Some patients are finding success in their treatment for Long Covid at University Health

Communities like Kansas City must continue the conversation about long COVID, according to a University Health occupational therapist.

Jenna Hopkins, an occupational therapist at University Health, emphasizes the importance of keeping the conversation about long COVID going, even if people are feeling weary of discussing it.

Since March of 2021, Hopkins has provided care for approximately 150 Long Covid patients at University Health.

“I feel like I’m just one step away from standing on a street corner and talking about this issue because there is still so little awareness about it, and yet it has a profound impact on so many individuals,” Hopkins expressed.

Hopkins pointed out that there are certain red flags that may be indicative of long COVID.

    • Fatigue that doesn’t revolve with rest
    • Any kind of neurological symptoms that are unexplained.
    • Vertigo/tremors
    • A big amount of brain fog

“It’s truly devastating how COVID is impacting so many lives, essentially disabling a large number of individuals,” expressed Hopkins. Over the course of a year, Hopkins has been closely collaborating with her patient, Sophie Day.

For the past two years, Day, a resident of Midtown, has been grappling with the challenges of long COVID.

According to Hopkins, Sophie is a remarkable individual who may appear youthful and healthy but is actually living with a disability.

Day revealed that she had contracted COVID in July 2022.

According to Day, when people inquire about the most significant changes, the answer is everything.

Day has noticed a remarkable improvement in her life ever since she began seeing Hopkins.

Day explained that during the initial phase of her recovery, she had to come to terms with the fact that activities she once took for granted now left her feeling exhausted.

When Hopkins first visited Day, it was after Day had fainted.

According to Hopkins, the individual in question suffered a broken collarbone, which was attributed to the intense and enduring symptoms of long COVID.

According to Hopkins, it is crucial to raise awareness about long COVID and provide proper support to those affected.

According to Hopkins, recognizing the mental and physical toll that hidden disabilities take on individuals is easier for those who know people with such conditions, even if they appear young and healthy.

Day was not just an ordinary athlete; he was an exceptional ultra-marathon runner.

Day expressed her acceptance of not being able to run anymore but emphasized her desire to walk instead. She shared that before falling ill, she led a highly active lifestyle, engaging in activities such as cycling to work, frequent traveling for work, and being an avid runner and weightlifter.

Together, she and her husband Jeremy are navigating their health journey.

“I appear to be in good health, although I am currently using a wheelchair. However, most of the time, I am able to move around freely. If you were to see me in public, you might assume that I am an able-bodied individual,” Day shared.

Hopkins is actively exploring strategies to effectively manage her fatigue.

“It’s really challenging to rehabilitate this condition,” she explained. “Unfortunately, individuals with hypermobility have a 30% increased risk of developing long COVID. We always need to strike the right balance between not overdoing it and not doing too little. It’s not about doing more repetitions, but rather finding that ‘just right’ level of activity. If I push her too hard during exercise, she might not be able to function the following day or even leave her apartment. It’s more about spacing out these activities in a way that is truly beneficial, allowing her to prioritize and focus on the activities she truly needs.”

According to Hopkins, a study conducted in Canada revealed that individuals who have had COVID three times have a potential risk of up to 38% of experiencing long COVID symptoms.

Day and Hopkins have made significant progress over the past year, which has resulted in a successful outcome. As a result, Day is now able to work longer hours, travel for work, and enjoy more quality time being fully engaged.

“I used to frequently suffer from symptoms such as migraines, nausea, dizziness, brain fog, and debilitating fatigue,” she shared. “I even needed to take a nap in the middle of the day just to make it through. However, now I experience these symptoms far less often.”

Hopkins acknowledges that people may be fatigued from discussing COVID in general.

“I believe COVID has had a profound impact on many individuals, and although there is fatigue surrounding the topic, it is important to acknowledge that its effects persist on a daily basis,” she expressed.

Day aims to enhance the support available for individuals affected by long COVID.

Day emphasized the importance of people around individuals believing in them, validating them, and providing support.

Hopkins also has a strong focus on spreading awareness within the medical community.

In addition to my clinical work, I am also committed to educating other healthcare professionals and individuals.

University Health – Truman Campus is hosting its inaugural Long COVID Support Group on July 10. The support group welcomes everyone, irrespective of insurance coverage. If you are experiencing post-viral COVID symptoms, you are encouraged to attend the group’s meetings, which will take place from 4:30-6 p.m. For additional details, please reach out to [email protected].

Reference Article

Avatar photo
MBS Staff
Articles: 6290

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *