ASK THE EXPERT
QFIVEmonths ago, I had what is now assumed to have been Covid-19. At the time, I didn’t feel too bad and never went for a test or anything – it felt a bit like flu. After a few days, I thought I was better, but the odd thing was that it left me so very tired. Not normal tired – really exhausted and unable to do anything tired.
I put up with this for a couple of weeks then tried to see my doctor, which I did online with a video call. He was just dismissive and said I was probably depressed. I didn’t feel depressed but it sort of made sense because everything seems so scary, both jobwise and in the world at large. He prescribed anti-depressants, but I thought they made me worse as I was even more exhausted, so after I’d been on them for six weeks, I called him back.
By this time, I got weird aches and pains; my hair started to fall out; some days I’d be running a temperature. Again, my doctor was dismissive and suggested an appointment with a counsellor.
That was four weeks ago and I’m still waiting – but I can’t see it doing any good and I don’t feel any better. I feel like I’m going crazy! I’ve heard of other people who still feel ill after they’ve had this virus, so why aren’t doctors picking up on it and doing something?
ACOLUMNIST and trained counsellor Fiona Caine says: “It’s unfortunate that it seems your doctor isn’t keeping up to date with what’s happening regarding this virus. It sounds like you could be one of several people experiencing what is now being referred to as ‘Long Covid’. Whilst most people recover from Covid-19 after around two weeks, research suggests that a smaller number are left with sometimes quite debilitating symptoms that linger on.
“However, there is no definitive answer on how to treat it and research is only now beginning to scratch the surface.
“Viruses are known to trigger all kinds of different responses in people, and chronic fatigue, such as you are experiencing, is not an uncommon response to a virus. The same is true for hair loss.
“Please talk to your doctor again and discuss this with him. If he is unwilling to listen you can ask for another opinion. You are not obliged to keep seeing the same GP.”