Thursday, September 6, 2012

Braveheart


If you’ve read the guest post that I wrote for the lovely Maria of Frills n Spills, you’ll know that recently I had to face up to a less than comfortable appointment with my doctor about some unusual bleeding, and face a fear I didn’t realise I had- the unknown.

Unfortunately for me, it wasn’t quite as simple as ‘you’ll be fine, off you go’ and this week I had to attend a hospital appointment for adult gynaecology, and I’m not going to mask the truth- I was pretty terrified. Not of having to have someone poking around where I’d prefer only one other person to be, or of what they might do, but more a fear of what ifs and I’m sorry.

My GP referred me because she felt it would be better for someone more expert to check that my bleeding didn’t indicate anything more serious, and I’m grateful that she did, but it hasn’t stopped me spending the days running up to my appointment wondering what the hell to do if actually, I didn’t want to hear what the consultant would have to say.

Fortunately for me, all I needed was some relatively simple outpatient treatment, which was able to be carried out on the same day whilst I was there. I’ll be brutally honest and say having my cervix frozen with gas at -60 degrees isn’t the nicest or most comfortable thing in the world, but it’s nothing major in the grand scheme of things.

But by far the best element of my appointment was the consultant, and something I’m beginning to recognise as the greater part of good medical treatment. I had to attend my appointment alone, in a hospital I’d never been to, with little indication of what was going to happen. I was nervous. Having a doctor who not only realised very quickly that I was quite nervous,  but also didn’t treat me like I was stupid made a big difference to my experience.

My consultant was very reassuring- explaining what the problem was most likely to be, how it could be dealt with, and any implications. He was also very sensitive to being male, asking if I’d be more comfortable being treated with a nurse present, and if I was happy for him to perform the procedure that day or if I’d prefer to return another time.

Hospitals can be scary and infuriating places and I’ve had medical care that ranges from mediocre to slow to appalling before now, so I was sincerely grateful to have left the hospital feeling that I had been listened to, treated properly and that my needs and views had also been respected.

Being unwell or injured is tough, but this week I learned that it doesn’t have to be scary. If you are brave enough to take the first step, there are people- not just your own loved ones, who can and will reassure you, listen to you and respect you as both a patient and a person. And more than that, it’s ok to be a bit nervous, or even to be frightened, but be honest about that, allow your nerves to be settled, your fears to be allayed, and yourself to be reassured.

Lastly, something I have to reiterate from The Fear. Don’t stick your head in the sand. There are lots of big bad nasty diseases that can cause unusual bleeding, pain or other symptoms in women young and old, the sooner you make and attend a GP appointment about your symptoms, the sooner you can be treated, or referred to a consultant or reassured that there’s nothing to worry about. Whatever the case, it is not only far better for your stress levels to know, but it’s also far better to catch anything and everything early on. 

Be Brave. Face The Fear. You might just surprise yourself. 

SHARE:
Post a Comment
BLOGGER TEMPLATE MADE BY pipdig