20 February 2007

Just To Cap It All Off

(Otherwise entitled: And You Thought My Family Was Bad)

For some time now, I've been living on rabbit food whilst also putting on weight. OK I haven't exercised much, but you try getting up a head of steam when you can hardly breathe for feeling like an over inflated tyre. (Mothers-in-the-know, we're talking size 8 1/2 months, ok?) Its been a whole new masterclass in dignity in the face of shattered pride, and I rock.

I put a stone on in hospital, living on abstaining from hospital food, and that was in about ten days. I've put another stone on since. My stomach is really delicate now too, with all sorts of antisocial/painful side effects to eating things that used to cause me no trouble; dumb, unrelated stuff like white bread, sesame, or pineapple.

Here's the story:

Went to the Doc some months back.
He said (nice guy): It looks like you are allergic to your beta blockers, but for a year after a heart attack your heart can just decide it didn't like being messed with, and come to a complete halt, which is why you are prescribed them, to stop that happening. So, you can either put up with it, or come off the tablets and die, your choice.

Yup, you gotta love that guy, for his bedside manner if nothing else; he really was that blunt. The fact that I felt like shit was neither here nor there, to him.

So here I am, living on fibre and leaves, unable to even eat a large meal and hold it all down, frequently ripping my throat to shreds on stomach acid; not offered to be signed off for incapacity benefit or anything (because hell, other people cope) and doing what I was told - just hanging on in there and putting up with it. The dodgy antisocial gut means I cant really look for a job; heck I don't even go round a supermarket all on my own any more in case of having to make a run for it with nobody there to hold the trolley. But I'm being good and doing what I was told.

Three weeks ago I get an appointment with the Cardiac nurses back at the hospital - the routine follow-up to check cholesterol levels. They took one look at me and threw themselves into a flutter, exclaiming things like
wrong size
wrong shape
not you
all in front
can't be right on what you're eating
very worrying

I took a preggy test to make sure it wasn't that.
They asked what my GP had to say about all this and I told them.
As I left they said they would be writing to him straight away.

GP responded to them within two days and made out that he was very concerned and would want to see me immediately. I know this because the cardiac nurses rang me to say so and to ask if I'd heard from him yet. For a brief moment, in their eyes, he had exonerated himself and come up looking concerned and misunderstood.

A whole week later I got a letter (straight away, huh?) telling me to make a routine appointment and saying he was sure it was something simple.

A whole other week later (yesterday) I got the earliest possible appointment.

I walked in and he asked me to lie on the couch. He patted my stomach (I'm sure it only seemed cursory), and asked me to sit up again.

Honestly, if I hadn't brought my husband with me as back-up, that would have been my entire contribution to the appointment, the man immediately ignored us both and dictated a letter as we sat there. Specifically he addressed the dietician, stating that I eat too much and need help with setting up a low fat diet. He then turned to me and told me that my sole problem was eating too much.

In the end I managed to come away with another appointment for a scan (which is what the Cardiac Nurses wanted) and another to see the Gastro specialist, but only after we both told him everything I'd told him months before. Not that he wanted to listen.

His parting shot? His piece de resistance (presumably after the 'humiliation' of being told how to do his job)?

He told me the Cardiac Nurses were very worried about me. I guess he doesn't know I'm in contact with them, because he told me (and I quote):

"Of course they are worried about you, because they know you are digging your own grave with your teeth. You have to stop eating so much."

Nice, Dr Jones of Seaford Medical Health Centre; really, really nice. I don't think you listened to a single word I said, or if you did, it seems you dismissed them all as lies or ignorance. Thank fuck you didn't decide to take my blood pressure, eh?


Atyllah said...

Oh Cheryl! You poor thing. Your GP is a complete fuckadoodle. I have a firm belief in firing doctors that don't listen to me. They get one strike and they're out. Your life is too important to be fannying around with complete idiot. Find yourself a new doctor - as fast as possible.
It's best to take a really firm line with the medical profession - they think they know it all. They don't. It's your body and no one knows it better than you do.

Erm... all right, getting off soap box now. (You can tell you've hit one of my pet peeves, can't you?)
You take care, see.

Ally said...

Can you change GP? He sounds like a great big fat nob.

Kate said...

Cheryl, I usually lurk, but I'm coming out to say I agree with everything Atyllah has said. If it is at all possible change your GP, because the one you have now sounds like a complete prat.

Ms Melancholy said...

Ms Baggage - did you rip his head off before you left, or are you saving that for the next visit? He needs some serious feedback.

Badaunt said...

Are you saying you are eating very little and yet gaining weight? Or is it gas? (I mean, weight all over, or the thing I used to do when I had digestive problems, which was to lose weight but balloon out in front with ... hot air. Not very elegant, I agree.)

Because if so, SURELY they wanted to check thyroid function?

But I agree with everyone else: New doctor. Pronto.

fineartist said...

Atyllah makes a good point.

And I can totally relate to doctors lording around acting as if no body could possibly know more than they know...and the condescending...and the lack of listening...and the utter complete disregard.

You are far too important, far too dear to us to let that bimbo mess you up! Thank God for those nurses and your intelligence, you'll get it all figured out, but that doctor needs a serious attitude adjustment, or his ass handed to him for a hat!

hugs, xxoo, Lori

Kim said...

Jesus Cheryl, you HAVE found a new GP, right? What a DICK! Seriously, you have, right?

Jo said...

What everyone else said. Your health, your body darling...change your GP. You have a right to do that.

What is it with f**king doctors? Why do we continually hear stories like yours? I just have no patience left with them at all (I and my wife have had some absolutely outrageous things said to us over the years).


Hugs for your lovely comment to my latest agonised post. Mean it. Thank you.

Library Lady said...

Atyllah is absolutely right, Cheryl. Change doctors, no matter what. Find someone who respects you and listens to you.

I've spent 30 years watching my mom battling the doctors who've cared for my dad through asthma, heart disease and all sorts of woes, and I've seen how you have to be your own advocate.

(In fact, I think I'd ask the nurses for a recommendation!)

fineartist said...

Library lady is on to something, for real, ask the nurses for a referral, they know who is the shit and who isn't for sure!!!

Why didn't I think of that?

Thank you for your comment on my blog today, it really lifted me up, xx, Lo

Anonymous said...

He's an arsehole, Cheryl.

i just did a two minute search on google.

QUOTE It is important to note that weight gain may also be due to fluid retention, which may indicate worsening heart failure. Talk to your doctor if you experience unexplained weight gain soon after starting a beta blocker — especially if you gain more than three to four pounds. If you have sudden weight gain — a weight gain of three to four pounds in 24 to 48 hours — consult your doctor promptly.

Fuck the man and get thee to a consultant. Thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

PS I didn't meant that's what it might BE, I just meant that he was an ignorant arsehole not even to consider it

Writer Mom said...

I'm late, but let me throw in a loud overseas, "STUPID DICKHEAD!!"

As you know, I'm not happy with doctors, either, and I totally encourage you to find someone who does listen. Interesting how all your friends immediately took to considering other possible reasons for the weight gain, and Mr. Time is Money (Is it over there? Sure is here...) just wants to yell at you then dash off to his cricket game.
Cricket, right?
So what does he get paid for? It should be for considering all the options.
If he's wrong about this, you think there's another option for the beta blockers, too?

Gargh, I'm all frothy in the mouth, this makes me so mad.
I hope those nurses keep looking out for you.