Should I Expect Empathy

empathy1As those of you who read this blog, I’m recovering from a hysterectomy, the whole episode has been quite traumatic and added to my list of health problems both mental and physical throw a touch of homelessness in the mix, I’d pretty much come to the end of my tether.

So after yet another debacle of being discharged from hospital and then having to present myself to the council as homeless and in need of care, this did not go well at the said offices the staff actually shocked that it was insisted that I show up to prove my status, even though they do have procedures in place to assist with this, but true to form, being invisible being treated like a human being wasn’t an option open to me.

I was distressed and in a great deal of pain, the streets for a moment looked like a reality!!! I’m lucky in the sense that I have good friends who rallied around, and my accommodation was resolved temporarily whilst I recover.

I realise these faceless government places work only on a script, which is draconian and not designed to help anyone, it’s more an exercise in humiliation, I understand that it is not the person I’m facing but the system, however it leaves a bitter taste, and yet another battle that I’m unable to fight, and still have to through the motions with the pretense on all sides that the band-aid won’t stick for very long.

empathy2So last week I go to see my GP who was away on holiday, therefore I had to see someone else, I had several concerns, and really just needed some assurances.

Well this GP did actually look at me when I entered her office, then proceeded to look at her screen I explained that I’d had surgery 2 weeks before, she nodded, I then tried to explain that I was experiencing some pain and swelling on the right side of my abdomen, and thought it might be an infection, she nodded agreeing it might be, the printer started to hum, and she handed me a prescription for antibiotics.

By this time I’d fully shrank into my seat my voice just a whisper, I also explained that I would now according to my consultant would need to be placed on HRT(hormone replacement therapy) nodding again as she appeared transfixed by the screen, she asked if I had problems with my breasts!!! I looked at her blankly, to clarify she asked if I had found any lumps etc, I replied that it’s in my records that I had breast screening back in May and was all clear.

More nodding and the printer started to hum again, I interjected that I didn’t want pills but patches, a sigh as she changed the prescription that now printed off, by this point I’m almost mute.

I asked about this particular HRT she replied read the leaflet enclosed, again I asked about the infection and could she take a swab, more sighing, and was curtly told to get up on the couch my nerve almost failed me, anyway i hopped up she took the swab, I quickly dressed, I timidly tried to ask a few more questions and was told she was busy and other patients to see, I apologised for bothering her, she looked at me for the second time only and watched me gather my things and leave the office.

To say I was upset is an understatement, I thought I come across the worst kinds ofΒ  officialdom, but this really broke me, I cried all the way back into town, and basically sank into a funk so deep, it seem my whole being had turned in on itself.

At my Surgery when you go to open surgery you are able to talk about as many points as you like, unlike an appointment when your only able to discuss one issue, secondly only 2 weeks previously I’d had surgery therefore entitled to ask and have my questions answered, and not made to feel as though I was a nuisance.

I’ve drafted my letter of complaint.

Yesterday I went back to see my own GP and what a difference, she gave me the surgeons report, we went over the 2 prescriptions given to me, and explained possible side effects, and should come back if I’m having problems and we can try something else, she checked my incision, to see that it was healing as it should, all together it was a productive visit, and left with a smile on my face.

I realise that doctors are under huge pressure as everything is more about money rather than care, and way things are going with the NHS it’s not surprising that perhaps they cannot give the time necessary, that being said there is never any need to make a patient feel like they’re nothing, or that their needs are trivial, this has a detrimental effect on their recovery, and does not inspire trust in those we seek to heal us.

Empathy goes a long way, and no matter how stressed they feel it should never be visited on the patient.

About therabbitholez

I returned to this blog in September 2014, after a 2 year absence, due to depressive illness and homelessness. This journey charts the rocky road to recovery and my feelings about it, and getting a home together after losing everything, this too has been a rocky rocky, both things connected on many levels, but separate at the same time. If you want to know more please read my blog:) and comment on any blog you like I enjoy the interaction, and belong to a great community on here. Thanks for reading.:)
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15 Responses to Should I Expect Empathy

  1. I absolutely hate the way the healthcare system has changed so grossly. One of my biggest problems is that I am no longer a person my providers truly care about and have my best interest at hand, but rather I am a claim, a number and a paycheck. The word Empathy has become obsolete. I do pray that you are healing and feeling better and so glad that you have friends that have provided you shelter. Recovering from an illness is hard enough as it is than to be worried about basic necessities. Be heal and be whole. Thanks for sharing:-)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gale Wright says:

    I’m glad you put all this in a letter. So often, this type gets away with the way they treat people. It takes a lot to pursue writing the letter or making the phone call and many people just won’t bother. I hope you get an official response. It wouldn’t have taken extra time to treat you respectfully. She just didn’t think it was necessary….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thye were quite helpful when I said I was going to complain, some doctors just need to realise that that having the wrong attitude doesn’t help.

      I just want her to realise that her dismissive attitude affected me, and it’s not acceptable.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. breakdownchick says:

    I am sorry you had to go through such an emotional and physical trauma, with the extra stressors of homelessness over your head and a non-caring doctor to boot. I think it’s great that you found the strength to write a letter of complaint. I think more of us should find our voice and express our feelings, it needs to be heard. I hope the rest of your recovery and healing goes smoothly. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Bradley says:

    Should you want empathy? Absolutely. Should you expect empathy? I guess only if you want to be let down. Not enough of it in the world these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • your right very little empathy, though I feel we all deserve a little, it helps us move out of those dark places, and hopefully to trust someone in getting much needed support.

      Thank you for your comment. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. lizzie1322 says:

    I’m really sorry you were treated that way, it’s horrible being made to feel like you are a nuisance or your problems don’t matter! You are right unfortunately the NHS never has enough money to give people enough time or enough care, but it costs nothing to treat people with respect and show sone empathy! I’m glad you complained and that your usual doctor was a bit more understanding. Sometimes I wonder why some people are doctors!
    I hope you are recovering well from surgery, make sure you take it easy xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • As we know the NHS is under pressure, I get that, however when your dealing face to face with people, it’s part of their job that they make you feel comfortable.

      I prefer to deal with someone that is open and not just there to give a diagnoses and hand out a perscription, care has to be more than that despite time constraints and budgets.

      Recovery is slow, and going well πŸ™‚


  6. One of the worse ways to be treated is as if you don’t exist. And that’s what she did to you. I’m sorry you had to go through that and I’m glad you’re writing a letter of complaint. That kind of attitude from a doctor needs to be dealt with

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve posted it, so now just have to wait to hear, I felt much better.

      We shouldn’t accept shoddy treatment, however many of us do for various reasons, and in the in we stop trusting, therefore can delay important diagnoses/treatment/even stigma if you feel you’re not being listened to.

      Thank you for commenting πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  7. manyofus1980 says:

    That GP was disgraceful! I am glad your complaining her. I’m sorry she treated you in that way, its terrible! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

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