I started a job on the frontlines and just got out of the hospital following covid round two. I was ventilated for two weeks, started having seizures, and still have blood clots in my lungs. Due to this, my doctors have told me not to return to work. My medical bills are insane and other bills are piling up including asha dues. I’m so overwhelmed. In a few weeks I plan to look for virtual jobs but I don’t even have a voice right now. Anyone made a job switch or have advice on how I can get through a few months while I recover?). I just found out today I'm still having seizures and cognitive deficits so returning to work as an SLP might not even be possible for the foreseeable future. They say it could take up to a year and disability could take over that to get approved and start receiving assistance.
My name is Edie Doherty and I’m a survivor of COVID-19. I am an SLP working in a skilled/long term care setting when I contracted COVID-19 from a direct pt exposure however all staff were unaware of pt’s positive status until after multiple days of treatment. My pt was declining quickly and for 3-4 days I spoke to nursing about sending him out to the hospital. Day 5 he was sent out by a very good clinical nurse. At this time my building only had surgical masks and gloves. Hand sanitizer was nonexistent so I had my own. The pt tested positive at the hospital and I wasn’t notified until I returned to work (2 days later). I knew that morning something was wrong I couldn’t smell or taste my coffee that morning. I reported my s/s but I didn’t have a fever above 100.4 so I was able to work. It was within 10 min of being in the building I found out about my pt and I left work to get tested. I tested positive as did 3 other nurses. It was a terrible virus and I was out of work for 3.5 weeks. I should have stayed out for 6 weeks to heal. I had Covid pay for 10 days then I had to use pto, however I had just started this job 4 months before so I only had 3.8 days of pto. I asked my VP of HR if there was any other resources and she said “no”and I would just have to go back to work. I returned to work at about 50%. I went to work came home and slept, that’s all I could do. My regional DOR was not understanding but my DOR was. However my regional started firing people who didn’t do what she wanted. So she fired an OT and the DOR. After that I was written up a week later because I was unable to meet my 90% productivity for a week. The writing was on the wall, I said “No” to her unethical eval/tx requests. I was written up the next day for signing a note during lunch. I’ve now been back to work for a month and my continued health struggles since Covid we’re getting worse not better. I was really starting to struggle to breathe just walking around. The next day I woke up very SOB so I went to the ER. I had a major upper and lower respiratory infection and had to be off work for another week. When I returned to work for 2 days then was fired. It was terrible, I’ve never been fired before and I was humiliated that I couldn’t keep up and lost my job because of it. I was without work for 3 months except for some PRN work. I had to borrow $ for the first time in my adult life to pay my bills. I was humbled and so very thankful for a few friends who were willing to help or get me groceries. I lost my health insurance w/that job, so my medical bills are piling up now. I have a new job now and I’m working 25 hours and it still feels like a 40 hour week to my brain and body. Now that I have a job again I’m having to pay for cobra. I full acknowledge that many others have suffered far greater w/hospitalizations and loss of limbs and life. I am still healing as a long hauler. If you feel like helping me in any way I would be so ever grateful!
- Kaitlyn Henderson
- Catherine Gray
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