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"I don't know if I'll wake up in the morning": how people who have had COVID-19 live
According to the headquarters, to date, more than half a million Russians have recovered from COVID-19. MedPortal spoke with people who had an infection and found out that many still do not feel well. “Post-coders”, as they call themselves, have been struggling for months with the severe consequences of the infection and still fear for their lives.
Photo: pixabay.com 53251
At the moment, hundreds of studies have been published on the course of coronavirus infection, but there is still very little information about what consequences it leaves. Often, those who have recovered are offered to “be patient”, or they blame what is happening on hypochondria, so you have to look for ways to recover yourself. At the same time, many of them did not receive a full examination and learned that they had transferred covid only after passing an antibody test, and therefore their cases were not included in the statistics. "Post-viewers" gather in groups and chats in messengers, study new treatment protocols, share experiences and contacts of doctors and simply support each other. Almost everyone who told us their stories asked to change their names, fearing that their friends and colleagues would recognize them.
"The" light flow "of covid made me disabled"
Ekaterina, 36 years old, Yekaterinburg
In early March, I, my retired mother, and my teenage son felt severe discomfort, which was accompanied by chest pain and terrible aches. By the end of April, mom and son had already recovered and felt fine, but I just didn’t go crazy from insomnia, suffocation and overwhelming pressure. It was possible to call an ambulance and get a CT scan only through a call to the Ministry of Health. The study showed nothing, the PCR test was also negative. By the way, I did a total of five PCR tests, and they were all negative. The fact that we really had been ill with coronavirus, we learned only in June, having passed tests for antibodies. Moreover, the mother had the highest titer, and the son did not have them at all. And they found my antibodies, but then they disappeared.
Two months after the illness, my mother suffered an ischemic stroke on the background of low blood pressure and taking anticoagulants, which she was taking to treat two chronic diseases. Perhaps it was they who saved her from the severe course of covid with thrombosis. Mom is already working hard in the garden, and every day I get worse and worse. I completely lost my ability to work, the capillaries in my eyes burst, bruises appear, the gums are inflamed, convulsions. The suffocation rolls over in waves - sometimes I can breathe normally for several days, then it squeezes again in my chest. Eventually, I am diagnosed with vasculitis, an autoimmune disease with a survival rate of up to five years with treatment. And without treatment - no more than a year. I cannot go to the hospital now, because the rheumatology department has been redesigned to treat coronavirus. The district doctor comes,shrugs his hands and prescribes another unnecessary antibiotic.
In fact, the "mild flow" of covid made me disabled. Now I chat with people from all over the country who have faced the same disaster, share information, try to heal on our own at our own peril and risk. Doctors have no time for us now. Dispatchers of the ambulance in Yekaterinburg receive 4,000 calls a day, doctors work in the red zones around the clock.
I do not know if I will wake up the next morning, every day my tests are getting worse. I'm even tired of being afraid. I continue to fight and hope for a miracle for my loved ones.
Any tension makes your muscles ache like an intense workout
Elena, 35 years old, St. Petersburg
On April 15, I suddenly got a pain in my armpit and in the lower abdomen on the left. And the next morning, the taste and smell were gone. So much so that I did not feel the taste of garlic and condensed milk. By lunchtime, the temperature rose, the whole body ached - pain similar to a toothache, only in every bone. There was monstrous weakness, diarrhea, breathing problems. But there was no cough and runny nose. On the third day, I managed to call a doctor, who issued a referral for hospitalization. An X-ray was done, not a CT scan, which showed 30% of the lung damage. I was admitted to the Vvedensky hospital, redesigned for Kovidnikov, where I spent ten days on IVs. All these days I prayed to just breathe normally myself. I will note that I do not fall into any of the risk groups - I am 35 years old, I have no chronic diseases, I weigh 58 kilograms.
I got sick three months ago, but my sense of smell and taste have not recovered yet. All the time I feel tired, overwhelmed, muscles ache from any tension as after an intense workout. All the usual things are very difficult, I just can't concentrate. And eye problems also began: at the end of May, conjunctivitis began, and then suddenly the lenses for the left eye became small. In mid-August, I will have to return to the city and go to work. I did not go to the doctor, I left for a village far from the city, I am trying to recover myself. I really hope that by then I'll start living a normal life again.
