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I'm starting a solution-focused project for overcoming the post-coronavirus syndrome
. Because there are so many opportunists swarming around anything related to COVID-19, I would like to start by telling my personal story about dealing with something similar for the past 45 years. This will make clear my motivations for the new project, and why I think I may have something unique to contribute. It starts in 1975
when, as a teenager, I got sick with what I told was a viral infection. That ended up being a turning point in my life. Until then, I had been energetic, healthy and athletic. I was a competitive athlete with commercial sponsors. I had been featured in various news articles and magazines due to my accomplishments.
When I caught this viral infection, I was bedridden for an entire summer.
At first I had flu-like symptoms. I began to feel somewhat better after a few months, but my energy did not return. I had extreme fatigue, a constant sore throat, fever, some aches and a few other symptoms that stayed. The fatigue and sore throat were the most chronic and debilitating. I had a constant sore throat for two years.
As this continued, my family and friends thought I had become a lazy loser. No doctor at the time could find anything wrong with me. All routine blood tests were normal. Nobody believed this had anything to do with my prior illness, which everyone was calling mononucleosis.
It was obvious to me that I had not recovered from that illness, but nobody believed me. The fatigue had never relented
. There was never a point where I felt like I had recovered, even though I had officially recovered at the end of that first summer. The end of being bed-ridden happened because I willed myself to get up and fight the fatigue, but doing anything took a huge effort.
After about two more years of dealing with the symptoms and receiving no help from the medical profession, I began to explore nutrition
and dietary supplements on my own. With a serious focus on cultivating a healthy lifestyle, I began to gradually feel better. I was able to start fitness training again and I did eventually return to competition. However, my physical endurance, as well as my ability to recover from exercise did not return to normal and no matter what I tried over the next three years, I was never able to compete at the level I had previously. My endurance and recovery were the limiting factors. Still, no health care professionals could find anything wrong at the time.
After 1980, I gave up my professional athletic ambitions. However, even though I did not have the endurance to be a successful competitive athlete, in most other situations I had improved
enough to appear fully normal to all those around me (but I also learned how to hide my fatigue). Something was wrong, but I was continuing to cultivate a very healthy lifestyle and my health was continuing to improve.
I decided to enroll in college and study nutrition. Eventually, I studied biochemistry
at the graduate level. I did very well in college. I was at the top of my class in an honors program. However, I began pushing myself too hard in graduate school due to my competitive nature, and eventually my improving health reversed direction. I lost weight, lost energy, found myself sleeping long hours and unable to get out of bed. This was not the onset of any new illness. It was just a deeper version of what I regularly experienced any time I was not extremely careful with my health. Even in this state, every doctor I visited gave me a clean bill of health.
This was the second major time I learned a very hard lesson. I had been forced to let go of my athletic dreams, and now I was finding my academic goals hindered by the same syndrome. These lessons forced me to be more careful in managing my health. It had been nine years since
my "mononucleosis" (what I look back on as an unidentified viral infection). As a young person, I wanted nothing more than to regain my full vitality and energy and to be able to fulfill my highest potential in life. But life wanted me to develop a certain unique perspective on health in the way that only someone who has fought many battles in the trenches can.
I continued to alternate periods of pushing myself too hard, due in part to frustration from prior lost time (due to fatigue and illness) and due in part to being very motivated and very ambitious, with periods of total exhaustion where no amount of will power was able to make my body keep going. But each time, I learned something new
and I also began finding a new type of balance.
I have endured many periods, ranging from weeks to months in duration, of simply being out-of-commission physically. Fortunately for me, I never suffered from brain fog, and during the periods where I did not have the physical energy to get out of bed, I was able to read a lot
. It was also very conducive to learning meditation
. When one has the physical capacity to do nothing more than sit, sitting for long periods in meditation is a joy. And meditation proved to be very effective at reducing my fatigue
I continually learned how to manage my health more carefully at all times. With my biochemistry education, continual personal explorations of nutrition, meditation and other health practices, a clinical internship with an alternative medicine doctor, voracious reading and various jobs in this field, I amassed a lot of useful health knowledge
. I applied this to myself with great discipline
, and I gained many benefits from this. I learned how to love living a healthy lifestyle.
I pursued exercise science and fitness with the same enthusiasm. I became well-known in the fitness industry and was friends with world champion power lifters, Olympic medal winners and other experts. I have a number of patents
in this field as well.
