Known as COVID-19 “Long Haulers,” some survivors in this pandemic just cannot seem to find relief from the symptoms of the coronavirus. They want answers about what is happening with their health, even months after initially contracting the virus.
Back in March, Caitlin Houston, a mother and blogger from Wallingford was continuously posting on social media about how sick she was. The typically healthy and athletic 35-year-old had tested positive for COVID-19 on April Fools’ Day.
More than seven months later, Houston said she is still dealing with the virus.
“My doctor said, ‘You might be one of these long-haul COVID people.’ And I’m like ‘What is that?’” Houston said.
The phrase “Long Hauler” has become increasingly used to describe COVID-19 survivors who suffer from symptoms even months after their initial illness.
“I still have weird episodes where I’m dizzy out of nowhere or I get these headaches,” Houston said.
Houston said she also lost the senses of taste and smell and that she has had shortness of breath and fatigue for months.
“My biggest fear is that it’s going to come back to me and what is it going to do to my body then?” Houston said.
These so-called Long Haulers said that their symptoms can be debilitating – and frightening.
Brooks said a computed axial tomography (CAT) scan showed she had not suffered a stroke. Now, she does physical therapy at home wondering why the left side of her body is suddenly struggling.
“My muscles in my left arm had atrophied. They actually shrunk,” Brooks said. “I had an excruciating jaw pain – on my left side.
Meanwhile, in East Lyme, former emergency room nurse Louise McLellan said her hair started falling out after her COVID-19 diagnosis.
“It was coming out in clumps. I started taking a couple of supplements for that,” said McLellan. “I do get a lot of joint pain, muscle pain, ear aches.”
McLellan said these ailments were not part of her daily life prior to contracting the coronavirus.
“I have never in my life had lung problems,” McLellan said. “Right now, I’m on three inhalers and oxygen.”