Lucy became unwell in March 2020, when she began experiencing a fever, shallow breathing and gastrointestinal (stomach) issues. Due to her symptoms, she had to seek medical help and return home to live with her mother. Lucy was interviewed in May 2022.

Lucy began to feel unwell in March 2020, when she began experiencing a fever, shallow breathing and gastrointestinal (stomach) issues. Lucy’s symptoms were so bad her mother rang the paramedics, but she chose not to be admitted after a family friend had passed away alone in hospital. These symptoms lasted 7 weeks before Lucy was able to get on her feet again. However, three weeks after feeling better Lucy had to be admitted to hospital because her appendix had ruptured and had to undergo an appendectomy (removal of the appendix). Unfortunately, Lucy’s wound became infected which left her with an open wound for 11 weeks.

Alongside, her other medical issues Lucy also sought medical attention for her Long Covid symptoms from her GP. Her GP also has Long Covid so while she understood Lucy’s symptoms, she was often off unwell herself. This has meant Lucy has regularly had to relay her symptoms and diagnoses to other health professionals when seeking care. Lucy became particularly frustrated when she was questioned why she used a wheelchair despite her PoTS (Postural tachycardia syndrome – an abnormal increase in heart rate that occurs after sitting up or standing) diagnosis being well known. Lucy found what she referred to as medical admin was often frustrating.

Due to her symptoms, Lucy had to return home to be cared for by her mother. She had previously been living independently in a flat with her housemates but became unable to leave her flat, shop and cook for herself because of her persistent symptoms. Her family were concerned she would get stuck in the flat, which is up three flights of stairs so encouraged her to move back home. After a few months, Lucy returned to her flat in an attempt to live independently again but when she got shingles, she realised that “something’s got to give”. She was also financially unable to continue to afford her flat when her symptoms forced her to stop working, resulting in Lucy returning home to live with her mother.

While ill, Lucy recalls her mother having to do everything for her including bath and wash her hair. Her mother began teaching online so she could shield while caring for her. Her brothers and nephew also took precautions to protect Lucy from getting Covid again. Although Lucy has been able to regain some of her independence as her Long Covid symptoms have improved, she often feels frustrated that she isn’t able to help round the house more.