They told me: you are nervous, drink glycine
Anna, 21 years old, Tver
In April, I felt a strong burning sensation and aches in my chest. Since before that I had contacted a person who had confirmed covid, I decided not to wait for a referral from the clinic and did a CT scan for money. A focus of pneumonia was found in my lungs, and from that moment I began walking in the circles of hell. In the clinic where I did the CT, they recommended that I go to the district police officer and be treated at home. The district police officer who came after my persistent calls asked in surprise: why can't you come to the clinic yourself? I didn’t have a smear for PCR, didn’t measure the saturation. They never called me from the polyclinic. She began to heal herself, partly intuitively. But I was getting worse, new symptoms appeared. I did a CT scan again for my own money, which showed not a lesion, but a full-fledged pneumonia.
Two weeks later, leg problems began, and hemoptysis appeared. Several times I called an ambulance and every time I was told: it’s nervous, drink glycine. As a result, she achieved hospitalization, was put in a covid hospital for ten days. The focus of inflammation in the lungs has passed and I was told: there is no pneumonia, you are healthy, we are discharging.
For three months I have been sitting at home, I have a fever, my whole body hurts, I have problems with my heart, liver and gastrointestinal tract, my blood pressure is constantly jumping. The doctors I turn to say: Covid was cured for you, so bear with it. And how much more to endure? …
Not a trace remained of my former endurance
Nina, 51 years old, KhMAO
I am a kindergarten teacher and got sick in early March. Most likely, she contracted the infection from one of the children who was vacationing with their parents in Thailand. At the same time, another 12 children fell ill. The first symptoms were very similar to ARVI: a slight runny nose, but a very severe sore throat, a wet cough, the tonsils looked like a piece of meat. On the fourth day, the sense of smell was abruptly lost. My head is splitting, confusion, terrible weakness, no appetite. And then the cough sharply became dry and tearful, until vomiting, the temperature rose to 38.5. In the clinic, I was diagnosed with ARVI and prescribed antibiotics, which were of no use. They did not give me tests, at that time we simply did not have them.
After 15 days, I was discharged with a low-grade fever. At that time, new symptoms appeared - a strong burning sensation in the region of the lungs and in the hypochondrium. The manager heard my cough and did not allow me to work, I had to take a vacation at my own expense. But it didn't get any easier for me - fever, cough, weakness.
Now all I want is to sleep and wake up in my old life. During all this time, I have lost 10 kilograms. The temperature is gone, but it rises with the slightest hypothermia, chills all the time. There is no trace of my previous stamina, and I have no idea how I will return to work. Has become very distracted, it is difficult to concentrate. I took another vacation because I'm afraid of getting infected again from children. If doctors are provided with some kind of protection, then teachers are not entitled to it, we are now all in a high-risk zone. There are a lot of asymptomatic children among children, but they are not examined en masse.
“All this time, I was treated for non-existent osteochondrosis”
Lyudmila, 31 years old, Kursk
I fell ill in early April on my way to Moscow. There was a strong chill without fever, choking, chest pain. I called an ambulance, they told me - you have osteochondrosis, you don't need a test. I was treated at home as much as I could, but I was getting worse - low-grade fever, constant feeling of lack of air, bruises all over the body, confusion, pain under the ribs, numbness of the limbs. The eyes became inflamed, the capillaries burst, yellow spots appeared on the proteins, and the rash was not on the cheeks. She was suffocating so that she lost consciousness. Panic attacks and bowel problems began. The ambulance doctors who came to my next call gave me a couple of tablets of glycine. To my requests to do a test, they answered me: you did not contact the sick person and did not travel abroad, you are not entitled to the test.
CT scan of the lungs, which I did at my own expense, did not reveal any pathologies. At the end of May, I passed an antibody test in a private laboratory, the result was positive. It was covid, and I never received any examination or treatment. Now, three months later, periodically there is a low-grade fever, constant weakness, shortness of breath, wandering pains under the ribs and in the muscles, a feeling of numbness in different places. Bruises all over the body, increased venous pattern. I have not received any medical recommendations, except for how to treat non-existent osteochondrosis, I am trying to find ways to recover myself.
