Just wanted to share my experience following my first endo appointment as I hope it will give some people hope! I was diagnosed with PA 17 years ago, but was only found to be hypothyroid last year. My GP referred me to an endo for thyroid review and I attended yesterday for the first time.
I have to say that the clinical staff I encountered at the hospital - phlebo, HCA and the lovely endo himself - were unfailingly empathetic. They took the time and trouble to make eye contact, smile, and just generally demonstrate that they recognised me as a person and cared about what happened. Furthermore, the volunteers were exceptional and went out of their way to be pleasant and helpful.
I had kept a symptom diary prior to my thyroid diagnosis (which was a bit of a surprise tbh) and I took a summary with me. The endo took the time and trouble to go through the list with me and suggest screening for other autoimmune diseases, explaining that these may require referral to another clinic. He talked through what he was doing and listened to my experience, which made me feel validated in a way that I have not felt in 20 years of symptoms.
I came away feeling that I was not on my own battling to keep my head above water and that someone had taken the time and trouble to understand how my symptoms were affecting me as an individual, rather than just seeing a label.
I just wanted to say to those who are new to this: hang in there! It may take time but there are some fantastic, dedicated and caring people working in the NHS and I only hope you all get referred to one sooner or later. I would recommend completing a symptom diary and maybe taking a summary of your symptoms and the effects of any meds, as this helped both me and my endo put the whole picture together.