COVID Depression: Living with Long COVID

Shelby Hedgecock shares her personal experience with long COVID, the lasting cognitive, neurologic, and cardiac symptoms following a COVID-19 infection.

“Fitness was my life” is how Shelby Hedgecock introduced herself. A personal trainer who ran endurance obstacle courses for fun in her pre-pandemic life. The 30-something Californian anticipated a brief bout with illness if she happened to be infected with the virus. However, nineteen months after her positive diagnosis, Shelby is still battling life-changing and even debilitating effects known as long COVID.

In this brief testimonial, Shelby talks about the headaches, nausea, and low O2 readings that led to three trips to the emergency department. Each time she was turned away for being “young and healthy.” Extended periods with a dangerous lack of oxygen in her sleep have resulted in brain injury, left temporal lobe slowing, and cognitive impairment which affects memory, recall, and ability to learn new information. She has neuropathy in her limbs, and POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) that affects blood flow. “It’s awful,” she says simply about the experience.

Shelby sought therapy four months ago and has used that to work through the grief and coping skills needed to live with long COVID. She’s found writing and creative outlets, like starting a patient advocacy non-profit, to be helpful.

Shelby Hedgecock shares her personal experience with long COVID, the lasting cognitive, neurologic, and cardiac symptoms following a COVID-19 infection in 2020. A personal trainer who ran endurance obstacle courses for fun in her pre-pandemic life, the 30-something now battles life-changing and even debilitating effects nineteen months later. Her diagnoses include brain injury with cognitive impairment, POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) that affects blood flow, and neuropathy.

Presented by The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry and Dramatic Life.

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