Monday, 28 January 2013

A New Day, A New Doctor

I've been with my current doctor's surgery my whole life and since the normal spate of childhood illnesses and up until I became ill with ME/CFS in my mid-twenties, I really had little or no need for any medical attention.  However, even in the last ten years I have noticed a severe decline in the service provided by my surgery.

When I first started to get involved in ME/CFS groups, I heard so many horror stories about the way ME/CFS'ers were treated by their GPs.  I heard how one girl was told by her GP that she was hungover for three years, despite repeatedly telling her GP that she could not drink alcohol as it made her even more ill.  Others were accused of having a cold/flu, of imagining it, or even told off for wasting the doctor's time.  I was just so grateful that my doctor listened to me and sent me for test after test to investigate my symptoms, that I never doubted the medical care that I received.  My GP was always open to letting me try different medication.

Then a couple of years ago the surgery moved and there was a change in staff and the place has been going steadily downhill since then.  Last year I had an extremely traumatic experience with the practice nurse and when I tried to complain about it I received no help from the surgery or my doctor.  It has been a real weight on my shoulders since May last year and has been causing me so much stress.  My sister kept advising me to find a different GP, but I never did, I was stuck in the confusion and stress caused by this incident.  

But I have been thinking and if I am completely honest, my GP has not really treated me or tried anything new in so long.  The last time I asked to be referred to a specialist, he offered me new meds.  The fact is that he may have been a very good doctor at one point, but he is semi-retired now and not as committed to his job/patients as he used to be.

So, I've decided to find a new GP.  I'm not deluded enough to believe that a new doctor will solve all my health problems, but the fact that just making that decision has left me feeling lighter and happier than I have done in a long time tells me that I have made the right decision.  Plus, you never know what a new set of medical eyes and ears will come up with.  All I do know for sure is that my current GP seems to put everything down to ME/CFS and doesn't really investigate or treat it as he has that "Well, there's no cure for ME/CFS" excuse.  I'll head out later this week and pick up a registration form from the new medical centre I've found.


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