What has long COVID taken from you? Kelly tells us.

November 22, 2023

Video Transcript

Speaker: Kelly Meiners

What has long COVID taken from you?

Kelly Meiners: What has long COVID taken from me, um, has taken everything from me. Um, I'm now sitting in the living room in my house, which is great, but I'm homebound. Um, I spent a full year, uh, being completely bedridden though. Um, and so I feel lucky that I am able to move to the sofa now and I can move around my house. Um, with the help of a power wheelchair which I use for mobility is taken away. Um, I guess I should say, first of all, I was an extremely active person. Um, I have a phd, I'm a physical therapist. I was obsessed with exercise. So it's taken away my number one hobby which was, um, exercising. Um, it's taken away my ability to work. Um, I was department chair, academic department, chair of a physical therapy and exercise science department. I can't think straight. I can't problem solve. I can't read, I can't do math. Um, at times I can't speak when I'm having a bad day. Um, so it's not possible for me to work at all. I mean, I lost my job pretty quickly because I was in bed for a full year. Um, couldn't even look at my phone. I couldn't tolerate the light. Um, so I got terminated, um, for being disabled pretty quickly. Um, I still am unable to read. I can't listen to music. Uh, I can't walk independently more than probably five minutes. My pots is so severe. Um, if I'm upright more than five minutes I become unsafe. So, even sitting up in a sofa right now is a little bit challenging for me. I'm usually, um, laying down, I cannot cook for myself. I have caregivers or my husband, um, is kind enough to bring me three meals a day so, um, that I can still eat. Um, I have trouble dressing myself at times. Um, again, my husband or a caregiver helps me with that. Um, can't walk, have trouble talking. Um, I have three Children, I can't take care of. So I've lost my ability to be a mom to them. Um, which is absolutely horrible along that time. I've missed all of their activities. I haven't seen a single sports game, um, for my kids, which I was at every single one before. This can't watch your sports. Um, my daughter was a senior last year. I missed all of her senior and high school really important events absent for all of them holidays are approaching. I will sit home by myself. I can't tolerate the noise and the stimulus and the conversation um, of attending any kind of family gathering. Um I've lost my ability to go outside. Um, the sound stimulus of, um, birds winds in the trees, uh, cars going by, maybe sirens, it causes my brain to be overwhelmed. So I can't go outside. Um, again, clearly, I can't think straight. I, I can't even fashion a sentence together, um, articulately and I have a phd, I, I it's just, it's all everything's gone. Um, good news is I still have a family that loves me. Um and continues to hang on and help take care of me, which is huge. Um And so I try to just think positive of the things that I do have. I still, we had to move homes to find one that was more handicap accessible, but I still have a roof over my head. Um which I know some people are less fortunate. I ha I ha still have a home. Um My three Children and husband still are with me. Um But I've lost most of my um, hobbies. I can't read, you know, I used to love coffee, occasional glass of wine. I can't have any of those things. I can't tolerate any carbohydrates. So I can't even such a limited diet is unreal, but more than anything I'm homebound, I can't be social. I was the most social person I knew, to be honest and I can't do any of it anymore. Stuck here. But again, I'm lucky to not be in bed

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