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Rochelle’s Story

Published 25.08.20

It is only in the last 3 weeks that I have been told that it is likely that I had Covid back in February. Up to this point and throughout lockdown I had been convinced that I had something very seriously wrong with my lungs.

So I am now recalling the illness as I remember it. I went to Spain at the end of January for a week and returned with a cough. I was born with asthma but for 61 years this had always been well controlled. During the next 4 weeks my GP gave me three different courses of antibiotics for what he believed was a chest infection. I recall that my cough was constant and that sleeping was not possible due to my coughing. During this time I agreed with my GP that I must have a chest infection but was concerned that my breathing appeared to be getting worse. I was due to go on holiday at the beginning of March and my GP kindly gave me steroid pills to take with me if things got worse. Whilst away I started using the steroid pills as felt that my lungs were very constricted and in fact due to the virus cut short my holiday and returned to the UK into self isolation a week before lockdown.

During lockdown when looking back I was quite poorly. Coughing and struggling to breathe was the worst symptom. I spoke to my GP many times and he changed inhalers, told me to take antihistamines, gave me several courses of steroid pills but nothing seemed to work. By now I had given up walking my dogs and any form of exercise. I normally walk my dogs in the morning for about 40 minutes, go to the gym, do pilates and generally keep fit but during lockdown I had no choice but to stop all of this. I was also experiencing terrible fatigue which I put down to the general stress of lockdown (I am self employed so all business was closed) together with the stress of my breathing. By now I was also experiencing pain in the joints of my hands, wrists and feet and ankles. I have also experienced horrendous headaches (again I thought this was stress), and bouts of diarrhoea. There were many days I just had to return to bed, something I have never done in my life.

6 months on now and I am still coughing, having problems with my breathing and feeling fatigued. Just this afternoon I slept for 2 hours!! I do have days when I feel quite good but then I have a day when I feel awful and do not want to get out of bed. I have other strange little symptoms which I have no idea whether have anything to do with Covid but I do know they are symptoms I have not experienced before.