My Long Covid Journey-The beginning

It's me Sam, the person who's run many half marathons, qualified as a PT, who was doing 8 workouts a week through lockdown, who's completed OCRs, attempted full marathons, the 36 year old with 2 kids who was fit and healthy, and then Covid happened. I'm still me, Sam, but I now have the battle of long Covid and i've decided to put pen to paper.

It's the first time i've written this down, i'm quite a private person outside of a few close friends, but this is affecting everything I do and it's time to put it into black and white. It's scary it makes me feel vulnerable, but l really hope it will help. I've decided to document my progress, partly to help myself, to see how far i've come on the days where I feel like i'm getting nowhere; and partly to share my experience in order to maybe help others going through similar.

I'm going to start in the best place, at the beginning, Dec 27th 2021, the day that I started to get my symptoms. All my tests were negative, I began to think I was the only person in the UK with normal flu. I tested positive on the 29th and what followed was 10 days where I managed to get through every symptom on the NHS website! Body aches, fever, headache, racing heart, a cough....oh the cough. My chest felt like it was on fire, I didn't sleep at all for 5 full days and nights, it was torture. I would sit all night just trying to breathe, my chest getting heavier and heavier. On new years day I couldn't cope anymore, I was so tired just trying to breathe. I made the dreaded call to 111 and got sent straight away to the local 'Covid clinic' (who knew that even existed!) I'd developed Covid pneumonia, I also had an ear and throat infection, my body did not like Covid and I clearly don't do things by halves!!

Thankfully I managed to avoid hospital, after multiple antibiotics and an awful lot of bowls of steam I turned a corner and was on the mend. I soon realised my body had taken a battering, reading a bedtime story to my kids would leave me gasping for air, walking up the stairs was like climbing Everest, I would make a cup of tea then need to lie down on the sofa. Even the sofa wasn't safe...when you have a very animated 5 year old at home. One evening after a very breathless bedtime story Noah accidently whacked me in the eye. It's not the first time, I presumed it would be fine, until checking in the mirror and seeing my eyeball filling with blood. Off I went on a nice Saturday night trip to A&E for more antibiotics, and a nice ride in an Audi (thanks to the Bakers!)

After around 2 weeks I started to leave the house and began with a slow walk (and Emily holding me up thanks Em) Slow short walks turned into gentle longer walks. After 3 weeks off work I came back, doing the bear minimum just to get through. I'd coach a class then collapse on the sofa for the rest of the day. Talking would exhaust me, the school run was out of reach I couldn't make it that far. I felt completely useless, my husband Jim had to carry the load doing every school run, the house work, the cooking, whilst holding down a full time job, what an absolute superstar. I don't know how I would have coped without him.

GPs and Doctors had no answers, everything was new and trial and error. I had visits to A&E with awful chest pain, X rays to check my lungs, everything looked ok I just had to be patient. Time was going to be the healer. Slowly but surely I began to build up my strength, often pushing it too far and crashing, but it was all trial and error and I just had to listen to my body and learn from my mistakes. A lot of sacrifices had to be made and a lot of tears would be shed trying to cope with all that was happening, but I knew I'd get there in the end.

So welcome to my blog, I'm not sure how many posts it will take, I'm hoping the only way is up from here. My next post will be focusing on the road to recovery, the good times and the bad, my lasting symptoms, and the very tricky skill of pacing myself. Happy reading and thanks for joining me for the ride.

Sam x

5 thoughts on “My Long Covid Journey-The beginning

  1. Well done Sam and thank you for letting us read your story! You are an absolute superstar and may your road to recovery continue successfully xx

  2. Wow Sam…that sounds horrendous. You are so lucky you are a strong ELF with good people around you. Thank for sharing your journey with us and here’s to your continued recovery x

  3. Oh Sam, what a journey! You will come back fitter and stronger, you just need to believe. It’s good to hear you are surrounded by supportive people. Onwards and upwards you ELF Warrior 😘

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