“I still have vascular problems”
Alla, 31 years old, Krasnoyarsk
In early April, I felt severe weakness and headache, and my temperature rose. I thought it was a common ARVI, but then diarrhea started. I called the ambulance and was advised to take antiviral drugs. Two weeks later, the temperature and diarrhea remained, my throat was very sore, and I began to choke a lot. An ambulance arrived and the doctor said that it was intestinal flu, and my throat hurts, because, most likely, she caught ARVI along the way.
I was denied the test, even for money: the doctors insisted that there could be no diarrhea with covid. Almost every day, new symptoms were added: my kidneys began to hurt, leg aches, and swelling. 21 days later, I suddenly woke up without pain and with normal breathing, very happy. A week later, all symptoms returned. The skin became transparent, with a vascular network, rashes appeared that still do not go away. Panic attacks and confusion appeared. In total, I was ill for over two months. The diarrhea has gone without a trace, but I still have vascular problems, and I still have a high fever.
“We often hear from doctors: you have psychosomatics”
Olga, 41 years old, Podolsk
In April, after the beginning of self-isolation, I woke up with a feeling of intense fear and low-grade fever. I was pounding so that my teeth chattered. After that, new symptoms began to appear every day: tightness in the chest, severe pain in muscles and joints, cough, diarrhea, rash, loss of smell. I called an ambulance, they refused to test me, since at that time they were only made contact and returned from abroad. Nobody really knew what to do with us.
I began to search for information myself on the Internet, to meet people who have encountered similar symptoms. There were more and more of us and we decided to create a chat in Telegram for the prompt exchange of information. People began to join us, and today there are more than 2000 of us - those who have been suffering from similar symptoms for months, including after the official "recovery" from covid, and those who have not been able to obtain a diagnosis. Whole families are ill, people face severe complications of the kidneys, liver, cardiovascular and nervous systems. And also psycho-emotional exhaustion and anxiety begins, which is replaced by anger due to the inability to return to normal life.
Now, three months after the beginning of the epidemic in Russia, both I and thousands of people continue to have symptoms of the disease, and some are even worse. And we often hear from doctors: it seems to you that you have psychosomatics. Not. It doesn't seem to us. And we really need help.
I can't get to work in this state
Julia, 34 years old, Moscow
I felt unwell in mid-April: aches all over my body, it is difficult to breathe, like a lump in my throat, dry cough, fever, conjunctivitis. And also the sense of smell and taste have disappeared. I called an ambulance, the doctor listened, measured my oxygen saturation and told me to take sedatives. The next day, a doctor came from the clinic and prescribed an antibiotic. Then they came again and took a smear, but the result never came. I was asked to sign a document stating that I undertake to self-isolate for two weeks.
Three weeks later, I felt better, but the temperature remained. And after five days, all symptoms returned. Plus the strongest weakness and sweating, even from minimal exertion. In June, I went to the polyclinic and described my condition, they took tests and prescribed another antibiotic.
And the strangest thing began at the end of June. My 13-year-old son broke his leg and has a fever. The skin became covered with a rash, red spots and blisters appeared all over the topic, veins began to appear. The traumatologist said that against the background of the fracture, the temperature can last 3-5 days. But time passed, but it did not get any easier - subfebrile temperature, which rises during the day and falls by night, plus severe sweating was added, as if a bucket of water had been poured on him, his heart literally jumped out of his chest.
I began to remember his symptoms at the time when I fell ill myself - he sneezed and he had conjunctivitis, I did not attach this importance. According to the analyzes, the pediatrician concluded that the son had been ill with a mild coronavirus, and these are post-ovarian phenomena.
We still both feel very bad. My son's temperature is 37.2 during the day, and by the evening it drops to normal values. I also have a fever, constant weakness, my joints ache, my head is spinning. When I once again turned to the polyclinic at my place of residence, I was told that they again wanted to put me on two-week self-isolation. In tears, I explain that I have been ill since April and that I need an examination. And what do you think? I was offered to be tested for HIV and syphilis. Further I will be examined only in private clinics.
Now I pray to God for only one thing - to extend distance learning at school. I am a teacher working with children. In such a state, I simply cannot get to work and I am very afraid of re-infection from children.
If you have been ill or suspect that you have had COVID-19 and are faced with the consequences of infections, you can get advice and support by subscribing to the TG channel t.me/chanel369 or chat t.me/groupe369.