Bravo. This makes more sense than any other hypothesis I’ve read regarding the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the disease it can cause in some people, COVID-19. Thank you for this extremely informative article; I strongly believe that I (and my husband) had the virus in the beginning of January.
We had ALL the symptoms — from gastrointestinal, to “brain fog,” to extreme lethargy, to altered senses, to feeling like you’d been beaten up in your sleep, to 102° fever, to borderline pneumonia (in my case). We both were extremely sick, and often said how this virus was unlike anything we’d ever experienced before — like we’d been invaded by aliens.
We tested negative for strep, flu, mono, and everything else imaginable. Our doctor was baffled, but treated us aggressively with steroids and antibiotics. My husband bounced back fairly quickly, but I have an underlying rare-ish autoinflammatory condition, and it’s like I simply never fully recovered from this. Or rather, I’d have a week or two where I felt almost completely back to normal, only to be taken down — suddenly, without warning — by what I can only describe as a “relapse.” Of all the same symptoms. Bed-ridden & feverish… again. For anywhere from a few hours to several days.
I’ve had about 8–10 of these “relapses” since the onset of whatever I had starting on January 2. The worst flare up or “relapse” came later, in early April, which is when I was finally able to locate somewhere that could give me the COVID-19 test. The results ultimately came back negative — 12 days later — but before that, the testing lab ended up sending/admitting me to the cardiac unit of the ER because my BP was very high and my oxygen was very low. They suspected a “cardiac event.”
I ended up stabilizing on my own, such that they felt it was no longer an emergency, or I did not need to be further admitted to the hospital. The only other time I’ve had those heart symptoms was a near-death experience I had in 2009 with severe pneumonia, a 105.6° fever, pleurisy, and sepsis, which put me in the hospital for 10 days.
The cardiac surgeon in the ER who saw me that day last April suggested that if the test came back negative, I should look into the antibody test, at least for my own peace of mind, because she felt strongly that I had it based on my symptoms and appearance. And, as she said, the test (at that point) was not necessarily right all the time.
As I recovered at home, the test came back negative, which made me feel even more confused. But by the time I felt good enough to go to my regular doctor again, I was discouraged from being tested for antibodies because, “It wouldn’t change anything” (among other reasons).
Thanks again for this. I look forward to learning more about the autoimmune & autoinflammatory theory.