I saw my GP today. I have seen and spoken to her many times over the last few months, whilst This Thing has been happening to me, and I have been this ill. I’m getting a bit tearful thinking about how much she has genuinely tried, has seemed to genuinely care, to help me. Genuine. It’s an odd word, isn’t it? But one that, when applied to people, takes on a rather powerful meaning. A genuinely good person; they can seem so rare sometimes, and when you are chronically ill, endless doctors appointments can bombard you. I’ve had some reduce me to tears of frustration. Many have ended in long rants to Other Half (poor sod). But some of the few that I leave feeling at least somewhat positive from – even in the midst of severe bouts of physical or mental health issues – are those with my GP.
I really couldn’t have managed the medical side of the last few months without her. There have been some weeks where the poor doctor has had to deal with me multiple times trying to get things semi sorted. I joked, because I was embarrassed, to her once that she must be speaking to me more than her friends. Never once has she made me feel bad. She has validated my pain, my trauma, my PTSD. She has always stated that getting on top of my pain levels is something that matters, and this whole attitude has meant the world to me.
Here in the UK, the NHS is massively over stretched and under funded. Doctors of all specialties are being expected to do far more than they should, to function as if they are robots rather than human beings, programming more robots, rather than treating more human beings. It hurts my heart seeing the strain on such a beautiful system, that needs desperately to be protected and nurtured rather than hacked at and chunked off.
So when, knowing all of this, I see a doctor who has time to listen to me cry, to empathize when I sob that my pain levels are making me feel I am not living, to chat with me when certain examinations are making me feel triggered and anxious, and most of all to never put any pressure on me just to suck it up, I am grateful. If I could think of a way of telling not just my GP but every good doctor I’ve ever seen just how amazing I think they are without sounding like a stalker, I would. Instead I tell them thank you, and hope it’s enough.
And then I come and sound like a stalker on my blog.