Mesothelioma Survivor Describes Life After COVID-19

COVID-19 mask

If you’ve been listening to the news, you may be familiar with the symptoms of COVID-19 and how experts say they can linger. But what’s not talked about a lot are the symptoms people experience post-COVID.

It’s been a little over two months since I had COVID-19. From what my doctors say I had a mild case, even with a partially collapsed lung.

Even though I am a mesothelioma survivor, I am young and in good health. I was thinking I would bounce back quickly. I’m finding out that’s not the case, and that there are residual symptoms that persist.

Symptoms Linger After COVID-19

When I had COVID-19 I was congested, coughing, had shortness of breath and chest heaviness, headache and a slight fever. There was one point when just talking would drain me of energy.

So, two months post-COVID, these are some of the symptoms I had, and some that I’m still having.

Brain Fog

This was really bad at first. It was like I couldn’t remember anything. I would be talking to my husband and forget what I was going to ask him. Or, I would put something in a specific place and forget where I put it. It was like I couldn’t really think clearly. It has gotten better over time.

Runny Nose

At the height of my COVID infection my nose was runny and I was congested, but that initially went away. Then my nose started running again as if I had allergies.

Anxiety

I had anxiety before COVID-19, but having the virus took my anxiety to another level. I was having panic attacks daily, scared to go to sleep, and it seemed like everything startled me. It was as if my anxiety had its own mind and had grown.

I’ve asked someone else who had COVID about this, and they said the same thing — that they have a lot of anxiety now.

Fatigue

COVID-19 itself will make you so tired that you don’t feel like raising your pinky finger. As I was getting over the virus, I did feel my strength coming back, day by day. But when I felt like I was getting back to normal, my body was like — nope — we have some limits.

I couldn’t just jump up and do this and that because it would tire me so easily. I’ve gone back to work, but after work I’m exhausted. I realize that I’m going to have to build up my stamina. I asked my doctor, and she told me it would be about three months before I feel “normal” again.

Shortness of breath

Don’t ask me to run up and down the road, because I couldn’t do it without feeling like I’m out of breath. I’ve even noticed that when I’m driving in the car and singing my favorite songs, I can’t sing like I used to because of the shortness of breath. So, I’ve been on the lip-syncing train here lately.

This symptom is not nearly as bad as it was when I had COVID, but I notice it when I’m doing certain things, even when I’m talking, and listen — I love to talk!

COVID-19 Is Different for Everyone

The post-COVID symptoms I had may not be the same as what someone else has had. But, from the different people I’ve asked who have had the virus, and also my doctor, these have been common symptoms.

Even though I had COVID, I am still grateful to still have my health. If you have had the virus, definitely pay attention to your body and never ignore a symptom no matter how small you may think it is. Call your health care professional and share it with them.

The thing about COVID-19 is that when you do get it, you don’t know how your body will react to it.

Day by day things are getting better, and I know I am regaining my full strength.

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Tamron Little

Mesothelioma Survivor and Writer

Tamron Little was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma in 2007 when she was just 21 years of age. After more than a decade of surviving with mesothelioma, Little is sharing her experiences to support people recently diagnosed with this rare, asbestos-related cancer.

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