COVID-19 Long Haulers: Symptoms lasting 30 days plus

Posted by lmspencerpac @lmspencerpac, May 10 1:45am

My name is Lindsay I’m 38 and a physician assistant. I most likely contracted Covid from a sick patient I was caring for. I started off symptoms wise with a sore throat and burning chest pain. This followed by almost a week of feverish chills intense body aches and headaches. These symptoms then lessened and the shortness of breathe started. The breathing was worse at night. On the worst night I sat up struggling to breathe all night long which prompted an ER visit.
I am seeking discussion and support here because my symptoms have not yet entirely subside after 8 weeks.
The shortness of breathe improved slowly over two weeks. I am left with fatigue, dizziness with exertion at times and a racing heart usually every night followed by breaking out in a sweat and chest burning. These symptoms have been present since the shortness did breathe started and only slightly lessen with time. Just when I feel better I will have a rough night. This is how the symptoms have been all along.. a roller coaster.
I have had the million dollar work up meaning general labs a ct of my chest an echo of my heart and even wore a heart monitor.
My pulmonologist, cardiologist and PCP all have not much to say. Other than to rest.
I have overall been very healthy and now find myself unable to get through the day with out lying down and am up many nights with a racing heart and sweats and recurrent mild sob even.
I’m seeking to hear from medical professionals or individuals who find themselves with lingering symptoms. I’m not sure what to do next and am worried. I have young kids who I want to live for and my job after 8 weeks grows impatient with me to return to the field of caring with sick Covid patients.

I am torn not knowing if it’s wise I return with not feeling 100 percent.

Sorry to hear you and many others are going through this.

I'm going through something similar, but it's not as bad compared to what you are describing.

I started with a fever 9 weeks ago. Fever (mild) lasted 3 days, then followed by a few days of green/yellow phlegm, and then few weeks of white phlegm. Worst of all is a few days after the fever I started getting totally sleepless nights. Doctor attributed this to anxiety. Then with the help of melatonin/valeriaan, and a short period of Oxazepam I was able to manage anywhere between 4-7 hours of interrupted sleep a night. I'm waking up every 1-2 hours, sometimes find myself breathing fast upon waking etc…. There is some gradual improvement but still not back to normal. Now I'm mostly just using melatonin.

I've been quite fatigued as well. Nowhere near by normal energy. I can manage daily activities no problem and even some exercise (walks, bike rides, some light strength exercise etc….), but if I do too much I feel the effect the next day or 2. I'm even going into work on average 3 a week for the past 4 weeks.

Also I'm feeling getting some symptoms of post viral fatigue such as sore throat, light muscle ache, slight runny nose etc… I'm really panicked about this as I see that it takes many months or even a year to recover from this.

Although having said the above…..

Did a blood test and they found I was extremely low on Vitamin D. I guess the result of living in Europe for 1.5 years after living in Australia. Severe Vitamin D deficiency can also cause depression, muscle ache, fatigue etc….. So I hope this could at least explain a big part of why I haven't recovered. Perhaps getting sick was the trigger that exposed the V. D deficiency. So my fingers are crossed that this will fix at least most of the problem.

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@lmspencerpac Lindsey – I see you are new to Mayo Connect, and I welcome you. Please understand that we are a group of people with a wide variety of health challenges, sharing our journeys in this forum. We are not medical professionals and cannot offer medical advice.
That said, as a professional yourself, you know what that Covid-19 is very much an unknown, revealing new and puzzling symptoms and long-term effects almost daily. There have been a number of people reporting prolonged symptoms and/or relapses, you can connect with some of them here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/2-months-with-c19-like-symptoms-recent-relapse/
My daughter, an ER nurse who was infected early, is still suffering from some fatigue after 8 weeks, and has not returned to her job – her pulmonologist has directed her into a telemed job until more is known about immunity after infection due to her underlying asthma. She told me she has several colleagues in the ER who have not fully recovered after a month or longer, so your experience is definitely not unique.
Good luck, and I hope you find some answers, but I think that as we discover the multiple systems affected by Covid-19 we will see many people with long recovery times.
Sue

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I would perhaps also try Vitamin D. Take a 75ug dose per day. Apparently Vitamin D is essential to the immune system. It both boosts immune system strength, and also stops it from over-reacting which is dangerous in the case of Covid-19.

