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IN THE REGION: ‘Like my heart was trying to tear through my rib cage.’ Idahoans describe long COVID

Vaccinations have begun across the region. Meanwhile, health officials are seeing some patients who overcome the initial bout of virus only to struggle with long-term health effects. (Enterprise file photo)

Hearing loss. Out of work for months. Eleven trips to the emergency room. Heart racing in the middle of the night. Lung tests, heart tests, brain scans and blood tests. Aches and pains. Words don’t make sense. Everything smells like burning wood.

Dozens of Idahoans shared these examples of what it’s like to have long-term health issues after a COVID-19 infection. Some have racked up medical debt, going from doctor to doctor trying to find help.

“For me, getting COVID was like getting on a tilt-a-whirl with the biggest bottle of tequila, and I can’t get off of it . . .