Glendale mom’s COVID-19 symptoms still linger months later

Mar 22, 2021, 4:35 AM | Updated: 2:41 pm

Amber Cuevas (Facebook photo/Amber Cuevas)...

Amber Cuevas (Facebook photo/Amber Cuevas)

(Facebook photo/Amber Cuevas)

PHOENIX — Several months after getting COVID-19, a Glendale mom still has lingering symptoms.

“People just don’t realize it — they’re like ‘Oh you fought it, you’re good. It’s over.’ No it’s not,” Amber Cuevas told KTAR News 92.3 FM. “There’s still a lot of other things that you have to deal with afterwards.”

The 35-year-old mother of three boys is one of thousands of self-described long-haulers who still have coronavirus symptoms months after they became infected with the virus. It’s not clear why certain people experience this or how long the symptoms last.

Cuevas started getting symptoms in late October. She said they were mild at first but within two weeks “things started to get really bad.”

“I had the most intense body aches I’ve ever experienced,” she said. “It was completely debilitation.”

Cuevas started having trouble breathing and developing fevers. She was admitted to the hospital at the beginning of November.

“First couple days were awful,” she said. “I had to get shots in my stomach multiple times a day just to help with blood clotting.”

Her breathing also kept getting worse and she developed pneumonia. Her fevers kept spiking, reaching 103.9-degrees at one point. She was coughing a lot and even lost control of her bladder.

Doctors were getting ready to transfer her to the intensive care unit when things started turning around. She got better and was released from the hospital about a week after she was admitted.

But her battle with COVID-19 is far from over.

“I’m still having issues with breathing,” Cuevas said. “In addition to that, I started noticing a significant amount of hair loss.”

A recent lung test showed her lungs are performing at 75% capacity. She’s waiting for x-ray results to see if she has lung damage. She also has lost about 90% of her hair mass.

Her doctor attributes these symptoms to her previous COVID-19 infection but doesn’t know how long the symptoms will last or whether there will be longterm effects.

For now, Cuevas said she wants to share her story with others to raise awareness.

“I think people should be more aware of how this affects people and their families after the fact,” Cuevas said, adding she encourages people to keep wearing a mask when they’re in public to protect themselves and others.

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Glendale mom’s COVID-19 symptoms still linger months later