In July 2022, I finally got COVID. I was concerned about catching it, like everyone else. After a week of rest when I wasn’t working, I got better, or so I thought. Soon after I began having symptoms that were seemingly unrelated, but now I’m not so sure that they are.
Almost immediately, I started getting migraines. Daily migraines. The last time I had migraines was when I was a teenager. No one could explain to me why I had them. This time, they seemed to come out of nowhere. These could be related to hormones. When I was a pre-teen I got my period and I am probably in menopause now, at nearly the age of 50.
However, a visit to my primary care doctor, yielded no helpful information. He suggested that I take my muscle relaxer, Flexeril, which I use for my Fibromyalgia. He suggested I use it when the pain got too intense. I also had an eye exam; and, they didn’t find anything wrong with my prescription. I just suffered until I added b-12 back into my supplement list. As a bariatric patient, I am supposed to take it and am not sure why I stopped although recent blood tests suggested I wasn’t low in vitamins or other nutrients.
A few weeks later, I went back to my primary care doctor. I was struggling with extreme fatigue (still am). He told me to practice better sleep hygiene. I’m already on two sleep medications so I didn’t want to add anything additional and left with no answers. I also voiced my suspicions that I might have long COVID. I was told that it would just correct itself after about six months. I didn’t like hearing that, but what else could I do? No treatment was recommended, and my doctor admitted that they don’t yet ‘know all the lingering side effects of the virus.’
I left the doctor’s office upset. I’m still tired all the time as I write this. It’s not normal for me even though I do have Fibromyalgia and insomnia.
The third time, I went to see my primary care doctor it was for extremely cold hands and feet – even though it was still in the low 90s in Austin. I also complained of weight gain. I was told not to worry about it. He did agree, with a little prodding from me, to do a full thyroid panel. The results showed that my T3 levels were low but my T4 and TSH were fine. He recommended that I increase my Synthroid by half a pill on Saturdays and Sundays.
I was not satisfied with this because my understanding is that Synthroid, aka levothyroxine, doesn’t impact T3. He suggested we test again after the holidays and I was given a recommendation to the practice’s weight management group.
I’ve lost over 200 lbs. from my high weight of 444 with a combination of surgery and changing my habits. I exercise daily but am struggling to find the energy to do so for the first time since I began my weight loss journey. I mentioned on Facebook that I was having these problems and a friend reached out to me to say that she had COVID earlier this year too and had all the symptoms I told her I had been having.
She said that it would eventually go away even if the excess weight gain did not.
As of this writing, I have an appointment scheduled with a functional medical doctor for this week. I hope to get some answers. I still, despite those lab results, suspect my thyroid is malfunctioning. I also am pretty sure I have leaky gut syndrome and insulin resistance, but I want a diagnosis and to feel like I’m not crazy.
Some days, like yesterday, are so bad that I can barely get off the couch and am in pain. A lot of pain. I feel hopeless, listless and depressed. I am sharing my story in the hopes that it can provide some missing pieces to people who may be feeling similarly. I will keep you updated on my progress. I will fight for my health even if western medicine would prefer that I ‘lose more weight’ and ‘exercise more.’
Want help with creating healthier habits? I follow the Prochaska change model and believe in a ‘small changes make big impacts’ approach. Feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a free 60-minute consultation. As you can see from my own personal story, that I get it.