The other doctor.
Despite knowing that my GP is on holiday, I booked a doctor’s appointment for this morning because of the lump high in my jaw. The left side of my jaw has felt tight for a few days and then I found a slightly tender lump, probably no bigger than a pea.
I left work in plenty of time to get to my appointment just in case Christmas shoppers had significantly increased the volume of traffic on the roads and arrived 10 minutes early. I waited until 25 minutes past my appointment time and went in. I have never seen this doctor before and had no preconceived ideas as to his abilities, manner etc. To be honest, my GP always seems distracted but he does actually listen and has a very good reputation.
I explained that although I expect that it is due to the fact that I am run down, I have a little lump that I wanted him to check out. He looked at me and told me that it was a lymph node caused by the infection of the minor abrasion on my ear. The infected minor abrasion is neither, it is a little patch of psoriasis that is identical to the one on the other ear. My hand went to my ear as I said that it was psoriasis and he turned into an evil demon-type thing and half snapped, half growled, “Don’t touch it!”
He then told me that whatever it was, it would go away if I leave it alone.
I was ready to get up and leave when he said, rather abruptly, “You said that you are run down. Are you depressed?”
No. I am RUN DOWN.
Tired. I have been working a ridiculous number of hours and haven’t had time to put up a single Christmas decoration at home. I’m still in recovery from being really ill last year. I’m run down.
The conversation deteriorated further:
D: Why are you taking Tramadol?
Me: You signed my prescription yesterday, surely you know why?
D: You need to wean yourself off it.
Me: I take it on the rare occasions when I have to roll out of bed, crawl to the bathroom and ask my husband to dress me in a morning because my back is so bad. The rest of the time, I live with the pain. I have had two left for the last few months but fearing that my spine will go into lockdown over the Christmas break (because I stop to rest for 5 minutes) which means that I would need to take the 4 a day as prescribed (as part of a larger cocktail of nasty drugs) and no access to a GP, I thought that I ought to renew my script. Feel free to read my notes and look at how often they have been prescribed and then make a judgement on whether or not I am a junkie. Oh, and bear in mind that if I did take them as prescribed, gone on incapacity benefit, been something other than the “coper” that I am, I would have been in a wheelchair by now.
D: Well, you need to wean yourself off them.
Me: And what would you recommend as an alternative?