Firstly, I want to apologize if this rant comes across as tone deaf, because compared to what the people of our country are facing right now this is hardly significant. However, I do feel like I need to write this down because this is something that is hardly talked about, and although seemingly rare needs to be discussed nevertheless.
I tested negative on March 30th, however all of my mild symptoms had disappeared around the 10th day of my self-quarantine which was 26th of March. Throughout the quarantine period, I suffered fatigue, headache, body pains, random chest pains, breathing trouble, fever, and high pulse rate, but nothing severe enough to make me consider admitting myself into a hospital.
Although I tested negative, my chest pains kept occurring sporadically, and I felt exhausted merely by walking down or climbing up a flight of stairs, I was advised by the doctor to continue with my medicines, which were Vitamin Tablets. He said these pains will continue for about a month, and I have nothing to worry about and I must keep taking those tablets, and in case these pains do not go away I must contact him.
That was the last conversation I had with my doctor, and not much has changed since then. The fatigue has reduced a little, I don’t get easily tired when climbing down a flight of stairs (but to repeat the process in succession, however will have me faint).
But the occasional chest pains do occur at the most random of times, with a sharp wave of pain, my sleep cycle has been terribly ruined because I can’t get myself to sleep at nights, two days ago was when I had my first proper sleep in weeks, or else it’s just me staying up until sunrise and falling asleep at around 7 or 8 in the morning, which doesn’t last for more than three hours, and as a result, I have missed out on so many of my classes.
And when I wake up from sleep I am always met with a high pulse rate, sometimes reaching until 160 even when I am sitting idle; I also experience shortness of breath frequently, my lack of proper sleep has caused body pains, this unhealthy lifestyle has then contributed to me absolutely not being able to pay attention to anything going on in my classes.
My professors have been considerate enough to understand my situation and give me extensions for deadlines, attendance was never a mandatory thing, so it was never a compulsion to attend, however my absence from class is noticed, my lack of interaction is noted down by the professors who grade based on class interactions.
How am I supposed to explain to them that I am missing classes because I haven’t been able to catch sleep at most nights? How am I supposed to explain to them that I am sometimes so fatigued and breathless to the point that I couldn’t care less about what was being discussed in class? or sometimes even attend them.
I have gotten tired of explaining to people that I am not still COVID positive, but have recovered from it, and the after-effects are what are bothering me. But I don’t blame them for not being able to grasp it, because the after-effects of COVID-19 are hardly talked about, so it might not be an easy thing to grasp, moreover it seems like it’s rare (none of the people I personally know have spoken about it, I wasn’t even aware of it, until I experienced it myself)
The next time I ask professors for an extension, I don’t know what to say to them except that I am not feeling well, which has become such a common reason that they can hardly understand the severity of my problems.
Today, I want to attend a class that I will have at 9:30 a.m. in the morning, but if I fall asleep before that I might miss it again, and the professor would get mad, but understandably so.
The 30 days time period that my doctor mentioned to me will end next week, I will contact him if I am not okay by next week, albeit with the crisis that Hyderabad doctors are facing right now, I doubt he will be of any help.
I hope there’s at least some form of acknowledgement at least sometime in the future when there’s enough research done about this, but until now I will have to make do with an unofficial hashtag #LongCovid to term whatever I am dealing with now as, and it’s just not serious enough for professors to take notice.