Location: Co. Louth
Infection Date: 24th of February 2020
Hopes for the Future
Sufferers to be taken seriously and Long COVID Medical Guidelines / Treatment Pathways to be made available nationally as a matter of urgency!!
My flu like illness developed at the very early stages of the Covid-19 outbreak in Ireland in February 2020. As a result, I did not qualify for a test and did not receive one, despite questioning my GP at the time. I spent 2 weeks confined to total rest, with severe fatigue; aches and pains all over my body and zero appetite which resulted in weight loss of 3kg. I had a high temperature on and off, intermittent cough but this was not associated with shortness of breath. My GP would only sign me off work for 2 weeks so I returned to my job as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Cancer Care on March 9th 2020, despite not being fully recovered. Within one week of returning to work, I was redeployed to assist on a Covid ward within the hospital. I did so without question as I was happy to help in such time of need.
After 3 weeks of this extremely difficult work load, I woke one morning to a severe painful throat with aches and pains throughout my body once again. The cough was still present as it had never fully gone away. Bed bound once again, with severe fatigue and dizziness on standing upright. A covid swab was completed at this point which was negative. I returned to work on the covid ward after a further 2 weeks sick leave. I never fully regained 100% recovery.
In October 2020 my GP requested a consultant respiratory review, with X-ray, blood tests and breathing test results all normal. But I still did NOT feel normal!!! At this point I could not walk up steps or stairs without severe shortness of breath and a racing heart rate. I almost collapsed in the shower one morning, my husband had to lift me out. I was sent for a cardiology consultant review who diagnosed POTS following a 48hr Holter monitor test. I was commenced on Beta Blocker medication in January 2021.
I did not have any regular follow up with Gp or Consultant specialist so I got referred to a private hospital Internal Medicine Consultant specialist. He completed autoimmune blood tests in May 2021 which has confirmed my immune system continues to be in overdrive, the 1st time i have had a "Long Covid" diagnosis confirmed, over 1 year later!! I continue to be symptomatic and I want answers as to why this is!! We need HELP and acknowledgement!
Most Challenging Aspect
I have been unwell for 18 months now and have felt let down by the medical profession and the government - not listened to and no one paying any heed.
Most Positive Aspect
Following a time of deep reflection personally, my priorities will change drastically for the future. A lot less stress in my life being a top priority!
Some people prefer to stay anonymous while telling their stories. If you or anyone you know has been affected by Long Covid, you can find solace in the Long Covid Facebook group. Click here to join.