It was October 2021 and I was 29 years old at the time, I contracted the Delta variant of Covid from my workplace after returning from holiday celebrating my daughter's 1st birthday.
I tested positive on a PCR on the 18th Oct, I wasn't vaccinated at the time as I had concerns about it, however, I didn't really give testing positive much thought at the time as I thought with my age it wouldn't make me too bad, I was working from home whilst isolating, a few days past and felt fine, just the common symptoms, cough, fever etc. Unfortunately, my wife and daughter also caught this from me and thankfully didn't get too sick from it.
I'm the sort of person to just carry on through any illnesses
By day seven I was floored, never felt so ill in my life, I'm the sort of person to just carry on through any illnesses, but the next few days were a struggle to get out of bed, I was being sick, unable to keep food or fluids down and every part of me hurt, most notably the sides of my chest/ribs I spoke with 111 and they advised this is normal. Day 10 and it was a like a switch, I felt 60% better, I was able to eat and drink and get back on with my usual things, just the pain on my sides which I just put down to recovering.
On the day I was discharged I felt a slight pain in my lower calf
I returned to work, albeit very fatigued, continued plodding on and day 13 I noticed I was more breathless than I had been whilst isolating, I contacted doctors who booked me in to a covid clinic to be checked over, I was checked and my oxygen levels were 92, I was taken straight to hospital and put on oxygen, I received a chest x-ray and CT scan on my chest to eliminate a PE, I was PE negative but on the chest x-ray I had moderate / boarder line severe covid pneumonia, so I remained in hospital on oxygen. To hear that the pneumonia could lead to ARDS was scary enough and I genuinely thought I was never going to see my family again, thankfully my oxygen levels stabilised. On the day I was discharged I felt a slight pain in my lower calf l, didn't think anything of it, perhaps caught it getting out of the bed.
I had a pain back in my lower calf
I was discharged on a virtual covid ward to keep an eye on my oxygen levels and any signs of DVT / PE, couple days went by and I had a pain back in my lower calf, which oddly went the more I walked, I told this to the hospital and from what was described it was no cause of concern, couple more days went and the pain was back, I was sent to hospital for bloods, my heart rate was 120+, my bloods were off but put down to recently having covid, I had no swelling or pain the day I was checked or obvious signs of a clot, no scan was given due to this.
I had no swelling or pain the day I was checked or obvious signs of a clot
Five days went by and this point my leg was very red and hot, swollen and felt like it was being ripped open, the pain was horrendous, I could barely walk. I booked straight in to the doctor’s, and they said I should have had a scan last week when my bloods were off and they apologised, they put me straight on Eliquis blood thinners and sent for a scan the following day. I was then confirmed to have a DVT behind my knee.
Came as a shock as I was taking reassurance from previous hospital visits that nothing sinister was wrong and the fact I remained fairly mobile throughout the whole covid experience. It was put down to covid making my blood 'thicker and sticky' as to why a DVT occurred.
My biggest fear was leaving my wife and young daughter behind
While I think I've recovered fairly well from it, mentally I'll be scarred for life and will always have it on my mind, my biggest fear was leaving my wife and young daughter behind, we had just started a family so this was on my mind a lot throughout recovery.
I find keeping a diary of this, when it happens, the symptoms I'm experiencing, how long they last etc helps me get through those spells and process them rather than assuming straight away it's sinister
I was worried with me having a sitting down office job that I'd get another DVT, with this constantly on my mind, I left my job to become a self-employed gardener, this for me was a huge step and makes me feel better knowing I'm on the go daily, keeping healthy and moving, the only thing now I have pain that comes and goes which feels how it did in the early stages of my blood clot, I find keeping a diary of this, when it happens, the symptoms I'm experiencing, how long they last etc helps me get through those spells and process them rather than assuming straight away it's sinister.
I was discharged from long Covid ward 11 months later when my symptoms finally subsided and recently been discharged from the respiratory clinic.