At this moment in the United States, there have been 20 million cases of COVID, but it is unknown how many of those have experienced long-term COVID complications that range from mild (fatigue and a persistent cough) to more severe medical problems (breathing and heart issues) that last for weeks or months. Doctors are still trying to figure out the causes of these lasting effects on the lung, heart, and other organs caused by inflammation associated with COVID.
This is one story of a long-haul COVID survivor from Alexis Crumbley initially posted her story on Facebook on September, 16, 2020 (reprinted in full with permission from the author). At the time of this posting, Alexis’ Facebook post has been shared by over 229,000 people, received over 26,000 comments, and inspired 102,000 bit emojis.
The Crumbley family at Stonehenge before flying back to the US in March. Shortly after this photo was taken, upon return to the U.S., Alexis Crumbley was hospitalized with high fever and intense chest pain. From left: Susan, Alexis, Claire and Christopher Crumbley. (Photo courtesy of Alexis Crumbley)
So I might just delete this post.
Anyways, here goes.
Today is my six month anniversary of coming down with Covid. I’ve been dealing with the repercussions for SIX MONTHS.
I didn’t want to share on Facebook before, but I have shared privately with friends. Today I decided I was tired of hiding and hoping my story will be a warning to others.
In the past six months:
- I landed in the hospital because my chest pain was so bad that it required iV pain killers and my fever required iv fluids.
- I’ve had pneumonia twice. My lung capacity has been reduced because of lung fibrosis (damage)
- I’ve had pleurisy
- I’ve had inflammation of the cartilage in my rib cage
- I’ve had so much brain fog. I haven’t thought straight for 6 months. I constantly have to go back and do things twice.
- I can’t drink alcohol because my liver is inflamed and the alcohol makes me feel bad now.
- I have had chest pain and shortness of breath every single day.
- I can only walk for exercise. Anything more and I cannot breathe normally. Before March 16 I used to do spin classes 3/week.
- My resting heart rate is 101. It used to be 55.
Fast forward to today. I just left the cardiologist because I’m going to have to have two different echocardiograms and a MRI to determine the severity of my heart damage.
Covid is scary. Covid can cause an inflammatory response that doesn’t land you on a vent but can be life changing. I would be characterized as having a “mild to moderate” case of coronavirus.
My cardiologist is hopeful but doesn’t know what to do about me. It’s not in my head he says! I’m his tenth patient in September who has come to him with these long term symptoms. Average stats of “long haulers” as we are called is 44 (me!) a woman (me!) and previously fit/healthy and no preexisting conditions (me!)
I go on with daily life, baking bread, helping the kids, wiping down counters bc that’s what you do. You can’t lay in bed forever. Doctor tells me I’m full of antibodies (I hope I still am) and I’m not contagious. I have to live the life I’m dealing with now.
Anyways I share not to get any sympathy. I share because I feel people are getting fatigued of hearing about Covid and have moved on. I get it. It’s exhausting. But I want people to still continue to take this monster seriously.
Here’s a picture of the heart monitor I have to wear now. Stay healthy.
(Edited to add: feel free to share. The support shown below has made it clear that it may be helpful for someone else not on my fb page)
Edited to add (9/19). The response to this has been amazing. Honestly I thought 50 people would like this post. I’m getting messages from all over the planet and so many people are getting the message. Thank you so much
Editing one last time (10/28) THANK YOU so much to every single one of you who have reached out to me via PM. I’m so sorry I can’t respond to everyone but it means so much that you took the time to do so.
For many people, surviving COVID-19 doesn’t mean getting better, American Heart Association News by Michael Precker on December 7, 2020. https://www.heart.org/en/news/2020/12/07/for-many-people-surviving-covid-19-doesnt-mean-getting-better?fbclid=IwAR0qKF0eJBJ-D0gOYpNVLCvEjtxozILpjXwHhwy1UHERyY_DcHjhC000VOY
Long-Haul COVID-19 May Be a Public Health Crisis After the Pandemic, Healthline by Meagan Drillinger on December 14, 2020. https://www.healthline.com/health-news/long-haul-covid-19-may-be-a-public-health-crisis-after-the-pandemic