Am I COVID-19 “Long Hauler”?

I think so, yes.

Looking at what has been going on with me since March, I am pretty sure that I have had COVID-19 and am suffering some long-term issues from it.

I wanted to talk about it all in this post.

I was sick in March

Around the time that I first started hearing about this new virus, I ended up sick. It was after my husband and son had been sick for about six days. Their symptoms included coughs and high fevers.

My symptoms when I got sick were chills with no fever, slightly tickly throat with post-nasal drainage, loss of appetite, reduced ability to taste, fatigue, stuffy nose and a racing heart in the mornings on the last two days of my illness. I was sick for a total of five days.

My husband’s manager was a confirmed positive in February, so that means he was exposed to the virus. Since we were unable to get tests at that time, we are only presuming that we were positive for it.

What else could it have been?

Two good weeks and then hell

For two weeks after getting sick, I was happy that I beat the virus. At that time I did not know that I could still have lingering issues from it so I thought my life would go on as normal.

In April, all hell broke loose.

I became very angry, irritable and majorly depressed. This was scary to me because I felt completely out of control. I could not sleep anymore. All I did at night was pace around crying and screaming.

I had no idea what was going on with me. People were telling me it was all due to the pandemic news I was reading and that I was working myself up too much over it. That could have been part of it but it felt like something more was happening to me.

I felt like I was literally going crazy.

Then came the physical symptoms: April through June

About a week after the extreme mental issues happened, I started experiencing physical issues. Here is a list of them:

  1. Chest pressure/tightness
  2. Occasional shortness of breath
  3. Racing heart
  4. Heart palpitations
  5. Off balanced feeling
  6. Lightheadedness
  7. Lots of chills without fevers
  8. Headaches
  9. Two bouts of pink eye
  10. Dry and gritty feeling eyes (not Pink eye)
  11. Leg restlessness at night
  12. Occasional night sweats
  13. Tickly throat with drainage
  14. Neck/gland aches
  15. Rashes
  16. Burning feeling on the skin of my arms
  17. Two ear infections/earaches
  18. Tinnitus
  19. Runny nose

All of this was in addition to the mental issues I was having. Not fun at all! I was sure that I was still infected and it scared the crap out of me.

I talked to my doctor about all these things and whether I should get a COVID-19 test done. He said it was probably all related to anxiety and depression then proceeded to offer me a prescription for Celexa (an antidepressant).

I know my body and this was not all due to my mental health. Something bad was going on and I did not know how to make it stop.

It was around June that I read about COVID-19 “long haulers.” These are people that were positive for COVID-19 or presumably so and are still experiencing symptoms after they are supposed to be recovered. Their experiences sounded just like mine.

I still did not know what was going on with me but at least I was not alone in the struggle.

I began to read more about other people’s experiences and took some of their advice. This included me starting to add vitamin B12 into my daily supplement intake.

Mental and Physical symptoms: July to now

My mental health issues went away by early July for whatever reason. I do not know if it was the increase of vitamin D3 or what, but I am definitely not going to complain!

In mid-July, I also noticed that some of the physical symptoms from April-June were going away. Some remain though and they are as follows:

  1. Occasional chest aches- Heat packs help a lot with this.
  2. Occasional shortness of breath
  3. Occasional heart palpitations
  4. Occasional tickly throat with drainage
  5. Tinnitus

I also added more supplements to my daily intake in late July. These include NAC and COQ10. The NAC supplement is actually helping with the occasional chest aches and shortness of breath. I take 1200 mg of it as I type this, but I think I will bump it up to 1800 mg soon.

What I have learned and next steps

I have continued to read a lot about post-covid issues and have even joined the support group on Slack.

One of the things that I learned is that I should have given my body a chance to recover. I did the crazy thing of pushing myself to exercise throughout this whole time (even while I was in the active infection stage). If I had known to wait, maybe I would not have suffered for this long.

Another thing I have learned is that I am not crazy. My body is just confused by this new virus that invaded it and is going a little haywire right now.

Due to the organ damage that has been happening to people who have had COVID-19, I am thinking about talking to my doctor about all of this again. My hope is that he will get me a referral to see some specialists and also get blood work done. I plan on updating this blog with whatever I find out in regards to any damage that I have to my body.

You are not alone either

If anyone reading this is going through post-COVID issues, know that you are not alone. You are not crazy either. We are in this together! This is a great resource to check out:

I would recommend joining the long haulers Slack discussion group as well as the long haulers subreddit. Both have been very helpful for me.

There is so much we do not know about this virus yet, but we are going to get there eventually. Now that so many people are speaking up about the issues they are dealing with after “recovering,” there are medical scientists looking into things more. Hopefully, there will be treatment options for both the active infection phase and the post-infection phase soon.

Do you or someone you know have or have had COVID-19?

Thanks for reading!

#covid19  #postviral  #covid19longhaulers  #physicalhealth  #mentalhealth  #medicalresearch


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