Young Cork woman speaks out about her battle with long Covid

A young Cork woman has spoken about the frightening and frustrating road to recovery from long Covid.

32 year old Helen O’Connor contracted Covid at the start of the pandemic.

Jamie O’Hara spoke to Helen at her home in Shanballymore about her struggle with long Covid.

“For five months I had to sleep on our couch sitting upright because I felt like I was drowning and suffocating if I even slipped below a 90 degree angle. If I walked to the bathroom my husband would have to help me back into the sitting room because I was so short of breath and my heart rate was spiking.”

Helen lived with long Covid for 18 months in total. The illness meant the nurse struggled with fatigue, shortness of breath and brain fog.

“I’d go for a shower and I was so fatigued after it for hours and I had muscle atrophy but didn’t realise at the time, I couldn’t hold a hairdryer or hairbrush to brush my hair. Things that sound so simple, they were so difficult at the time. If I was texting someone, my wrists would be sore from holding my phone and the most I could talk on the phone for was about two minutes, otherwise I’d be so out of breath.”

Helen described her battle with brain fog after contracting the virus.

“I could be in the middle of a sentence and not remember the word for a car. I’d be like ‘you know the thing with the wheels’, you just feel like an idiot.”

The mother of two says it’s strange to remember that time now, and reflects on what her children knew at the time.

“It almost feels surreal, as if like Jesus did I really go through all that like. Then at the time I was thinking it was never ending because every time I went to a doctor or a specialist, they were like “we don’t know enough about this to tell you it is going to get better, we can’t tell you that you will be able to improve, and this could be your new normal.” My little one Zara, she’s only 4 and my son, my 10 year old it was very upsetting for him when we were going through it because he’d asked to do something and we’d have to say “mommy can’t do that darling” and he’d be like “Yeah, I know, I’m sorry I know you’re sick.” So I think was a really scary time for him aswell.”

  1. Una Mullin   On   5th October 2022 at 10:37 am

    I also suffer with Long Covid at the start , I am HCA , and I still suffering, fatigue it can be dreadful, the Brain fog is awful, I tried to do Courses to return to work , I was doing 8 of them over 5 weeks , I couldn’t get the answers right , I can’t retain information, and it has set me back , my body aches all over , I now have tinnitus in my Right Ear all the time ,Coughing , I can’t understand why it’s taking so long to treat us , I want my life back

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