A first-hand account of long hauling COVID-19

COVID-19. (Wikipedia.org)

Editor’s Note: The following is a first hand account of a person with long-haul symptoms of the COVID-19 coronavirus shared by way of the Prince Edward Family Health Team.

It was a surprise to suddenly have chills and to feel very tired on Friday evening February 12th , 2021.

At the time I was a healthy, 64 year old adult. I do not smoke but do enjoy a glass of wine each evening and am not overweight and enjoy a healthy diet. I am very active and enjoy all that life has to offer. I have been ultra careful following COVID 19 restrictions when out shopping, masking (2 masks), gloves, hand washing, no visitors, staying home unless it was necessary, etc.

Since I am not usually prone to catching bugs I instantly thought COVID 19 was a possibility since I had some of the symptoms. A few days later I was so sick I could hardly walk, breathing was difficult, lots of coughing and chest pain. After an initial negative result, my doctor informed me I had COVID pneumonia.

If it wasn’t for the constant care of my husband I would have been in the hospital. Each cough seemed to strain muscles around my ribs. Fever, chills, headaches came and went. I also experienced weakness, muscle pain, loss of appetite, loss of sense of smell and taste, loss of memory, loss of time altogether. Finally I was somewhat better and my isolation period ended. But now I am a COVID-19 long hauler. I feel so fortunate to have survived but COVID 19 had damaged nerves in my muscles in the arms, shoulders, wrists and knees.

I now have chronic tendinitis, low energy and am out of breath sometimes for no reason at all. My physical strength has all but disappeared and I get exhausted very easily from the simplest tasks. I can only do chores and some daily things I enjoy in small amounts or I will have what I call “pain days” where my muscles will ache with shooting pains for up to 3 days, the tendinitis will flare up for days.

I now wear braces on my wrists and ice a few times a day. No one really knows how long these leftover symptoms will last so I found it best to accept it and work with my body to help it heal the best it can. I had to give up some activities that I love deeply, like horse training, riding, even grooming. I am able to still sew and am developing some skills in my new passion for fabric art so life is still good.

My husband did catch COVID 19 from me and he was so lucky to have had a mild case yet he still took the time and much of his energy and love to help me through the worst days.

Please get vaccinated and wear a mask when asked. People who survive this, I am sure, often are fine, but it can affect you for a much longer period of time and change your life in a negative way, possibly forever. You do not want to get sick with COVID 19 or give it to someone you love. Thank you for reading my story that I am sure is one of many that can be told.

Kate Morgan

Bath, ON