Another day, another national health service waiting room. I’m very early, on purpose, for my appointment with my GP. I say ‘my’ GP but since last year when the doctor I’d been registered with moved to a different surgery I have been shunted from one to another without seemingly being permanently registered with any of them.
I miss my previous GP. She was knowledgable and compassionate, which ought to be minimum requirements for the job. She was also okay with the possibility that my uncertainty over whether I might be struggling with muscular pain or inflammation more likely to signify another respiratory flare-up meant sometimes I might take up a few minutes of her time unnecessarily so she could use a stethoscope to make a more informed decision about the muscular/inflammation conundrum. Crying wolf, I call it, but not like some idiot mountain boy in the fairy tale. More like someone who genuinely is unable to tell at times if his musculature is bitching at him or his lungs are clogged with infection. Because pain is pain is pain, it’s not gift wrapped and labelled for ease of identification concerning its source.
I saw a pain management consultant yesterday and there are some options going forward when it comes to coping with the fact that I now live with an increased level of pain day to day. A body can only take so much, especially when it’s a body that hit an oil slick in its early forties and is now skidding violently out of control towards early geriatric status. Or death, whichever is more convenient.
If whichever GP sees me today assumes I’m just here to check in with feedback from that pain management session they’re in for a shock. I have a long list of concerns, both physical and mental, which I feel have become very problematic this past six months. I can no longer take it for granted that I know my own body better than anyone else: it’s time I made sure my first stop for everyday health needs step back up in terms of helping me live as normal a life as it is possible for me to live.