RCN Article: From chronic fatigue to long COVID

January 10, 2022

The Royal College of Nursing Magazine has an article from Natasha that charts her journey through Long COVID and CFS.


Senior nurse Natasha was already suffering from chronic fatigue when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. After she caught the virus, chronic fatigue services helped her manage some ongoing symptoms, but accessing specialist long COVID support hasn’t been as easy. “Natasha” tells us her story


Not long before the pandemic, in late 2019, I fell ill with a flu-like virus. I’d always been very fit and active – I ran three times a week and was training for a half marathon. I was always on the go, often out meeting friends, and when I was at home I’d be busy with gardening or DIY. But I struggled to recover from this virus. I was later diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and it took me seven months to return to work.  

I’d been on a waiting list to access a chronic fatigue service and my first appointment came post-COVID. They explained how I could pace myself, the importance of sleep, and suggested trying a gluten-free diet. They also explained that my symptoms were not a flare-up of chronic fatigue, but that I had long COVID alongside my existing chronic fatigue. This has been confirmed by my GP and the Occupational Health doctor.

My long COVID has been unpredictable. My symptoms are different each day. I pinned my hopes on the long COVID clinic. But I was severely disappointed. I felt they were only interested in breathlessness and fatigue. I was hoping for referrals for chest pain and other symptoms, but was told this was my GP’s responsibility

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