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“Helping people is my passion, yet I can’t do that anymore”: how long COVID ended the career of a young paramedic

Roy lives in the town of Rosmalen, near the city of ‘s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands. Two years ago, he was a fit and healthy 26-year-old, with everything going right for him. Happily living with his girlfriend, he had just completed his nursing degree and was doing a job he loved, working as an ambulance paramedic.카지노사이트

But everything changed in March 2020 when he caught COVID-19.

“I think I got it on 11 March with the first symptoms showing up a few days later while I was on a night shift. It started with a sore throat and fever.”

In those early days, when COVID-19 had only just arrived in the Netherlands, it was not easy to get tested and the advice for ambulance workers was to stay at home if you had fever and to only return to work when it had passed. So, Roy did just that, taking 5 or 6 days off to recuperate before coming back to work again.

“Coming back, I didn’t feel completely right but couldn’t put my finger on what it was that was wrong. It was only when I got my first callout that my colleague said to me ‘You look so white and you’re sweating, what’s going on?’ that I realized I was still not completely well.”

He measured his temperature and found that the fever had returned. Once again, Roy was forced to go home and it wasn’t long before his throat felt sore again and his lymph nodes became swollen.

“I was also tired, but tiredness is something I was used to from doing night shifts, so didn’t pay much attention to it at first. It was only when I tried to return to the ambulance station a second time that I realized that expending energy at work was what was bringing my symptoms back.”

This time, however, Roy’s manager recommended he stay at home for a longer period, with the hope that he might properly recover if he rested more. On his return, 2 weeks later, things started off okay, but yet again, the same symptoms gradually came back after a few days, but now with brain fog and a feeling of dizziness added to the mix too.

Roy was put on lighter duties, but even this became too much; the brain fog making it difficult for him to think straight and he became exhausted easily.바카라사이트

Following tests by his general practitioner and a pulmonary specialist, Roy was diagnosed with post COVID-19 condition (long COVID) in June 2020, with the cycle of work leading to relapses defined as post-exertional malaise (PEM). As a result, Roy has not been able to work since July 2020. To this day, Roy is still dealing with the same symptoms, to lesser or greater degrees, and is having to readjust to a new way of living.

“It has impacted every aspect of my life, physically, emotionally and financially. I have limited energy so have to pace all that I do. At first, I missed everything that I loved – my hobbies, like fitness and cycling, as well as my work, so I felt pretty useless. And besides that, because of the brain fog and the post-exertional malaise, I couldn’t give any attention to my girlfriend, to my family, to my friends, so it was quite lonely.”

Fortunately, though, following visits to a psychologist, Roy has found things he can do.

“The psychologist taught me to find other things to satisfy my mind, from enjoying the sun to cars driving by and that sort of thing. I also spend a lot of time in my garden, growing tomatoes, and have also learned to enjoy fitness on a much lower level, competing with myself to get better.”

Roy’s former colleagues from the ambulance station have not forgotten him either, regularly visiting him when he feels up to it and sending him cards to share their best wishes.

For those who are sceptical about the seriousness of COVID-19 and the impacts from long COVID, Roy has a clear message: “I would like them to step into my shoes for a moment, because it’s very hard to understand exactly how it feels having the condition if you don’t have it. Like myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) that we knew about before COVID, there is no easy explanation for it, which is very frustrating. It is a very strange illness, with ups and downs, that can affect anybody who has contracted COVID-19, whether you’ve been vaccinated or not”.

Thinking about the future, Roy has one thing in particular he wishes for: “I really hope that there will be a treatment for all of us that have developed long COVID or who are at risk of getting it, so that we can get our normal lives back again”.

WHO/Europe and post COVID-19 Condition
WHO/Europe remains committed to learning more about the medium- and long-term outcomes for people with post COVID-19 condition and has developed 3 goals, in collaboration with Long COVID Europe, jointly calling for governments and health authorities to focus attention on post COVID-19 condition and those affected by it through greater: recognition and knowledge sharing, research and reporting, and rehabilitation.온라인카지노

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