Doctor Dillemmas

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Recently I have been feeling a bit like I just want to fly away with some loud music and a tinny beat. Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is that I have to go to work every day, like the rest of the population, and just dream of sunbathing in warm temperatures with a glistening sea and a marvellous tan developing to make me look and feel much more healthy than reality.

At the weekend, once again I had blood and gunk coming out of my ear. I am not bothered by the ‘gunk’ and can even cope with the pain now – thanks, to a strong pain threshold – but its the bright red blood that is concerning me. Like most GP surgeries, trying to get an appointment is a nightmare these days. Once you get past the receptionist whom you have to get every last detail of your ‘concern’ to – they then say that a GP will call you back. Unfortunately, they can’t confirm the time that the GP can call you back and when you are a working person and you can’t take personal calls that makes it a little tricky to get an appointment. Despite asking for them to call back between 12 and 1 – they didn’t actually call back until around 3pm. The GP that called had a very strong European accent and constantly whispered. Needless to say even on loudspeaker next to my good ear I could not hear her properly. I could however tell that she didn’t want to see me.

I managed to get an appointment for later that afternoon/ early evening.

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After getting there early, I still waited for over half an hour past my appointment time. Eventually, I got in there. The woman had not read my notes, and appeared to sigh as she mumbled about my going there too often about ear infections to get just antibiotics. Before even looking in my ears, she said that she did not want to give me any more antibiotic drops. I tried to explain that I didn’t actually think that I had an infection as there was no temperature or pain. It was the fact that it was red blood that was being discharged that was my concern. She looked and surprise!  – there was no infection.

When I asked if she could speak to the hospital to bring my next appointment forward she said that it wasn’t her job to do that, she was too busy. It was down to me. She then sent me away for a blood test to see if I had an infection in my blood or diabetes! I have no symptoms for either, other than telling her that I was becoming extremely tired from concentrating and lip reading since losing my hearing in my right ear – and asking if there was any chance I could have an appointment to see if I could have a hearing aid for my ‘good’ ear. Obviously, that doesn’t come under her remit either.

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I went for the blood test today – let’s see what the results are…

I also called my new Consultant’s secretary, they still have not received the operation notes, biopsy results or any communication from the original trust. It has been over a month since they requested them directly and 12 weeks since requested them. I am expecting them this week – but not holding my breath. The reason my appointment to see my new Consultant is not until February, is because that is when they suspect they will finally get the information that they need. This will be 2 years since my first appointment! Who on earth calls these people to account?

Incompetence and negligence are two words that I never thought I would say about the NHS but they seem to be regularly bounced around now. I would also say that none of the contacts I have had, either at the original hospital trust or  my GP surgery have been English trained. Most have been European and locums.

Well, Friday seems to be the day of reckoning – for results and hopefully, the opportunity to understand what has happened to me and why. Let’s hope at last someone will be held accountable and explain. An apology would be nice.

Meantime, look forward to flying along on the icy streets tomorrow.

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helplessSometimes lately I have been feeling down. Really down. Way down. I am finding it difficult to keep positive in the face of adversity and for those that know me and are following this blog, they will know that this is not the usual me. The clocks changing always bring me into believing that I suffer from SAD – it’s the thought of getting up and going to work in the dark and then by the time that the working day is over, its back to the dark again. In a desperate ploy to fight this battle with the winter darkness, I have now invested in a Lumie Bodyclock – which is supposed to wake me up with gentle rising sunlight and help me to fall asleep with a beautiful sunset. As I am also convinced my hideous sleeping pattern is partly due to my constant concern that I won’t hear my alarm if I am asleep on my ‘good’ side – I am hopeful that this will help all round.

So, as the nights get darker they also seem to be getting a hell of a lot colder. Dancing on the spot isn’t even working in these conditions – so I am thinking perhaps I should just hibernate (it could also help in losing weight, surely not eating for months can only a good thing?).

hedgehog_125965496_333x269One thing that I have really noticed these past few weeks is how tired I am. Now, I have never been one to sleep a lot – five hours is a good night for me – and yet, I am now getting more sleep, albeit staggered, and feeling more tired than I have ever felt before. I have been trying to work out what is causing the tiredness and lack of general va-va-voom! and can only conclude that it must be down to lip-reading.

Since taking the ‘accessory’ out after finding it longer works following the operation, I have been (1) profoundly deaf in my right ear and partially deaf in my left ear (2) having to rely on shouty people or lip-reading. Now, lip-reading is a full on task anyway but with the addition of being a teacher with between 25-30 voices crying for your attention in a room, it becomes the task of a superhero. I seriously need to achieve a special power to help at times. I am not sure if its the focus, the attempt to hear some form of sound, the need for a volume switch, the frustration of not just being able to hear without saying ‘Pardon..’ or ‘Can you say that again..’ numerous times … it’s never ending.

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So this week I have decided that I will do something about this frustration and contact the GP and my new Consultant in hope that they might be able to help me out of the doldrums and back into the festive fun. I am hoping perhaps something to aid my partial deafness  left ear, whilst we still wait to hear back results and operation notes – I still do not know why they removed the whole of my ear. I also  to seek some advice about the blood that keeps discharging from that ear, as this too is starting to become a concern. The deadline for the original hospital finding my notes is in 10 days time – fingers crossed.

Meantime, I have just purchased a new CD so will be playing that loud, dancing on the spot, singing in a tuneless voice and smiling outwards, whilst inside I sob my heart out.

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Challenges? What challenges?

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This week I haven’t been feeling all that great to be honest.

It’s been a combination of pain, tiredness and just feeling pretty low.

As a rule, I try not to let this ‘negativity’ affect me but for some reason the last couple of days it seems that my usual strong armour has chinked a little and allowed some of the ‘yuk’ to get in. I’m taking anti-inflammatory tabs and pain killers like they are going out of fashion and yet the pain is still there. I am constantly feeling in a state of mouth wide open yawn – not the most attractive of looks – no wonder its still the single status box ticked. And, I’m sure it’s the effect of those pesky clocks going back and causing the never ending dark days and nights, that is contributing towards my negative and feeling low persona.

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Weekends should be a time for re-charging batteries and the sound of echoing laughter vibrating around your head so much so that you get a headache from even thinking about a smirk becoming a giggle, and then the giggle becoming a full on belly huting laugh.  I am hoping that the next week will start to see a new improved me, so that this in-the-head-laughter will start to echo once more. I can’t always hear the joke nowadays, so a pretend laugh, or haha, at what I believe to be the punchline is becoming more of the norm – I just hope that the laugh isn’t on me for my poor timing of a giggle.

I am planning a new regime, brighter lights, actual visits to the gym (not just putting the gear in the boot) and a whole new healthy diet – fruit and veg. I am hoping that this new approach will help me start to feel more positive about the inside and outside of me.

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The plan is to lose a stone by Christmas – I have noticed that the weight has crept on this year, thanks to medication and doctors constantly telling me not to go to the gym due to my balance and low blood pressure issues. I also want to set myself a fitness challenge, like an impossible walk or climb, or even (the who know me will recognise the horror in this) a run – a half marathon. I will keep you updated with the task… and hopefully, results.

So, here’s to a more positive, slimmer, fitter, more challenging me! Why should a little thing like deafness and pain stop me?

Cheers!!

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