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Hello, my name is Lydia P.

I am a post-viral long hauler. I contracted COVID-19 in late February of 2020 and have been navigating an onslaught of chronic symptoms since then. It has been 14 months that I have been quite literally “taking it one day at a time”. Once full of energy, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has made it difficult for me to make it through the day without taking intermittent naps in hopes of temporarily boosting my energy. Morning stiffness has me showering with ballooned fingers, knees, and ankles. Shortness of breath and sensations of a heavy chest have become my new normal. The headaches, all-over body-pain, exhaustion, hand-tremors, and partial numbness, combined with the frustration and stress of having endured this for so long, and having previously been completely healthy is taxing to say the very least. 

That’s not who I truly am, however. 

I am a 16 year old Junior in high school with an intense passion for science. I am a happy teenager in the beautiful state of Arizona. I will not let myself be defined by the hardship I am currently facing. 

I created this support group in hopes of building a widespread community of post-viral teenagers who understand one another, wishing to create a space in which we can combat our feelings of defeat and frustration with positivity and collective compassion. As a teenager myself, I know that there is no better solution to feeling lost than to be socially connected to those who understand. As a post-viral long hauler, despite the fact that your symptoms may be entirely different than someone else’s, you understand firsthand the emotional implications of living with a chronic condition. By being part of The Chronic Connection community, you not only stand to benefit from feeling as though you’re not alone in this journey, but you also act as someone else’s comfort by being brave enough to share your own story, in solidarity with every other teenager who is currently enduring this. 

When all the laboratory tests come back “normal” and you see specialist after specialist with no definitive answer, this group will serve as your reminder that you’re not alone and despite the fact that we may not know each other, we are all proud of you and rooting for you. 

Stay Positive, Stay Strong, and Stay Chronically Connected,

Love, 
Lydia. 

 

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