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In which my faith in the NHS is restored

11 May

I’ve just returned from an appointment with my GP. I’ve been putting it off for a month, knowing I need to speak to him about the referral and diagnosis from Dr. B and the pain of the tendonitis (it’s much, much worse; physio have given me shoe supports and it looks like it may never heal properly because it’s been inflamed and damaged for so long), along with the continued eczema saga. I just hate going to my GP. He’s lovely – a really good, kind doctor – but I feel awful for frequenting his office so often. I sometimes worry I’m making a career out of hassling the NHS for help.

In the waiting room, I forgot entirely what I wanted to say. I sat with my mother, wishing I’d done what she always advises and written everything down. My memory is terrible at the moment, what with the combination of broken sleep, pain, strong dope and general apathy. I supppose I just react badly to advice; I have no idea why. Is that a BPD thing?

The good thing about my GP is that he makes me feel at ease; a rarity when it comes to doctors. I’m naturally wary of anybody in authority (having been let down so many times) that I usually panic and keep my mouth shut throughout the appointment, agreeing with everything the doctors say. I managed to explain that the tendonitis and eczema have been keeping me awake and affecting everyday life – I have to walk with a stick pretty much all the time now – and he nodded as though he actually understood what I was saying. Do you have any idea how rare that is for me? Usually doctors just sigh and tell me that pain can be managed.

He let me read the letter Dr. B sent after my appointment. Again, I was taken seriously; I don’t know why the tables have turned, but I’m not going to question it. After years of being passed up, it finally feels like my voice is being heard. It’s a wonderful feeling.

Dr. B recommended I be put on Lyrica for the nerve pain from both fibro and arthritis. I knew there was a chance I’d get it, but it’s so rarely given in the UK for pain so I knew it’d be a 50/50 chance. It’s also expensive, and we all know how wary doctors are of giving expensive drugs out to patients. I’ve been given so many cheap, generic drugs; and I don’t care what anybody says, they are different.

I’m starting out on 200mg a day. I’ve also been given Celebrex again and a different steroid for the eczema. I saw a dermatologist on Tuesday, and they’ve put me on a high dose of antibiotics to try and control the constant infections from the broken skin. In all, I’m taking eleven pills a day now.

In all, I’m happy with this. Nobody likes swallowing handfuls of pills, but I have hopes for Lyrica, and as long as the Celebrex doesn’t give me a stomach ulcer again, I’m quite willing to stay on it, if it helps the pain. There’s only so much pain one person can take.

So, perhaps things are looking up.

 
24 Comments

Posted by on May 11, 2012 in Every day life

 

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24 responses to “In which my faith in the NHS is restored

  1. ryoko861

    May 11, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Hopefully, now you’ll get some relief and get your life back on track. It’s hard finding a GOOD doctor. Seems these last two have been a blessing!

     
    • halfwaybetweenthegutter

      May 11, 2012 at 12:48 pm

      Oh, they have! I’ve been incredibly lucky with GPs; I’ve only had two in my life, and both have been amazing. Dr. B is the loveliest man. He’s Egyptian and really softly spoken, a really warm and kind man. I may hate the town I live in, but having one of the country’s top rheumatologists and physical therapy units (our hospital has the Northwest’s spinal unit) is a blessing.

      I’m feeling much more positive now :)

       
      • ryoko861

        May 11, 2012 at 1:01 pm

        I’m happy for you!

         
  2. Julie

    May 11, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Few things are better than feeling like you’ve been heard when you’re in pain. I’m glad they’re listening to you and I hope things start to get better for you soon. *hugs*

     
  3. judithatwood

    May 11, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Love from another multi-pill taker! I am thrilled for you, that the docs are taking you seriously! And don’t even think you’re going there too often. If someone had diagnosed this problem 4 or 5 years ago, you wouldn’t be so sad, and have all those initials to think about.

    I was going to warn you about Celebrex, but it sounds like you know already. Best of luck with the Lyrica — isn’t that one of those drugs where you aren’t supposed to have infections? I saw an ad somewhere, but I don’t remember if Lyrica was the drug.

    I’m very, very happy to see the world taking notice — you are loved, you are valued, and if you ever doubt that, email me. I’ll tell you! 8-)

     
    • halfwaybetweenthegutter

      May 14, 2012 at 12:25 am

      Love to you too :) I admit, I was wary of trying Celebrex again because I really didn’t react well last time, but I figured the pain elsewhere had to be worse than anything Celebrex caused, and so far (three days into taking it) I haven’t had any reactions at all, so fingers crossed!

      I had no idea about Lyrica and infections, so I’ve just Googled it and it seems that there’s an increased risk of thrush (yay, as if I don’t get that enough anyway!) and it does slightly raise your risk of infection elsewhere. Eh, whatever; I’ll cross that bridge if I come to it.

      Thank you very much for your kind words, they mean a heck of a lot Judith :) You’re one of life’s good people.

       
  4. Jacklyn

    May 11, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    By chance are you taking an acid reducer for your stomach like Prilosec or Zantac? My doctor put me on Prilosec to help control my stomach acid in my stomach so my ulcer is not irritated. Because I had gastric bypass I have a hard time eating meat too. I also have to take coumadine for my blood disorder. This combo of trying to eat meat along with a blood thinner and an ulcer is usually not good. The acid reducing medicine helps tremendously. I take one every morning.

