It’s been almost 10 months since I got tested positive and everything is still pretty messed up. Me and Long COVID are definitely not friends and I’m afraid we’re going to be stuck together for quite a long while longer… To give you an idea of what I’m struggling with, I’d like to give you a rundown of some of my symptoms and issues.
My Long COVID symptoms
The first and main symptom I’ve been struggling with is general fatigue. I am ALWAYS tired. The smallest of efforts get punished with more fatigue. Just walking up the stairs feels like I’m hiking up a mountain and quite often I have to take a breather halfway up. For someone who used to run at least 30-40 minutes several times a week, having trouble just walking for longer than 10 minutes is really disheartening…
Lack of concentration/brain fog. When I first got sick, I received magazines and books to read. I love reading but I can’t finish a page. Halfway through the letters start to jump and dance around and I lose track. I write my blogs in little pieces, because my brain shuts down and I lose words mid sentence (like right now, because I really wanted to say something else, but I just forgot all my basic words…). Not to mention the amount of backspacing I need to do because my fingers keep hitting the wrong letters. Really annoying. (Please let me know of any typos or errors in my blogs so I can fix them)
The memory loss (also connects to the brain fog), oh man, that is the absolute WORST! I never did have the best memory, but this is a whole ‘nother level. The amount of times I’ve grabbed myself a glass of water only to walk back to the living room without said glass of water. Last week I walked to the kitchen and back 3 times before finally remembering to grab my glass from the counter. Good thing I can see the funny side of things, because it can get truly hilarious at times. If only it would get better.
But there’s more…
Hypersensitivity to stimuli. A few weeks ago, Bas and I went to the supermarket together. It was a bigger one at the shopping center instead of the small one around the corner. I had a panic attack when I saw how full the parking area was. Walking through the supermarket, I was white knuckling the cart, just to stay upright and get through that hellhole. When there are many people or lots of noise going on around me, I freeze and start to panic. I NEED to get myself out of that situation. I’ll be wiped out like a wet rag for the rest of the day if I don’t. And don’t bother talking to me when I’m already in a conversation. My brain will shut off and I’ll start to cry. Just so you know.
Short of breath. Not this is one that actually seems to finally be getting a little better. Unless I have a bad day or have just done a bit too much physical activity. Also known as Wednesday. On Tuesdays I have physical therapy in the morning and swimming lessons in the evening. So Wednesdays are rough.
Not done yet
These were just the main symptoms I’ve been struggling with. But Long COVID isn’t just this, there are so many little things that affect me throughout the day. But unfortunately it’s near impossible to list them all, because I don’t even realize it most of the times. My energy levels go up and down and I can get triggered by things that were no problem the day before. Headaches, heart palpitations, a restless feeling, a short fuse on bad days…
Long COVID is not just a few symptoms, it’s a collection of large and small ones. And to make it even more confusing: it’s different for every patient.
As I’ve written before (in FU Long Covid! and Balancing my energy for recovery), I’ve been working with several therapists on my recovery. Occupational therapy for my energy balance and physical therapy to get my body back to strength. Also I’ve been talking to a counsellor at my doctor’s office for extra mental support.
All this is part of a 6 month recovery trajectory, with the option of extending with another 6 months. Let’s hope it’s enough.
- https://www.c-support.nu/ Here you can find more information on Long COVID and how you can support people like myself. (Dutch + English)
- https://www.instagram.com/longcovidje/ Light-hearted info and experiences with Long COVID (Dutch)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXgWCKRuNks Webinar Langdurige COVID klachten (Dutch)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Owl49eTnqUo Webinar Herstel na COVID (Dutch)