Been off with Long Covid

Hello , I need some advice I been on LTD for 17 months now and yesterday I was at my doctors and he said I should try modifed work in a bit , but I know im not ready for any type of work and now my anxiety level is way up. I suffer from body pain, dizziness and joint pain, severe fatigue. What do i do and how do I convince my doc to keep me off work ?

Hi Jon,

Since those symptoms you mentioned are subjective, I would try to get objective evidence that you are not well enough to work and that you are still receiving on-going treatment. For example:

-If you haven’t already, get into a Long/Post Covid treatment program. There are a growing number of clinics offering such programs. Have your practitioner provide a report to share with your doctor and insurance company, to show you are still actively receiving treatment.
-Check whether you have POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) which is where your heart rate will increase by over 30 beats per minute when you go from a lying position to a standing position, This can make one feel lightheaded and dizzy. Many ppl with Long Covid have POTS but doctors don’t even know about it. You can home-test yourself, and if you think you have POTS, talk to your practitioner doing your Long-Covid treatment and have them include it in a report to share with your doctor.
-Maybe get an assessment done at a dizziness and balance clinic and have them provide a report of the assessment.
-If your anxiety is really high, you could consult a psychologist and explain how you are feeling and have them write up a report. I had this done when my family doc was becoming hesitant to extend my leave and it was very helpful. It took two 1hr sessions with my psychologist to go over my situation and then I paid for another 1hr session for the time used in writing my report. In the report, my psychologist mostly quoted my exact words I used to describe how I felt so be careful in choosing your words.
-If you have sleep issues due to your pain, you could ask for a referral to a sleep specialist for an overnight sleep test. It will take time before you get the results but having a pending referral with a specialist can indicate to your doctor and insurance company that you still have issues that are being investigated. There are also at-home sleep tests you can order online where they send you a kit and you can also order an analysis from a sleep doctor.
-If you are open to it, consult a naturopath and ask for tests to check your mitochondria functioning which may be causing your severe fatigue. If the results show any abnormalities, you can share that with your family doctor. I know most medical doctors do not trust naturopaths but sometimes objective test results will make an open-minded medical doctor think “mmm, maybe there is something wrong”. If interested, message me and I can share what test I had done. It was expensive but my extended healthcare benefits covered the cost.

How is your cognitive functioning?

All the best

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I never thought of that, pots syndrome sounds a lot like my symptoms, for the last few months I been doing physiotherapy light excersies and it drains me, and no improvement. I do get dizzy when I stand and also I have ringing in ears (tinnitus) ever since last summer. I am going to an ear specialist to see whats happening with my dizziness. I haven’t been to a covid clinic yet. Very hard to get in. Thank you for the advice. And also I forgot to mention I get random swellling on my hands and arm and today I have the inside of my lip swollen. Weird symptoms.

Thank you for the advice.

You’re welcome. Referrals seem to take so long nowadays that I’m not surprised Covid clinics are hard to get into. Can you get into a Long Covid program offered by a physiotherapy clinic? I would think they have shorter wait-times than hospitals. I know you said that physiotherapy doesn’t seem to help but I think finding a practitioner that can assess you and write up a report that mentions things like POTS, post-exertional malaise etc and then sharing that report with your family doctor and insurance company will make them understand you are not ready to return to any kind of work.

How do I get reffered to a covid physiotherapy?? Right now im only doing physio to help with my fatigue but its not doing much.

I’m not sure which province you’re in but if you do an online search for “Long Covid physiotherapy” you should find some clinics in your area. You should be able to just call them and book an appointment. Personally I have found getting various practitioners to write assessment reports and sharing them with my family doctor has been extremely helpful in convincing them I am still unwell. Even if the report is just stating what you told the practitioner, I have found my family doctor will believe it when it comes from another professional :roll_eyes:

Im in Alberta. I will search and see what I can do.

Thank you for the advice.