For Each Critically Ill COVID Patient, a Family Is Suffering, Too

The weeks of fear and uncertainty that Pam and Paul Alexander suffered as their adult daughter struggled against COVID-19 etched itself into the very roots of their hair, leaving behind bald patches by the time she left the hospital in early May.

Tisha Holt had been transferred by ambulance from a smaller hospital outside Nashville, Tennessee, to Vanderbilt University Medical Center on April 14, when her breathing suddenly worsened and doctors suspected COVID-19. Within several days her diagnosis had been confirmed, her oxygen levels were dropping, and breathing had become so excruciating that it felt like her “lungs were wrapped in barbed wire,” as Tisha describes it.

Vanderbilt doctors put the 42-year-old on a mechanical ventilator, and the next few weeks passed in a blur for her parents, who waited helplessly for the next update about the eldest of their three children.

“That’s when it got really, really bad,” Pam

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Older COVID Patients Battle ‘Brain Fog,’ Weakness and Emotional Turmoil

“Lord, give me back my memory.”

For months, as Marilyn Walters has struggled to recover from COVID-19, she has repeated this prayer day and night.

Like other older adults who’ve become critically ill from the coronavirus, Walters, 65, describes what she calls “brain fog” — difficulty putting thoughts together, problems with concentration, the inability to remember what happened a short time before.

This sudden cognitive dysfunction is a common concern for seniors who’ve survived a serious bout of COVID-19.

“Many older patients are having trouble organizing themselves and planning what they need to do to get through the day,” said Dr. Zijian Chen, medical director of the Center for Post-COVID Care at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City. “They’re reporting that they’ve become more and more forgetful.”

Other challenges abound: overcoming

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Insomnio, pérdida de cabello y rechinar de dientes: cómo superar el estrés pandémico

A fines de marzo, poco después que el estado de Nueva York cerrara negocios no esenciales y pidiera a la gente que se quedara en casa, Ashley Laderer comenzó a despertarse cada mañana con un terrible dolor de cabeza.

“Sentía que mi cabeza iba a estallar”, recordó la escritora de 27 años, residente de Long Island.

Laderer trató de pasar menos tiempo en la computadora y tomar analgésicos de venta libre, pero el dolor de cabeza aumentaba al ritmo de su preocupación por COVID-19.

Después de un mes y medio de dolor, Laderer hizo una cita con un neurólogo, quien ordenó una resonancia magnética. Pero el médico no encontró una causa física.

“Todos los días vivía con el temor de contraerlo e iba a infectar a toda mi familia”, dijo.

Entonces, me preguntó: ¿Estás bajo mucho estrés?

A lo largo de la pandemia, personas que nunca tuvieron el coronavirus reportan

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