At The Doctor (The Screenplay)

Based on a true story, or two...

MID MORNING

Receptionist: Good morning. Elm Tree Surgery

Will: Hello, can I make an appointment to see a doctor please?

Receptionist: Certainly, may I ask what your ailment is?

Will: Yes, you may, I’d be delighted to tell you. I had a brain injury years ago and I’d like to see a doctor regarding one of the many conditions related to it.

Receptionist: I see. Our next available, bookable appointment is at 9:30 on the 14th January.

Will: 14th January? It’s October now isn’t it?

Receptionist: Yes.

Will: Oh.

Receptionist: Shall I book it for you?

Will: Can’t I see anyone today?

Receptionist: For same day appointments you need to ring that day when the surgery opens at 6:00am.

Will: Oh. I’ll set my alarm then.

Receptionist: Goodbye.

THE NEXT DAY. 6:27am, after 46 failed attempts to connect to the engaged line…

Receptionist: Good morning. Elm Tree Surgery

Will: Hello, can I make an appointment to see a doctor TODAY please?

Receptionist: Certainly, may I ask what your ailment is?

Will: Yes, you may, I’d be delighted to tell you, again. I had a brain injury years ago and I’d like to see a doctor regarding one of the many conditions related to it.

Receptionist: I see. Can you be here in ten minutes?

Will: No. I don’t drive and have multiple issues with travelling. I need some time to prepare and actually arrive.

Receptionist: I see. Can you be here in thirty minutes?

Will: No. I don’t drive and have multiple issues with travelling. I need some time to prepare and actually arrive.

Receptionist: I see. 4:30pm? Is that OK?

Will. Yes. Goodbye and thank you

Receptionist: Goodbye

LATER THAT DAY. 4:54pm

Doctor: Hello, Mr Power. What seems to be the problem?

Will: How long have you got?

Doctor: A normal appointment should span no more than eight minutes and I’ll certainly be doing my very best to get you out quicker than that.

Will: I see. Strap yourself in then, this will come at you thick and fast. Firstly, headaches. I’m having headaches on a virtually permanent basis, some of them are agonising.

Doctor: I see. Well, you have had a brain injury and thus some residual pain is highly likely. I also note you are taking medication to combat your epilepsy. Headaches are a common side effect of said medication.

Will: I see. Next. My stomach. I don’t seem to be able to digest anything I eat. Without being too graphic, everything I eat vacates my body almost instantly. My entire body is simply one large bilge pump. I could quite easily spend my entire life on the toilet.

Doctor: I see. I note you are taking medication to combat your epilepsy. Gastric irritation is a common side effect of said medication.

Will: I see. Are you sitting comfortably? Next. Congestion. I am permanently congested, throat and nose. I feel like I’ve had a severe cold for twenty years. I single-handedly keep the man-sized tissue business running. At night the wheezing is so tuneful that I find it difficult to sleep. As does my wife. She’s forced to stand every night while I wheeze, ‘God Save The Queen,’ in my throat.

Doctor: I see. I note you are taking medication to combat your epilepsy. Congestion and unintentionally annoying the hell out of your spouse are common side effects of said medication.

Will: I see. My heart. I am having murmurs, my heart skips the occasional beat causing hot flushes and breathlessness.

Doctor: I see. I note you are taking medication to combat your epilepsy. Cardiological issues are a common side effect of said medication.

Will: I see. My vision is often disturbed, and therefore my coordination and balance is somewhat compromised.

Doctor: I see. I note you are taking medication to combat your epilepsy. Visual disturbance and issues with instability are a common side effect of said medication.

Will: I see. Epilepsy. I am still having the occasional minor seizure that throw me off kilter and render me exhausted for the remainder of the day.

Doctor: I see. I note you are taking medication to combat your epilepsy. Epilepsy is a common… oh, bugger. That’s my script ruined.

Will: So, everything is a common side effect of the medication? No matter what ailment I have, and no matter for how long I should live, it will always be caused by medication I take to make me ‘well.’ Deep joy, thanks for your help.

Doctor: I see. I note you are taking medication to combat your epilepsy. Sarcasm and annoyance at being genuinely ill is a common side effect of said medication. I’ll shut up now.

Will: Please do. Same time, next month. Goodbye.

Doctor: I see. Goodbye.

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25 Replies

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  • Oh Andy, this had me in stitches !

    Yes, I have noticed a problem myself with lack of listening and unwillingless to investigate - just a bit !

    So we are left to 'live with' with our ongoing health issues . Shame, because with proper investigation they may find a cause that can be addressed. Even if no particular cause becomes apparent after appropriate tests there should at least be an effort to treat the symptoms and make the patient more comfortable, thus improving quality of life.

