Frustrations with PRIVATE healthcare

Hi all,

So, I already feel terrible complaining given that I have access to private healthcare... but I don't feel any better off than when I had to rely on the NHS. 

I had a laparoscopy through the NHS in August last year. This was after months of going back and forward to the doctor with symptoms such as pain during sex, frequent bouts of diarrhea and constipation, constant abdominal pain, exhaustion, acne, etc, etc. After the treatment I received through the laparoscopy, I felt great. I had so much energy, my skin cleared up and I looked healthy and not a hair's breadth away from death. So far, so good... 

What I was advised to do was go back to taking my pill as usual and everything should be OK. However, period 3 post surgery, I was in a lot of pain and felt awful. Around the same time I for the opportunity to sign up to private healthcare through work so I got a referral and within a week I had an appointment. 

I was still getting a ridiculous amount of pain during sex and didn't want to be out of action for a week every month... when I spoke to the private gynae  (and he is an endo specialist because I specifically asked for that) he said that what I was experiencing was the result of scar tissue and it would die down. He said it was too soon for the endo to have come back (but he didn't have the records from the hospital so how could he understand what had been wrong and the treatment i had had other than what i told him and even i don't know much!) He told me the coil and injection wouldn't work for me so I should try running my pill packs together for 3 months at a time and just occasionally having a break.  He also said that the pain during sex was psychological and gave me vaginal dilators to try! Cue massive embarrassment and my partner making fun of my "sex shop"... :)

He gave me anti depressants at a low dose that was meant to help heal scar tissue but they really didn't agree with me so after a week of taking these I gave up. 

When I went back for a further check up, I told him I was feeling very sick on a daily basis - it felt like this was being caused by being unable to go to the toilet. Now, I was going to the bathroom but it was taking a hot drink and a half hour on the toilet to move anything and the sick feeling lasts until lunchtime. However, running the pill packs together was helping, I wasn't getting the usual over the top period pain. He said that ibs type symptoms are linked to period pains and I should increase my fibre intake! Even though when I explained my diet he agreed it was varied and balanced. He basically sent me away feeling like I was being a hypochondriac - like my symptoms still couldn't be related to endo since I had it removed. It has to be scar tissue and I just need to put up with the ibs stuff. 

So today, I'm off work for the first time since my lap (after months off pre surgery), having my last pill for four packs yesterday. It's like walking into a plate glass window. It just hit me - exhaustion, pain in my lower abdomen, diarrhea all morning, spotty skin, sore back ... So now I want to go back to the gynae because I feel like there has to be something else they can offer me. But I'm worried he'll be very dismissive again... 

I don't really know why I'm typing this because I know I just need to be more forceful and strong when I go back - I just guess I'm having a moan. Sorry everyone!

7 Replies

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  • Hi lovely, sounds like it's been horrible for you. I also feel bad saying anything because I get private through work but just because you can get seen sooner, doesn't mean some of the consultants can't be useless! I have what I hope is a good one now but saw 3 others before I was diagnosed who said anything from the fact I had low level urine infections to bladder incontinence - this was all while I was in agony, couldn't have sex and was generally exhausted and miserable. So I know how you feel but I used all this as an excuse to find a better consultant who listened to me rant for 30mins listing all my symptoms then examined me for 5 mins and had me in for a lap straightaway and 3 follow ups since. Use the fact you're going private to shop around by telling your insurer you don't feel they're looking after you well enough. Xx 

  • Awe no don't feel like you've been wrong we all go hoping to be helped and understanding and for our Drs to 

    1know more than us 

    2 be able to help or refer us to someone who can

    A lot of dr just continuously want us to wait wait wait which is understandable I have read stuff about neurological pain to nerves still annoyed for a while  even when endo gone think that correctly explained.  But then in everyday life this really difficult working,  living keeping a relationship. Also as we may not look ill from the outside even confuses my own mind sometimes really but no one would choose this as an ilness of choice.  Maybe make a list of ailments for next appointment and underline the ones you really need dealt with quickly as they are severely disturbing your life so it narrows down and specifies exactly what you sorted out. 

    I was also given anti depressant  amiltripteline at low dose as a sort of neurological pain killer I think did kill pains but made me so dull brained could hardly drive and really bad Nausea too 😳😳😳 have just stopped them and pain back but brain back too. 

    Awe hope you ok today at work. It so difficult with this everything so slow getting better or seeing what treatments work. 

  • Hi there, sorry to hear you are having a tough time. I have also been lucky enough to experience private healthcare as well as the NHS and really it's down to the individual consultant. I have seen some absolutely dreadful consultants privately who got my diagnosis completely wrong and some absolutely wonderful ones who have provided me with amazing treatment. I recently had a laparoscopy to remove very severe adhesions from my pouch of Douglas after six years of being told I had IBS. I also suffered with pain during and after sex and had pretty extreme GI symptoms too. From what I was told, adhesions, scar tissue do not resolve themselves or die down, they only get worse and usually need surgery to remove and repair any of the effected organs. Personally, I would seek a second opinion which is something you should be able to do quite easily privately. I have learnt from experience that unfortunately not every consultant gets it right so keep pushing until you are satisfied with the treatment. Good luck 😀

  • What hospital are you seeing your consultant, I noticed your in Scotland. I am also seeing a private Dr but through the NHS. And his attitude sound very similar to how my consultant is with me. We aren't allowed to say names on here but I think we can say what town.

  • First of all, thanks very much for all the replies. I've been caught up with work and haven't been on here much.

    I've actually been speaking with a lady at work who had stage 4 endo without realising (picked up on a scan for back pain) and she said her treatment and consultant were excellent through private healthcare so I have the name of her guy and now have another referral from my go so just need to make my appointment and get in there! Think it's great advice to now things down and try to figure out what will help me most in the sorry term.

    Worth regards to the consultant, it was a doctor working out of Spire in Edinburgh. He works out of both Murrayfield and the other one.

    What is it that sounds familiar? You said his attitude is similar - what about the advice? Are you finding the consultant unsupportive? Sorry you are also dealing with this!!

  • Oh I'm in Dundee so maybe not the same one. Yes, I'd say the best way to explain him is rushed/overworked like he has no time to deal with it all now so fobbing it off with things to do in the mean time until there is nothing left but to address it correctly. And sending me to someone else about the back pain because he only deals with things up to the belly button lol. Like no way it's can be endo and it must be something else.

    Finding the right person is what it is about. Private or NHS. Scotland isn't very lucky with its options though.

    Good luck and I hope you are on the mend soon

  • That's rubbish. I hate that doctors try to do a little and just a bit at a time. They must waste so much time and money working that way rather than going in full throttle and ruling things out quickly and getting treatment sorted quickly! Is yours an endo specialist? I was recommended a consultant by a lady at work. If he's any good, I'll get in touch! :)

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