Pre-Covid: I am an NHS Physiotherapist and have worked within Physiotherapy for the past 20 years as a Physiotherapy assistant, student and through to being a qualified physiotherapist. I first caught covid in March 2019 when returning from Maternity leave. It was at a time when only patients were being tested. I was symptomatic and my baby followed. The patients I had worked closely with all tested positive. We were lucky enough to recover that time. I believe I’ve caught covid another twice. The worst of which was March 2023 where I experienced severe dizziness especially on movement in bed, sitting or standing along with the classic Covid symptoms. I had returned to work having had flu like symptoms the week before (covid and flu negative) and still with no voice. Despite using PPE I believe I caught Covid at work and I had not been anywhere else.
Post-Covid: The dizziness, fatigue, brain fog, swollen glands never subsided after a two week period. Covid toes, purple fingers and toes followed over the following weeks and months. It was hard to stand, move or be actively involved in the care of my children. I now have a diagnosis of Long Covid and Pots like dysautonomia for which I take Ivabradine. My functional ability is still poor and I am still unable to work. What has shocked me the most is how much we have to advocate for ourselves and the need to seek services in private care. I’m saddened by how many times you have to explain symptoms or justify why you can’t do certain things because of this condition being hidden. I hope to someday use my clinical knowledge and my experience to work with people with Long Covid and help shape services to meet our needs more.