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Billings woman struggling with long-haul COVID condition

sally strom.jpg
Posted at 6:21 PM, Aug 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-25 12:23:15-04

More than seven months after being diagnosed with Covid-19, life is still not back to normal for Sally Strom- not by any means.

Strom of Billings is what is known as a long-hauler and continues to suffer from unexplainable and mysterious symptoms.

“This has turned my whole life upside down,” she says.

The initial bout with the virus was not serious enough to put her in the hospital, and she eventually returned to work, but not for long.

“It first started with my vision. My computer, all the words combined together. I couldn’t make a number. I couldn’t make out a letter,” she said.

But that was just the beginning. She says some days she becomes so exhausted she can barely get out of bed.

“I get winded and I have to sit down. My body, the fatigue the headache. My speech, it’s hard for me to get words out. It messes with my brain, my balance, my concentration. I don’t drive anymore."

Strom is not alone. A meta-analysis of 48,000 patients found a large percentage of those diagnosed with Covid develop one or more long-term symptoms that continue to linger.

The most common:

  • Fatigue (58%)
  • Headaches (44%)
  • Attention disorders (27%)
  • Hair loss (25%)
  • Difficulty breathing (24%)

She has not been able to get any answers from the doctors.

“First, they said they were seeing people getting better after three months, so I’m like, 'OK, I’m almost at the three months. Three months came I’m not any better,” says Strom.

She worries that many people may think that virus is no worse than a bout with the flu, which definitely hasn’t been the case for her.

“Do anything you can to protect yourself. Because this is not fun. This is not no joke. This is not exaggerated. It’s not the flu. I lay there and I think is this a life sentence because if this is a life sentence, I don’t want to live like this.”