Whist sitting here, uncomfortably, I got to thinking about my bad back. How over the last few years (or more) my back has gone through “phases” of being bad and then would be better again. Each time it would be slightly worse, I would take painkillers and just get on with my life. Maybe each time my disc was bulging a bit more until eventually it caused my current issues.
Even if I had tried to do something about it before I honestly don’t think my GP would’ve referred me for further investigation if I had tried to press them to. They would’ve continued to prescribe painkillers until it had settled again.
Do we always have to wait for things get so bad before we get them sorted? The NHS is so stretched that GPs will only refer cases that are really bad. Also GPs are charged for the referrals which doesn’t help, especially if they are penny-pinchers or financially stretched themselves.
I also suffer from chronic sinusitis and allergic rhinitis, which means I suffer from loads of sinus infections and am allergic to everything airborne. It wasn’t until I was having back-to-back infections, affecting the left side of my face mainly, that the GP sent me for a CT scan. He actually made me say that I was in constant pain before he would do anything!
I was told the results of the first scan showed that there was just a bit of fluid build up in my maxillary sinuses and everything else was ok. I saw a different GP about 3 infections later who looked at my first CT scan and then quickly sent me for another CT scan. Clearly the first GP had missed the actual problem. The second scan showed that I had a deviated septum blocking my left sinuses! One operation (Septoplasty) later I still have infections just not as often or as fierce. If the docs had sent me for a CT scan after the first couple of infections it may have saved me from a lot of suffering.
Maybe if I had pushed my GP to investigate my back or they had instigated an investigation sooner it could’ve been caught earlier, I wouldn’t be where I am now, in constant pain despite the painkillers. Struggling to sleep. Struggling to walk, sit and lay down. Getting pain so bad it makes me feel sick and makes me feel hot and sweaty. Looking at an operation to fix the problem because it has potentially gone passed the point of being treated by physiotherapy.
It took my brother paying for an appointment at a Chiropractors and my friend paying for a private MRI scan for me to find out what is wrong before mid-June! By which time I could’ve caused more/permanent damage as I have a habit of battling through and getting on with whatever I’m doing.
“What if’s” are the most annoying thoughts! What if I had spoken out? What if the GP had done their job better? What if the NHS wasn’t in crisis? What if I hadn’t been so stoic? What if I hadn’t handled my pain so well? What if I had complained more?
It’s all too late now. At least I’m on the road to getting some treatment, even though the traffic is slow.
All I need now is to win the lottery so that I can pay for private treatment and get myself sorted ASAP!!!