BALTIMORE (WJZ) — In April, Michaelene Carlton said she first realized she had COVID-19 at the dinner table.
“My daughter was talking about how good dinner was and I was like, ‘It’s really not that good!’ And I realized that I really couldn’t taste it,” she recalled.
After a few weeks, she still had symptoms. Then, she started feeling even worse.
“(I) couldn’t eat, couldn’t get out of my bed, my heart rate was through the roof every time I stood,” she said.
Carlton was sent to Johns Hopkins Hospital, which has opened a clinic to study Post-COVID Syndrome.
“Post-COVID Syndrome may be a real medical condition,” said Dr. Tae Chung with the hospital’s physical medicine and rehabilitation program. “I think doctors are realizing that this is real.”
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Chung said COVID-19 might be causing a disorder called postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS).
“Patients with POTS lose capacity to regulate blood flow to organs like (the) brain, muscles and GI system,” Chung said.
Carlton said for her, even common tasks like standing up to cook are a struggle.
Chung changed Carlton’s diet and put her in physical therapy, which she said has made a difference.
For COVID-19 survivors experiencing post-COVID symptoms, Chung said it warrants a thorough medical investigation.
Carlton, meanwhile, said she’s grateful the clinic was there for her.
“It makes you feel better just to know that there are people that care and that there are people to help you,” she said.