I'm yet to see the effect of Vitamin D on myself, as I just started taking it a couple of days ago.

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@lmspencerpac – Lindsay, I’m sorry you still are really too sick to return to work. I assume you are out on disability. Do you have help with the kids?
Above advice on Vit D is good. I read daily about this being a factor in severity of illness. When you feel your heart racing at night- what’s your heart rate like? How long does it last? Also, make sure you hydrate well. You lose a lot of fluids and electrolytes with fever. Last year I had the flu and pneumonia and was hospitalized. I was severely dehydrated and even after I was discharged and my weight had not returned to what I would expect. Being a PA you know this, but it sneaks up on you. Pedialyte or similar would help. You should also consider going to ER or similar for hydration- filling up the tank!
In my opinion, you should be examined on a regular basis- to make sure heart, lungs and kidneys function well. It is difficult to take care of oneself when you are so sick. Please, stay in touch and post anytime.

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@mkqq

I would perhaps also try Vitamin D. Take a 75ug dose per day. Apparently Vitamin D is essential to the immune system. It both boosts immune system strength, and also stops it from over-reacting which is dangerous in the case of Covid-19.

I'm yet to see the effect of Vitamin D on myself, as I just started taking it a couple of days ago.

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Thank you I have started it

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@astaingegerdm

@lmspencerpac – Lindsay, I’m sorry you still are really too sick to return to work. I assume you are out on disability. Do you have help with the kids?
Above advice on Vit D is good. I read daily about this being a factor in severity of illness. When you feel your heart racing at night- what’s your heart rate like? How long does it last? Also, make sure you hydrate well. You lose a lot of fluids and electrolytes with fever. Last year I had the flu and pneumonia and was hospitalized. I was severely dehydrated and even after I was discharged and my weight had not returned to what I would expect. Being a PA you know this, but it sneaks up on you. Pedialyte or similar would help. You should also consider going to ER or similar for hydration- filling up the tank!
In my opinion, you should be examined on a regular basis- to make sure heart, lungs and kidneys function well. It is difficult to take care of oneself when you are so sick. Please, stay in touch and post anytime.

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Thank you

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I am curious. Are there any out there still symptomatic after many many weeks? I know there are facebook groups that deal with long termers, but I deleted my account there ages ago. There is a terrific Slack “chat room” for want of a better term. There are probably 25-30 chapters devoted to various COVID-19 symptoms and disease trajectory. Many from the US, UK and Canada among others report in. Many of us also report our symptoms daily on a Covid-19 symptom tracker app that will help researchers and the medical field understand the virus better. This is day 85 for me. My symptom onset was April l1th. While the worst of the shortness of breath lasted 2-4 weeks for me when I kept my inhaler clutched in my palm, the feeling of a corset around the torso lasted at least another month. Coming up on 3 months in a few days, I am still struggling with daily temperature spikes. I can just feel something foreign pumping malaise through my system. My wake up temp. averages 97.9. Each day it shoots up above 99 anywhere up to 100.9. My eyes remain bloodshot and glazed over with black circles beneath, and the fatigue is ever present. The effort to return to a standing position after bending over is Herculean. I am recently able to walk 2.5 miles on the beach slowly on the hard sand. The first 6 weeks or so I was only able to shuffle around the house. I still can’t face steps or an incline. At about 4 weeks, after 3 virtual visits with my PCP and a respiratory evaluation at a clinic, PCP recommended an evaluation at the ER. May 8th I spent 6 hours in a room with the negative pressure air system and underwent a barrage of testing to rule out any other causes for long term fever. Everything was normal.

