The Domino Effect of Long Haul Covid & Surviving Covid Induced PTSD

One of the worst things about COVID19 is no longer feeling confident, safe or secure in your own body. I can’t tell you how depressing it is to feel unsafe all the time as well as grieve the loss of identity in the things I once enjoyed.

When I shared this post on my personal page, a friend immediately identified that I am suffering from PTSD. She’s not wrong. I was diagnosed with PTSD due to the trauma of COVID19.

I almost died twice because of this virus.

I’ve been in the ER on average 2-3 a month and spent a week in ICU.

I have multiple organs and systems damaged from the virus.

I have neurological challenges and I feel like I can’t trust my body or my mind.

I can’t remember words, I have brain fog a lot, and other strange nerve related issues. I don’t even have my complete sense of smell back.

My GI system no longer works properly and needs 2-3 surgeries. My abdomen is three times the size it was pre-covid and not one damn thing in my closet fits anymore. I had to buy stretchy pants and loose tank tops in three sizes up from my pre-covid size, which has been demoralizing. I feel less than human when I go out in public.

My endocrine system has been completely altered. People with covid are known to have extremely high anxiety and feelings of looming death. This is usually caused by surge of fight or flight hormones. Since during covid, a growth appeared on my adrenal gland, the place that produces the fight or flight hormone. It’s continued to grow over the last few weeks. I have been praying it’s benign and I don’t have cancer. I have been carrying that fear around silently for months.

I have a medical insurance company that hasn’t covered everything and most likely won’t cover one of the surgeries I need for the Gastroparesis. According to my own insurance company’s cost estimator calculator, that surgery is over $25K if they won’t cover the surgery itself. That $25K doesn’t even cover any other costs, like the long recovery time or other supplemental costs associated with the procedure.

The case manager with the long-term insurance company told me that she doesn’t know if my claim will be approved or denied because I am the first COVID19 related case to come across her desk. Since I am an early case, there are no other cases to compare me to. She said they don’t even have data to understand the disability or how to determine if it wasn’t a pre-existing condition. That burden is on me. I have to collect medical records from last year and everything has to be verified by Sept 1.

When the hell will I have the time and energy to be inspector in the middle of on-going doctors appointments and trying to work part time so I can make my basic bills and keep my insurance?

And I have a boss that just doesn’t get it. Our whole company is supposed to be about empathy and supporting employees with all sorts of disabilities and from different backgrounds, and to have a partnership across positions. All managers have been asked to support their team members, especially those that have been effect by COVID19. I should know, I’m a manager. My manager hasn’t seemed to get that message or align with our company’s values. Every day is a taxing battle working for him. This battle would be so much easier if I was surrounded by supportive people.

I am also constantly battling with the apartment management who doesn’t want to service my apartment because “I had covid.” Conversely, they didn’t want to provide accommodation to allow deliveries to my door but wanted me to travel down to the lobby to pick things up. My doctor has been so gracious with her time and has written countless letters to provide legal and medical documentation to combat the discrimination that has come with being a covid long hauler.

Lastly, this weekend would have been my annual camping trip up to the Sierra Nevadas. I used to go every year to rest, connect with myself and nature and take lots of breathtaking photos.

While sitting in the ER, my phone dinged with the reminder of my long-standing reservation. My heart dropped when I had to face the reality that I could not go camping by myself in mountains anymore. At least not anytime in the future.

I haven’t been out of my house since February. I haven’t traveled to take photos and frankly, I don’t know when I’ll ever be able to.

I wish I could end this update more positively, but I’m broken inside right now. I’m exhausted mentally and emotionally. I feel like I am losing a large part of who I was and that is depressing. I’m not sure how the hell I’m going to pay for anything next month if my LTD is delayed or denied.

So many of you have already given and I appreciate all the support you’re provided. I have a big favor to ask: will you please consider sharing my story and my larger GoFundMe page with your friends and family?

Please share it across all your social channels, FB, IG, LI, TikTok, at the Moose Lodge, alumni group, local pub or whatever place you socialize.

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