Having just come back from the doctor’s surgery this afternoon, I’m feeling a mixture of deflated, miffed, disappointed, insecure, doubtful and more than a little sad.
The blood tests are normal he told me. Sigh. How did I know he was going to say that?
I took in paperwork, list of symptoms and, most importantly, the results of the private blood test I had done. “That’s not normal” I told him, pointing out the presence of antibodies. “That points to Hashimoto’s disease”. Surely that would mean something to him? Apparently not. “This isn’t my area of expertise” he told me.
He didn’t ask about my symptoms and didn’t even glance at the page of notes I took in. He hasn’t examined my thyroid. Or in fact, examined anything. He’s been so good in the past. Maybe I misunderstood and his attitude isn’t just laid back, it’s something else.
He did say that as it wasn’t his area of expertise, he’d refer me to an endocrinologist for an “expert opinion”. Actually, that’s not what I wanted. What I really wanted was for my GP to understand something about what was going on, or at least try to understand what’s going on and take some frigging interest.
Whoops. There goes my temper again. And breathe.
I’ve spent a lot of time reading up about this – I haven’t just pulled a random diagnosis out of the air. I don’t want anything to be wrong with me. I want this to be a simple bad patch so that I can come out of the other side and be myself again. Unfortunately after nearly two years of little things cropping up which in themselves aren’t too bad, the picture has finally come into focus and I seem to be the only one seeing it.
I can feel my old insecurities coming out: what do I know? I’m not a doctor. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this is all in my head. Maybe I’m just getting old prematurely and all the symptoms are just coincidence. Maybe I’m imagining things and reading too much into what everyone else has to say on the subject. On the specialist thyroid forums. Filled with people who have exactly the same problems as me, the only difference being someone has actually diagnosed them.
I want to be out in the fresh air (even if it is raining) jogging around the block, taking my bike out and cycling around getting knackered from pedalling so hard. I want to be down at the yard every night exercising my horse and coming home sweaty and tired and happy. I want to be able to take an eight mile hike. At the moment I can manage about a mile and a half before the pain in my legs gets too much and I know that sitting down at the end of it will mean that, when I get up, I’ll feel like I’m being stabbed with something sharp all through my hip joints and it will take a lot of willpower to keep moving.
Above all, I want a healthcare professional to say “it’s OK, we’ll find out what’s wrong with you and we’ll help you fix it”. Do I think the endocrinologist will do that? Unfortunately not. My faith in the medical profession has taken a beating over the years, starting with the fight I had to get diagnosed with CFS (and now I’m beginning to think that was all linked in with my thyroid and that I may have been suffering with this for much longer than I originally thought).
At the moment I feel too tired and downtrodden to put up a fight and I just want to run and hide in a cave like a wounded animal and lick my wounds, shunning the outside world.
What I do know is that I need to wallow in self pity for a short while. Once that’s done I’ll regroup, take a deep breath and prepare to do battle. I am not stupid. I know what’s wrong and what I need to do. If I have to self medicate to see an improvement, then so be it. I know I have the strength for this fight, like I have done before. I will face that bloody endocrinologist head on, armed with all the information I need and will not take any crap or condescension.
I’m girding up – let battle commence!