Or post viral fatigue or whatever name you want to give it.
It’s hell. Absolutely one of the worst things I have ever been through.
I hope one day I can look back at all this and say “omg remember when i was so ill wasn’t that awful” but who knows when that day will be. And that’s one of the worst bits.
I first got ill with suspected covid on 26th November after going into school several days the week before.
Symptoms were as you’d expect — fever, tight chest, sweats, headache etc. Within 2 weeks (with paracetamol, inhalers and 5 days of 30mg prednisolone) I felt a lot better, I was eating normally and doing light exercise. I still had a cough but it was clearing up.
Fast forward 2 weeks and BAM I woke up like a truck had run me over. But it felt like a head cold. I had a blocked/runny nose, sore throat, inflamed glands and headache. I took paracetamol and thought wow I’ve been unlucky to get ill again so soon. 5 days later the fun really began. I woke up with a really horrible burning in my lungs and chest wall pain (front and back). This proceeded to get worse over the New Year and the into the first 2 weeks of January 2021. One night I just broke down in tears because I was taking my inhalers so often but just felt like my lungs were on fire.
Between 1st and 21st January I went to hospital 5 times. 3 times I saw someone in urgent care and twice I went through to A&E. I was prescribed 40mg of prednisolone again for 4 days which completely did me in and I had every awful side effect and withdrawal symptom you can imagine. I also had a week’s course of amoxicillin which I think did absolutely nothing.
My latest two hospital visits (19th and 21st January) I had ECG, chest x-ray and bloods taken. My bloods showed slightly overactive thyroid (top of normal range) and low lymphocytes. AKA I’ve had a bad virus and my immune system is down the shitter. They couldn’t do much to help me.
Two days later I was in such a state I had to go home to my parents to be looked after. I’ve been here just over two weeks and things are….well they’re going.
There’s huge ups and downs. Firstly I’ve had to work out what medicines were affecting me badly — aka strong inhalers that gave me so much adrenaline I didn’t sleep even one hour (absolute torture). Second, I’ve had to accept this isn’t going away any time soon. I feel like I am grieving my old self. I can barely get myself a glass of water without needing a lie down.
I’m writing this so I can look back and see the progression (whether that’s backwards or forwards because it sure isn’t going to be a smooth ride).
So here’s my fun rollercoaster of symptoms for posterity!
First few weeks since the truck ran me over:
Appetite was still pretty good. Eating normally. Feeling myself mentally but just horrible burning lung pain and felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest. Had to take my inhalers A LOT to feel comfortable. Was still sleeping pretty well.
Started to get a bit of anxiety, panicking, feeling low. Started on pred and that’s where it got bad. Sweating, nausea, tremors, psychosis, depression, horrible thoughts of dying and people leaving me etc. I had this feeling in my body like my skin was crawling. I stopped eating, I couldn’t sleep. I could breathe better but that was about it.
Since then, I have had tinnitus which continues. Love a good ringing noise in the ears. A fizzy/pins and needles feeling in my hands, feet, arms and legs. The shakes which are accompanied by the fun feeling of ANXIETY. Especially first thing in the morning. Loss of appetite continues.. I think I have lost about 10 pounds by now (and the muscle wastage is big news). I try to eat as much as I can but it’s forcing myself instead of enjoying myself. I sleep VERY little. Probably averaging 5 hours a night. Love that for me. Falling asleep is ok, staying asleep is near impossible and once it gets to 4am that’s it I’m awake. I also still get random chest and back pains.
I have also had a few days of other fun symptoms like sore, swollen throat and glands, real bad neck pain and my brain sometimes feels like it’s pressing against my skull.
So yeah. 29 and feeling pretty un-fine if I’m honest. Impressed by my sarcasm in this blog though. I am nearly 11 weeks since the start of my initial illness. Nearly 7 weeks since the start of my ‘cold’ and 6 weeks since the weird me that I don’t recognise woke up on that day and here we are.
Main things bothering me today:
Pins and needles in all my extremities.
Tight and uncomfortable chest.
Random pains in back and chest.
So yeah, check back for enlightening updates on this fun journey!