‘I tried walking more than 3 blocks, paying the price with chest pains and crippling fatigue’: One woman’s long-haul recovery from COVID-19

New York City — Today is day 141.

I’ll save you doing the math: Day 1 was April 3. It was a Friday, a month before my 46th birthday when the doctor at my local walk-in clinic told me to consider this Day 1 of COVID.

Like everyone else in New York, I was already quarantining and my wife was just getting over the virus, though I hadn’t been overly concerned about getting it myself. The doctor’s last words to me were to expect a couple of rough weeks ahead — she’d seen it hit runners extra hard.

Sometimes, I feel embarrassed calling myself a runner — I’ve never done a marathon and I didn’t discover my love of running until my 30s. But for over a decade, I’ve been running five or six miles several times a week.

Pre-COVID me could run up the steps from Riverside Park to street level without a problem and do a decent time in a 10-kilometer race. Pre-COVID me did not get short of breath sitting on the couch as I had done the night before.

For the next two weeks, running was the farthest thing from my mind. Navigating the journey from the bed to the couch so my wife could tackle the sweat-drenched sheets was as much as I could handle. My fever bounced around 102, refusing to come down even with Tylenol.

My doctor put me on hydroxychloroquine — a drug that has since been discredited by many in the medical community as an effective treatment for coronavirus — and texted several times a day, telling me if my blood oxygen fell lower, I would have to go to the ER.

Related: Another warning from the 1918 flu for COVID-19: ‘Survival does not mean that individuals fully recovered’

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