    S'no fun is it ? Good to see your sense of humour is still in good working order !

    Take care,

    Angela x

  • Just clicked - the name of the patient is Will Power !

    Takes a while with me ! LOL ! : ))

  • Yes I got about 1/2 way through it Angelite, when I clicked also :)

  • A-ha! You found the link too :)

  • Several hours later, after a re read, just ' twigged' Elm ' Tree Surgery ' !

    I remember out walking in woods with Ed a few years ago we came across two guys cutting up trees. ' Oh look. tree fellers !' he said. So I gave the obligatory reply ' No, there's only two' !

    My head worked back then : )) x

  • You grasped the subtlety :)

  • My sense of humour gets me through, that's for sure :)

    Pleased you enjoyed it!

  • Not only did I love that Baron :)

    rightly or wrongly I feel totally justified in unilaterally having stopped taking all prescribed meds a year ago, except the Thyroxin I've been on since 2000, because Im convinced I know now more specifically what neural/neurotransmitter effects are down only to the B I and neural/neurotransmitter effects, through conditions massively improving or not getting any worse! Of course my Doc and the consultants were not happy! Tough! I know my own body and how my brain and mind respond, so I'm continuing to gather the links in my health chain!

    Since diagnosed hypothyroid it was being put on Metformine here that started current health downward spiral - before I've now got it going upwards. My current housing conditions and landlady are driving me mad more than my health!

  • Hi Sambs,

    Metformin - for type 2 diabetes ? Are you able to keep this under control with diet now ? x

  • Hi Angelite . Sorry answer to your Q is not so straightforwar, you'll see why I stopped taking Metformine, within 6/7 months or less of starting in 2010/11. MeM not too good on exact year.

    ............because I was losing muscle strength and being more easily fatigued and lethargic - yes that's the effects the Met were having when taking in conjunction with Levothyroxine Sodique. An Expat friend, a trained therapist, working with the Elderly for her local Health Authority when in Uk, researched my symptoms and meds, told me about possible effects on the spleen.

    AThyroid blood test August 2012 showed anomalies in my white/red blood cells. I saw Haematologist the Oct who on 1st visit took a bone marrow biopsy, having had an abdominal scan result showing an enlarged spleen. 5 months later I had my spontaneous Aneurysm, bleed & BI in '13.

    It will be 3 yrs in December since my 'blood disorder' - Haemo''s words not mine - was diagnosed. It's only this autum I started my research I had too many questions and no answers, just doctors up here that wanted to prescribe meds. My BI rehabilitation started 10 after it, by being prescribed a succession of different anti-depressants, for anxiety, or depression. I was neither, I was frustrated!

    If I'd stayed down South nearer Montpellier, who knows I might never had ended up with cirrhosis ! toxins in the liver pass via the bloodstream to the brain!

    Yes I did lose weight the following year, (due to living virtually on Weetabix and milk ! but I never took another Metformin, my doctor here in my new area has never queried my 'borderline' Type 2 diagnosis or ever prescribed metformin, so presume I am not Diabetic at all. Also my knees and joints are better than they were with losing weight.

    Angelite, get your blood test results from your Doctor, go on the Diabetes Community and ask on there about the results, alternatively look up your meds to make sure they are not counteracting each other, on drugs.com orlook to ' labtestsonline ' where you can see analysis of results you have to enter.

    No, I m not diabetic but I do now have autoimmunethyroiditis, fortunately Thyroxine is looking after my metabolism now, but it's been a long journey to get this far. The best thing I did was stop all the other meds. Angelite, Check out new prescriptions in future with drugs.com to see if they interact with any existing ones.

    The number of people on different communities who say they have brain fog, confusion personality changes is incredible - same as having a BI. I wouldn't betting they take a mixture of things., even OTC ones.

    Found on a genetics and DNA research study I've looked at.

    Our DNA puts us into one of 2 classes - fighters or flighters whatever situations we are in! I'm a fighter, my words not the research.

    Same as when you have a BI, those who have only known me about 18/20 months, yes they see an improvement in my physical and mental health - but they don't understand my research, or why I felt compelled to do it. If it's helped me to know and understand a lot, I dont care what they think!

    If by writing all this I can help stop just one other person go through health wise what I've been going through then it will be job done!

    PS look after your endocrine system ladies, make sure you are getting enough vits and the minerals especially if post menopause, our bodies also need the reduced oestrogen!

  • Hi Sambs,

    Good that you are pro active and have found a way to improve your symptoms.

    I am not on any medication other than steroid inhaler on an as and when basis ( seasonal asthma ) so no interactions to worry about. My body manages to do all it's weird stuff by itself !

