‘I have my life back’: Clinic helps people with lingering COVID-19 symptoms

Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 5:23 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A clinic helping people work through the lingering symptoms from a COVID-19 infection, sometimes referred to as long COVID, has been up and running for about a year now at Memorial Health in Savannah.

Those working in the clinic say they’re seeing more success cases, and today,

Debbie Moore first contracted COVID-19 in late 2020.

For several months after, she relied on oxygen and an emergency inhaler. She says while the physical effects lessened at one point, they came back.

“I just thought that was the way I was going to be the rest of my life. I mean the fatigue was so horrible, and just in the bed so much. No energy, no interest in anything, and I laid there one day just crying because I was just so depressed about it,” Debbie Moore said.

And it wasn’t just the physical effects that hung on.

“My husband and my sister both told me they could tell that I just, my husband said you’re just not as sharp as you used to be. You don’t catch on as quickly,” Moore said.

Moore consulted her doctor, who referred her to the long COVID clinic at Memorial Health earlier this year.

“I mean I can’t say enough good about it. With the cognitive it’s getting better, but I’m still in it. I can’t add and subtract in my head anymore.”

Which is frustrating for the former teacher and tutor who used to have no problem doing quick math in her head.

“I know the facts, I know how to do it. But when I do the first column, it’s almost like I can just see them float away, and I lost that part before I can do the next part.”

As she started making progress at the clinic, both physically and mentally, it pushed her to work harder.

“What is so important is they are validating it for you, that you’re not crazy, you’re not just lazy, you’re not just being weak that this is real.”

And since opening last year, Memorial Health’s clinic has only gotten busier.

“We are getting referrals about once a week now. And these folks had COVID back in 2020, and then some had it at the beginning of this year,” Jennifer Jolley said.

“They knew things weren’t right with their thinking skills. And these are high functioning individuals, they’re trying to work. Young and old alike, they’re trying to keep their families together, and they’ve just finally gone to their doctors to say ‘what can I do?’” Jolley said.

“I have my life back, and this is not being dramatic. I mean, one of my biggest goals was I wanted to be able to play with my grandkids. I went to Splash Mountain with them yesterday for hours, and I didn’t crash. I couldn’t have done that before.”

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