My youngest is 10 years old, and my pains started before I had him, so I'm a veteran shall we say when it comes to pain, discomfort and the management of it. I'm now under the care of a brilliant team at the JR Hospital in Oxford, and have so far been diagnosed with Pelvic Congestion Syndrome, vast internal adhesions, and am awaiting results to confirm Adenomyosis.
My most recent bout started slightly differently last Wednesday with a stabbing pain in my lower left abdomen. I was off to see my GP anyway that morning, so thought I,d mention it. His remark was, "you suffer from chronic pain, love. The fact it's a different pain today gives me no concern." For starters, I'm not his "love" and secondly, the common rule is if your pain is different from the norm, get it checked. So, home I came feeling rather put out by his comment, and spent the rest of the day resting.
The next day, I was well enough to cycle my son to school, and then later help in our village community shop. Friday, it was back, with a bit more vengeance this time. I took my pain killers regularly to try and keep it at bay, and tried all my coping methods suggested by my Physio. All seemed to do the trick, and off to bed I went feeling quite proud that this time it appeared I'd won, and my pain had lost! Silly old me, I should know better! Woke up at 3am, pain and lots of it, all lower left side. Got up and took my pain meds, got a hot water bottle & tried to sleep. This was my routine for most of Saturday, get up, take meds, refill hot water bottle, apply TENS machine, go back to bed.
By 6.30pm I could take no more, I felt like someone was wriggling a red hot poker round inside me, it was horrendous. I dialled my GP,s we'll aware that they were closed, but needed the out of hours number. Oh no, it doesn't work like that anymore, proves how often I use this facility ie never! So, 111 it was then, and they immediately dispatched an ambulance.
After, great care by the paramedics, and some oral morphine I arrived at hospital and was taken straight round to Resus. My pulse was 118bpm, blood pressure 151/101 and resps 43. Saw a lovely doctor, who bizarrely arranged for some X-rays, and more routinely blood and urine samples. Had my X-rays, and some IV Buscopan and waited. He returned saying that bloods were normal, so was the urine and also my X-rays were clear, and that he was discharging me!! Errr sorry, you're what? I can't physically walk, and my obs haven't changed since I arrived, but seeing as I have history of acute and chronic pain you assume it's another flare up, and shall write to my GP asking him to re assess my pain killers! I sit there, wondering if I'd not told you my history would you have treated me differently? Or, if I'd said I had cancer, or a heart condition, would you have been so willing to let me leave? As it was, in your eyes it was just pain, nothing life threatening or something needing an operation, so therfore I could leave.
Now, here I am 36 hours later still in pain, laying in my bed needing help, but not having the courage to ask for it, or even who to ask for it. My GP was quick to fob me off as were the A&E doctors. What these people need to do every once in a while, is stop and look at the whole picture, and not at just what is presented to them. Then maybe they would realize that people like me, who are in pain must be at the top end of their scale, and had nowhere else to turn, in order for them to pick up the phone and ask for help. Don't fob us off, we are not all black and white cases, some of us are complex, and if we end up in front of you it's because we are crying out for help, your help, please make sure you give it.