It has been just about 1 year and 3 months (July 27, 2020) since I tested positive for Covid and I am at the point where I need to reach out for support and also have my story heard. Nobody understands or even believes what I am going through and how serious it is. I can’t go through this alone anymore.
Pre-Covid, I was healthy, fit and active. Zero health issues, no medications. 42 years old, male, 5′ 10″ 165 lbs, work out 3 times a week, work 3-4 12 hour shifts a week.
I am a Registered Nurse working in an emergency department, which is where I contracted Covid in July 2020. I was not hospitalized but experienced two weeks of acute illness (fever, body aches, loss of taste/smell, cough, SOB, diarrhea, nausea, loss of appetite, chest pain, tachycardia, rash, sweating from soles of feet, hallucinations, one night of repeatedly waking up gasping for air, sensation of arm feeling on fire, anxiety, panic attacks). After the acute phase of the illness, I continued with left side chest pain, tachycardia with exertion, SOB. I had blood work, EKG, xray and CT all perfectly normal. About two weeks after the acute infection, I developed debilitating fatigue (unrelieved with sleep/rest), all over body pain (muscles, joints, bones, headaches), and brain fog (difficulty concentrating, zoning out, short term memory loss). These main symptoms (there are more…dizziness, malaise, GI upset) as well as left side chest pain (can be dull/achy, or sharp/stabbing, always with a deep breath or after significant exertion, sometimes randomly at rest) have continued everyday since. The intensity varies and while never my pre-covid self, I do experience periods of feeling improved and able to function. I can work 1-2 shifts a week and be a more active father and husband. During my flare ups in the severity of my symptoms though (which can last from days to weeks), I am unable to work or even carry out basic daily activities. There has not been a single day since having Covid where I am not in pain, fatigued, etc., and just not myself. My mental health has taken a devastating hit as well…I am depressed, even having intrusive suicidal thoughts at times. Like my physical symptoms, these too vary in intensity and come in waves. I have had every blood test you can think of done, brain MRI, etc., and not a single thing is abnormal. I no longer know what to do. My doctors, PCP and Neuro, do not have answers either. Various meds have been tried with no relief. I feel helpless and alone, with no end or hope in sight. I need to live life, be a husband, father, and productive member of society, but I cannot. Several attempts for receiving disability have all been denied. I am triple vaccinated with Pfizer, which has not helped my symptoms at all like it has for some. I am in a flare up right now which is one of the worst yet. I am not getting better, maybe worse? With each passing day, I feel that this may be chronic and lifelong. I don’t know how to accept this fate…it has already been devastating to my family, career, finances, body, mind, and spirit. I also fear that this only the beginning and symptoms will expand and worsen as I age. It’s frightening to have something going on with my body and have no clue what it is or what the outcome will be.
I pray for a cure or that I simply wake up one day feeling like my pre-Covid self.