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The Long Covid Collective

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Hi all! My name is Hanna. I'm 33 years old. This journey started for me back in July. I got infected with Covid for the third time. I thought I knew what to expect but I was wrong...Oh so wrong. The infection itself wasn't too bad, pretty mild. I recovered after a week or so at that time I thought I was ready to go back to my normal life. I am an avid runner and have been for years. I usually run five days a week, so I thought no issue jumping back in. While I was running, it felt different. My heart rate kept going up and would not come down. I stopped running, and my heart rate kept rising to 170bpm staying there for quite some time. Then the anxiety set in. I'm not usually an anxious person, so that was new for me. It was so debilitating that I had to take two weeks off of work. during this time, the migraines began as well as a nerve tingling in the left side of my face. At that time I went to the ER for them to do a myriad of tests, including CT scan, full blood panel, thyroid test, Lyme disease, test, EKG as well, all coming back normal. I went home thinking things would get better from here. But symptoms just kept popping up. I currently experience whole body tingling like I'm plugged into an electrical outlet, dry mouth and extreme thirst, difficulty swallowing , difficulty, eating, and nausea, dizziness, derealization, anxiety, depression, extreme muscle fatigue to the point I can't walk sometimes, and these are just a name a few. After my trip to the ER, I went to a neurologist who did an MRI, and an EMG, which both came back as you guessed it normal. After this doctors and family and friends alike started to dismiss amazing I must just be anxious and I should take some thing to alleviate that. I've never felt so frustrated and alone. I've also seen an eastern healer, and I am on a slew of different supplements, which include omega-3, choline, inositol, beta plus, and folate. Not sure if any of them are actually helping me but I continue to take them with hopes that maybe one day I'll feel different. I also go to acupuncture twice a week and get monthly IV therapy. I am still working during this time as an event coordinator and it's extremely difficult. Most days I am worried I'm going to lose my job since I'm not performing at the same level, I was up. Despite at all, I still have Ho. I have been trying to have a positive mindset and to reframe negative thoughts when they pop up. I've also been listening to this year for chronic pain podcast by Nicole Sachs which has really helped me. Other things that help me are reading when my body allows, getting some fresh air, being creative, whether it be coloring or crochet, meditating, vox, breathing, and vagal exercises. I have also been trying cold water therapy. I also journal daily to try and get all of my emotions and frustrations out. I hope my story helps if you're going through the same thing and are feeling alone like I have so many occasions. Just know that there are other people out there going through the same thing! We will all get through this! I have no doubt.

Jemma Bella
Zoe Hitchen
Oct 10, 2023

Hi Hannah, that sounds so tough! And frustrating. Having all these symptoms but the medical world says that you are 'normal' and then your social network doesnt believe you anymore.

Something I realized lately, is how unaware most people are of long covid. They truely have no idea what it is like. Which can be heart breaking for people who have to deal with the symptoms every day.

This week I spoke to some colleagues that I havent seen in 3 months because my symptoms got to bad for me to work. Some weren't even aware that I wasnt working anymore and others said "yeah, you are a little tired right?" Oooh I wish 😅 In that moment I both wanted them to feel every single scary and frustrating symptom I have so that they'd understsnd, and at the same time wish them nothing but health because long covid sucks.

I hope that you know that eventhough you feel frustrated and alone, there is a community with you in the insomnia-awake-nights, on the exhaustion-couch-days and all the inbetweens.

I hope the days are kind to you 🍀

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