Woman hopes to help others after finding fix to some long COVID-19 symptoms

A Kansas City woman is sharing her story in an effort to help others after experiencing symptoms of long COVID-19.Kelsi Shiao tested positive for COVID-19 after celebrating her 21st birthday in September. “I was super sick. I felt like I had the flu,” Shiao said. “Then I lost my sense of taste and smell and was like, ‘OK I should probably go to the doctor, this is COVID.'”She said her sense of taste and smell came back after fourteen days. Then one week later, it was gone again. “I had one week of normal and then everything started becoming distorted, my smell and taste, everything became very rotten,” Shiao said. She said everything smelled and tasted like nothing she had ever experienced before. “I was constantly gagging. I would lock myself in my room. I was sleeping for like 24 hours a day,” she said. “I couldn’t give you a name of exactly what it tasted like it just tasted really bad. It was just so bad I can’t even describe it.”She said the only things that didn’t taste bad were burgers from Freddy’s and turkey sandwiches with lettuce. She said she would usually only eat one per day and ended up losing close to 50 pounds. “I was emotionally breaking down,” Shiao said. “I could not smell anything. I couldn’t go to restaurants. I couldn’t do candles. I couldn’t do anyone cooking. I couldn’t be near anything smelling. Sometimes I couldn’t even hug my mom cause my mom’s smell was too much for me.”She started doing some research and found a nurse anesthetist in Texas who had treated other patients with similar symptoms to hers. After a phone call with the office, she booked an appointment and drove ten hours to Texas for an appointment with nurse anesthetist David Gaskin. “It’s a trial run. It’s just lidocaine going in through one of your glands in your neck. You get two shots. It’s about $1,000 that you have to pay out of pocket,” Shiao said. He gave her two shots of a stellate ganglion block. She said insurance doesn’t cover the shots because it is a trial run. “He gave me an injection in my right side first and then he gave me some goldfish to try, and I cried because I could taste them and they tasted good. They tasted like goldfish, and I hadn’t had that in nine months,” she said. She says those shots changed her life, but they haven’t changed her eating habits quite yet. She still sticks mainly to Freddy’s and turkey sandwiches. “I think it’s a lot of anxiety and problems with me not wanting to try food because I’ve been scared for so long,” Shiao said. “So, hopefully, just with time, I’ll be able to be able to eat food without being afraid and be able to expand to not just Freddy’s.”She said she hopes her story will help other people experiencing symptoms of long COVID-19 realize what options are out there, so they don’t have to go through what she did for so long.

A Kansas City woman is sharing her story in an effort to help others after experiencing symptoms of long COVID-19.

Kelsi Shiao tested positive for COVID-19 after celebrating her 21st birthday in September.

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“I was super sick. I felt like I had the flu,” Shiao said. “Then I lost my sense of taste and smell and was like, ‘OK I should probably go to the doctor, this is COVID.'”

She said her sense of taste and smell came back after fourteen days. Then one week later, it was gone again.

“I had one week of normal and then everything started becoming distorted, my smell and taste, everything became very rotten,” Shiao said.

She said everything smelled and tasted like nothing she had ever experienced before.

“I was constantly gagging. I would lock myself in my room. I was sleeping for like 24 hours a day,” she said. “I couldn’t give you a name of exactly what it tasted like it just tasted really bad. It was just so bad I can’t even describe it.”

She said the only things that didn’t taste bad were burgers from Freddy’s and turkey sandwiches with lettuce. She said she would usually only eat one per day and ended up losing close to 50 pounds.

“I was emotionally breaking down,” Shiao said. “I could not smell anything. I couldn’t go to restaurants. I couldn’t do candles. I couldn’t do anyone cooking. I couldn’t be near anything smelling. Sometimes I couldn’t even hug my mom cause my mom’s smell was too much for me.”

She started doing some research and found a nurse anesthetist in Texas who had treated other patients with similar symptoms to hers.

After a phone call with the office, she booked an appointment and drove ten hours to Texas for an appointment with nurse anesthetist David Gaskin.

“It’s a trial run. It’s just lidocaine going in through one of your glands in your neck. You get two shots. It’s about $1,000 that you have to pay out of pocket,” Shiao said.

He gave her two shots of a stellate ganglion block. She said insurance doesn’t cover the shots because it is a trial run.

“He gave me an injection in my right side first and then he gave me some goldfish to try, and I cried because I could taste them and they tasted good. They tasted like goldfish, and I hadn’t had that in nine months,” she said.

She says those shots changed her life, but they haven’t changed her eating habits quite yet. She still sticks mainly to Freddy’s and turkey sandwiches.

“I think it’s a lot of anxiety and problems with me not wanting to try food because I’ve been scared for so long,” Shiao said. “So, hopefully, just with time, I’ll be able to be able to eat food without being afraid and be able to expand to not just Freddy’s.”

She said she hopes her story will help other people experiencing symptoms of long COVID-19 realize what options are out there, so they don’t have to go through what she did for so long.

Contributed by local news sources

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