The Northern Territory news Sat 16 Apr 2022
The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT
Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.
News Corp Australia
Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.
News Corp Australia
30 WEEKEND Saturday April 16 2022 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 Despite being fully vaccinated, Covid hit journalist Tracey Spicer like a freight train.She fell victim to the virus on January 2 after a family holiday to South East Queensland but the persistent pain and suffering in the months since has taken over her life, rendering her unable to do a fraction of what she did before. A delayed diagnosis of post-viral pericarditis (swelling of the tissue around the heart) was taking its toll. I was bedridden for almost two weeks with debilitating fatigue, a smokers cough even though Ive never smoked in my life extremely sore throat, unusual skin rashes, bleeding gums, and a vice-like headache, she says. I lost a little bit of taste, but that was the least of my worries. After getting out of bed and trying to resume normal activities, I developed a bad case of post-Covid cystitis for a fortnight but I was still able to walk the dog for an hour without feeling breathless. It was around four weeks after initially contracting it that I started to really go downhill. Spicer, 54, is living with long Covid. And while shes more fortunate than other long haulers putting up with symptoms for up to eight months after the fact, she says chest pains that felt like a heart attack were frightening, to say the least. So was how quickly it changed her life. Last year I was training for both a 30km walk and a four-day mountain trek, she says. I exercised for one to two hours each day, alternating hiking with pilates, yoga and paddle boarding. Suddenly, I found I could only exercise at about 10 per cent of my usual rate. If I did push myself, Id collapse in a heap for 48 hours afterwards a classic example of what they call postexertional malaise. Then came the regular chest pains, which felt like a heart attack. I feel like Ive lost all of the strength in my body, and that I might well pass out. The body just wants to be horizontal and still for as long as possible. Brisbane-born Spicer has been a journalist for 35 years and put those skills to work, researching everything she could about long Covid. She also put her questions to medical experts but has been dismayed that some of the advice she received turned out to be wrong. I read countless systemic reviews and meta-analyses of medical and scientific research into long Covid still, I am by no means a medical professional, so I sought the advice of several doctors, she says. Unfortunately, most kept advising me to keep exercising, which is the worst thing to do this merely prolongs the long Covid symptoms. Its best to listen to your body in these circumstances and my body was telling me to lie on the lounge and watch Netflix. Journalist Tracey Spicer is among a growing group of people who are suffering from debilitating long Covid, which has derailed their lives and has no end in sight Story lisa mayoh Unfortunately, most (doctors) kept advising me to keep exercising, which is the worst thing to do this merely prolongs the long Covid symptoms living death Its like a