Apologies in advance to all the nice medical professionals out there, the doctors who listen, show empathy, respect their patients but really, I've had enough of the other kind.
I've unfortunately had WAY too much contact with doctors in the last while, starting with the time my Dad was in hospital.
My Carotid Artery Dissection has meant endless visits, monitors, checks and more and a recurring theme has been lack of understanding, lack of interest in learning, and above all, arrogance.
I'm unlucky in that I have a condition which isn't very common so knowledge is thin on the ground - my GP admitted that he had never come across it before and the hospital locums (although they like to pretend otherwise) know little more.
What I would like above all, is to be heard and to have my symptoms taken seriously. A recent unpleasant experience was the final straw for me. I sat and described many of my ongoing symptoms - burning scalp, droopy sore eye, pressure behind and around my eye socket, unbelievable fatigue that makes the smallest of tasks an ordeal and the response??
'Well, there's nothing to treat here.'
Perhaps in the truest sense, it was a logical and correct response because it's possible (probable even) that nothing can be done.
However, the casual dismissal of symptoms that have made my life pretty miserable seemed intensely callous at the time and not only that but I had the strongest sense that I was being pegged as a neurotic who had nothing better to do than obsess and possibly make up symptoms.
That was the thing that annoyed me most, enforced inactivity has been the hardest part of this whole experience - I'm a person who hates to sit still for any length, I'm always doing things and have done my utmost to remain busy and keep positive. The reality of my physical ailments is undeniable though, no matter what I do, they are slowing me down and making me feel vulnerable.
Even now, writing this, my head feels sore, my scalp incredibly sensitive, my left eye is really bothered by the light and I've had to pause numerous times to close my eyes because looking at the screen is making me feel horrible.
And yes, I could step away but blogging has been incredibly therapeutic for me so the benefit outweighs the pain right now :)
I was told in the hospital that my initial taste issues had nothing to do with the tear in my artery. I had to research myself to find out that it was very much connected and was due to damage to cranial nerves.
I don't expect the doctors to know everything, that would be impossible - what I do expect is that they would show a willingness to learn and inform themselves of a condition that they may come across again.
To not pretend that they know everything.
And finally, to maybe once in a while actually read my file before I come into the room so that I don't have to repeat the same story again and again.
Is it too much to ask?
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