A Photon is a quantum of energy typically emmited by one Electron and absorbed by another.
the electron loses energy/momentum when "emitting the virtual photon" and therefore must be in a "lower orbit" until it reabsorbs said photon. As it is doing so all the time, its average position is nearer to the nucleus. I must say that this is just a pretty picture for experimentalists/laymen who do not understand QFT. Virtual particles are a mathematical concept which describes the effect of what is happening on the quantum level (up to some order), but not the thing itself. In the end there is no easy way to imagine what happens b/c during an interaction the particle picture (asymptotic states) breaks down and the, for us, unintuitive wave nature of the "particles" takes over. The electron field kind of interacts with itself and in doing so produces higher order effects like the one you are thinking about.