“Life is paralyzing me, I don’t know when I’ll go back to work”


Madrid

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“The persistent covid life is paralyzing me, I wish I knew when I’m going to be able to return to work. Ingrid Robles has lived with symptoms since she was infected for the first time in March 2020. Since then she has been infected three times, the last one last Christmas. Your life depends on how you get up in the morning. «There is no remission as in other diseases, since the symptomatology changes continually. One day you’re perfectly fine and three days later you can’t even get up for a glass of water,” says Robles. She defines that feeling as if someone “turned off her battery”.

Since then he has had bronchitis, pericarditis, tremors in his extremities, urinary tract infections, pharyngitis, herpes, a sensation of dry eyes, itching on the soles of his feet…

and endless ailments, although chronic fatigue stands out, or asthenia, Between everyone. “I think I’ve had all the symptoms. After the second and third contagion, my persistent Covid reactivated a lot. I noticed that it was going backwards in everything that had advanced, ”explains the utility to ABC. During this time, he has returned to his job several times, although he is currently on sick leave. “You feel so misunderstood that you force yourself to go to work. They came to call my attention for not being at the top and the truth is that there is no adaptation process, you come back because you force yourself, “he says.

This symptomatology is also well known to Sandra González, a long Covid patient since September 2020. What stands out the most is that she has “ghost smells” for the whole day. «Everything smells to me of burning, tobacco or car smoke. It’s very disgusting”. She has had more than 40 symptoms, even neurological involvement, “I can’t read a book because I don’t know about it.” What is clear to him is that after passing Ómicron the symptoms that were “asleep” have reappeared.

From headache to brain fog

For his part, Lorenzo Armenteros, spokesman for the Spanish Society of General and Family Physicians (SEMG), explains that these patients may suffer an average of 5-10 symptoms including: headache, asthenia, dyspnea, anosmia, brain fog, muscle pain or gastrointestinal disorders. From SEMG they remember that in them the symptoms persist beyond the 12 weeks from the onset of the disease, and account for at least 10% of all those infected. “Mainly it continues to affect women of childbearing age more, with an average of 43 years. This profile represents between 70 and 80% of all conditions,” says the spokesperson.

However, Armenteros emphasizes that the long Covid is not internalized in much of the health sector, alleging that they are looking for differential diagnoses and only when these are exhausted does it begin to be considered. “It should be one of the priority elements in someone who comes to the clinic and has passed the virus,” he says. In addition, it states that the increase in the disease in children is characteristic of this last wave. «Before isolated cases were seen, we hardly even identified it, now it represents among the 1 and 4% of the cases”, he concludes.

For this reason, Ingrid is “puzzled” not receiving guidelines to improve when she receives a call from her doctor asking about her state of health. “I think that he trouble it is that they do not know how to do it because there is little information, there are no measures to prevent persistent disease once you are infected. They have to understand that the sooner we recover, the sooner we can do our job. I am the first to I want to work, but I can not», Robles concludes.

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