I do not understand what’s happening in my body

Carmen Gomez

How many times have you heard yourself saying this? How many times have you realised after speaking with a doctor over the phone, something which appears to be the new norm - and maybe the way of the future - that he does not know either? After all, the human body still harbours many mysteries despite scientists having chartered every aspect of it.

In fact, in 2017 a “new” human organ called the “mesentery” was announced to the world; bringing the organ count for the human body from 78 to 79.


For many years now the medical profession has been bogged down by patients professing chronic symptoms which eventually have been labelled with names like, ME, Fibromyalgia, Polymyalgia, the list is endless. Well now it appears that with all the talk of Covid-19 which has been the cause for a multitude of deaths all over the world, and for which as yet there is no known cure, we come across a different spectrum; one of long termers or long haulers of Covid-19. These are people who have been left out of the narrative, and excluded from figures that define the pandemic. People trapped in a statistical limbo; uncounted and over looked; the reason being that they don’t conform to the typical profile of the disease.

Paul Garner, a professor of infectious diseases at Liverpool school of Tropical Medicine and director of the Centre for Evidence Synthesis in global Health and Coordinating Editor of the Cochrane Infectious Disease group, tells of his experience of having Covid-19. Apparently in mid March he developed the virus but was not hospitalised. Instead he spent seven weeks in isolation during which time he went through a roller coaster of ill health, extreme emotions, and utter exhaustion. He felt as though someone had hit him around the head with a cricket bat; which reminds me of what a loved one told me recently, that he felt he had been run over by a truck; but the “doctor on the phone” put it down to the summer heat, or wear and tear; except he is only in his early fifties. Mr. Garner says there are many people in his situation and he is quite clear about the fact that the illness ebbs and flows but never goes away, that this is not a question of some post viral fatigue syndrome; in his words, it is the disease.