Cinq Nivernais racontent leur quotidien au ralenti avec le Covid long

Testimonies – Five Nefertians tell their daily lives in slow motion with the long Covid

The health restrictions gradually disappeared to the point where she almost lost her weight. Epidemic numbers are no longer closely monitored. Vaccination centers are out of business. However, Covid-19 has not left the daily lives of many people, often women, in their 30s or 40s, who are the hardest hit by the long-term form of the virus.

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Some have been ill for nearly two years, others “only” for a few months. But all of them lead a slow daily life, as they have to conserve their strength to sustain it until the evening. In this endless long tunnel of Covid, which they struggle to see its end, five Nivernais tell us about the hardships they face.

Emily, 38, Nevers: “When I’m driving 30km I have to take a break in the middle”

“I contracted Covid in October 2000. At first, I only had the classic symptoms, like loss of taste or smell. Then fatigue came two weeks later. I lost my breath quickly, and I had tachycardia. My doctor didn’t understand. I told him: “I can’t take it anymore.” But I didn’t feel like listening. I was hospitalized with a pulmonary embolism, but it wasn’t.

I consulted a cardiologist who noticed abnormalities on my electrocardiogram and put me on beta blockers to slow the heart. After that, I also saw a physical therapist for cardiovascular rehabilitation. In June 2021, I returned to working part-time. I am a caregiver. I only worked 15 hours a week, but I couldn’t stand it. I felt guilty, not being a slacker, yet I had to cut my work time down to 10 hours a week during the summer before I got caught again.

Since January 2022 I’ve resumed work at 10am a week, but the fatigue is still there. fall on. My position has been modified, but it is still very difficult. I have 30km to go to work and often have to take a break in the middle of the journey to rest. I lost my energy. I work twice in the morning and on those days I can’t take care of my kids anymore. I smell like brain fog. I am still on beta blockers because my heartbeat is still high. For example, after a simple shower, the rate is higher than 130 beats per minute.

Lætitia, 36, La Machin: “It is not a mother’s life”

“On November 30, 2021, I contracted Covid. At the same time, I had angina. I immediately became very ill and since then I have been constantly ill. Angina. I was arrested for two months due to depression even though I am a fighter by nature. I Home care aide and I’m back at work, before I stop again regularly.

I have two kids aged 11 and 8 who support me, even when I’m on vacation. On a daily basis, I sleep when the kids are at school and I have to set an alarm so I don’t miss going out. I avoid physical exertion, but I still walk a little. However, I feel tired all the time. It’s not the life of a 36-year-old mother.

I’m really fed up. You can no longer get sick like this. I still haven’t recovered my taste and smell. Nobody knows when this will all be over for me. »

Stephanie, 46, Collings: “My nervous system is affected”

“When I contracted Covid, vaccines were not yet available. I immediately felt tired more easily and less energetic. It’s especially hard on memory. I have slight memory lapses. For example, I’m a nurse and sometimes I have to weigh a baby. Now I have to notice. Weight immediately, because I forget it very quickly.

I was arrested for two months, but when I appealed, I still had a chronic fever. At the slightest effort, I had chest pain, tachycardia. I used to do Zumba, I walk, but now I can’t do it anymore. I think my nervous system is affected and tends to heat up quickly.

After all, I’m starting to see the end of the tunnel, especially thanks to the vaccine. I took my first dose and was almost symptom-free for 2 weeks. Three months later, she unfortunately returned. For the second dose, it was a bit the opposite. First headache, but obvious improvement after 2 months.

Psychologically, it is difficult to live. However, I haven’t had a bout of depression like other people affected by the long covid. Since I was able to get back to work, I wasn’t going around in circles around the house. In these cases, we spend our time on the Internet and in forums, which is worrying. In addition, I am fortunate to be well surrounded. Even if I’m exhausted, I feel good. »

David, 49, Clamsy: ‘As if I didn’t breathe to inflate a balloon’

“I was hospitalized in January and has been receiving respiratory help for several weeks. I visit a pulmonologist every month, because he saw lesions at the bottom of my lung on a CT scan. When I no longer needed oxygen, I felt better. But since then I haven’t seen no improvement.

I don’t really feel bad, but I’m still tired all the time. Once I put in an effort, even cooking or cleaning, it’s hard. When I’ve passed the mower, I do it a few times. To describe how I feel, it’s as if I didn’t breathe to inflate a balloon.

I am out of work because I am a workshop manager and I travel a lot. This is currently not possible for me. It’s hard to accept, because I’ve been working for thirty years and I haven’t been caught that way. I feel bad and don’t see the end of the tunnel.

I haven’t been vaccinated and I still can’t because you have to take the first dose in a chassis and there is no more in Clamecy. I have to go to Nevers or Auxerre and I don’t have enough energy today. »

Kristel, 45, dace: ‘I’ll never get all of my lungs back’

“I was injured in April 2021, when I did not receive the vaccination, and since then I have not resumed my work as a cleaning lady. Since then, I have been advertised at my job. I am still very tired, constant shortness of breath, eg on the stairs, headache. Soon. What is saturated with oxygen.

In the first month, there was a twist because I was coming back from afar. Ten days of resuscitation, then a week in the Covid service and another week in pulmonology because I lost 75% of my lung capacity. I continued to help breathing for two or three months. Stopping the oxygen was a step forward. I can walk longer distances again.

But I don’t see the end of the tunnel. I find it stagnant and my doctor tells me I will never regain all of my lung capacity. Psychologically, it is difficult. I was an active person and couldn’t be much anymore. I need to move, I can not sit. However, I often have to. And then I feel useless because I’m not fit for my job. »

Vincent Darbo

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