Monday, 16 February 2009

No Good Ever Comes From Going the Doctors.

I've always avoided doctors like the plague!
My theory was that nothing good ever came of going to the doctors. If I was desperate I’d occasionally enter a walk in centre, but as far as possible as long as I had some ibuprofen and some Beechams I could pretty much cure myself of anything.

Of course some things you can’t ignore. A routine smear test for example. Having had 2 botched attempts from walk in clinics I eventually went to my GP practise and while I was there my blood pressure was taken and was through the roof.

I went back 2 months later and as it was still very high and given my family history (dad had quadruple heart bypass and my brother had a stroke) my GP sent me immediately to hospital.

Unfortunately it was 8pm and I had to go to A&E.
A&E?? with high blood pressure? I kid you not.She gave me a letter to hand in, and the triage sister looked at me in disdain “so what? High blood pressure? That’s it?” I shrugged and nodded. “take a seat”

I sat on that chair for 11 hours. Now ok I could understandably have a good old moan about having to wait 11 hours, but that’s not the fault of the people on duty. I was neither an accident nor an emergency and those ambulances, they just kept coming.
Finally a doctor comes to see me. He takes my blood pressure – which as my body was gradually falling asleep was probably not quite as high as it had been at a normal more awake hour. He did all kinds of tests on me, checked my eyes, my ears, my reflexes, and eventually said “it might just be white coat hypertension” I waited 12 hours to be told I’m scared of doctors??

“we’ll order lots of tests though just to make sure” he says and wanders off. I have an ECG done and I provide a urine sample. And then I am handed a request form asking for further tests that I have to get done by my GP, including a 24 hour urine test. This means I have to capture a sample very time I go to the toilet in a 24 hour period. I was informed I would get the container from my GP.
Except my GP doesn’t have them. Apparently only hospitals have them. I phoned the walk in centre and asked if they had them. Yes they have them! So I went along to the walk in centre to request a container. They hand me a normal urine container. I explained what it was I needed and they looked at me like I was stupid. Apparently only the GP has them.
So who has what? And why isn’t it common knowledge amongst the various departments in the nhs? On top of all that I was called in for a chest echo or echocardiograph. This is basically an ultrasound of the heart. Feeling rather exposed and vulnerable I listened to the sound of my blood flow and looked at frankly disturbing images of my heart on a grainy black and white screen. And when it was all over I asked “so was it ok?” “oh I can’t give you the results I have to give them to the doctor” Wait a minute…aren’t we supposed to have some right to know what’s going on?? She then added “it’s nothing to worry about”Is that, there’s absolutely nothing to worry about or, there’s nothing that can’t be fixed to worry about???

And so the tests keep on coming. Do they treat me for high blood pressure yet, or is the blood pressure a symptom of something else?

In the meantime I am ignoring the urine test request. If that doctor still wants me to do it he can bleedin well provide me with the pot to piss in!