In praise of my endo

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.

Good luck!

4 Replies

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  • If you didn't get the recommendation from Thyroiduk.org.uk email louise.roberts@thyroiduk.org.uk to put on her list.

    It is great to hear of a sympathetic, genuinely helpful doctor plus staff.

  • It truly is great.

    When we get posts like this it does show what is possible even within the system as it is. That is definitely positive.

    We also end up questioning why so many have much worse experiences to report. Where does the fault really lie?

  • If they believe we're malingering after all, mainly women, they think are changeable and always complaining about something or other :) It's the Endos in particular who demean the patient who had great hopes that, at last, they were going to see an Endo and come away flattened and disappointed.

    Also the TSH to reach 10 despite severe symptoms before prescribing.

  • Will forward the details, thanks. I hear what you are saying helvella. It is a shame if good treatment comes so much down to the individual practitioner's characteristics (which it does seen to) rather than the system. I am mindful that it puts a lot of burden/pressure on the individual in a system of scarce resources that basically is held together by goodwill. I am so grateful that my consultation was an interaction between 2 human beings and only hope that the person offering me the support receives the same back from the organisation...

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