Questions for a Doctor – Part 2

I went in for my blood test results and, surprise surprise, everything is fine. Which is only what the doctor suspected of course and these blood tests are only being done because the ME/CFS clinic she referred me to wants them done. . .

In fact I did have two borderline results. One was vitamin D (Uh, it’s the end of winter and we’re in the UK, most of the population probably has slightly low levels right now) and the other was iron. What was done? I was told to “get out more, you have to get out!” and given a prescription for iron tablets because “someone as young as you shouldn’t have levels that low.” The woman is obsessed with my age!

And she wasn’t done with me yet. “What changes have you made to your lifestyle since I saw you last?

To put it politely, I was flabbergasted. (An excellent word don’t you think?) What changes was I supposed to be making exactly? As far as I could remember, she hadn’t told me to do anything except go for the blood tests. And get a job. Was I supposed to have done that within the last few weeks, while I’m only just recovering from the effects of a Christmas cold that lasted over a month? As it happened I’d also had an infection under a tooth which was leading to an abscess and had been in agony and taking painkillers by the dozen the last week or so, along with antibiotics prescribed by my dentist.

You’ll be amazed to hear I hadn’t felt up to doing much. Not that I knew I was meant to be doing anything in particular anyway.

When I explained about the toothache (such a poor description!) she nodded understandingly and asked if something like that set me back. Set me back. I had barely eaten for days and nearly called emergency services (not that she knew because she didn’t ask) and she wonders if that sort of thing sets me back.

I’ll admit I was a touch annoyed by this point, and my temper wasn’t improved by her conclusion that the next step was to have the ME/CFS clinic re-diagnose me so that they could sort me out.

I could almost hear the suggestion of, ‘therapy for a start, to correct your wrong-thinking and get you up and out into the world, because you’re too young to be malingering and wasting your life like this.’ For clarification, this wasn’t said aloud, but it’s certainly the impression I got.

Oh, and after I’ve been to the clinic I’m supposed to make another appointment to see my doctor to ‘give her feedback’. Does anyone else think this would be a waste of resources? I’m sent to the clinic because they know (hopefully) what they’re talking about and how best to help me. Why then do I need to report back to my doctor? Aren’t doctors able to contact the clinic directly anyway? If that sort of thing is happening a lot, it’s no wonder the NHS is struggling.

I can only hope I have a better time at the clinic, because this doctor really isn’t doing much for my faith in the medical profession.

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