The Daily Telegraph


- He­len Bren­nan Ainsworth, 53, Mersey­side Health · Healthy Living

For five months now I’ve felt as if my body has been taken over by a kind of poi­son. I had Covid at the start of May – I con­tracted it the same week my mother died from the virus – and spent two weeks in bed, griev­ing for my poor mum while sick my­self.

Covid was like no ill­ness I’d ever had; I suf­fered ter­ri­ble fevers, chest pains and all-over aches that made me feel as if aliens had entered my blood­stream. There were a couple of times when I hon­estly felt I might die.

Even­tu­ally the most acute symp­toms sub­sided, but to this day they have never en­tirely gone away. The past few months have been a liv­ing hell, as I have re­mained too ill to go to work as a press of­fi­cer for a char­ity, and some­times even to get out of bed.

I’ve had ter­ri­ble fa­tigue that of­ten leaves me con­fused and un­able to fo­cus. If I overex­ert my­self, which I can do sim­ply by cross­ing a room too fast, my body aches all over. I’ve had to re­learn how to do ev­ery­thing. I’ve learnt how to un­stack the dish­washer with the min­i­mum num­ber of jour­neys around the kitchen. One day my veins were so swollen my doc­tor sent me to A&E as he thought I was hav­ing a stroke or had a blood clot.

My sense of taste and smell still haven’t re­turned. In­stead, my mouth per­ma­nently tastes like off, sweet gar­lic. I tried a glass of wine the other day and it tasted of chem­i­cals, and I can of­ten smell cig­a­rette smoke even when no one is smok­ing. I used to love my food. You just think, what else are you go­ing to take away from me?

I’ve had nu­mer­ous tests but they all come back clear, which I’ve read other long Covid suf­fer­ers report. I don’t un­der­stand what’s hap­pen­ing. I just want my old body back.

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