Saturday, April 12, 2008

Lessons in...

So the pain gets worse and you wait. There are always bad spells and this could be just one of them, just today, just these few days, maybe just this week. And maybe you have acquired some bad habits which have made things worse, so you test that theory, make sure you are doing all the right things; not too much, not too little. But that makes no difference and things get worse.

Maybe you are more conscious of the pain just now? There's no reason why this would be the case; you're not anxious or feeling sorry for yourself. Maybe your brain is working better and without knowing it, you're actually moving about an awful lot more than you were before? This seems unlikely.

It's probably the tablets. It could be that after all this time, your nervous system has simply grown accustomed to the tablets. The only solution to which would be more tablets, stronger tablets, nastier tablets. You like these ones; they work for you. They used to work.

It is a lonely crisis. You don't know what to do and when and anyone else has even less of an idea. Nobody can know what it feels like, how bad it is, whether or not this is too much to bear. It's bad but you don't feel awful. It is only pain. But it's interfering with the business of life, so you're beginning to feel worse in other ways.

It all gets a little melodramatic. You start using alcohol, which is forbidden, in order to relax the muscles, in order to sleep. Only a little alcohol and it probably isn't dangerous, but this is truly ridiculous behaviour on the part of someone who hasn't even made an appointment to see the doctor about it.

So you phone up to make a doctor's appointment. The soonest they can give you is three weeks away. Panic. Three weeks. You make the appointment but when you come off the phone you say out loud, "I don't think I can last three weeks!"

"Well phone them back and tell them," [...] suggests.

"I don't need an emergency appointment," you lamely reply. "It's not an emergency. And anyway, I wouldn't get to see my doctor and I would have to explain everything to a stranger and they might be reluctant to change my medication."

So then [...] takes the phone and calls them back. He joins in the melodrama by declaring, "My wife is in a state!"

You weren't in a state, but listening to someone else explain your desperate situation - which you hadn't identified as desperate before this point - sets off the waterworks.

A while later, the doctor phones back. Your doctor is very nice. She arranges an appointment for Monday. In the meantime, she says you must take more pills. You take more pills and feel a bit better, if a little stoned. Sleep comes after you have lain awake listing, out loud, all the English place-names beginning with a B. It is a long list, but in the morning it occurs to you that you forgot about Bolton.

After all this time, and after all this experience, you'd think you would be able to look after yourself a bit better than this.


Mary said...

No, it's okay.

You don't want to go to your GP with every stupid fluctuation of a stupid condition that they can't do anything more about. It only wastes their time and your own energy.

The trouble is that we then assume that things which are (a) long-term deteriorations or (b) acute illnesses on top of the usual bleurgh, are merely fluctuations that don't warrant attention.

I do it too. I turn up at the GP's surgery only when bits of me are oozing (ears, tonsils, etc). Every bloody time, the phrase "why didn't you come in sooner?!"

Only way around it is continual reminding that a GP Emergency is not the same as a 999 Emergency.

seahorse said...

Oh Goldfish. I don't think you aren't looking after yourself. You are just up against something particularly draining and all-consuming, so even the ability to cope (which you have in bucketloads) will be affected. This sort of pain warrants attention, and I hope there is an answer soon.

The Goldfish said...

Thank you both. My doctor was off sick yesterday and I feel I really need to see her as opposed to anyone else, who might be reluctant to play about with my medication. So I'm holding on a little longer waiting for the doctor to recover.

Gone Fishing said...

Sorry, I know I am nuts.

I have so many assessments saying so, or not!

Maybe even over assessed into oblivion.
But I did write my post in a mischiveous mood on a wet morning then visited your blog and thought well?

Don't be offended Iw as rambling AGaIN!

Katie said...

Gosh. I have thought for a long time my own GP has a good system. You are not generally allowed to make appointments in advance but if you need to see a doctor you must phone up at 8:30 that morning and they will give you the earliest available appointment that day.

If you require an afternoon appointment you must phone up at 11:30.

They are very strict about this - no calling at 8:20am - but you do always get appointments on the day.

Oh, exceptions are made if you have a very good reason for needing to book an appointment in advance. A very good reason is generally interpeted as needing to book assistance - either formal or casual - to get you to the surgery.

Our practice manager is disabled. Can you tell?