Wheaton woman opens up about being a COVID long hauler: ‘I don’t feel like myself’

CHICAGO (SCS) — have you heard of COVID Long Hauls?

These are people whose COVID symptoms last more than a year after their initial infection.

CBS 2’s Jermont Terry shows us, a Wheaton woman opens up about lasting impact, as Northwestern Medicine reveals her study findings.

Emily Caffee maintained her health by staying physically active through rowing. Yet, during a rowing competition in March 2020, Emily’s adrenaline quickly plummeted.

“The descent into what I have come to know is the abyss of emotional despair.”

She contracted COVID and would experience a 15-month long journey of agonizing symptoms.

“I went from being very active to barely being able to stand without getting such severe dizziness. Things like taking a shower, emptying the dishwasher. If I had to plan one thing to do for the day, that was the thing I did.”

Emily quickly learned that she was part of a virus-infected group believed to be COVID long haulers. The annoying pain, fatigue and neurological side effects persist long after the virus has left the body.

“I’d say I’m 90-95% better, but there are still some lingering symptoms,” Caffee said. “I don’t feel like my old self. I feel like a different version of my old self.

More than 1,400 long-haulers have been treated at Northwestern Hospital. Researchers and doctors have done a thorough and determined study. Most continued to:

*Neurological symptoms, fatigue and compromised quality of life 11-18 months after disease onset that continued for an average of 15 months.

And when comes the vaccination status…

“There was a neutral effect. It didn’t cure long COVID or make long COVID worse, so we continue to encourage people to get vaccinated and boosted,” said Dr. Igor Koralnik, Chief of Neuro-Infectious Diseases to Northwest Medicine.

While Emily has gradually returned to rowing, she isn’t close to competing again, but believes seeing a doctor and knowing the symptoms weren’t all on her mind helped her on the road to recovery. healing.

“I think the most frustrating part of recovering from a long COVID was how rollercoaster it was. Completely unpredictable,” Caffee said. “And as a patient, worse was out of control. Part of my reason for showing up today was to offer that hope.

Doctors said anyone not getting the clarification, after experiencing long COVID, can get a televisit consultation with any doctor until you are satisfied with a diagnosis.


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