'Don't suffer in silence' - Henry Ford Health System offers help for Covid long-haulers

Maggie Palombit knew she was sick in early 2020 but it was not until months later she found out it was COVID-19.

"It was like a 48-hour stomach bug," said the physician assistant. "I did not think anything of it at the time. And shortly after that, I lost my sense of taste and smell.

"I went to donate blood at the end of last year and found out I had antibodies, that was before I got the Covid vaccination so knew I had been exposed."

What has been even more surprising has been her battle with long-haul symptoms.

"Problems with organization, concentration, and focus," she said. "I started developing memory problems  - which was terrifying."

Maggie admits these COVID long-haul symptoms were impacting home life and her job.

"I was checking on my patients and I would turn the wrong way down the hallway," she said.

Maggie decided to get help at Henry Ford Hospital at a clinic known as the COVID Recovery Program, which they call a multidisciplinary center.

Doctors are researching why some patients recover right away and others like Maggie have symptoms that linger.

"Sometimes the Covid virus attacks the brain or nerve cells especially with those with more severe conditions," said Dr. Omar Danoun, neurologist, Covid Recovery Program.

At Henry Ford, doctors are helping those like Maggie with a cognitive rehabilitation program.

"What we do is, we teach patients to rewire their brain and functions as they did before," Danoun said. "We reprogram the brain and doing (something) multiple times, the brain will be required to do it naturally."

Writing down thoughts or a daily to-do list and then executing it, is part of the treatment.

Maggie Palombit 

Maggie says she already notices a positive change.

"I feel mainly back to where I had been I just need to get up to speed a bit," she said.

For anyone else suffering from long-haul symptoms, Maggie shared her story to let others know there is help available.  

"Don't suffer in silence," she said. 

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