14th March 2021
Today is my COVID-versary. One year ago today, I first felt the strange fluttery sensation in my lungs that kicked off a shit-storm of symptoms in my unsuspecting body.
“It’s cool,” I thought. “I’m young (~ish, ha!) and the healthiest person I know. I’ll be better in two weeks.”
Oh, sweet, naive, younger me. Instead, my version of COVID progressed into viral pneumonia, debilitating fatigue, and a year of doctor’s visits, mediation, ECGs, CT scan, and blood tests.
(And infecting poor Dom along the way.)
I know this little turd of a virus still isn’t done with me yet. Every time I push myself too hard, physically or cognitively, I experience a relapse back to my original symptoms. Sometimes the relapses last for a day or two; sometimes for weeks. My last one (triggered just two weeks ago by swimming too many laps) lasted for eight days.
But I’m one of the lucky ones, and I’m so grateful.
It’s hard to write about this topic because it still feels so emotional to me – but I once felt that way about sobriety too.
Long-COVID recovery is often hard, slow, and heavy. But I’ve got this. COVID didn’t break me, just like early sobriety didn’t break me, just like every other challenging thing I’ve experienced in my life didn’t break me.
I’m still here. Different, and changed, yes. But unbroken. Healing and growing more every single day.
And so are you. ❤️
P.S. I’m so grateful to the doctors and health care professionals who have come forward to talk about their own experience with Long-COVID. Because of them, new clinics are continuing to open up around the world to study the lasting effects of the virus.
If you or someone you know is also struggling with long-COVID, below are some of the articles and resources that have helped me:
I’ve read a ton of articles over the past year. Here are just a few:
The Atlantic: Unlocking the Mysteries of Long COVID
World Health Organisation: What we know about the long-term effects of COVID-19
Mayo Clinic: COVID-19 (coronavirus): long-term effects
WebMD: What Is Long COVID (PASC)?
BBC Sounds Podcast: Women and Long COVID
The Liz Earle Wellbeing Show: Histamines and Long-COVID Study with Dr Tina Peers
New York Times: Covid ‘Long-Haulers’
60 Minutes: The Long Haul: COVID-19
The Australian: Long COVID detected in 50% of WA patients
You can also search for more recent articles from your favourite news outlet by Googling, eg: ‘Reuters Long COVID’ or ‘NYT Long COVID’, etc.
I resisted joining the Long-hauler groups for a long time, because, to be honest, I really didn’t want to be one of them. I wanted to be done with this stupid virus and move on with my life!
But seven months in, I experienced a severe relapse that felt like it was never going to end. These groups were really helpful to me during that time. I still ‘hide’ them from my feed whenever I’m feeling well, but during relapses, it’s very comforting to know you’re not alone.
Here are just two of the many groups out there:
You can find more online Long-COVID groups (including those specific to your area) by searching ‘COVID’ in Facebook Groups.