As 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.
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 of 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.