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An Irish woman’s warning about the dangers of post-COVID-19 symptoms has gone viral.
On January 8, Rachel Gunn shared a post on social media detailing her frightening experience of pulmonary embolism (blood clots) on both of her lungs. His post has been shared over 5,000 times on Facebook and received over 41,000 likes on Instagram.
The Dubliner, 28, contracted COVID-19 in October last year and was bedridden for almost two weeks. She was short of breath and suffered from muscle aches and headaches. Gunn said she returned to work as soon as she felt “half the better”, but has never felt perfectly healthy since.
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“For three months, I felt fatigue, anxiety and stress through the roof and felt chest pain when I exercised,” she writes. “But [I] considered these symptoms normal post-COVID [and] I was able to live my day in a semi-normal way and get minimal exercise. From what I read, I just had to keep going and the symptoms would eventually subside.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), researchers are still determining the long-term impact of COVID-19 on the body. However, common long-term symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, and joint pain. Brain fog along with reports of depression, heart palpitations have also been reported along with rarer and more severe symptoms such as inflammation of the heart muscle, abnormal lung function, and acute kidney damage.
Gunn’s health worsened shortly before Christmas when she said her health had “deteriorated significantly”.
“For almost two weeks I was so short of breath I couldn’t even walk up the stairs without feeling like I was running K, even getting up and going to the bathroom was exhausting,” Gunn wrote. “I have had migraines, heart palpitations, back pain and extreme fatigue, I slept 15 to 16 hours a day and still need to spend the whole day in bed.”
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Gunn said she initially refused her mother’s requests to go to the hospital for fear of making “too much trouble.” However, a CT scan later revealed that his lungs were “covered” in blood clots and that his heart had been “strained” by the virus.
Pulmonary embolisms occur when one of the main arteries in the lung is blocked, most often by blood clots. They present with shortness of breath, sharp chest pain and cough and, unless treated immediately, can permanently compromise lung function and can be life threatening.
“I was admitted for three days and started taking blood thinners. I now have to keep taking blood thinners for at least a year, maybe more, ”she explained. “I am now sensitive to blood clots and it will affect my life forever. I’m 28, active, non-smoker, otherwise healthy. “
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Gunn urged his friends to share his post in the hopes it would help raise awareness of the seriousness of post-COVID-19 symptoms – and possibly save a life.
“Please share this message because I want to make it clear to anyone who experiences worsening symptoms months after COVID so as not to ignore it,” she pleaded. “Extreme shortness of breath is not something to ignore. I was very lucky to have discovered my clots when I did.