Health

COVID-19 patient on day 35 of symptoms says ‘it’s horrific’

BOSTON — This isn’t day one or two, but day number 35 of coronavirus symptoms for Lauren Nichols of Boston.

“It’s horrific,” Nichols stated. “That’s the nicest way I can describe it. It’s unlike anything I imagined it would be."

Nichols began feeling symptoms the week of March 12, she went to see a doctor, couldn’t get a test, then a second doctor-approved one. The test came back positive. Her oxygen levels were not dire, so she isolated at home after receiving advice from her doctors.

On Thursday when she spoke with Boston 25 News, she still has significant health problems either caused directly by coronavirus or, possibly an abnormality happening as a result of the critical illness.

“While it’s not a pretty picture it’s something that has to be talked about,” said Nichols. “Every time I consume food it does not stay with me.”

Aside from gastrointestinal problems, she developed tremors in her hands, she believes from the disease.

The virus causing a host of problems, aside from the main one, lung damage for its hosts, in many cases, according to doctors who spoke with Boston 25 News.

“The heart muscle itself can be affected,” said C. Michael Gibson, MD at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

“Something called myocarditis or inflammation of the heart, but the small capillaries of the heart, the drainage system of the heart can also be affected with clot.

There is also reason to believe COVID-19 can impact the brain.

“What we don’t know is if that is due to the virus itself or due to the storm of infection that’s going on in the entire body,” said Gibson.

Doctor Benjamin Medoff, Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital said liver and kidney damage is fairly common with coronavirus patients.

“We do know that the receptor for the virus is expressed in those organs so we think some of these may be direct effects of the virus,” Medoff explained.

He added that kidneys, liver, and even blood clots have slowly gotten better in coronavirus survivors, but there is much left to learn about the novel coronavirus and its lasting impacts on the body.

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