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Mon Oct 26, 2020, 04:40 PM

STATNEWS: (By Dr!) I have all the symptoms of a Covid-19 long-hauler -- but I'm hesitant to identify

https://www.statnews.com/2020/10/26/hesitant-identify-myself-as-covid-long-hauler/

As a a physician, I never thought that I would someday be lumped into the category of patients known as “not otherwise specified,” or NOS for short. This category is dominated by women suffering nonspecific symptoms that are inconsistently appreciated by clinicians who eventually conclude that the problem is entirely in the mind.

My induction into this group began on March 23. The emergency department in which I work had been seeing coronavirus patients, at first without our donning standardized personal protective equipment or following universal masking protocols. So when I developed a deep, dry cough, it was not outside the realm of possibility that I had contracted Covid-19. I notified my hospital’s occupational health department, even though I was personally convinced that my lungs were fighting a different, less serious respiratory virus, and that I would be back at work within days.

My conviction proved to be wrong. Despite testing negative for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, the course of my illness mimicked that of the “typical” coronavirus patient. The relentless dry cough and fatigue were followed by shortness of breath. My mentors, also physicians with whom I had informally consulted, were concerned that mine was a false negative test; at the time, the sensitivity of the swab was thought to be around 70%. But my chart was never flagged as “CoV-positive,” so my story was never counted in the growing statistics of employees affected by the disease.

When I got sick, the guidelines for returning to work were that all symptoms must have resolved. After a long month of isolation, asking every week to be cleared for work, I finally insisted that I was ready. I was no longer short of breath while walking around my apartment. The remaining symptoms — weakness, muscle aches, and low energy — were nonspecific, subjective, and, therefore, things I could surmount. My persistent painful cough was given various names. Some providers definitively labeled it as postnasal drip, others said it was new-onset asthma. My colleagues and I settled on post-viral bronchospasm.

Much more at link. Media needs to be focused on these long-haulers!

8 replies, 678 views

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Reply STATNEWS: (By Dr!) I have all the symptoms of a Covid-19 long-hauler -- but I'm hesitant to identify (Original post)
SheltieLover Oct 26 OP
roamer65 Oct 26 #1
Nevilledog Oct 26 #2
flying_wahini Oct 26 #3
JCMach1 Oct 26 #4
SheltieLover Oct 26 #5
moonscape Oct 26 #8
renate Oct 26 #6
SheltieLover Oct 26 #7

Response to SheltieLover (Original post)

Mon Oct 26, 2020, 04:44 PM

1. Sounds damn like what I had last January.

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Response to SheltieLover (Original post)

Mon Oct 26, 2020, 04:44 PM

2. Agreed this needs much more attention!

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Response to SheltieLover (Original post)

Mon Oct 26, 2020, 04:46 PM

3. Sounds just awful


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Response to SheltieLover (Original post)

Mon Oct 26, 2020, 04:49 PM

4. COVID debilitates so many people. I belong to a couple of support groups since I got out of ICU.

To give you some idea... Literally my lungs are shattered, I require supplemental oxygen every day, I have to constantly monitor my heart rate as even minor exertion can send it spiking. I still have horrible brain fog that makes impossible to even do simple mental tasks and the list goes on.

Super glad I survived of course, but this virus is a beast.

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Response to JCMach1 (Reply #4)

Mon Oct 26, 2020, 05:06 PM

5. So sorry to hear how you are suffering, JC!

How long has this been going on? Do your doctors have any idea if/when your condition will improve?

Healing vibes on the way to you, my friend! 💗💗💗

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Response to JCMach1 (Reply #4)

Mon Oct 26, 2020, 06:44 PM

8. I don't recall the name of the group, perhaps

it’s one you are in. But it was started by a woman who had cv in March or April and has lingering effects. She said the numbers of people flocking to it with far more debilitating stories, like yours, was astonishing at the time and talked about how this aspect doesn’t get enough attention.

Very sorry for what you went through, and that the fight continues.

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Response to SheltieLover (Original post)

Mon Oct 26, 2020, 05:50 PM

6. I wonder how many people who suspect they have COVID are staying away from the health care system

Because coverage for pre-existing conditions is about to be taken away by the Supreme Court.

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Response to renate (Reply #6)

Mon Oct 26, 2020, 05:58 PM

7. Probably a lot!

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