     
    • halfwaybetweenthegutter

      May 14, 2012 at 12:22 am

      Yes, I’m taking Lansoprozole, a proton-pump inhibitor. I sometimes forget to take it though; I need to work out a proper system for my medication.

      I’m a vegetarian, so luckily I miss out on the meat aspect. I did find my stomach was a lot less willing to tolerate irritation when I ate meat, although I never really thought of there being a link until your comment.

       
  5. NZ Cate

    May 12, 2012 at 6:49 am

    I love this and am so pleased for you (if a tiny wee bit jealous :-)) A doctor can make all the difference to our experience and to our quality of life, so here’s hoping what he has done will work. And yes, I think all of us BPDer’s struggle with taking advice. Maybe it’s to do with the distorted sense of self but I’m not sure. Will have to think on that one. But one thing I know is that I struggle with it. :-)

     
    • halfwaybetweenthegutter

      May 14, 2012 at 12:19 am

      Yeah, I know a lot of people with BPD have trouble taking advice and the distorted sense of self does make sense as a reason. I suppose you can’t really take advice when you don’t know who you’re even applying it to.

      Thank you :)

       
  6. MissPistachio

    May 12, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    I’m incredibly happy for you! My mother is going through similar issues, they’re thinking it might be lupus (I know I know, House says “It’s never lupus!” but this time it may be hehe) and I just can’t stand how she goes from doctor to doctor and each one gives her some crap medication that does nothing and no one listens to her. She’s finally in the hospital with a leg infection that her body refuses to fight off (because she clearly has an autoimmune disease, most likely lupus) and they seem to FINALLY be taking her seriously. Shes been in the hospital for a week.

    Just knowing that someone is taking you seriously is music to my ears! SO incredibly glad something is being done for you!

     
    • halfwaybetweenthegutter

      May 14, 2012 at 12:18 am

      Haha, I was walking through the hospital a few days ago with my walking stick, pretending to be House, shouting “it’s never Lupus, everybody lies!”. I don’t think my mum was impressed.

      I know it’s an awful way for your mother to get treated but I’ve often found that ending up in hospital can sometimes be the only way someone will take you seriously. I’m sorry she’s had to go through so much; it’s not fair on anybody when someone is shoved from pillar to post. It has knock-on effect on friends and family too, and sometimes doctors really overlook the emotional as well as physical impact delayed diagnosis and treatment can have. I’ve had so many prescriptions and diagnoses over the years, all wrong.

      And thank you! I suspect if I hadn’t had the support of people like yourself, I wouldn’t have had the strength to keep trying for help.

       
  7. The Quiet Borderline

    May 12, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    OK, one step at a time. I hope you are feeling OK today.

    Good luck with the new medication.

    All the best.

     
  8. alittlecoconut

    May 13, 2012 at 8:58 am

    That’s great news – good luck with the new medication, I hope it helps. I undersand what it’s like to be frustrated by doctors. Took me a long time to find one that felt like she took me seriously and actually helped. before her, I’d received numerous scripts that were all wrong for a sking thing that was going on under my arm. Man. I hate to question it but seriously, where do some doctors get their qualoificaitons???

     
    • halfwaybetweenthegutter

      May 14, 2012 at 12:07 am

      I have no idea! I often think I could do a better job than a lot of doctors, and I haven’t even been to university. Heck it took me until I was 21 to get my GCSE’s!

      Thanks for the good luck; I really hope it works. It’s just a shame that so many hoops have to be jumped through to get treatment. It’s not right.

       
  9. faithhopechocolate

    May 13, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Oh, fantastic news! Hope that the medication works well for you. Still sending love and prayers anyway. Xxx

     
    • halfwaybetweenthegutter

      May 14, 2012 at 12:05 am

      Thank you! I’ve been on it for three days now and I can just start feeling a difference :) There’s less pain and muscle spasms, for sure xx

       
  10. meerschweinchenffm

    May 13, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    Do you have to pay for the Lyrica yourself or does the insurance cover it?

     
    • halfwaybetweenthegutter

      May 14, 2012 at 12:04 am

      The NHS covers most of the cost. Prescriptions are just over £8.00 an item here now I think, but I have a pre-payment card which I pay once a year rather than pay every time, so it works out cheaper. I’d be lost if I had to pay full or even half price for every drug.

      Anyway it’s nice to see you! I really hope things are going well for you Astrid, you’ve been in my thoughts x

       
      • meerschweinchenffm

        May 14, 2012 at 12:18 am

        I am very touched by your words. Thank you. I hope you will feel a lot better soon! (I asked if you have to pay, because I could have helped. A friend of mine is a doctor and they get a lot of free “samples”…)

         
  11. El Guapo

    May 15, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Always happy to hear about doctors taking their patients seriously.
    And I saw from a later post that the Lyrica was starting to work, so Yay!

     
    • halfwaybetweenthegutter

      May 15, 2012 at 3:55 pm

      Thanks for the visit! I do have some pain today in the back of my thighs, but I can see a real difference :)

       

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