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An Irish woman’s warning about the dangers of symptoms after COVID-19 has gone viral.
On January 8, Rachel Gunn shared a message to social media detailing her frightening experience of pulmonary embolism (blood clots) on both lungs. Her posts have been shared more than 5,000 times on Facebook and have received more than 41,000 likes on Instagram.
The 28-year-old Dubliner received COVID-19 in October last year and was bedridden for almost two weeks. She was short of breath and experienced pain and headaches. Gunn said she returned to work as soon as she felt “semi-better” but has never felt completely healthy since.
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“For three months, I had fatigue, anxiety and stress through the roof, and I experienced lung pain when I exercised,” she wrote. “But [I] considered these normal post-COVID symptoms [and] I was able to walk my day half normally and do minimal exercise. From what I read, I just had to keep at it, and the symptoms would eventually get easier. ”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), researchers are still determining the long-term effects of COVID-19 on the body. Common long-term symptoms, however, include cough, shortness of breath and joint pain. Brain fog as well as reports of depression, palpitations are also reported as well as less frequently, more severe symptoms such as inflammation of the heart muscle, abnormal lung function and acute kidney damage.
Gunn’s health got worse shortly before Christmas when she says her health went dramatically “downhill”.
“For almost two weeks I was so breathless that I could not even get up the stairs without feeling like I was running K, even getting up and going to the toilet was exhausting,” Gunn wrote. “I had migraines, palpitations, back pain and extreme fatigue, slept for 15-16 hours a day and still needed to spend all day in bed.”
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Gunn said she first refused her mother’s requests to go to the hospital for fear she would do “too much agitation.” However, a CT scan later revealed that her lungs had been “covered” by blood clots and that her heart had been “strained” by the virus.
Pulmonary embolism occurs when one of the main arteries of the lung is blocked, often by blood clots. They have shortness of breath, sharp pains in the chest and cough, and unless treated immediately, they can compromise lung function permanently and can be life-threatening.
“I was admitted for three days and started with blood thinners. I now have to stay on blood thinners for at least a year, maybe more, ”she explained. “I am now susceptible to blood clots and this will affect my life forever. I am 28 years old, active, non smoker, otherwise healthy. ”
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Gunn urged friends to share his post in hopes that it would help raise awareness of the severity of symptoms after COVID-19 – and possibly save a life.
“Please share this post as I want to pass this on to anyone experiencing a worsening of symptoms months after COVID so as not to ignore it,” she pleaded. “Extreme shortness of breath is not something to be ignored. I’m very lucky to have found out my blood clots when I did. ”
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