Humans of Scotland

Chris’s story – the realities of Long Covid

"I am learning to pace myself, but it is hard, and frustrating not being the person I want to be.”

Chris
This story is about: Long Term ConditionsLong Covid

“In my fifties, out of shape, slightly overweight, homeworking, coronavirus worried me.  People like me seemed more at risk.  While I was well, I wanted to stay well, so I made some changes, a low carb diet, a 3 mile walk morning walk before starting work.

By September, when I tested positive, I was in good shape.  I was a little unwell for a couple of weeks, but no but nothing serious. Returning to work I was understandably a little tired, but confident I would recover.

But, instead of recovering I started to feel run down, family and work colleagues were starting to be concerned about me. I was concerned, I was getting tired, fatigued, breathlessness, forgetting things and getting confused. My body ached and my heart raced.

My GP wanted me assessed at hospital. There were some chest and heart issues, and I was clearly run down. Not so sick I needed to be in hospital but told I needed to take time off work and rest.

Two weeks before Christmas I started a slow phased return to work, a couple of mornings. In January, I worked mornings and slept afternoons.

It was not working, but I tried to push through, until one Friday the chest pains would not go away. NHS 24 arranged an ambulance. There was an irregular heartbeat, and my energy levels were rock bottom. Again, told I need to rest, need to give it time.

It is now 6 months. I am working 2 hours a day, mostly for the social connection. I had been walking 15,000 steps a day, now I hardly leave the house. If I do manage a short walk, I sleep in the afternoon.

I think I should be capable of more, sometimes I think I can, but then if I over stretch myself, fatigue affects me for days. I cannot naturally just rest, my body and mind want to be doing something. I am learning to pace myself, but it is hard, and frustrating not being the person I want to be.”