Texas man still feels the effects of COVID-19 more than a year later

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Brandon Johnson obtained COVID-19 in June last year. It started to feel better in August, in fact almost normal, but in October 2020 a whole new set of symptoms set in.

“From the waist down, it looked like they were stabbing me with hot needles, millions of them in my legs. My bones ached to the point that they seemed to almost dissolve. It seemed to me that the pain was only resonating through my bones, ”Johnson said.

The pain was real, but the reason it happened was almost impossible to nail.

“I would be received by a specialist; I would go see a cardiologist, I saw a gastroenterologist, I saw a neurologist and I would see them, they do all the tests, but there is no specific test for long-distance things, they can only try things that are known. , “He said.” I wish ‘everything looks good, we don’t see anything here.’ Fortunately, there was no heart damage or anything like that, but at the same time, when a neurologist tells you that you find no reason to have leg pain or that your nerves get scared and that you have pins and needles or these feelings, at this moment, become a kind of sadness ”.

The clarity of what was going on was difficult to achieve and is an area of ​​study that has just begun. We contacted the Texas State Department of Health Services, asking them how many cases of “long-haul” COVID-19 follow. We were told, “DSHS has no data on long-term Covid cases in Texas. A longitudinal academic study would be required to track cases over time. “

We discovered that UT Health Austin has a Post-COVID-19 program designed to “create an educational community in which health professionals can come together to learn more about the post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC) infection. . “

Johnson participates in the program, which is part of the reason he ended Texas physiotherapy specialists. They are able to treat their symptoms, such as numbness and tingling in their legs, and fatigue, because they have seen it before.

“Every patient who comes to our clinic does an examination. We want to see where their deficits are, where there are deficiencies, ”said Scott Cartwright, a physiotherapist at Texas Physical Therapy Specialists (TexPTS). “For Brandon, it was numbness and tingling; we know how to treat numbness and tingling. We’re specialists in movement, physiotherapists, and we know that if we do dynamic stretching and nervous planning, that should help with that condition.”

People who have had COVID-19 and still have problems with fatigue, weakness, joint pain, difficulty breathing, brain fog, or other post-COVID complaints can get a free post-COVID exam at TexPTS.

“We have proposed a program to help people who suffer from long-term COVID. We ourselves and a couple of other medical disciplines have developed a treatment program where we evaluate the patient, see where he is, find out what his goals are, ”said Cartwright. “Some of people’s goals are to go to the mailbox, others, ‘let’s do 10k.’

Johnson’s goal is to be able to spend a full day at work. It’s not there yet, but as a year of long COVID symptoms approaches, there are hopes of finally improving.

“It simply came to our notice then. Long-COVID is gaining awareness in many different places, there is hope, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, “Johnson said.” I hope that someday I or someone who has had to deal with it will continue to suffer. ” .