ELMIRA, NY (WETM)- For some, contracting COVID came and went like a cold but for others, this virus and its symptoms are still lingering.
Health officials are calling this “long COVID.”
For mother/daughter duo Kim Seidel and Shelly Costell, COVID did not come and go.
Kim tested positive for the virus in October of last year and spent two weeks in the hospital, she was put on oxygen and now uses two inhalers as there is still damage to her lungs.
“I don’t have the energy level I used to. I was walking three miles a day until this happens. So I never thought for one minute that I would end up like this. I can’t even walk up the stairs to the second floor to do laundry.” says Kim, “When I came home from the hospital. I was so weak. My daughter’s had to bathe me shower me. I couldn’t take a shower by myself.”
Shelly’s symptoms, however, we’re much more intense. She tested positive shortly before her mother, Kim did. Shelly ended up spending nearly 4 months in the hospital where she was on a ECMO machine, she couldn’t talk, move, eat or drink for a while.
‘They had to do emergency surgery on me and they put stents in my neck and while they were doing that surgery, they actually lost me on the table, for about five minutes,” says Shelly.
Before she had COVID, Shelly, worked with kids and would always be playing with them. She has yet to be able to return to work as she goes to PT twice a week to try to regain her strength.
“Depending upon the individual, some people have had ongoing what they would call fatigue, like mental fogginess, where people sometimes will be more forgetful,” says Infectious Disease Specialist with Arnot Health, Dr. Justin Nistico, “The highest or the most common one is just this sense of just they have no energy like after they do an activity that they’re usually used to doing.”
Dr. Nistico advises anyone that suffers from long COVID to do things in increments to work on getting your endurance back.
“Unfortunately for conditions that are post COVID or long COVID there’s no like magic evaluation or treatment,” says Dr. Nistico.
When 18 News asked Dr. Nistico if there are any long-term symptoms from getting the vaccine, this was his response: “Current data shows that we don’t there is no effects long term from getting the vaccine.”
He says the point of the vaccine is there to prevent hospitalization, severe COVID and death.
“It’s not to say you can’t get sick being vaccinated, but the whole point of getting the vaccine is to prevent complications, hospitalization and death and it’s an it’s a risk number game,” says Dr. Nistico.
Kim and Shelly both just want people to take COVID seriously, they know not everyone will have the same experiences they did, but just stay safe and healthy.