    Did get lax about vitamins but have restarted, plus omegas ( anti inflammatory properties ) again, after recent probs.

    Regarding auto immune problems , as the saying goes, we are our own worst enemies ! : )) x

  • heh very good totally missed the joke, but the understanding some jokes and people chip in my brain seems to be malfunctioning since I'd love see what the doctor would say to that! Did once go about persistent headakes, was told what I expected IE you cracked your skull and bleed, a headakes rather come with the territory! Which is fair enough!

  • ...as yes Roger, but did he say for how long they should go on?

  • took me a while to work out there was no joke!

    Any how no she didn't though she did give my head a good examin!

  • Great read Baron had me laughing.

  • This really hit home with me- very funny, but far too common!

  • Glad you enjoyed it! Everyone seems to have had similar experiences...

  • All true ! I had to physically travel to my GPs surgery on Monday just to book an appointment after they failed to answer the phone for over 5 hrs.

    And when I raised the issue as having potentially dire consequences I was met with a 'dead behind the eyes' expression.

    No point in changing ; it's universal I believe !! No wonder A&E depts. are in crisis. x

  • Very universal Cat, same over here, wish I had a doctor who would have told me what he was giving me, and what it was for and should do!

    Is that really roo much to ask?

    When we tell them symptoms which may be more than one but you are given one medication, and neurological or other symptoms don't improve, and get worse, that's when we are left in Limbo - in the middle with hell on one side and heaven one other! S x

  • in fairness my GP has a triarge system that works well, plus a walk in center not far awway.

    but yes GP's have massive work loads

  • Your choice of GP seems to have been a fortunate one Roger. The 10 strong team of doctors at my practice each average a 4 day week - 6hr day ; not what I'd describe as 'overwork'.

    However, their salaries compared to nurses & junior doctors who often work dangerously long hours, are staggering. Yet increasing numbers of their patients are migrating more & more to those overworked A&E staff owing to poor service from their GPs.

    I hear here are still some dedicated GPs who really engage with their patients and care about their welfare ...................... just wish I could find one ! xx

  • I visited my GP surgery a few weeks ago. I was amazingly fortunate to get an appointment that day as there'd been a cancellation. I hadn't visited the GP in about 18 months but needed a repeat prescription filled. The surgery requires that you go in person once a year before they will renew your prescriptions. During every visit at the very least the doctor will ask me questions about my health, take my blood pressure and over the last decade I've been sent off for routine blood tests.

    This time I saw a locum doctor - par for the course these days and doesn't really bother me normally. He asked me if my symptoms had changed at all. I said they had rather ramped up recently and I told him why, that I was caring for my daughter who suffered a TBI earlier this year. The doctor spent the next 7 1/2 minutes of my 8 minute slot asking about my daughter. A few years ago my daughter changed from our family's surgery to one of her choosing. So she wasn't even a patient there. Me not being the assertive type just answered his questions.

    In the end he printed my prescription and handed it to me with a 'here you go (i.e. your 8 minutes are up)'. No blood test referral, no blood pressure check, no nothing.

    While in the waiting room before my appointment I watched various televised notices on the screens they had dotted around the room, one of which focused on carers, how important we were, how crucial it was for doctors to recognise exactly who was a carer, etc. Well, I neither felt important nor cared for during that visit.

    I thought about writing a letter to the GP I normally see to tell her about my recent experience. I also considered filling in one of those cards you drop in their suggestions/complaints box to remain anonymous. In the end as is typical of me, I did nothing. I'll go back early next year. Just can't face it now.

  • Lazuli, it's like the lottery, got to be in it to win it!

    Please reconsider, DO write to your doctor - if you do NOTHING - NOTHING WILL BE DONE ! And you will be the loser, no-one else. We are here to support you, but only you can help yourself!

    Sorry , it's not a lecture, but I worry when I read comments like yours! If I hadn't got proactive for myself, I may well still not be here!

    Virtual hugs, x Shirley.

    Keep in touch on here for whatever help and encouragement we can offer you. S

  • AHi Andy,

    I was told on my last visit to the consultant at the rehab centre, 18 months after first hospitalisation, all my symptoms could be explained b the lesions left in my brain, they could give me medication to try to alleviate said symptoms but because of side effects I'd be as well trying to manage without.

    Very truthful of him and luckily I was not left with epilepsy so don't have to take those meds.

    So it's " just" a question of managing my condition, putting up with it I think he meant.

    I'm lucky my GPs listen and humour me when I go, but usually come away with nothing, except they listened xx

    Take care Janet xxx

  • I'm glad you had such a good doctor Janet, who "listened" ! Keep well, S xxx

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