In October 2020, Kate started to feel a bit unwell. Her symptoms deteriorated and she describes continuing to remain unwell for months. Kate says it was “a tough time to be ill” and that she was “just not able to be the mum that I wanted to be.” Kate was interviewed in December 2021.

In October 2020, Kate started to feel a bit unwell but says she didn’t have any of the Covid symptoms she was meant to be looking out for at the time and so didn’t go for a test. However, on day 10 she started to feel “really unwell.” Kate contacted her GP surgery and was advised to go for a Covid test, which turned out negative. Kate describes continuing to remain unwell “for months and months and months.”

Kate describes a whole range of symptoms such as fatigue, burning sensations on her back and shoulders and a “horrible taste” in her mouth which she continues to experience. Throughout this time, Kate describes not really believing she had had Covid because as a family they “hadn’t gone anywhere” during the lockdown period and had been “hyper careful.” Kate discovered online that other people were reporting similar symptoms to those she was experiencing and said it took several doctors to say “We think this is Long Covid.”

Kate says it was “a tough time to be ill” and that she was “just not able to be the mum that I wanted to be.” During this time she describes mostly lying in her bedroom and relying on her partner to deal with household duties. Her children were 7 and 18 at the time and she describes this as being “quite a challenge.” Home schooling was difficult for her younger son. Kate felt guilty about this and also guilty that she couldn’t help her older son with things like University visits. Tasks which used to be easy for Kate like doing the school run have become challenging and she says that although she used to be an organised person, her ‘brain fog’ now means that as a parent she’s “really lost the ability to organise myself in quite the same way.” She worries about the impact on her younger son of seeing her at home tired and needing to rest a lot of the time.

Kate says she now has to “pace” herself and prioritise how she uses her energy. She says she’s had to learn to be “more assertive” and to “stop and look after myself a bit more.” Despite still experiencing Long Covid symptoms, Kate describes feeling optimistic about the future and believes that things are improving.

Kate tries to explain her illness to her youngest son on a scale of ‘how much Covid’ she has that day. About 15% would be fairly good, and 100% would be ‘full on poorly’.

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Kate thinks her son has started using language that he’s picked up from her. She says that he’s not the “happiest” child he was before Covid.

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Kate’s eldest son does not want to get vaccinated, which has caused some tension in the home.

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Kate found the age gap between her young son and teenage son difficult to manage while dealing with Long Covid, as both children required different types of parenting.

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