TexPTS on KXAN with Patient Still Feeling the Effects of COVID-19 One Year Later

Texas man still feeling the effects of COVID-19 more than one year later

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Brandon Johnson got COVID-19 in June of last year. He started to feel better by August, nearly normal in fact, but in October 2020 a whole new set of symptoms set in.

“From my waist down, it felt like I was being stabbed with hot needles, millions of them all over my legs. My bones would ache to the point where it felt like they were almost dissolving. It felt like the pain was just resonating through my bones,” Johnson said.

The pain was real, but the reason why it was happening was nearly impossible to nail down.

“I’d get sent to a specialist; I’d go see a cardiologist, I saw a gastroenterologist, I saw a neurologist and going to see them, they run all the tests, but there’s not a specific test for the long haul stuff, they can only test for things that are known,” he said. “I would get ‘everything looks fine, we’re not seeing anything here.’ Thankfully there was no damage to your heart or anything like that, but at the same time when a neurologist tells you they’re not finding any reason to be having pain in your legs, or your nerves to be freaking out, and you have pins and needles or these feelings, at that point it gets to be kind of saddening.”

Clarity as to what was going on was hard to come by, and it’s an area of study that’s just getting started. We reached out to the Texas Department of State Health Services, asking them how many “long hauler” COVID-19 cases they’re tracking. They told us, “DSHS doesn’t have data on long haul Covid cases in Texas. A longitudinal academic study would be required to track cases over time.”

We did find out that UT Health Austin has a Post-COVID-19 Program intended to, “create an educational community in which healthcare professionals can come together to learn more about post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC) infection…”

Johnson is taking part in the program, which is part of the reason he ended up at Texas Physical Therapy Specialists. They’re able to treat his symptoms, like numbness and tingling in the legs, and fatigue because they’ve seen it before.

Continue reading for comments from Brandon’s physical therapist, Scott Cartwright, as well as more information on post-COVID complaints.

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