I am on day 63 of being sick and today, I’m worse than I was when it first started. I ran 7 miles on 4/2/20, 3 days before I got sick. I’m a 43-year-old attorney and ran the NYC marathon in 2019. I can no longer work as I did and on some days can barely walk from room to room. I’m sharing my experience so people can hopefully learn from it. I’m hopeful it will help people take this virus seriously and protect themselves and others.
I’m in week 11 of being sick and can’t walk more than a few steps without being out of breath. I’ve been in the hospital twice and on my last ER visit, I tested negative for COVID-19 on 5/12/20. Yet the symptoms continue even worse than when they began.
On my first day of being sick, I woke up nauseous with stomach pains and diarrhea. I tested positive with a COVID-19 swab the next day. On day 11 I started getting shortness of breath and very fatigued. After days of having trouble breathing, I was sent to the ER, diagnosed with pneumonia, and admitted to the hospital. I had chest pains, shortness of breath, tightness in my chest, and continued GI issues.
Upon my release, my symptoms continued now with new ones as well. I began having headaches, vomiting, dry heaving, back pain. Four weeks later I was again sent to the ER for my breathing and released the same day. That same day I began coughing and a few days later I began having numbness and tingling in my hands and sometimes my feet. I subsequently developed strange lesions on my hand that were diagnosed as a COVID-19 rash.
A few days ago I woke up spitting up blood. My lungs have scarring and a nodule from this virus and I may have developed an arrhythmia but I’m told those are not causing my breathing issues or chest tightness and pain. My heart and lungs otherwise look good but I still can’t breathe properly and have a heart rate of 110-150 just from walking into another room. I’ve been told it’s all such a mystery.
I have been unable to work much or leave the house since I got sick. I continue to have shortness of breath, tachycardia, chest pains, GI issues, nausea, headaches, tingling in my hands on almost a daily basis – along with new symptoms that keep appearing. I’m lucky as I’ve had wonderful doctors along the way. I’ve been told I now have post-viral COVID-19 and was told you can potentially have these “debilitating” symptoms for months, but they really don’t know. They believe it’s our immune system continuing to attack our bodies or there’s something they’re missing when doing testing, but they don’t know.
I’ve learned that so much is unknown. My doctors, PCP, cardiologist, pulmonologist, infectious disease, and dermatologist, are all working so hard to help me but I’m learning that there’s nothing they can do because as I was told “they don’t know what they’re treating.” I’ve been to the hospital twice and was released as my oxygen has been okay. Despite that, I continue to be sick daily with all of the above with no end in sight.
I’m hopeful that by sharing my experience I can maybe help others going through it or help people understand what it’s been like to have these long-term effects of the virus that don’t seem to have an expiration date. But I mostly sharing to provide the medical providers with another account from what has been termed a “Long haul COVID survivor.”