Here is Hannah Davis’ must-read thread on Long-Covid, what it is, and what she has been experiencing since she got coronavirus... 4 months ago.
First published in July 2020.
I just crossed the 4 month mark of being sick w' #COVID19. I am young, & I was healthy. Dying is not the only thing to worry about. I still have a near-daily fever, loss of cognitive function, essential tremors, GI issues, severe headaches, heartrate of 150+, viral arthritis, 1/
heart palpitations, muscle aches, a feeling like my body has forgotten to breathe. Over the past 124 days I've lost all feeling in my arms & hands, had extreme back/kidney/rib pain, phantom smells (like someone BBQing bad meat), tinnitus, difficulty understanding text/reading, 2/
difficulty following conversations, sensitivity to noise & light, nonstop bruising. *Thinking* can cause headaches now. I'm not alone in the cognitive issues; it's as common a symptom as cough. No one knows when #longcovid patients aren't contagious; many are alone for months.
People w' #longcovid weren't able to get testing until late. There are people on my same timeline who are only now learning they had strokes & encephalitis & heart attacks. MRIs/CT scans were only accessible in the ER. Drs were solely looking at the lungs for way too long. 4/
The symptoms are bizarre. There are people with brand new #allergies to the point of anaphylaxis; others whose allergies have disappeared. Post-menopausal women who are having spotting and periods again. Medications spontaneously stop working, need to be adjusted higher/lower. 5/
It causes flareups of other viruses, past surgeries, other conditions. Old injuries are raw & feel new again. My left leg & foot, injured in a moped accident in 2017, feels crushed like it happened yesterday. Intolerance to exercise, alcohol, caffeine, & stress are common. 6/
Insomnia is common. The dreams are vivid & bizarre, often lucid dreams, often violent & nightmarish, many reports of dreaming about people who have passed away. The symptoms wax & wane; you think you're getting better, only to be hit again. New symptoms appear constantly. 7/
The CDC is starting to acknowledge us & the #LongCovid numbers are high: 35% of people are not back to normal after the suggested 'recovery' period. Given the US's current cases of 4.2 million, that's 1,470,000 long haulers in the US alone. 8/
In patients aged 18-34 with no pre-existing conditions, that number is 20%. I was in that unlucky camp & you could be too. This life is a weird parallel one where almost everything in your old world feels alien & unreal; I don't want it to happen to a single other person. 9/
I had been isolating for 11 days on the day of my first symptoms and I probably got it on a trip to the grocery store. There is almost nothing that is worth losing 4+ months of your life in this way. No BBQ, no tech event, no haircut. 10/
...we are going to be in trouble if we start getting lumped into a singular diagnosis or the dismissive "chronic fatigue syndrome"; everyone's #LongCovid struggles are different, not everyone has fatigue/exercise intolerance, advocacy for heterogeneous treatments is vital! 13/
I kind of hate to add this tweet since I've scared so many people already, but I've had a pretty mild case of #longcovid. I know people w' facial paralysis, hearing loss, vision loss, encephalitis, seizures, continued loss of taste - all on the same ~4 month timeline as me. 18/
Also, kids are getting #LongCovid too. If I were a parent, there is no world in which I'd be sending my kid back to school. 19/
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- Covid-19: What do we know about “long covid”? | BMJ
- What do we know about the long-term effects of Covid-19? | The Guardian
- I'm a Covid-19 'long-hauler'. For us, there is no end in sight | The Guardian