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@ccbelle

I am curious. Are there any out there still symptomatic after many many weeks? I know there are facebook groups that deal with long termers, but I deleted my account there ages ago. There is a terrific Slack “chat room” for want of a better term. There are probably 25-30 chapters devoted to various COVID-19 symptoms and disease trajectory. Many from the US, UK and Canada among others report in. Many of us also report our symptoms daily on a Covid-19 symptom tracker app that will help researchers and the medical field understand the virus better. This is day 85 for me. My symptom onset was April l1th. While the worst of the shortness of breath lasted 2-4 weeks for me when I kept my inhaler clutched in my palm, the feeling of a corset around the torso lasted at least another month. Coming up on 3 months in a few days, I am still struggling with daily temperature spikes. I can just feel something foreign pumping malaise through my system. My wake up temp. averages 97.9. Each day it shoots up above 99 anywhere up to 100.9. My eyes remain bloodshot and glazed over with black circles beneath, and the fatigue is ever present. The effort to return to a standing position after bending over is Herculean. I am recently able to walk 2.5 miles on the beach slowly on the hard sand. The first 6 weeks or so I was only able to shuffle around the house. I still can’t face steps or an incline. At about 4 weeks, after 3 virtual visits with my PCP and a respiratory evaluation at a clinic, PCP recommended an evaluation at the ER. May 8th I spent 6 hours in a room with the negative pressure air system and underwent a barrage of testing to rule out any other causes for long term fever. Everything was normal.

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@ccbelle, I moved your post to this discussion where others are talking about living with COVID symptoms for the "long haul." This is a good topic to revisit with fellow members @solterra @lmspencerpac @mkqq @susanbo2457 @potterylady and @wishercristy.

CCBelle, what symptom tracker app are you using?

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Hi lmspencerpac @lmspencerpac
What you mentioned is the best that anyone of us if s/he in this case would say ( seeking to hear from medical professionals or individuals who find themselves with lingering symptoms. I’m not sure what to do next and am worried. I have young kids who I want to live for and my job after 8 weeks grows impatient with me to return to the field of caring with sick Covid patients). Becoming a hero for ourselves beside being hero for others is a long way that need help from others, and contacting the health care professionals is one way of many ways for getting help. Also referring selves to websites such as https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/covid19 and read about it will be a big help, or ask for an appointment with mayo clinic doctors, or communicate with individuals who having same cases there in ( for example an orientation about COVID-19) been offered by mayo clinic would be great opportunity. Hope you feel better and get rid of what is unlike normal symptoms soon. My words is not a prescription but that what come to my mind trying to help.

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@colleenyoung

@ccbelle, I moved your post to this discussion where others are talking about living with COVID symptoms for the "long haul." This is a good topic to revisit with fellow members @solterra @lmspencerpac @mkqq @susanbo2457 @potterylady and @wishercristy.

CCBelle, what symptom tracker app are you using?

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C-19 SYMPTOM TRACKER BY ZOE GLOBAL LIMITED, MASS GENERAL HOSPITAL, KINGS COLLEGE-LONDON AND OTHERS

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@lmspencerpac @ccbelle – Since this discussion first started, there is more mention in the news and other media about the long term illnesses that continue after the acute phase. We are only a few months into this pandemic and I feel the focus so far has been on saving the acutely I’ll and trying different treatments.
The next step is to help everyone with continued symptoms. I can’t see anyone returning to work with fever and extreme fatigue. The immune system is still challenged and added stress of working could set you up for other problems.
Not everyone has disability insurance either- big problem with job security then.
It is clear that our country has to take care of the long term haulers – but how?
I read the daily Swedish news on line and they have the same problems there- and nobody knows what to do.
My advice for now is to stay home as long as there is fever and major fatigue.
Let’s keep talking about it so information can be shared.

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I realize your post was from ages ago. I hope you are feeling better by now. Have you joined the Slack group Body Politic? There are many of us from all over the world with symptoms well over 90 days. There is even a Private chapter for the medical community.

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14 weeks in a new symptom, sinus tachycardia, rapid resting heart rate, went from 62 bpm to 118 bpm just brushing my teeth….know it is not uncommon with COVID-19, but startling nonetheless

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@ccbelle – That must be unpleasant with that change in heart rate! If it continues you probably should have it checked out- this virus can land anywhere in your body.

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@astaingegerdm

@ccbelle – That must be unpleasant with that change in heart rate! If it continues you probably should have it checked out- this virus can land anywhere in your body.

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Today resting bpm went from 64 to 157 just walking at snail like pace from one room to the adjacent one …kind of freaking me out, although many long haulers have the same thing

Liked by fiesty76

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