I was living with my brother and his roommate, and they both got COVID, too. Over a few weeks, I watched them recover, and I realized the same wasn’t happening for me. My symptoms were getting slightly better, but a few weeks in, my progress plateaued. Once I hit weeks four, five, and even six, I realized I wasn’t feeling any kind of improvement.
I was still experiencing trouble breathing—even if I just had to walk up the stairs, it was really hard to catch my breath. If I did any kind of physical activity, my heart rate was 20 to 30 beats per minute higher than it had been before getting sick. I felt like I would get heart palpitations really easily. But the most overwhelming symptom was the extreme exhaustion—it got to the point I was really having trouble moving through just about any daily task.
Mere months before, I was exercising intensely almost every single day. Then, all of the sudden, none of that was possible.
I eventually reached out to medical practitioners to see what they could do. Fortunately, the medical doctors I was seeing were understanding of my experience, and they never doubted what I was going through. However, the understanding of post-COVID symptoms was pretty limited, especially so early in the pandemic. They did all kinds of scans to check for organ damage, and pretty much every test imaginable to look at my lounge and heart. But they never found anything out of the ordinary. At the time, they were really playing a trial-and-error game to figure out what was causing my lingering symptoms.
Periodically, I would go back to the doctors to see if they had any more insight or expertise on the topic, based on what they were seeing with other patients. I ended up taking antibiotics, prednisone, a couple different inhalers—and those were just a few of the different treatment options doctors tried. However, none of them really made an impact on my symptoms.