Anna’s story

Hi I’m Anna.

I’m a Nurse, I’m a Mum, I’m a Wife.

I have Long Covid, I also suffered a vaccine reaction.

I’m a sister to Emily with Long Covid, I’m an Auntie to Reuben with Long Covid.

I have lived and breathed Long Covid for almost 2 years.

I was a runner, I was a fit and healthy person.

I had aspirations.

Now….I’m a patient.

I have fatigue, muscle aches, ear, eye, gut issues to name just a few.

I’m an advocate for myself like I have been for others.

I’ve been off sick more days than I can count.

I’m a mum who has to pace.

SO, in terms of my work as a nurse….

I need support and understanding – I have not always had this. I am completely aware that this is a new condition with no set treatment and therefore I need management to understand that I don’t know how long this is going to last.

For the first time in my 22-year career I have used an RCN rep to help advocate for me as the fatigue and myriad of symptoms leave me tired and vulnerable. Managers should not see this as a threat but as a support system for their staff.

People like me need flexibility – our condition fluctuates and therefore our workplace needs to do the same. We need elongated phased returns, reduced hours, possible different ways of working – all of which have benefited me after asking for them.

Occupational Health has supported me when required but we need easy access to this and not re-referrals. Small things like help in applying for a disabled parking permit for the hospital car park.

However, all this has come with sacrifices. Going back to work on reduced hours has meant reduced pay, less money for my family, less money for some of the complementary treatments I have tried, and I am not eligible for government support/allowances.

Not being heard or seen by the NHS has been hard for someone who works for them. Lack of care for long covid, lack of recognition for those reacting to vaccines…it all takes its toll and I’ve lost my love, respect, and compassion for the organisation I work for.

I feel caught between the two worlds of Nurse and Patient.

So has it changed me….YES!

Will it change me for the better…. I hope so!

Will I continue being a nurse…. I don’t know?

But I promise I will find some aspirations again and dream big…and one day I WILL run again.

Originally posted on 27/7/22

Author: Alison Twycross PhD RN

Chair - Supporting Healthcare Heroes UK; Editor-in-Chief - Evidence Based Nursing; Former Deputy Dean and Professor of Children’s Nursing

2 thoughts on “Anna’s story

  1. I sympathise with all who have suffered learnt to or not live with LC.
    Not all of us work for NHS .
    I work in social care sector.
    There is no support network or access to anything!
    The Union have been zero help.
    I’m LC since 2020
    Now getting over most recent vaccine.
    Advised not to take by manager,but its a year since last one and we have cases in work care setting.
    My RS lu g feels fried
    Lymph glands swollen sore.

    I had to drop to amended hours for 14months then stepped up to fulltime.
    I had not financial support all lost earnings.
    I will not be paid if I contract Covid again and I am losing earnings now whilst recovering from effects of Vaccine on LC.

    Because social care is run by many individual private companies we are not collectively supported as a work force.

    Without sociL care NHS beds are full
    Each residential home wants self funders rather than social services as pay more for rooms.

    I’m trained and have 11 years vast expierence but I feel failed and let down, if honest I’m angry how NHS seems to get a the attention and help.

    1. Thanks for commenting on the blog. Long Covid Nurses and Midwives is focusing on supporting NHS staff. However, we are aware that social care staff have also been treated badly and had much less financial support.

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