A Delaware Woman Who Had ‘Mild’ COVID Last May Still Suffering From Crippling Health Complications A Year Later

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A previously healthy Delaware mother-of-two who suffered a mild case of COVID-19 in May 2020 says she is still suffering from crippling health conditions nearly a year later, causing her to sleep 14 to 16 hours a day and not is able to work or care for her children.

Michaelene Carlton, 47, suffered from mild sinus pain and headaches when she had COVID last spring, but after she appeared to be recovering briefly, her health took a dramatic turn.

She has since been diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), a circulatory disorder that has severely affected her life, preventing her from driving, cooking, or even vacuuming while battling fatigue, brain fog, palpitations, migraines, and more. .

COVID: A previously healthy Delaware mother of two who suffered a mild case of COVID-19 in May 2020 says she is still suffering from crippling health conditions nearly a year later

COVID: A previously healthy Delaware mother of two who suffered a mild case of COVID-19 in May 2020 says she is still suffering from crippling health conditions nearly a year later

Michaelene Carlton, 47, suffered from mild sinus pain and headaches when she had COVID last spring, but after she appeared to be recovering briefly, her health took a dramatic turn.

Michaelene Carlton, 47, suffered from mild sinus pain and headaches when she had COVID last spring, but after she appeared to be recovering briefly, her health took a dramatic turn.

Michaelene Carlton, 47, suffered from mild sinus pain and headaches when she had COVID last spring, but after she appeared to be recovering briefly, her health took a dramatic turn.

What is POTS?

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is a disorder of the autonomic nervous system in which the blood vessels “do not respond efficiently to the signal to tighten.”

When a patient with POTS sits upright, blood collects in the lower half of the body and does not return enough to the brain.

This can cause a variety of symptoms, including increased heart rate, shakiness, dizziness (sometimes with fainting), trouble thinking and concentrating (brain fog), fatigue, intolerance to exercise, headache, blurred vision, palpitations, tremors, excessive sweating and nausea.

POTS is not life-threatening, but there is no known cure and can only be managed on an individual basis.

Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine

Carlton was healthy and active before coming up with COVID-19 last year. She did yoga five times a week, ran half marathons, cooked for her family, and worked as a parade educator in a special education school.

When she got COVID, it was a mild, manageable case, with a few weeks of sinus pain and headaches she managed at home.

She soon began to feel better, but the improvement did not last long.

“I just started a dive,” she said Today

Six weeks later, she started to experience a slew of new symptoms, including brain fog, lack of concentration, dizziness, “weird electrical zaps” in her head, daily headaches, and extreme fatigue.

She lost about 10 percent of her body weight and complained that she felt like she was ‘dying’.

Carlton even visited the emergency room three times because she suffered from extreme heart palpitations.

Finally, after two months of this, a specialist diagnosed her with POTS.

According to Johns Hopkins, where it is addressed in the POTS program, POTS is an autonomic nervous system disorder in which blood vessels “do not respond efficiently to the signal to contract.”

That means that when patients sit upright, blood pools in the lower half of the body – with insufficient return to the brain – causing them to feel a variety of symptoms, including increased heart rate, tremors, fainting, brain fog, and fatigue. .

Before: Carlton was healthy and active before taking COVID-19.  She did yoga five times a week, ran half marathons, cooked food for her family, and worked as a paraeducator

Before: Carlton was healthy and active before taking COVID-19.  She did yoga five times a week, ran half marathons, cooked food for her family, and worked as a paraeducator

Before: Carlton was healthy and active before taking COVID-19. She did yoga five times a week, ran half marathons, cooked food for her family, and worked as a paraeducator

Since then, she has been diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), a circulatory disorder that has seriously affected her life

Since then, she has been diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), a circulatory disorder that has seriously affected her life

It kept her from driving, cooking, or even vacuuming as she struggled with fatigue, brain fog, heart palpitations, migraines, and more.

It kept her from driving, cooking, or even vacuuming as she struggled with fatigue, brain fog, heart palpitations, migraines, and more.

Since then, she has been diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), a circulatory disorder that has seriously affected her life

“POTS affects absolutely everything I do now,” Carlton said. ‘I can’t work. I cannot cook for my family. I cannot drive. I cannot use a vacuum cleaner. ‘

She is handicapped from her job and only leaves home for doctor’s appointments.

“A bad day is that some days I can’t get out of bed,” she said Good morning America last year. “The headache is so extreme that I take migraine drugs and sleep 14 to 16 hours a day.”

In addition to physical pain and discomfort, Carlton also struggles with not being able to do many ‘everyday activities’.

“I am a mother,” she said ABC10‘I have to take care of my children. I have to protect them. I have to improve their life. And I feel like I can’t. ‘

Since there is no cure for POTS – and doctors aren’t exactly sure what causes it – Carlton is now just focusing on treating the condition as best as possible.

“POTS affects absolutely everything I do now,” Carlton said. ‘I can’t work. I cannot cook for my family. I cannot drive. I can’t get a vacuum cleaner ‘

Management: Because there is no cure for POTS - and doctors aren't exactly sure what causes it - Carlton now only focuses on treating the condition as best as possible

Management: Because there is no cure for POTS - and doctors aren't exactly sure what causes it - Carlton now only focuses on treating the condition as best as possible

Management: Because there is no cure for POTS – and doctors aren’t exactly sure what causes it – Carlton now only focuses on treating the condition as best as possible

Each day starts with a glass of water with an electrolytic tablet, which she prepares on her nightstand the day before.

About 30 minutes after drinking it, she tries to get up. If she can sit without feeling too dizzy, she will try to get up and get out of bed.

She consumes more fluid and salt throughout the day, which allows her to pump more blood through her arteries to reduce symptoms.

Carlton also wears compression garments, including full-length compression stockings, belly straps.

Her doctor has put her on a beta blocker to lower her heart rate, and she is also working with a physical therapist.

“I have no other word than that it is extremely difficult,” she told Today.

‘But my new mantra is: I have to be happy and content with where I am now. I have to watch where I’m going. I will take any improvement I can get. ‘