Sonal is an Ayurvedic practitioner and her husband are both living with Long Covid. Her sons recovered after Covid, although one seems a bit quieter. Sonal was interviewed in June 2022.

Sonal and her husband both have Long Covid. Symptom-wise, Sonal says “there was a period that I felt I will never recover.” She experienced weakness and fatigue after Covid, “even in in the morning or especially like early afternoon, my body gets really weak.” She also had brain fog, a temperature, and sudden hair loss, with her hair coming out in big lumps, prompting her doctor to send her to a dermatologist. The dermatologist had seen some other Asian people with diabetes with the same hair loss symptoms because of Covid. Sonal says her hair loss scared her and made her feel depressed. Her blood sugar level also shot up during this time, “that was never the case in past 17 years that I had been managing [diabetes].” She was put on different medications with a higher dosage. Her blood sugar fluctuations made her “feel ill in my mind as well.” When Sonal had a recent eye check, with results suggesting the beginning of retinopathy. There is also a problem with her kidneys.

Alongside trying to recover from Long Covid, Sonal is also continuing with family duties – helping her sons, and looking after her mother, who had a fall in 2020. This required a hip replacement on top of other health issues, including heart problems and dealing with Long Covid herself. She is now disabled and Sonal is her carer, taking her to medical appointments. Sonal and her husband have been grieving family members who died of Covid, whilst also trying to deal with Long Covid, but that has made them closer as a couple.

Sonal’s friends, and most family, are supportive of her. They tell her she is still recovering, that she is trying to do too much and needs to cut down on her duties. However, Sonal believes that she also needs to keep her “mental health healthy as well,” and if she just sits around it will increase her weight, worsen other health problems, and she will also feel more ill or depressed. Sonal has been through various appraisals and reasonable adjustment meetings at her workplace. They have given her options such as counselling and discussing her health, but she currently doesn’t “want to go into that zone.”

Sonal feels like her recovery is “like half half,” and that she wishes other people understood more about it. Sometimes she feels “that people don’t understand me, people around me,” and that sometimes she feels ill because of it all. Sonal says that she sometimes also gets pain in her left hand and her chest feels heavy. Whether she is anxious, fearful of dying, or something is wrong internally she feels she “doesn’t want to know.” She summarises, “It’s just really scary.” However, Sonal feels that her health isn’t looked at holistically by doctors, saying “they don’t look at holistically, or they don’t look at other issues.” She says that the “doctor also puts fear,” telling her if she doesn’t take her medications, her heart and kidneys would be affected – “if you don’t take this, you will die.”

Sonal is an Ayurvedic practitioner and is now taking herbs and other treatments to try and manage her health after Covid.

Sonal’s son surprised her with a holiday to Lisbon, to give her a break and a rest.

Sonal is an Ayurvedic practitioner and takes supplements to manage her symptoms at home. She thinks she might be doing too much, as she has lots of caring responsibilities.

Sonal’s sons helped out with the cooking when she couldn’t manage; some were better cooks than others.