My Chronic Illness Story V

No doctor could give me any answers.

Until one day I saw a younger female GP at my surgery – who listened. I burst into tears as she told me that she would look into it and try her best to help me. I had urine and blood tests, a refferal to a cardiologist and regular contact with her.

A GP had done their job and it felt like a gift.

For the first time I felt like I might get an answer and people may understand.

I started to have all the tests. Scared of the results, relieved and desperate by the negative results.

The last weekend I spent at home, Tarron was with me – and I was trying to put a brave face on everything I did (I wanted to be well and show the person I was, not as a sick person, not in this position). I remember being unsteady on my feet, leaning over the edge of the sofa feeling sick for hours and struggling to stand up for any amount of time.

This was not the way to start a relationship.

The following week, I hadn’t washed, I felt too sick to eat, I couldn’t stand to go to the toilet without losing my vision and felt as though I was losing the strength in my legs. I ached all over and was genuinely terrified, my heart thudding all the time, the whole world spinning, alone in my house.

I called my Dad and was honest about how I was feeling. We went back to the doctor and a hospital admission was planned for the next day. My Dad slept on the floor at mine that night, and Tarron came to be with me in the evening.

I have never been so scared. It felt as though my heart was failing and my body too weak to carry on.

The next morning my Dad took me to the assessment unit at our local hospital. I walked in with 50% of my vision and had some more blood tests.

I lay in a hospital bed, convinced my heart couldn’t keep fluttering the way it was. My Dad had gone home to sort things with work and I watched the walls of the ward spin overhead.

A consultant came to speak to me. Tucking herself behind the curtain she said:

“The problem is, there’s just too much that you are saying that is wrong with you. No one thing can cause these symptoms”.

The consultant was telling me I was too ill for anything to be wrong?

“You need to eat more. If you do not eat enough, you will be dizzy”.

I struggled to speak without being spoken over. I told the doctor standing over me that I had been vomiting and had an upset stomach for so long, I had lost nearly a stone – and I knew that I didn’t have that weight to lose.

“We will get her to see a psychiatrist and dietician.” She said in the direction of a collegue, rolling her eyes.

That’s not what going on. I’m happy. I’m unwell. Please help…

“What do you think is wrong with you then?”

I explained that my GP had been looking into POTS, and ME had previously been suggested. But I didn’t know.

“POTS doesn’t cause these symptoms. What are these marks on your arms?”

It had begun… I explained, I had self-harmed when I was young. That I didn’t drink due to previous problems with addiction when I was asked. I told her I had previously been diagnosed with depression and anxiety. But that wasn’t the case now.

“Hmm” she said. Walking away.

My eyes filled with tears. The anger was shaken up inside me.

The things that had happened in my past, didn’t mean I couldn’t become unwell (unfortunately). And I felt strongly that, I had not overcome all I had already faced to be embarrassed, patronised, belittled and treated like a nuisance.

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