A NORTH Pembrokeshire NHS worker has described her fight battling coronavirus, and hopes her experiences will show anyone fighting it is not alone.

Sara Megan, from Eglwyswrw, who works in a management role for the NHS in Cardiff, contracted Covid-19 some six weeks ago.

Sara, 26, has since shared her experiences.

“I am a fit and healthy woman, and yet contracting the virus has still had an immense impact upon me. I suffer from very mild asthma, and a number of severe food allergies; but no other medical conditions. So, I question, why me?

“Having developed Covid-19 almost six weeks ago now, I feel like I have experienced a rollercoaster of ill health, utter exhaustion and a concoction of emotions. Despite not being hospitalised, my experience to date has felt long and extremely frightening; with my symptoms varying and fluctuating each day.”

Back in early April, Sara began to experience a headache, and pains in her legs and back, putting it down to either fatigue, or the development of a mild dose of the virus that would pass.

After some of her colleagues tested positive, she decided to self-isolate.

“My initial result came back as negative, which, given my display of only vague symptoms, made sense.

“However, over the next of five to seven days, an excruciating throbbing pain in my hips, my knees and calves developed, followed by tightness in her chest, a dry cough and awaking every morning with a throbbing and persistent headache.”

Following a further swab, results confirmed Sara was Covid-positive.

“From that point onwards, my condition only deteriorated. The shortness of breath started with my family noticing my inability to form a sentence without taking sharp breaths between words. This was followed by a struggle to catch my breath when doing anything more than walking along a flat surface.”

Three weeks later, Sara woke with a thumping headache “as if I had drunk a couple of bottles of red wine the previous night, tightness in my chest and upper back, a racing heart rate and very shallow breathing,” her instinct telling her she needed to ask for help.

“This resulted in me being reviewed in a Covid-Red-Zone GP practice, from where I was referred to the Medical Assessment Unit at my nearest hospital. I was presenting a number of symptoms, which included tachycardia (high pulse rate – mine was in the region of 130-160 beats per minute, 60 to 100 being considered normal), variable oxygen saturation (level of oxygen in your blood) and acute chest and upper back pain. This led medics to query the presence of a blood clot (pulmonary embolism) in my chest – which I learnt is a common complication from Covid-19.”

Thankfully, tests confirmed this was not the case, and she was discharged home.

Sara added: “But every day - day after day, the extreme fatigue continues. It’s like waking up to a lucky dip draw each morning, minus the pleasant surprise. What will it be today - a muggy head? chronic back and chest ache? vivid and torturous dreams during sleep? breathlessness? sweat outbreaks? dizziness? nausea? fever? swollen eyes?

“Some days, I feel more optimistic, and make small attempts to try and feel normal again– a short walk, cooking lunch, some very light gardening – but this is nearly always followed by feeling dreadful the next day.

“I have not been hospitalised, yet I still continue to feel unwell; questioning why I am not getting better in the timeframe suggested. For someone who functions at almost 100mph most days, the contrast has been immense, and led me to question whether I am exacerbating my own symptoms, making it persist for longer than it needs to.

“It has been the most lonely I have felt in my entire life. Not knowing anyone or being able to relate to someone going through the same as I have has left me feeling isolated. I have been so touched by those around me that have helped me cope. Friends, family, colleagues – people quietly stepping in, reminding me that I am not alone and ‘this too shall pass’.

“For others out there experiencing similar to me, it is not abnormal to have symptoms which persist for weeks, or far beyond what you may perceive to be the ‘normal’ recovery time. As I work in healthcare, I have been fortunate to receive the support and guidance of many of my clinical colleagues, who have been able to reassure me that what I am experiencing is normal.”

Sara finished: “It’s not ‘just a virus’ – it’s important that people understand its repercussions can have far greater significance.

“I am continuing to recover, and perhaps invisibly to me, I am making small progress each day towards feeling better. But I do recognise it may take a little while.”

Sara has recorded her thoughts in a blog sarra43.wixsite.com/saracovid19blog?fbclid=IwAR1VKrE9KWIMj0c-lAEF9V0-6y-OszYilorzmS7mQS-DJyJqUS00A_tg9ho