I tested positive for Covid 19 at the beginning of June 2022. The previous day I had completed an 11-hour hike through the mountains so my level of fitness and general health was fine prior to being infected. I had been vaccinated and boosted not long before and did not experience intense symptoms or need medical treatment during the initial infection.
Life was great! I was super active: working out three times a week, fishing and hiking with my husband and dogs, camping and traveling on the weekends. My stained-glass business was going strong and my newest passion for teaching meditation was flourishing: I had just taught a meditation class for Microsoft.
I am an English medical doctor and professor of epidemiology. I became known in media across the world as one of the first people who told their stories of long covid. I went on a roller coaster of symptoms and uncertainty for several months until I learnt some life-changing lessons that helped me recover. I want to share them.
I am writing this to those of you who are ill and have lost hope that you will get well again. I write because I want the health services to be more knowledgeable in the way they meet us. It was tough having to go through this on my own, and I would have wished there had been a team of psychologists, physiotherapists, and doctors who would not focus on my symptoms but on my rehabilitation, but first and foremost that could have provided a fair explanation of what might have happened. This is an essential key for people to get the courage to rehabilitate.
It may seem like a miracle, as I went from being barely able to walk to the end of my street to running my usual 5k running route and 10 mile cycling route in the space of a week. I’m not as fit as I used to be, but confident I will now get back to where I was. (Just to put this into context) I was about to do the Edinburgh marathon when Covid hit, and had just finished a 60 mile bike ride when I caught Covid).