Michael began to have Long Covid symptoms after May 2020. He has since had to return home from university and suspend his studies. It was not until he saw a cardiologist that specialised in PoTS did Michael get medication that helped him to “stabilise a little and regain some quality of life.” Michael was interviewed in May 2022.

Michael realised he might be unwell when he began to struggle to exercise like he usually would. He would go on cycle rides and return in a cold sweat and had the feeling of having overexerted himself. Michael recalls that he has ‘never been the same since’ after the last cycle ride he took on the 25th of May 2020.

Michael developed Post Tachycardia Syndrome (PoTS) and described a ‘horrible sickly feeling’ in his legs whenever he exerted himself and post exertional malaise. His symptoms mean he is unable to sit or stand up too long otherwise it will cause his symptoms to worsen for the rest of the day, causing tachycardia, difficulty sleeping and palpitations. Due to these symptoms he has been unable to continue his degree and has had to return home. Michael will have to suspend his studies for a 3rd year. Michael’s symptoms have meant he has had to remain at home which he finds boring as he isn’t used to doing nothing and would prefer to be at university progressing in his degree.

Michael’s mum also has Long Covid and he feels his dad is under more pressure with both of them being unwell, which has meant he has had to pick up the slack. Michael is no longer able to help as much with normal everyday things.

Michael sought medical attention for his symptoms and spoke to a Long Covid specialist who agreed he most likely has Long Covid. He also received referrals for neurology and rheumatology but he found his neurology appointment unhelpful since he was told the source of his headaches was stress, despite informing the doctor he did not feel stressed.

Michael also saw a cardiologist for his PoTS but was once again told his symptoms were stress related. It was not until he saw a cardiologist who specialised in PoTS that he was able to get medication that helped with his symptoms. He said that this allowed him to “stabilise a little and regain some quality of life.” He recalled that it was nice to be believed and speak to someone who did not pretend to know all the answers to his condition. Michael also took part in research for Long Covid in Germany and felt it was nice to meet other people with Long Covid as they believed him automatically.

Michael feels fortunate that he got Long Covid at this stage in his life instead of when he was doing his GCSEs or A levels, and feels sorry for children with Long Covid. He hopes to be able to return to university and complete his degree and wants young people with Long Covid to not worry about their education because “education doesn’t expire at sixteen. So […] focus on your health” and return to your education later.