Hospital.
This will provide training to recognise the signs of an opioid overdose, how to administer the opioid reversal drug Naloxone and learn more about harm reduction in opioid dependency.
Sessions are available on 19th July (10.30 a.m. and 1.30 p.m.) Email to book a place: firstname.lastname@example.org
As always please let us know your thoughts and ideas about the items featured in our Wellbeing Wednesdays each week and send us your suggestions for future topics – we love to hear from you.
The Wellbeing Team: email@example.com