Sami Aviles, an otherwise healthy 31-year-old in our support group shared that on Day 21 of symptoms, while her breathing had not felt strained enough to require medical attention, she was still coughing up blood, and her fever was breaking only to come back days later “like clockwork.” Another member of our group, Charlie, 24, described his case as “relatively mild,” but said that more than 23 days into the illness, he’s still experiencing a fever, cough and shortness of breath. Sabrina Bleich, 26, is grappling with severe fatigue and “persistent breathing issues” that make it difficult to walk, a month after she first felt symptoms. Jag Singh, 55, is still dealing with a “persistent cough” four weeks after his initial symptoms.
It’s been almost four weeks since I first became sick, and three weeks since I was discharged from the hospital. While my fever and severe shortness of breath have disappeared, my road to recovery has been far from linear. My second week of illness brought worsened GI issues, loss of smell, and intense sinus pressure. In the time since, I’ve experienced fatigue, intense headaches, continued congestion, a sore throat, trouble focusing and short-term memory loss. Even more confusing than the arrival of new symptoms is the way my progress seems to stop and start. While the overall trajectory has been one of improvement, good days are often followed by bad ones, and I’m still far from my normal, active self.