Greetings to You Lot of Polymalingerers and Partners in Pred - whether New, Old, Ancient, Fossilised, or Cryogenically Frozen in Organic Yoghurt (or whatever your passion) only for Alien Visitors to Planet Earth to discover, and messily thaw-you-out in an attempt to try to make sense of Human Civilisation in a few thousand years’ time.
Ok, it’s THAT time again! No, not to put-the-cat-out (especially if you don’t own one), but to inflict some more Silly Nonsense on those of you who can’t learn and / or have nothing better to do than hang-around with what my old Mum used to call ‘The Wrong Sorts’ all day-long.
“Ok ok ok!”, I hear you shreiking in unison, like Tutti-Frutti fuelled infants in a school playground.
Whether or not you tuned-in to my recent rantings about my experience with my ‘new’ GP is irrelevant. What IS important is that you might want to use the enclosed as a template for your Negotiations with your own GP or their Practice Manager for some of what you need and deserve (i.e, basic Patient Care including Honesty, Empathy, Efficiency and Courtesy).
So, here goes (transcript of my letter):
“Dear Marje, er, GP Practice Manager:
I write to you following my rather scary and confusing appointment with your Surgery’s new, and obviously very capable young lady GP, Doctor Tyson (hereinafter referred to as ‘DT’), to discuss my hacking Cough and Flu symptoms which have persisted for one month, and also to ask for her help and advice in regularly testing and monitoring my Blood Count (Type: ‘Red’) for as long as I continue to chuck little white pills down my throat at 03.00 every morning in often futile attempts to make me feel better whilst enduring the mysterious and unpredictable symptoms of Polymyalgia Rheumatica.
Doctor Tyson, who looks very nice, wears a pretty dress and, unusually for many Young People of either gender nowadays, doesn’t display any decorative Body Tattoos (or at least, not visible ones), at first appeared interested in me as her New Patient. I must confess to having no Tattoos either, so I optimistically thought: ‘Things have got off to a good start between us!'.
In an effort to show DT that I am an equally ‘nice’ and respectable New Patient, I had prepared a list of my symptoms and questions prior to my consultation with her. All of this was carefully written in my best joined-up handwriting, and on a neatly folded sticky note (the type you write shopping lists on) tucked neatly into my best, Nappa Leather Personal Organiser (Vintage Filofax, for those of you who might be Aficionados of these now, largely obsolete artefacts of the pre-digital age).
“So, what’s the problem?” asked DT eagerly.
“Er I have a ‘Shopping List’..” I replied in my usual, humble and oblique fashion.
“Ok, give me the list then!” came back her reply, whilst simultaneously lunging forwards and snatching my precious Organiser from my frail, PMR-afflicted hands with the speed and accuracy of a professional pickpocket ‘working’ innocent victims in a busy shopping mall.
DT (whilst scanning my shopping list like a laser with a barcode, and with increasing urgency in her now, menacing voice): “Ok, so you want regular blood tests AND an ACTH test?! You don’t need them as your ESR is only ‘2’. I’ll re-consider things if you are Symptomatic. Here’s a referral for a Chest X-ray. Take these antibiotics for a possible chest infection in the meantime. When you’ve finished the antibiotics, reduce the Preds immediately to 3 mgpd and then by 1mg every 4 weeks until you’re OFF them. I get ALL of my patients off the steroids within 2 years. Quit smoking and drink less. Any questions..? Take care and Goodbye”.
By now, and although I am normally no ‘shrinking flower’ in Conflict situations, I felt truly ‘KO’d by the deceptively Assertive Dr Tyson, and hanging onto the proverbial (boxing-ring) ropes like a battered and bloodied Loser. I skulked away from the surgery with my head down, and the sickening feeling that DT had, perhaps, intuitively sensed my vulnerabilities like a Cage Fighter using Stealth Tactics with a less ‘Street Wise’ opponent - and she probably had the Match sewn-up from the beginning.
Later, in an effort to make sense of my experience with the clearly formidable DT, this caused me to reflect on my past Life - including a few traumatic childhood experiences like coming Bottom of the Class in A-level Geography (on reflection, I blame the Teacher who was 102 years of age and still believed that the World was 'flat'); my dear, late mother removing the stabilizer wheels from my first bicycle (admittedly, I was aged 32 and a Management Consultant at the time); and, oh yes, that humiliating episode when, er, ohh, sorry, but it’s too distressing to reveal here. All I will say is that the last Trauma involved being ritually stripped-naked in public and beaten-up with a piece of wet lettuce by my supposed Teenage Sweetheart, and with only a copy of The Beano comic to defend myself. You might understand that these emotional scars run deep, very deep.
So, in Conclusion, Mrs Marje, er GP Practice Manager: I can only blame myself for my selfish feelings of resentment and emotional confusion about the ignominious outcome of my consultation with your magnificent and highly accomplished Doctor Tyson. Yes, it was MY fault, not hers.
I accept that DT was only fighting her corner so ferociously and skilfully to protect her modest salary of approximately £100k GBP per year and to avoid any kick-back from an unhappy Patient which might put this at risk, and ;possibly leave her destitute and homeless as a result. I have been shedding tears ever since....
To be honest, yes, I have also been hanging-out with the ‘Wrong’ type of people (i.e. that PMR / GCA ‘Lot’) recently - and so I beg for your Mercy in re-instating my otherwise good name as a Patient of your highly respected surgery, and welcome you advices accordingly. Your, and Doctor Tyson's Forgiveness, if granted, will change my life for the Better, and I promise not to challenge the Medical Orthodoxy ever again.
Yours most humbly and ingratiatingly
Mark Benjamin of WSM
aka ‘Uncle’ MB, ‘Swivel Hips’, ‘Four Eyes’, or whatever alternative term you care to attribute to me"
(end of letter)
What do you think - worth a try?).
Either way, that's it for now. Happy Weekend All. Don’t EVER let things or people (even the Medics!) grind you down or confuse you, and ALWAYS try to keep smiling on the Journey!