A 39-year-old woman said she was so handicapped by long Covid that she could barely climb normal stairs.
When Sharon Harding was feeling fit and healthy from a sore throat on October 12, 2020, she decided to purchase a throat spray in hopes of removing anything that might be worrying her.
The Newport call center agent said she couldn’t have played safer so far during the coronavirus pandemic and wore a mask every time she went out that only made her venture to the grocery store for groceries for those in need to buy to take care of, or to go fishing with her partner Nathan.
Read more: Two Welsh Health Authorities Warn Urgent Covid Hospital Admissions
From the moment she used the throat spray, the alarm bells started ringing and all she could taste was perfume.
“I got my partner to try it and he said it tasted like larynx spray,” she said.
She continued to have a sore throat and loss of taste, and the next day her voice began to falter. This created problems for her at work as she was unable to carry out her duties.
“My voice fell a lot, and I found it harder to breathe and speak,” said Sharon.
“I couldn’t take calls at work, I just processed them.”
A few days later, on October 19th, things got worse.
(Image: Mark Lewis)
“I was on the phone with a coworker and my hand went numb and dizzy,” she said.
“I chose 101. I went to the bedroom my partner was in and fell into bed. I couldn’t catch my breath and had to cough so much. “
Sharon visited the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport, but claimed she had been told to go home and only return if she started coughing up blood.
“I was scared, I was scared, I thought I was being sent home to die,” she said.
On October 20, Sharon received a home Covid test that came back negative, but her condition did not improve. She visited her family doctor’s office and said her doctors were “worried” about how bad her condition looked.
She went to the emergency room on November 3rd and had an X-ray, chest scans, and a blood test. She also underwent a Covid test, but all of her results were normal.
She went to her doctor’s office and was referred to the ear, nose and throat department, and then to an asthma clinic, and she was on steroid therapy when the doctors were trying to find out what made Sharon feel who she was . She developed neck and shoulder pain and eventually went back to the emergency room. At this point in time, a Covid test gave a positive result.
“I was so sick. It’s very scary. My GPs have told me it will probably be Covid for a long time,” she said.
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“In my life, I’m basically stuck in an apartment and going down a flight of stairs if I’m lucky enough to be healthy enough to turn the dog off,” said Sharon.
“When I go down those stairs I have to stop so often that I feel like a 92 year old woman.
“You have a suffocating feeling, it never works. I can not speak. I have reflux. I sweat all the time. I can’t even express myself. I used to be a babbler.
“I started fishing and me and my partner would go to the local lake in rain or shine. We went every day to relieve our stress, but we no longer have that. I have been working from home since March, I worked and delegated my calls, but I got sick. I went back in January because I was working from home but I got sick again. I ran before I could walk.
“It gets depressing to do nothing, there’s no point. I live in a first floor apartment. I can’t even pick up the phone and talk. I’m lucky my partner knows me so well that I don’t . ” I don’t have to say anything, he knows what I need. I didn’t drive my car and had to give it up. I am looking for an electric scooter with a trailer to have some kind of independence. I’m only 39.
“I worked from home and when I wasn’t working I went to the supermarket once a week on Saturdays. We bought my partner’s father and daughters because they are both vulnerable. We would do their shopping when they left . ” for her and come straight home. Well, because of what happened to me, it’s up to my partner who has to get to you on Cardiff public transport. “
Sharon said reading other people’s stories who have long had Covid experiences helps her have some comfort.
(Image: Mark Lewis)
She said, “It has given me some comfort to know that it’s not just me, but there is still something going on inside that we didn’t see in our tests. They can see what’s going on, but they can’t fix it.
“I feel defeated. When I come out of lockdown, I’m afraid of the vaccinated. No matter how old you are, you can still get Covid.
“All of these people have been out and about lately and it’s nice to see but I’m afraid there will be more people like me who have not had treatment and are not being held accountable. All you see is hospitalizations from Covid , we are hidden. ” away at the moment. We weren’t in the hospital, I’m not a statistic. Check out how I’m doing, there will be thousands more like me. It scares me.
“It’s crazy how many people like me are not heard. There is a Facebook group where I and others fight for help. The fact that they want to open everything scared my life. I was fit and healthy and I’m the best in the best position to say anything could happen to anyone, anytime, I wasn’t expecting it, I took precautions and wore a mask every time I went out.
“I am afraid for the NHS in the future. There will be thousands, thousands more of such people. Until then, you might have treatment for this who knows. I am ashamed to say that I am disabled. I’m not going to apply for a job like the next one. I can’t even get to Asda, which is a five-minute walk from where I live. My partner has become my carer. It shouldn’t be like that. “
Sharon said she supported a petition calling for long medical centers or clinics to be opened from a single source for Covid. If you want to sign it, you can do so by clicking here.