15 years old - Remire Montjoly, French Guyana
Lena was infected with Covid-19 in mid November 2020. She spent 3 weeks in bed with
fever, shortness of breath, mild coughing, headaches, nausea, and crushing fatigue. The fever disappeared after four days, but her other symptoms persisted.
Lena went back to class because her symptoms were reduced, though still present. The school holidays that followed allowed her to recover briefly. She found that every 3 or 4 weeks, she had relapses that lasted between 1 and 5 days.
Currently, however, she has been unable to return to school for the past three weeks because she experiences extreme fatigue (she often sleeps up to 17h a day), shortness of breath, nausea, and headaches. Lena feels slightly better at times, but not to the point where she feels she would have the strength to attend high school.. She has no strength, and simply sitting in a way that is comfortable can be complicated. She has hair loss, appetite loss, concentration difficulties, and memory concerns.
In addition to navigating her physical symptoms, Lena mentions that it has also been a struggle to manage the misunderstanding on the part of her peers who believed that this was all in her head. Fortunately, her relatives and doctor believed her, but given the fact that she lives in French Guyana, she lives far from France’s major hospitals and has had to search extensively for treatment and care.
Lena consulted a cardiologist, who determined that her heart was in good health. She also visited the ER, where no tests were ordered. On May 21st, Lena will see an infectious disease specialist, and has started rehabilitation and physical therapy.
She hopes to feel better as soon as possible so she can return to school. Staying home without seeing her friends, teachers, and peers has been difficult, and Lena hopes that this community will help her stay strong and determined to push through Long Covid.