Here we are 45 years after my unidentified viral infection
that left me bedridden for a summer, and while I have lived a healthy and successful life by most standards, and my friends and family now consider me one of the healthiest people they know, the viral illness of 1975 continues to stand out as one of the most impactful events of my life. What I have learned from it has shaped my entire life. I learned how to create health for myself when the medical profession offered me no help. I have learned many other things as a result of this too, including meditation practices. I have a passion for breathwork practices, for example.
What happened to me changed the direction of my life and turned me into someone who is passionate about maintaining my own health and fitness and who is also passionate about helping others do the same.
Today I have no unusual fatigue
. In fact, my energy levels are great. I never catch a cold, and I have a very good overall health by the usual standards. But getting here was a long, long struggle. I remain motivated to keep improving my own health and fitness, to keep increasing my knowledge, and to keep sharing everything I can with others who want to improve their own health and/or fitness. Many blessing have come
out of the path life presented to me and I am grateful for the life I have been able to live. I have a passionate love for everything related to health
, wellness, fitness, personal growth, spirituality and nature. Due to my personal challenges, it was easy and natural to focus on gaining knowledge in these areas. For example, biochemistry was not only easy, it was a pure joy!
I am now considered an expert in several areas of nutrition and fitness. I have helped a lot of other people with health issues of all types and I have brought new inventions into the world. I, however, still consider myself a beginner, a student and a seeker.
I have never gained a full understanding of what happened to me in 1975 and exactly why it took me so long to recover. I have a deep curiosity to understand this fully
and that keep me in the learning mode. I still want to further improve my health. And I know I can
. I also think COVID-19
, and the worldwide research efforts
that have been focused on this disease will shed valuable light on my decades-long personal challenges stemming from a viral illness.
Over these 45 years I have lived an adventurous and full life
. I have pushed past my physical capacity many times, but I have also achieved the maximum I could. But the dominant factor in my life has been this post-viral syndrome
. I think my 45 years of experience with this and the direction it sent me in, which is a personal commitment to health and living life well, puts me in a unique position to help others
who may be suffering with post-coronavirus syndrome (or anything similar). I definitely do not have all the answers. I'm seeking answers just like those of you suffering with this syndrome now. What's different is that I have a perspective that comes out of 45 years of focus
on this, and I have experience with many healing practices that have allowed me to live a much better life than would have been possible without this knowledge. Indeed, I am grateful for everything I have experienced in life, including this post-viral syndrome because it has driven my quest for knowledge and it has allowed me to help others with this knowledge. Here is what I want to do now,
with the help of others who are interested:
- I want to create a community where we help others who may be dealing with post-coronavirus syndrome (or any other post-viral condition).
- I want to help those who are infected with SARS-coV-2 to fully recover and to regain every bit of health they had previously and to even improve upon that. Our focus in this effort will be nutrition, healthy lifestyle, dietary supplements and other complimentary therapies.
- I want to educate as many people as will listen that you don't want to carelessly become infected with SARS-coV-2. It's true that if you are young and healthy you likely won't die from it (although that is certainly a small risk). However, a certain proportion of people will continue to suffer from this virus long after mainstream medicine says they have recovered. I want to help make sure those who have not been infected, do everything they can to stay that way.
- I want to be part of a community that helps me discover answers to some of the riddles that have eluded me the last 45 years.
With that in mind, I am earmarking US $5000 in initial seed funding
to start a support and education website at immunewin.com
and a Reddit community at ImmuneWin
. I want this to be a grass-roots effort driven by those who have skin in the game
. The funding should be enough for us to design a satisfactory website and kick start a community. Today I took the first small steps: I registered the domain name and purchased hosting.
My idea is to create a Stack Exchange-like structured question and answer site (along with a blog, the Reddit community
, and a federated chat community using Riot/Matrix.org
). I propose we use an open source
question-answer platform. I will fund a certain amount of custom development
, which hopefully can be contributed back to the open source community.
With just a few volunteers
, we can create the right online presence. I will begin contributing original content. One of my medical doctor friends is very involved in this area and he will join the community. He is based at a hospital in New York City and lived through the dramatic events of this pandemic at what was the epicenter
I will offer a short explanation of the name ImmuneWin
. One important lesson I have learned over the last 45 years is that identifying as a sick person is not the best way to become healthy in the face of a little-understood chronic syndrome. It is not a satisfying way to live. Focusing on one's own disease is a terrible way to live a life. I learned how to always focus on health
. The name ImmuneWin.com
reflects this philosophy.
If this project interests you, please message me on Reddit
. If you have general suggestions or ideas, please leave a comment here (once we enable them) or on Reddit.