Monday, 28 July 2014

All those Doctors and all those 'ologists trying to put Holly together again.

Over the years I have seen so many GPs, Specialists, Nurses, Counsellors, Psychologists and many, many more. Some have been brilliant, some ok and some have been pretty damn useless.
 At the moment, I consider myself very lucky. I visit the epilepsy department at Poole Hospital about twice a year. As well as having a specialist in Epilepsy, they have Epilepsy Nurses who I think of as translators. I can go to an appointment with my Specialist and come out not having a clue what he was talking about. When I see the Nurse, she will translate all the medical stuff into words that normal people understand. I then have the 'Ohhh right, now I get it' moment.
 When I lived in Worthing however I had a terrible time. There was a serious lack of help for people like me. I saw several GPs and eventually got a phone number for the Neurology department at my local hospital. When I called to book an appointment there was a wait of 2 months to see the only Neurologist. I know this is the case for many people.
It's also very difficult getting help from GPs as well. I noticed when I saw different Doctors initially, regarding paranoia and hearing voices, they all seemed to hone in on different aspects of what I was saying. Some only talked about panic attacks, some self harm, some the voices and very rarely the fact that I was on anti-epileptics. Fortunately,  when I moved to Bournemouth, my new GP listened to all the different aspects I was talking about and tried to work it out as a whole. Finally! I had someone who was listening.
Since then I have seen Psychiatrists and Psychologists (yes, there is a difference). It can be very difficult to open up to them to begin with. It kind of feels like you are taking all your clothes off in front of a stranger (although that is something I don't often do). It's pretty tough trusting someone enough to tell all your problems when you are already completely paranoid and feel like everyone thinks you're crazy. I did at one point see a counsellor who gave me the worst piece of advice. I had mentioned at one point how I had been dealing with a difficult relationship and she suggested I tell him I was pregnant to get his attention. I never went back to see her and it made me even more wary about talking in depth about my problems with people. The people I have seen since however have been more helpful. I feel much more supported which in turn makes me come out of my shell.
 I think the main thing I have learned in the last year or so, is that all these Doctors are different and it is a very personal thing as to who will be more helpful. In the same way as one kind of medication may work for one person but not for another. I have realised that it is always ok to say 'I don't feel comfortable with that doctor, can I see someone else please?'