My GP Visits
Before I fell ill I was never a regular visitor at my Doctor’s surgery. I felt my health was good. Apart from having the odd cold, chest infection around winter, that was about it. But In March 2003 when I fell ill things changed drastically for me.
I was visiting my Doctor on a regular basis, at least once a week. I was so ill, some weeks I was there 2-3 times a week because my symptoms were so bad. I found it extremely difficult to put across how bad I was feeling. My Doctor gave me a general once over and didn’t think there was anything to worry about. My first prescription was, if I remember correctly, Zantac. This was to help with stomach acid. I told my Doctor this was not stomach acid but I was advised it would definately help. I left my Doctor knowing it wouldn’t help even with the mucus/slime. I felt my Doctor had only recognised a couple of symptoms and made the wrong diagnosis. I had a list of symptoms as long as my arm! Yet, my Doctor thought I was suffering from acid reflux or something along those lines.
I went back after finishing the course of Zantac. It had made no difference whatsoever in my symptoms, especially with the mucus/slime that I was spitting up. I was then told to cut down on mucus forming foods, etc., My Doctor felt certain foods were now the cause of my problems. What about my other symptoms I thought…. I highlighted this fact - I was suffering from many other awful symptoms, not just mucus/slime. I mentioned the chest symptoms and I was told it was probably heartburn so I was then prescribed Ranitidine as this would help. Again, this did nothing for my symptoms and I soon returned. On my next visit I went in with a hand-written list of ALL my symptoms. I felt it would help my Doctor. I explained why I did this. I felt that only a couple of my symptoms were being recognised and that the bigger picture wasn’t being properly looked at.
Deep down, I knew what the problem was yet I knew if I said anything, I wouldn’t be taken seriously. I was prepared to take the risk and took the bull by the horns. I told my Doctor I was sure my symptoms were parasite related. My Doctor disagreed and it was basically left at that. On further visits I had to assert myself. I told my Doctor I knew that parasites were involved. I told him I’d researched the symptoms and that there were similarities yet he still didn’t think so. Even without researching my symptoms I knew I had parasites of some sort. I knew for sure because I had put myself in a situation where I could have picked parasites up and I highlighted my concerns to him. (I will explain why I knew it was parasites in future blogs). I know many people think everyone is delusional when mentioning parasites, but I have proof. I will post a picture along with this blog (once I work out how to do it). Later on, as you read on about my trials and battles, you’ll see and learn more about this discovery. It still shocks me to this day to know what I harbour inside of me.
It was like this, back and forth for well over a year, then a gap of a few months because I couldn’t face going back. It was only a matter of time before I HAD to go back, I wasn’t coping with the symptoms and I was getting worse.
When I went back my Doctor went down the lines of allergies. Because of the ear, nose and throat symptoms he decided to refer me to an ENT surgeon. I was on the waiting list but it wasn’t too bad, it was about 6 weeks I had to wait. Anyway, I saw ENT, they found nothing. I felt I was back to square one again. I was getting to the stage where I didn’t want to go back to my Doctor, yet my symptoms were so bad I had no choice. I dreaded it. I’d been prescribed this and that, nothing worked. ENT found nothing. Where was my Doctor to go next? I felt I was up against a brick wall and I had nowhere to turn. There were some weeks I didn’t go near my Doctor yet I was seriously ill but I just couldn’t face going back because I knew they wouldn’t get to the bottom of things, not if they didn’t listen to me. Sounds crazy I know but I was in his office practically 2-3 times a week for a very, very long time. It was embarrassing for me. I’d walk in to his office and it was almost like ‘not you again’. I also felt I wasn’t being listened to properly or taken seriously with my concerns. But I had no choice, I had to go back, I was really ill. I was also aware that if I didn’t go back I was putting my health at serious risk, because I knew I was getting worse. I also felt that if I didn’t go back I was giving my Doctor a false impression that all was well with me. I felt I had a huge dilemma on my hands.
With regards to my quality of life, I was a walking zombie. Some days and I could barely function. I was going into work, feeling really ill. My colleagues were also telling me I didn’t look well. When the fevers were bad I obviously couldn’t go in to work, I could barely get out of bed. There were days when the fever had gone down, I still felt ill and I’d go into work. Crazy I know. It was like this for a long, long time. I couldn’t go on like this. I wasn’t doing myself any favours living like this. I began to recognise the pattern of flare-ups, down to a “T". I noticed a pattern to the symptoms. I knew on the next flare-up I had to make an appointment with my Doctor that day. He could see I was ill. My temperature was high and he recognised this. I was shaking, trembling. My heart was racing. I told him none of the symptoms had allevaited in any way. I was getting worse. I explained I didn’t want to come back because of all the negative results I’d had yet I couldn’t continue like this. That day, I should have been sent to hospital and had tests carried out until they got to the bottom of things. NO, that didn’t happen. My Doctor could see I was ill but to me, he did not realise the seriousness of it. He told me to go to bed, he gave me an antibiotic for a chest infection (amoxycillan) because of the cough I had. I finished the course of antibiotics as advised but my symptoms still persisted.
I went back again, a few weeks later. I told my Doctor I didn’t understand why nothing was showing up in any tests. There were times I couldn’t hold it together in his office and I was in tears.
He took blood and had routine blood tests done, liver, kidneys, infection. Yet they were all ok too. I just didn’t understand it. I’d told my Doctor I was still passing blood-covered stools when emptying my bowels. Toileting was very difficult and it just was not normal. Because of this I think my Doctor knew he had no choice but to send me for an endoscopy and a colonoscopy. Surely this would get to the bottom of things! I was told I’d have to wait 6-9 months. He actually made the call whilst I sat there in his office. I told him no way could I wait this long. Because of the length of time of my suffering he agreed and pushed for a shorter waiting time. It was brought forward but I still had to wait 4 months!
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