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WA nurse on the lingering health effects of COVID-19 during recovery

Tammy Edwards and her husband Brian. (Photo courtesy of Tammy Edwards)

More than two months ago, we introduced you to Tammy Edwards, a local nurse who was dealing with COVID-19 at home while her husband was on a ventilator in the hospital. Brian, her husband, is back home now, but both of them are still recovering from the virus. Tammy joined the show to update us on her progress.

“I have headaches that are still lasting about three or four days in a row, ringing in my ears, I taste metal, I still can’t smell, and I’m on like week 11 or 12. Also there’s some GI issues that I’m dealing with and some joint stiffness,” she said.

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“With COVID-19, you just never know what you’re going to get. You can be OK in two weeks, you can end up like Brian on a ventilator and fighting for your life. You can not make it, which is terribly sad. There are so many in-betweens that are unknown.”

What have been the lingering effects been for Brian as he recovers at home?

“He’s doing much better,” she said. “He’s not going to physical therapy outpatient at all. He’s driving again, but he kind of has the same situation as far as joint pain, … similarities for both of us: joint pain, muscle pain, and now and then, he’ll get a really bad headache as well, and the fatigue for both of us is unreal.”

From her perspective, does it feel like doctors and experts are getting a better sense of exactly what COVID-19 is and what it entails?

“A lot of doctors and nurse practitioners are coming in, and even writing to me privately and saying, ‘thank you so much because we’re getting all of our evidence from you guys as patients.’ … There are still some doctors out there that just think that it’s a post viral syndrome, which it’s not,” she said.

“There’s actual things happening to thousands of people all over the world, and we’re in these groups, and we’re all having the same symptoms, the lingering effects of COVID-19,” she said. “And I really do think that now with more media coming out on the national news, they’re really starting to pay attention to how there’s much more to this than the blanket two weeks quarantining at home and then being OK or being on a ventilator.”

Listen to the Gee and Ursula Show weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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