The one about the GP

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Hi, Thank you for all your messages and support following me writing my story, it means a lot to us both. Today I am looking for a GP, please excuse the sarcasm.

Some of you may have seen that Dotty’s been tweeting for a while now, depression has crawled back into my head in the last 3 weeks and I am very panicky about the future. Yesterday, someone I’ve met online announced that she had lost her 5th IVF baby.

It hasn’t helped that some kind of silly flu crept in 4 weeks ago and left me with a sinus infection which then moved onto my ear.

I haven’t been able to hear a thing from my right ear for 10 days now. I went to the doctors Monday last week and the nurse gave me antibiotics. Since the medication didn’t help and the pain is quite bad, I went back this Monday and saw the same nurse. She was nice. But she was a little concerned and wanted the GP to take a look.

She sent him a message on the computer as he was next door, the only GP available at the surgery that day. He replied: “Sorry I can’t come in, I’m too sick.” No word.

It seems he had an operation and wasn’t very well therefore couldn’t come to take a look at my ear.

The nurse gave me an appointment for today, 11.30am. On time as usual, finally I saw a GP. It took 3 mins and I had 2 questions.

She asked me what I was there for, bearing in mind she’s my GP and sees me rather regularly, she also had my notes open and was reading them as I walked in. I was the only patient at the surgery. It’s like I’m invisible and it’s very distressing and a little boring.

As far as my ear goes, it’s a 3rd dose of antibiotics, I wonder if Lupus may be affected my immune system or the antibiotics. I’m quite run down at the moment so perhaps there is something else I could have to help me fight this. She didn’t know, she doesn’t remember I have lupus. It may be unrelated, who knows. I’ll just keep popping the pills.

When I registered with that surgery, it was following my complaints to my previous GP for his part in my infertility. Initially I was under the care of a reasonably nice doctor who at least appeared to listen. Soon after I was moved over to “the really nice lady” doctor as my GP was going part-time. Two good doctors at once, how lucky am I?!

I visited the lady doctor on my own soon after as I was going through one of my low times. She wasn’t very helpful, I asked her if I could perhaps get some support from the mental health team as no one else seemed to listen. She laughed at me and said that unless I was prepared to take medication (anti-depressants) no one would consider me. She’s one of these people who looks at you, but you know she’s not really listening. I always dread seeing her and I go over and over what I’m going to say in my head but it never comes out how I want. She destabilises me every time with her very cold approach towards me and it makes me feel like I’m eight years old.

I was quite fragile at the time, so she said she would book me in a week’s time for another chat and suggested I had a think about taking medication to help me feel “better”. I felt that although she wasn’t great, at least she sort of cared and wanted to follow up with me, it’s the most I’ve ever had from any GP in a long time.

When I arrived in her office a week later, she turned around and asked me how she could help? I walked out. I got on the phone to Shaun and I was in tears, I was so distressed that he left work to come home.

My depression and my infertility are so clearly connected and yet not one GP will give me the time of day and discuss this with me. No matter what happens it’s always me who has to tell them about it. I’m not a doctor! Is it just me?

It takes a lot for me to visit the GP and open up to what’s really going on and when I do, it’s always the same. I get knocked down like I just don’t matter. Like I’m redundant.

I feel like they just see me as a lost cause, a pathetic 41 years old woman who won’t stop moaning because she can’t have kids. I feel like a kid who’s having a paddy every time. I’m really not, all I want is a little bit of support and information.

It’s a bit like the counsellor who fell asleep. Who cares love?! I hate that I have to speak about it, it makes me cry, but unless I completely put myself out there, there is nothing else!

I’m so sick of greeting Shaun with puffed up eyes because I’ve been crying or better still fall apart every time he walks through the door.

I’ve completely given up on any support for my depression, I deal with it as it comes and we cope, or not, as we can.

I’ve been speaking to a friend online who told me that she was going to have IVF privately but through the NHS, she told me it’s a little cheaper. She said she has a very supportive GP and said I should ask mine.

This was my second question to the GP today which she took less than a minute to answer. So “nice lady doctor”, I’m told that it is possible to have IVF privately thought the NHS cheaper with a referral from a GP?

She actually turned around and looked at me, like I just told her I was the prime minister, shocked! She said, “I’ve never heard of it, I could ask one of the girls in reception but as far as I know if you are not eligible then no you can’t.” I am going to assume that as she’s the GP so she knows?

My friend is going to ask her GP again for me, just to make sure we’re not mad. Saying that she is starting IVF soon so what is this about? Then, the “nice lady doctor” said to me: “you know it’s very hard to fit the criteria for IVF, you have to be under 40 and obesity is also a big issue”. I’m under thirteen stones for 1.68m after losing two stones! Clearly I can’t do anything right!

She didn’t say, you’ve done well with your weight loss and although you’re within the BMI range for IVF, keep going, the healthier the better. She didn’t say, let me have a look and see about this private IVF business. She just said I’m fat. Again. If I’m fat, than what is she?

I just want to add that not one GP has ever approached the subject of adoption / fostering with me. This isn’t an option for us because of me, because I can’t get over the relatively recent discovery of my infertility and the cause of it. So I guess it’s my fault!

I can’t grieve something I’ve not tried. Adoption is something a few people have asked me about. It is a very sensitive subject in our house and perhaps one day I will talk about it but for now, adoption is not on my list. I admire people who do adopt and as a kid, I wanted 2 of my own and always said I would adopt one. My nan use to foster and she was great at it. All I can say is that it’s not for me right now. If I am honest, it feels like it’s being thrown at me like a “consolation prize”. A little bit like Shaun’s son. Have that, you’re sorted! And that’s why it isn’t for me at the moment. I don’t want to adopt as a “second best” option, it’s just not a good enough reason. I do know that there are a lot of children needing a home out there. But just because I can’t conceive naturally, it shouldn’t fall on me to take care of them all. Anyway, I digress.

I know that GPs have seven minutes to see us, and I don’t go often (it’s pointless) but this, everytime I go? It’s very hard to ask someone a questions when you feel like you’re a pain in their bum.

Every time I visit, it’s the same. I am so fed up right now.

So, I’m looking for a GP who has six or seven minutes to give me now and then, any age, man or a woman. Someone who can pretend to give a beep for when I feel like I’m going to lose my mind and whilst I carry on fighting like mad to stay on this planet. Someone to tell me that I am not really mad and someone who perhaps even looks at my name before I come in so they can pretend they know who I am.

Thank you for reading.

I hope that you are enjoying Dotty’s adventures and forgive my silence whilst I get passed this stormy weather. A very wise lady (Janet) reminded me of how my crafts are supposed to be a way for me to stay calm and I have been stressing over keeping up with making my Cuties. Look at me moaning when the Cuties are more popular than ever!

I’m not moaning of course, I just need to slow down a little to gather my thoughts. So I’ve been building a little scrapbook for Dotty, just something with no pressure, somewhere for us to write our journey, the funny side of it.

I’m also making some Cuties’ cards to try add variety to my crafts, my only therapy. I am very excited to show you the brilliant illustrations of Dotty and I am very lucky to have you all. I will of course share the name of the creator of these little gems with you. She is FABULOUSLY kind.

Please get in touch if there is anything I can do to help you, I appreciate all your shares and apologise that I am not returning these as much as usual but I will be back! I promise x