My Long-Hauler COVID-19 Symptoms Have Turned Into a Diagnosis of Lupus
I was having a conversation with a coworker about the Omicron Variant symptoms because my nose seems a little more runny than usual. I'm due for my booster vaccine, and because I have had a laundry list of health issues since having COVID-19 in October 2020, I get a little concerned.
I'm glad that I detailed how I felt through the different stages of COVID-19 and the months after. You can see my symptom timeline below. Some of these symptoms have just become a part of me now. But in the last several months, I've had some skin and nerve issues added to the mix. About a month ago I received my diagnosis of Lupus.
What is Lupus?
Lupus is basically the most 'Liberty' autoimmune disease that you can have. Why? Well, the symptoms are literally different for everybody! Treatment is trial and error, but a lot of it has to do with self-care, and I'm terrible at that.
Lupus is a chronic (long-term) disease that can cause inflammation and pain in any part of your body. It’s an autoimmune disease, which means that your immune system — the body system that usually fights infections — attacks healthy tissue instead.
Want to See the Pics?
Part of my version of Lupus messes with my skin. I get pop-up rashes, my fingers and toes turn weird colors and they are numb most of the time. So, I started taking pics to make it easier to explain.
What Does Lupus Look Like?
That's a lot to take in, I know! Now, pair that with most of the symptoms listed below, and it kind of tells the story about what Lupus makes me feel like. Sometimes I have terrible tongue and mouth pain. Oh, one other little side note...I have a bit of IBS (You can google that later) to go along with my Lupus. I'm telling you, I'm a REAL TREAT.
There is no cure for Lupus, but there are ways to feel better.
- Stay out of the sun & fluorescent lights (I'm basically a vampire now)
- Take Prescribed Meds (And Alieve for my joint pain)
- Exercise (Sure...When I'm not dead tired)
- Eat Healthy Foods & Drink Water
- Find Ways to Reduce Stress (That's my favorite)
I have a really hard time stopping and taking time to care for myself. I rarely say no, and I'm wired to work. So, actually relaxing and resting is tough for me to do, but obviously, I need to do a better job.
I tested positive for COVID-19 on October 21, 2020. I documented how I felt after 12 days:
Severe Exhaustion: You know the scene in Twilight Breaking Dawn when the venom is coursing through Bella's veins? That's how it felt, as the exhaustion took over. This was not like any flu that I've ever had. I wasn't even able to pull the covers up. I was very weak.
Headache - This is the symptom that keeps hanging on. Sometimes it's only on my left side, and sometimes it feels like my head is being squeezed.
Cough - I wouldn't say that I ever had a severe cough, but most of the time it had mucus with it.
Sore throat - This symptom is trying to hang on, too.
Heartburn - I already take medication for GERD, and this made it even worse. I had to double up on my prescription.
Diarrhea - I experienced this several times over the past 2 weeks.
Eye Issues - It could be dryness, but I can tell you that my eyeballs hurt. I haven't even watched a lot of TV or had a ton of screen time because they just hurt.
Shortness of Breath - We have stairs, and just taking Harlie out to the potty is still exhausting.
Taste and Smell - This is a weird one for me. Some smells are more intense, and other smells and tastes are just kind of muted. It's like the food is missing seasoning, and some things just don't taste right at all. Sometimes I smell things that aren't really there.
Dizziness - For me, headache and dizziness kind of go hand-in-hand.
Nausea - I actually threw up at night, but that was probably due to stomach acid.
Memory - This has happened to me a couple of times in the past week. For example, I couldn't remember the name for zip lining, or what you call people that enter contests. This is quite frustrating.
Fever - The highest my temperature got up to was 99.3, which really isn't considered a fever.
Skin Issues - My forehead had little bumps, and I had dry patches on my face.
Ears Popping - If you've ever felt your ears pop on an airplane or at a higher altitude, that's what it feels like. This happens randomly, usually on my left side.