Phil Myers has a job, but he is also a mechanic and quickly solves problems around his home.
However, more than a year later, a broken faucet damaged by COVID-19 may seem like the last straw.
“Because you are so tired. “You can’t stand anything else,” said Myers, 43, of Adams County.
Chronic fatigue is one of the many problems Myers is struggling with and her doctors attribute it to the long-term effects of COVID-19. Others include joint pain, “fog of the brain,” vision problems, and heart palpitations.
It is one of countless Americans who have been affected by COVID-19 for a long time, including medical problems that persist for more than a month after a fight with COVID-19 and have no other explanation.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in five COVID-19 patients under the age of 65 and a quarter in the elderly have problems that last more than a month. A study of people hospitalized in the UK with COVID-19 showed that less than a third of them fully recovered after one year. However, much remains to be said about long-term COVID and it will take about two years before the CDC provides accurate data on prevalence.
Myers was diagnosed with COVID-19 in March 2021. His wife had the disease at the same time.
According to him, this was a terrible time of the flu, with “shivering, extreme fatigue and difficulty breathing,” “I felt like someone was sitting on my chest.” The warm mattress on his chest helped him in the worst of times.
“I had to go to the hospital, but I never went,” says Myers, who passed a positive test at the emergency center.
Ten days later, he and his girlfriend began to feel better. He went back to work.
He was still tired and windy when he walked to the second floor at work, but he thought he was on his way to a full recovery.
“I just did it because I’m the person I want to be [think] Go through it, and it will go away. That’s my opinion, ”he said.
Eventually, he felt “80% better”.
But in early 2022, nine months after his first encounter with COVID-19, his symptoms “exploded”.
His tiredness intensified. The same thing happened with the “brain fog” that hindered his memory and ability to concentrate. This was of particular concern to Myers, who considered himself almost coerced. His thinking process is “like a side road and then a road on the other side – you’re constantly trying to stay on the main road”. As a result, stress and resentment easily made him nervous in his dealings with colleagues and family.
He also had blurred vision when his right eye did not work in tandem with his left.
He went to a family doctor, who recommended that he see a doctor who specializes in COVID-19 after an x-ray, blood and medical examination.
He graduated from WellSpan Health’s COVID-19 clinic in York County, which has long specialized in helping people with COVID-19, also known as “long-distance carriers”.
The clinic has been open since May 2021. Clinical manager Emily Kohler said she had no information on her size, but said new patients were contacting the clinic or turning to numbers every day. The clinic includes specialists in areas such as lung, heart, kidney, mental health and physical and occupational therapy.
According to Kohler, the demand for services has led to an expansion of staff and programs, including nurses’ navigators who can help patients while waiting to see a specialist. The online support group attracts 5-10 people to monthly sessions, he says.
“We see a lot of patients who are not returning to pre-COVID levels and this is weakening their lives,” he says.
Kohler says the only common condition among patients at the clinic is severe fatigue. Patients often suffer from coughing, shortness of breath, and loss of taste and smell.
According to him, fatigue can be severe. “Even simple chores can be tiring,” she says.
Fatigue and its impact on people’s ability to work can lead to mental health and emotional problems, Kohler says.
On the advice of WellSpan Clinic, Myers has been disabled for nearly two months.
“I am not a person to sit on. So for me, this was a big fix. It was frustrating. There was depression, ”he said.
Much is unknown about long-term COVID. In general, it is usually not life-threatening. Most people, even if not for a year or more, eventually return to normal. Some have problems such as heart or kidney failure, while others need a lung transplant.
Doctors have also found a link between COVID-19 and the onset of diabetes. As a result, experts estimate that long-term COVID will lead to significant health and disability costs for the United States, while long-term COVID costs could account for 30% of total pandemic costs.
Doctors remain unaware of the exact causes of the long-lasting KOVID. Opportunities include damage to the virus’s organs, disruption of the immune system’s attack, and inflammation of various parts of the body that are fighting the virus and the remnants of the virus left in the body. In addition, medications, including sedatives given to severely ill COVID-19 patients and treatment such as being on a ventilator, can cause long-term problems.
The likelihood of severe long-lasting COVID-19 symptoms seems to depend on how well a person is infected with COVID-19, and the problems are more common in hospitalized people and those in need of intensive care.
However, new research shows that people who do not have the first symptoms of COVID-19 can sometimes develop COVID-19 for a long time. New research has also found that although the COVID-19 vaccine is very effective in preventing serious illness and death, it does not prevent COVID that lasts as long as doctors initially expected.
Myers is an Army veteran and worked in construction. He is now the IT Director and Business Development Director of the Auto Show Group. According to him, he is not a “gym rat”, but always considers himself fit and healthy. He quit smoking more than 20 years ago and there was no risk factor that made him particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.
When her severe symptoms returned in January, she said she was experiencing additional stress due to the expansion of her business at work and that they had played a role in exacerbating her symptoms.
Prolonged COVID symptoms include shortness of breath, which forces him to pause while climbing several steps. His joints were found. After work, he could not stand many other things and felt the need to fall.
“I’m 43 and I feel like I’m in my 60s,” he said.
When the septic system of his home caused costly damage, he tried to figure out how to fix it. In the past, common problems, such as a broken crane, have sunk.
One of her most frightening symptoms was her heartbeat and blood pressure, which had previously been normal. “I sit in a chair and do nothing, my heart rate is 95, my blood pressure is pounding through the roof and I hear blood sucking in my ear,” he says. He recently began wearing a heart monitor, which doctors hope will help him better understand his heartbeat.
According to Myers, it’s a WellSpan clinic, especially Dr. Luminita Tudor, who runs the clinic, discussed the test results and the long-lasting COVID for about two hours. It was very easy to get an explanation of her symptoms and find out if anyone else in the clinic was struggling with something like this, she says.
“I felt like my mind was going crazy and my body was falling apart,” she says.
At first he was “skeptical” of some of the treatments offered to him.
For example, he could not understand the need for speech therapy because he did not swear or had difficulty composing words. However, therapy includes exercises that focus on the effects of COVID-19 on the brain and improve its mental acuity, which in turn helps with speech. According to him, this was a big change in reducing the haze of the brain and increasing its mental severity to the level of COVID-19.
Occupational therapy has eliminated the problem of synchronization of his eyes. He will soon begin pulmonary therapy, which he says is not immediately available because of the high demand at the clinic.
He takes medication for nerve pain and uses two inhalers, including one inhaler daily, and when there is an emergency in breathing.
He was told he could return to work in late June, but only partially at first.
At the clinic’s request, Myers maintains a journal that tracks his activities and his impact on energy and fatigue. She sends the results to the clinic every week, which helps her understand how to save energy on the most important things and not get too tired.
According to him, the clinic taught him the concept of energy “spoons” used by people with chronic medical conditions that limit energy. This includes the idea that people have a limited amount of energy per day. If they use too many spoons in one day, it will be less than the next day.
According to Myers, his long-term experience with COVID proves this. For example, he pushes half an acre of grass regularly, and now he usually stops halfway and ends the next day. Otherwise, he can tax himself so much that it is even harder to brush his teeth.
In general, he found that long-lasting KOVID could not be overcome by will or by ignoring it.
“You can’t just try and do something because it hits your hip,” he says. “If you push yourself, you just can’t beat it, because it makes you tired and worsens some of the symptoms.”
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