La cinquième vague de Covid-19 confirme son reflux dans le Nord - Pas-de-Calais, à l

Reaching long Covid for three years: “I had to cry my life before”

While some patients have (almost) no symptoms when they contract Covid, others never fully recover. (©JB/Lille news/Illustration)

Chronic fatigue, shortness of breath, neurocognitive disorders… Symptoms of long covid They are as varied as they are numerous. In France two million people suffers from it, according to a study by Public Health France, published in July 2022. In general, the disorders are significant and persistent.

However, a study of british medical journalpublished on January 11, 2023, explains that “most symptoms”, linked to a prolonged but mild form of Covid, tend to disappear within a year of infection.

More severe long-term symptoms

According to the researchers, a large proportion of people with mild infection “do not suffer severe or chronic long-term symptoms,” as we explained in a previous article.

But according to the French doctors, we must be careful with the results of this study: “It is a retrospective study, which means that we are not following a cohort of patients. […] Regarding the reliability of the results, there may be biases,” he Jérôme Larché, internal doctor in Montpellier and long Covid specialist,

“The results of an article of this type remain limited on the rarer chronic diseases that can appear with covid,” explained Antoine Flahaut, an epidemiologist and director of the Geneva Institute for Global Health.

“Therefore, this type of disorder and disability may not resolve on its own after a year. »

“Sport was my whole life”

Maud*, 45 years old, abounds. She contracted Covid three years ago, at the beginning of the pandemic. And yet, deep scars remain. “Although I am better, I have not recovered the health that I had before at all. I was super athletic, I used to run very regularly, but I’m just 70% of my skills before“, explains this person in charge of relations with the press in Rennes to from

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The one who often went out on weekends with her husband to participate in marathons or trails abroad has put this part of her life on pause. “Sport was my whole life. However, I may never be able to do marathons again,” laments Maud.

I had to mourn my old life.

maudReaching the long Covid

Since she caught the Covid, in March 2020, La Rennaise has suffered from hoarseness, after contracting pericarditis.

“I have paralysis of the left larynx, so I have a disability in terms of my voice and my breathing. I also became asthmatic, I have joint, muscle, inflammatory pain… ”, she lists.

symptoms that change

The same story with Lise, 39 years old. She is also one of the first people to have contracted Covid, in March 2020. “And I am far from being out,” she laments, contacted by

His symptoms are also persistent, and in particular his neurological disorders: “I have paresthesias in my arms and legs [une atteinte des fibres nerveuse, NDLR]. I have brain fog that I can’t get rid of. The chronic fatigue that does not change, as well as the respiratory problems, in which I have made progress, although I still cannot resume the sport ”, points out this manager of European projects.

According to her, patients with long Covid see their symptoms evolve: “It is very fluctuating with time, sometimes, they appear less, but it is persistent. If one has the impression that the symptoms are diminishing, it is also because one is getting used to them. »

“We always have consequences”

She was also a very fit woman, who played sports and traveled a lot in Europe for work.

Now I can’t move like that anymore, so I adapt. I can no longer resume an active life as before. We always have sequels, there are periods when it is better, but it ends up coming back, we are never sure of anything. We’re walking on eggshells even three years later.

smoothReaching the long Covid

Initially, when you contract the virus, the condition is not serious. They told me that he was young and that was going to happen Then I had a respiratory attack, neurological symptoms that appeared in the following two months. Unfortunately, they never left”, recalls this Breton woman.

Finally, after a year of medical wandering, Lise names this disease that affects her: the long Covid.

get used to pain

For her part, Maud feels lucky: of course she has lost some of her sports and cognitive abilities, “but I know other patients who are in wheelchairs, who have not had quick and easy care,” she adds. She was able to benefit from regular follow-up, she has respiratory physiotherapy sessions and numerous very regular check-ups.

I don’t know if I’m better or if I’ve gotten used to the pain. But I live with it anyway. And I struggled to find my way before, and to be able to appeal. Although now I run less time, I’m doing sports again, it’s positive.

maudReaching the long Covid

Inevitably, since she has had a lot of Covid, Maud’s life has changed a lot and many habits have become complicated. “Even if I go out again, I don’t see my friends anymore, everything is more difficult If I spend an evening with friends it’s complicated because I can’t force my voice”.

So when everyone is talking loudly wherever she is in a noisy bar, it’s “exhausting.”

more fragile patients

Also for his work, his dysphonia is disabling. As the head of press relations, she spends much of her time on the phone. “But my voice gets stuck, my larynx hurts, my throat hurts, it’s a brake when you have to talk to people all day.”

And then, more generally, Maud is much more fragile. “I had a cold recently, and instead of ending within a week, it lasted a month and a half. I recover more slowly. We have the impression of having become fragile. I also have problems with the cycle. [menstruels] that I didn’t have before. So when I hear that we can get our abilities back after a year, it makes me a little mad! “, she storms.

“We are on alert all the time, because Covid affects our immune system and weakens us I know patients who have contracted autoimmune diseases,” says Lise.

For her, many theories have emerged about the long Covid since the start of the pandemic, “but no scientific consensus at the moment, so as long as there is nothing concrete, we are Guinea pigs“.

*Name has been changed

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