Saturday, 2 August 2008

To borrow from another blogger...

(Just this once, I promise)

I confess: I obsess about my health. I am seriously one of those 'little pain, gonna die' people...or is it 'little pain, gonna milk me some sympathy'?

Over the years I NEVER go to the doctor with something trivial. Or rather, in my head it isn't trivial. Sometimes they even pay attention, and I might get an investigation out of it. But more often it's 'muscular/virus/muscular/get out of my office you hypocondriac'

Now, before anyone calls out the Munchausens Not-by-proxy men in white coats, let me add this one caveat: In the UK Health Service the above is pretty much the diagnosis to EVERYONE, regardless, unless you actually present with the limb hanging off, or have a severe case of rigor mortis.

Our diagnosis logrithms go something like this, I imagine

Patient presents with chest pain ----->

Laugh heartily and ask him if he's tried rennies

Patient's lips go blue and starts gasping for breath ----->

Laugh heartily and josh with patient there's no need to run to surgery

Patient collapses on floor unconcious ------>

Remind patient that there's only a 10-minute slot allowed

Patient's heart stops ----->

Ask patient if there's heart trouble in the family

You see, we go from the least serious, to the worst. Our doctors work on the 'most-unlikely theory' - if it isn't the most common thing (virus/muscles) then it'll keep going awhile..eventually you'll refer.

As you can imagine, this DOES lead to lots of delayed diagnosis, or mistaken. Anyone who's been through the infertility minefield here in the UK has their own horror story to tell, and this isn't the exception - this is the norm.

Everything's minimised, dismissed and ignored.

Which obviously creates a bit of a trust issue.

Which brings me back to my original point. What IF. OK, Ok, yes, obviously none of the things I have worried about (well, apart from the 'no, it HASN'T gone with my period, or the last 3 periods, breast lump....or 'wow, this headache just wont quit at 32w pregnant with flashing lights in eyes...or 'isn't 4% kinda low for sperm morphology') have turned out to be much.

But you hear so much, not just urban legend, real people you talk to, every day.

So, when I go to the doc with a pain I recognise as ovarian from some light dalliance with IVF, OHSS and a corpus luteum cyst in Florence's pregnancy, I really feel a little patronised and ignored when I am told 'colitis' - Pardon me, but by age almost-41 I KNOW what a crampy bowel feels like, thank you. I am also missing all the other colitis symptoms.

Then to confound it again, he puts me on antibiotics....for what?? I know you can't 'cure' colitis. For a potential bowel abscess he says.'ve lost me doc - you're giving me antibioitics for something that according to you isn't there? Oh, and then you say 'please make sure you do double dose tonight to get some on-board'. He did say come back next week if the pain hasn't gone (presumably colitis, which I read is a chronic condition can disappear over a weekend with ethromycin) and he'll organise some tests...hopefully not telescope up your bum....WHAT???? WTF? This is bloody ovary pain...ugh!

My theories on his diagnosis

1. The cramps I have felt all my life when suffering a runny bum were a figment of my imagination and this is actually what it feels like.

2. It was Friday and even he would admit there's no tests to be had over a weekend.

3. He forgot women had ovaries (I have sympathy, I frequently forget we have a Health Service)

4. He did it for a bet. Perhaps it was 'Colitis Friday' and the GPs had a book going on who could give that diagnosis to the most patients.

5. He isn't a doctor, but is actually on work experience from the Job Centre, and had only got to Co in his for cyst comes a little later on.

6. I looked like crap so he didn't fancy any monkey-delving to root around for a cyst.

7. He thought I was a man.

8. He had a fight with the Gyn at the local hospital and all his referrals get binned, so he just invents a diagnosis to avoid the rejection.

9. He was on his last week after winning the lottery and was having some fun.

10. There's a 5 visits/same problem rule before you actually investigate.

So, anyone who has had an ovarian cyst OR bloody colitis:

Does the pain feel like bad stitch
Does it make you feel sick and a bit ill on and off
Does it feel like a constant dull ache when it isn't ripping you in half

Answers on a postcard.


KeepinUnity said...

This is the story of my life lol,sad but flippin true,i dont have colitus,well i could have for all i know lol,i aparently hav ibs lol ,its all ovarys if u ask me,mine absolutly hate me!!!!!!i get low pain allll the time n feel sicky too on n off,it just eases off a few days at a time n then ovulation comes n bammm...agony n then ibs crampy bowels ect,n now i feel 10times worse with this gastritus thing!!!doubled me up on tabs too n i feel like shit,tierdness i cant shake!i sed to him it started wen they gav me steroids n icu for chest n he sed no no that cant b true,but it is!!!!n then they pumped me full of potassium as drug depletted them which is also a cause of the gas thingy!!!!i know it happend to me! not him loland plus im not stupid!! n he smiles with everything he sez i could happily punch him!

Ronda's Rants said...

It isn't much better in the U.S. it just costs more...I once had pain so bad and couldn't get the Doctor to listen and take me serioulsy. Awful periods, chroinc pain etc. Finally, I told my husband he had to come with me because I was sure this (male) Doctor was patronizing me, so Hubby listed off all my smptons and added hurts her for us to have sex. Oh my goodness...I was in surgery for a look see in less than a week! Homestly, I didn't care and that point because I KNEW something was wrong with me. Sure enough I had a list of things... that he fixed while he was in there. Now I am fine...but I had growths on my ovaries! I nw have a womean Doctor who I love!
I hope you feel better soon!

Kim said...

Thanks again for the award! I finally got around to doing mine - something for you....