For the purpose of this blog we shall call my GP ‘Wonder GP’ because she is really is turning out to be.
She is the 6th GP I have seen, at the same practice, since my M.E. journey began. I chose her at random from a list of Doctor’s names online when I was making an appointment over a year ago. I chose her because I refused to go back to any of the others. The fact that she hasn’t yet made me cry is still quite baffling! Since having M.E. I have been reduced to tears by every other GP and have left nearly every appointment feeling incredibly despondent and alone. Not anymore. I still expect to be told that this is my fault or that I’m not trying hard enough or that I just have to get on with it.
Yet Wonder GP has never treated me like that. And that feels quite alien. You see the stigma and misunderstanding of this condition goes before us.
Wonder GP is actually surprised by how blasé I am about so many of my symptoms. Five years in, and after being left to my own devices by the medical world, I have learnt to accept the worst symptoms as being completely normal. It has not been easy and I still get scared sometimes but on the whole it has meant that I have regained control of my life and rather than being dictated by my health, I have almost embraced it and we work alongside each other as best as we. It would not be healthy to be focuses on how poorly I feel all of the time, and so I don’t. This is my new normal.
Anyway, I digress. So what’s new?! Haha.
When I went to see my GP about my heart, she asked me to run her through my medical history and symptoms. I have purposely avoided talking about my M.E. as a whole with her. Instead I’ve brought up symptoms separately as and when because my past experiences have taught me that GP’s do not always have a high opinion of this condition and I cannot tell you how detrimental that has been to me.
So, for the first time, I listed off all of my symptoms. And for the first time someone has actually taken it upon themselves to solve a problem, rather than fobbing me off and sending me on my way.
I am being referred to The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London to see if they can shed some light on why I get ‘stuck’ or paralysed. It has been a symptom I’ve experienced throughout The M.E. Years and one that I’ve always put down to M.E. because no doctor ever batted an eyelid when I mentioned it. It tends to happen when I get too hot, or after I eat, or when I am crashing after ‘exertion’, or dehydrated. I am unable to speak or move for a good five minutes and then I slowly get the movement back in my fingers and toes and regain the ability to speak.
Wonder GP had never come across anything like it before but instead of ignoring it she spent time doing research into it on my behalf! Can you believe that?! I’m a little overwhelmed that she took the time and effort to try to come up with an answer and a solution. Incidentally this is the same GP who referred me to the haematology specialist when my blood wasn’t clotting properly. See! How wonderful she is.
I no longer have such intense anxiety before a doctors appointment. I no longer leave feeling deflated and defeated and worthless. It is quite telling really that I am overwhelmed by the fact that a GP is treating me a human being. That alone does more for me as an M.E. sufferer than any of my medications do.