Laurie* was active. She led full, rewarding professional and social lives. She’d always eaten well, taken vitamins and supplements, and exercised faithfully. She was double vaxxed against COVID, and boosted.
On December 28 she tested positive for the virus. Besides a brief period when her oxygen level plummeted, she had mild symptoms: a slight sniffle and cough.
“That was easy,” she thought.
Six weeks later, the after-effects hit.
Laurie felt like she was hungover — all the time. Her eyes were sensitive to light. Her brain was foggy. She forgot things, like what day it was or where she’d parked her car. Her hands shook.
She was constantly exhausted. At 11:30 a.m., she could barely hold her head up. She napped for 2 hours at midday. At night she had trouble sleeping.
After 20 years of yoga and Pilates, she could not even walk down the street.
“I had no life, no vitality,” Laurie says.
Laurie’s internist did blood work, but said nothing could help.
Week after week, Laurie’s symptoms dragged on. Fortunately, she says, she did not feel sorry for herself, or fall into depression.
“Maybe it’s because I was proactive,” she suggests. “I tried to find solutions. I didn’t sit around thinking ‘woe is me.'”
Finally, her holistic chiropractor suggested increasing her daily dose of curcumin. She also started red light therapy and infrared saunas at Restore Cryotherapy.
Over the past few days, Laurie has started to feel better. She is not sure she’s out of the woods, though. She knows she could relapse.
She’s telling her story because she wants to help people understand COVID. Many friends were sympathetic. Colleagues covered for her at work.
But some people could not empathize. She hopes that sharing her struggle will help readers become more knowledgeable about the effects of the virus.
Laurie is not “the” face of COVID. The disease takes many forms. It runs its course in many ways.
But she is one face of COVID.
And she is a reminder that our fight against it is a long way from over.
*Not her real name. For medical privacy, she asked to be identified by a different name.