colleen's profile picture

Published by


Category: Life

The Beginning.. of my Covid-19 Long Hauler Journey

Hi, my name is Colleen & I'm 35 years old. I am a daughter, mother, fur-mama, wife and friend. I've been through some hard times, but this isn't what this blog is going to be about. I am a Covid-19 Long Hauler. And this will be a blog to document my journey to recovery,

So, I was diagnosed with Covid-19 in July 2021. I went to bed with a tickle in my throat and nothing else. When I woke up the next morning I had a really bad headache so I took an ibuprofen, thinking nothing of it. I am a Pharmacy Technician and I worked throughout the pandemic in a drive thru testing site. Never did I get it then. But while I was getting dressed for work that morning, something in the back of my mind told me to take a test on my way to work. So when I got in my car, I did just that. And I mean that positive line came up faster than I've ever seen confirm a positive, Well, I was already on my way to work, so I called the pharmacy and ask to take a test through the drive thru before coming in. The Rapid test confirmed I did in fact have Covid-19. Being the my husband is immunocompromised, I went home (masked up) packed a bag and headed to my parents house 20 minutes away since they were out of town, And yes this was the plan from the very beginning when I first volunteered for the testing site to keep my husband safe. I was still feeling just a little off but I thought it was just me being dramatic. That night I tossed and turned and it was getting more difficult to get comfortable. Day 2 I was lethargic (mostly bored) and starting to feel sick. Sleeping just got worse. I am so very thankful it didn't get into my lungs and I had no breathing problems that needed emergency medical attention. Then the days start running together. I know Night 3 my joints started to hurt and sleeping was super difficult. I was up every 3-4 hours so I would get up and walk around the house, just to keep my body moving and sit still and let this virus completely take me. Day 4 was the day that changed a lot for me.. I lost my smell and taste. And I mean gone- it disappeared in the middle of eating blue Doritos and Queso dip! the rest of that day I was desperately smelling all the things, Vicks rub, cleaning products- anything. Nothing. It was the absolute worst. I finally made it through my 10 quarantine period and I finally got to go home to my husband, who moved our 2 bedroom apartment into a relative's house which was already planned. I did feel kinda bad. But even after I was "safe" to not be in quarantine anymore, the virus did its thing. I had no smell/taste, a post nasal drip, shortness of breath, no strength, muscle weakness, moderate/severe joint pain, brain fog, heart palpitations, and night sweats. I don't exactly remember if there was anything else, but that's a lot of it. I figured it was just going to pass and my body would recover in no time. I was completely healthy before this, I was an all star athlete my whole life and I was in shape. And so it begins...

About 2 months Post Covid, I made an appointment with my primary doctor and let her know my concerns. I was still having shortness of breath and joint pain. She gave me a steroid pack and sent me on my way. When I called back after that round of steroids to let her know I wasn't any better she said to me "I don't think this is from Covid." I mean I didn't have any of these things before Covid, so did I just turn into an 85 year old lady over night? I felt really ignored and defeated, and I mean I couldn't blame her because we didn't know much about it then and we still don't know a lot now. But I just kept pushing through. I was taking Mucinex to help me with my post nasal drip so I wasn't coughing so much and I was tracking my heart rate on my Apple Watch. I went to work with a Pulse Oximeter in my pocket because I was still scared. My coworkers were absolutely amazing. 

Another 3 months go by and I was googling Post Covid conditions and I came across the diagnosis of a Covid Long Hauler or Long Covid. So I started digging. That's when I found out that there are people like and I am not crazy and there was a Post Covid Clinic in my area. So I made my appointment and my journey began. At the Clinic it started off a little rough.

January 2022 was my first appointment and I was thrilled! I met the doctor and the doctors were rotating because this was a primary care clinic connected with the local hospital and they were just getting things started with this. Some blood tests were order and I got them done. Well, my patient portal showed my results and I was a little worried, but I didn't think anything of it because if you google any symptom it says you're going to die, lol. So, I googled the results that were flagged as "out of range" and just waited to hear from the clinic. I got my blood drawn in March and due to my schedule I couldn't get another appointment until May. I figured if something was that serious they would call me. Well here is May and my appointment. I was excited to see what is causing my pain and hopefully get some answers! The doctor came in and introduced herself and told me she was the doctor that will be seeing over all the Post Covid patients. Finally, some stability. We went over everything from the beginning and I asked her about my labs, she looked at me and said "No one called you?!" I said, nope. She apologized over and over. Apparently I should have been seen by a Rheumatologist to start narrowing somethings down. Of course that is my luck, with the clinic transitioning to 1 doctor, my labs fall thru the cracks. So we laughed about that and I also cried. She started me on some medications and then we set up a follow up televisit so I wouldn't have to miss more work.Then I met with the Rheumatologist...

Rheumatologist- I went into my appointment with everything, and I mean everything. I printed out all the lab work that was done and everything. He came in and sat down, looked at my labs and when I asked him about the Rheumatoid Factor being + and the tieters that went with it he said, "Well, we don't know much about this Post Covid condition, but we should re-check your Vitamin D levels." and this man said this with a straight face. (SideNote: I already took my course of weekly vitamin D prescribed by my Clinic doctor, so no.) I did the labs in his office, which was horrible. I am so afraid of needles so I always ask for the butterfly needle, the nurse bruised me and when I called for my results, the front desk lady told me I would need to go back into the office for another visit before they can release MY lab results to me. I never went back. I was moving states away in the near future so I wasn't even going to get set up with a specialist just to start all over. So I put Rheumatology on pause. 

Cardiologist- I saw a Cardiologist to check on my palpitations and heart rate. He did an EKG + ultrasound and said I'm fine. If it starts to bother me just get to a Cardiologist where I am moving and we can talk about meds to slow it down. But so far I've been good there so there's that. 

Fast forward to now, I'm now in my new home state with my husband, son and 2 puppers. We've been here since August 2022 and I am getting all my doctors appointments set up. So far I have been to a primary doctor.. which was leaving the practice (just my luck) so I need a new one now. But I did get my referrals to an ENT for my smell/taste & the Post Covid Clinic near me. So here we go. I still have moderate/severe joint pain and swelling and I still cannot smell or taste right. I have been doing the olfactory re-training, not consistently, but it gets old after a while. And if you have not noticed, I have ADHD so I need to make things interesting for myself so I don't get bored of it LOL. Well, there it is, my journey, for anyone to read. I'm open to questions but I don't even know if anyone will read this, but it's a good outlet for me. Thanks for reading if you did make it this far. <3

0 Kudos


Displaying 0 of 0 comments ( View all | Add Comment )