Since my last post i have had some very up and down days. My pain relief from acupuncture lasted about a day and a half, and is the beginning of a path i am determined to follow. I will be having more next Tuesday before i go away on Wednesday, and i am looking forward to it.
I phoned the GP and suggested that i have a pain Clinic referral (again) as i know i probably only have another 4 sessions on the NHS, and as my GP is relying on my last MRI scan results to give me that referral i requested that they chase them up (again). i will ring again today. i am ringing every week on the same day to give them chance to do this. it has now been eight weeks.
I have had a few nights with very severe pain, even in my sleep "throne", so i have modified it. my feet and legs were getting progressively swollen every day, and this was adding to my discomfort. I have worked out a way to raise my legs SLIGHTLY and this has helped a lot. I bought a very cheap recliner (£10 off ebay...bargain!), and tried that, but my sciatica isn't ready to have my legs so raised yet, so i will save it for better days.
BUT HERE IS THE EXCITING PART:
For seven months, since the start of my most severe back pains, i have bladder incontinence, which every single GP i have seen has completely ignored. i have been literally LIED to by the doctors secretary ("yes, i can see its in the pipeline, you will receive a referral soon" two months ago) and i have double checked and confirmed i will be able to see someone regarding this EVERY TIME i had an appointment. A month ago the OT connected me to a lady from Age UK who, on discovering no referral had been made, did it herself. And on Monday an incontinence nurse came to visit me at home. this amazing, caring, knowledgeable nurse listened for two hours to my history, and after assessing me and scanning my bladder, promised me that not only would she be giving me some proper effective continence aids, but she would write to "my" GP (the one allocated for me whom i have actually never met) and recommend a specialist in a hospital out of my area who she knows would not only be interested in my case, but would deal with it urgently and empathetically. HOPE!
Half an hour after she left she phoned me. She told me she had actually gone into the surgery and asked to see the GP herself. She had told the Gp she was very troubled that i had been left to suffer and cope without support for so long, despite my repeated attempts to seek help. The GP checked my records. I was HORRIFIED to learn that she told the Nurse i have NO record of any continence issues or requests for referral etc!!!! How can this be? What the HELL is going on? my records are totally incomplete. If i hadn't helped myself via the OT I would still be waiting under the illusion that i would receive a Continence referral! I truly am shocked by this, and SO was the nurse. She was more so because I DIDN'T NEED THE GP TO REFER ME! i could have done it myself! Not ONE of those Drs has told me this. i am really angry.
The NEXT morning a letter from the surgery arrived asking me to book myself an appointment with the specialist the Nurse recommended at the other hospital. FABULOUS! the nurse told me to make an appt with the GP she had spoken to, which i have done. I will discuss this inaccuracy in my records, and explain that i am making an application for PIP and rely on her support with evidence of my medical history, so it is vital that my records are kept accurately and updated at every appointment. I will discuss the MRI results which are definitely missing again. i will discuss why i haven't been informed that i can make my own referral to the Continence Service. i will discuss a Pain Clinic referral in time for the ending of my physio sessions so that i can receive continuous treatment. And i will as for a PRESCRIPTION for ibuprofen instead of paying for my own. the nurse told me to discuss taking Diclofenac instead, for better relief.
That NURSE has gotten further with my GPs in one day than i have managed to in all this time. Thank God she came to me. Now i have some goals, and i feel more in control. I am not holding onto this anger, because it is not productive- i need my Doctors help, and i need to move forward. but this nonsense has to stop. as far as I'm concerned if i experience any more trouble with this GP practice i will make a formal complaint via PALS and change my GP. Fingers crossed folks....watch this space!