A TAUNTON woman has described her battle with coronavirus that left her feeling like a huge rubber band was being slowly tightened around her chest.

The woman, who has asked not to be named, is still struggling seven weeks after showing the first symptoms and has been told it could take six months to get back to full health.

Initially she had a tummy upset followed by a slight sore throat, a dry tickly cough and headache and numbness in her left leg.

Her eyes became red and itchy and she was alternating between sweating profusely and terrible chills, while her toes, feet and hands were going blue.

The woman developed a temperature, nausea, a constant headache and random sweats

She said that at this stage: "I have never been so frightened in my life.

"I lost my mum to pneumonia last year. One minute she was chatting to me through an oxygen mask, the next she was gone, so I knew what a lung infection could do.

"But nothing could prepare me for what happened."

She had a rough night during which she was sweaty and broke out in spots, while she was having blinding headaches.

There was "something not right" with her lungs and her taste "went a bit funny" for 24 hours.

"By midday it felt as though someone had taken a huge rubber band and was slowly tightening it around my chest," added the woman, who was by this stage gasping to breath.

"Within an hour I had terrible palpitations and was panting.

"I couldn't string a sentence together. All my focus was on getting oxygen into my body.

"I was feeling like two breaths from death's door."

She was taking paracetamol rang 111 and, two and a half hours later, was told to contact her GP, who questioned why she had been asked to call him and said she probably had Covid-19 and should self isolate.

She said: "By now I was so worried I packed a hospital bag.

"The effort absolutely wiped me out and I was back in bed feeling sick and dizzy, as well as not being able to breathe.

"The temperature came back as soon as the paracetamol started to wear off.

"Sleeping was awful – horrible, nasty vivid dreams, pains from my random on-off dead leg and being drenched in sweat.

"I also looked like I’d got chickenpox – my face was blotchy, red, angry and spotty."

The same symptoms continued over the following two days, after which her breathing eased, but after that the tightness returned to her chest and her breathing was "dreadful" again, while she still had a temperature, headache, dead leg and upset tummy.

She said: "I was so scared. I’d heard people relapsed and when they did, they usually ended up in ICU.

"Thankfully, although this continued for the next three days, it didn’t get any worse and I finally started to feel better.

"In all, the temperature was with me continuously for 11 days and I spent a good three weeks pretty much just sleeping.

"I had no energy, couldn’t concentrate on anything and was wiped out just climbing the stairs.

"Almost two months later and I still have problems. I am completely breathless and wiped out the minute I try and do anything other than sit in a chair or make a cup of tea.

"I often have to have a rest halfway up the stairs and I still do the breathing exercises I found online to make sure I’m getting oxygen into my lungs."

She added: "I never had a persistent cough or loss of taste and all I can hope is that whatever damage it’s done to my lungs is only temporary and will heal in time.

"I’ve been told it can take up to six months to fully recover and I can well believe that as I still struggle with everyday tasks, can sleep for England and get breathless just from carrying a small bag of shopping.

"I also still have random numbness in my left leg which comes and goes but that doesn’t happen quite so much now."

She said the disease is "unpredictable and frightening" and she does not known whether it has inflicted any lasting damage.

As she was never tested, she is aware that she doesn't feature in the Government's statistics.

"So, I don't think either the infection rate or death rate is even close to reality," she said.