The Daily Telegraph
‘I WAS A NURSE – NOW I’M ESSENTIALLY HOUSEBOUND’
Nora Dimitrova, 40, Southampton
My job as an NHS nurse meant my exposure to the virus was always reasonably high. While I was lucky to receive proper PPE, some of my colleagues were given just an apron and surgical mask, and my FFP 3 face mask was never fit-tested because I was not a front-line clinician, even though I walked up and down the Covid ward, taking blood samples from patients for research purposes.
So it was no surprise when, in early April, I noticed a persistent cough. For four weeks, I felt constantly short of breath, with a tightness in my chest. I was unable to carry out even the simplest household chores (particularly
challenging when you live alone, as I do). After that, I assumed, the virus would pass and I could return to normal.
But I’ve been in it for the long haul. The most serious symptoms have subsided – thankfully, I no longer feel like my lungs are full of fluid – but I still become exhausted at the slightest exertion, like walking from my house to the car. Unable to return to work, I’ve essentially become housebound. Tasks as small as climbing the stairs or cooking a meal have to be planned in advance, and broken into manageable chunks.
I’m optimistic that doctors will learn more about long Covid, and how to treat it. But research can take years – time I don’t want to waste indoors.