COVID-19 after-effects leave man unable to work, woman with diabetes
THERE SEEMS to be no end in sight for a construction worker who wakes up every day with severe joint pains and other severe side effects of COVID19, even after recovering from the virus more than a month ago.
The 56-year-old man, who was diagnosed with COVID19 on January 20 after experiencing chills and a sniffly nose, told SEARCHLIGHT this week that his symptoms have been way worse than when he was infected by the virus.
“It’s a really terrible experience, trust me, it’s an experience I would never want to have again in my life…,” he said.
“It’s having a real effect. If I try to do something, it will hurt all in my back, my legs, my joints and them…it’s more pain than anything else.”
According to NHS United Kingdom, COVID19 can cause symptoms that last weeks or months after the infection has gone. This is referred to as post-COVID19 syndrome or ‘Long COVID’.
Recent studies also estimate that between 10 and 30 per cent of people who get COVID19 suffer from lingering symptoms of the virus and the chances of having these long-term symptoms does not seem to be linked to how ill an individual is when they are first diagnosed with the virus.
Chills and a sniffly nose were the only side effects that the construction worker experienced while he was positive for the coronavirus.
Now that he has recovered, he also suffers with severe joint pain, insomnia, shortness of breath and heart palpitations.
The Mespo man told SEARCHLIGHT he was cleared by health authorities on February 21 when he returned a negative PCR test.
He said only one week passed since his clearance before he started experiencing the adverse side effects.
“It changed my entire life to tell you the honest truth. It gave me more negative thoughts than positive because I was hoping that when I recovered that would be the end of the story, just recover, that’s it and you go back to normal with your life…but it has stressed me in terms of work wise and all those things, movement. I’m more scared of the heart situation because I find I’m getting more tired than anything else,” the construction worker said.
He revealed that he has visited doctors about his condition, but they have been unable to determine when he will stop feeling the effects of the virus.
To help manage his situation, he has been making attempts to boost his immune system to see if it will help.
The 56-year-old is hopeful that taking a COVID19 vaccine may be able to help with his dilemma but he is somewhat confused about how long he should wait after recovering to take the jab.
He explained that he has already registered to be inoculated but one doctor advised that he wait three months, while another said he only needed to wait one month.
“That’s the only thing holding me back, the time period. I have to try and find out who’s saying the right thing about the time period. I’m not afraid to take it; I don’t know what the results can bring but if it can solve my [problem], I don’t mind taking it. If it’s the best way to go and I have to go that way, sooner or later, if life lasts, I want to travel and so too…” he said.
Several other Vincentians seem to be experiencing adverse effects after recovering from COVID19, some of which are linked to non-communicable diseases like diabetes and hypertension.
A frontline worker, who asked to remain anonymous, told SEARCHLIGHT this week that she has been recording high blood sugar levels since recovering from COVID in February.
“I was never diabetic, but I realised over the last couple weeks, myself and other members of staff who had COVID19, we started craving for a lot of sweets so I went on the internet and I was doing some research and I realised it was saying persons who had COVID19 should check their A1Cs,” she explained.
The A1C is a blood test used to evaluate an individual’s blood sugar levels.
According to the Centre for Disease Control, a normal A1C level is below 5.7 per cent while a level of 5.7 per cent to 6.4 per cent indicates pre-diabetes. A level of 6.5 per cent or more indicates diabetes.
The frontline worker said when she did her test, it was at 7 per cent.
“I’m hoping this information will trigger people who have never been infected to get the vaccine because you don’t want – diabetes is something that’s serious,” she cautioned.
The healthcare worker told SEARCHLIGHT that she has since been taking the necessary steps to manage her blood sugar levels.
However, through her interactions with persons in the healthcare system, she has learnt that persons who have also recovered from COVID19 are having similar experiences.
She also noted that persons have reported consistently high blood pressure readings and rheumatoid arthritis since recovering from the virus.
Having only recently recovered, the healthcare worker said she is waiting some time but definitely intends to be vaccinated.
Up to the time of going to press, a total of 1587 people had recovered from COVID19.