Friday 22 July 2016

Little Miss Grumpy

Last week I had an appointment with the Oncologist, a general kind of check up, I thought I would get them to look at my arm, which was more painful than normal and slightly swollen.  So I'm sitting in the usual waiting room, waiting as usual. I've never complained about waiting times, and I've waited a lot lately, because I understand everyone else has needs too, but I waited 1.5 hours today and I was starting to get a bit peeved.  Other patients were making grumbling noises and comparing appointment times, we realised we had 15 minute slots, is that long enough to discuss whats gone on over the last 6-8 weeks? Hmmm, my peeved status was increasing.

Finally they called my name. "Hello" said the Doctor,  "I'm the Consultant's Registrar, sorry she couldn't be here but..." I interrupted him "I've only seen her once and that was back at the beginning, I've seen someone different every time since then, so it doesn't really matter!".  Oh my Lord! Where did that come from? Be nice Alison, be nice.  We sat down and did the usual, how have you been etc, I mentioned my arm and said it was Herceptin side effects, the Registrar said that was unlikely, it was probably the Hormone Therapy. Uh oh!  Red flag to a bull, off I went "I disagree with you there" I told the Oncology Registrar with his years of training and experience. I went on to emphasise that my symptoms had reduced when I had my treatment delayed last month "which proves it's Herceptin" I said rather determindly.  Mr Registrar quite rightly defended his position by stating the majority of patients find their symptoms are caused by the Hormone Therapy not Herceptin. I interrupted him again "Well the manufacturers and the NHS website and other patients I've spoken with all say the same as me, whereas you Doctors all say its the Hormone Therapy".  Why was I arguing with him? What difference did it make? None! But rationality wasn't going to stop me. "I appreciate that until more research is done on the side effects, you will take that viewpoint". I stared him out, not for long because my motor mouth was off again "Besides if it the Hormone Therapy, that means I will have these symptoms for the next four and a half years and I'm not prepared to accept that!".  There! Take that! I'm done! Ha! You and all the others trying to tell me what's going on in my body!  Now, there is a possibility here that I was in a bit of a bad mood, a bit of the grumps had set in,  but did I care? Nope!  Mr Registrar took a deep breath and very calmly, as he probably wanted to either slap me or walk off, explained "In the medical profession we say, Never Say Never, there are Idiosyncratic symptoms which are particular to individuals".  Hmmm, not sure if he was agreeing with me or placating me. "If it is Herceptin, then you will be very lucky because your symptoms will stop when Herceptin finishes rather than lasting for four more years".  My mind was going "No no no, don't believe you", thankfully my mouth decided to stay closed.  I'd been very grumpy and had argued with this man for no real reason other than he was in front of me.  He changed subject to other test results and stuff, I just nodded appropriately. Time to leave. We stood up and shook hands. "Can you tell I'm feeling a bit fed up?" I asked him.  Not sure why, but he didn't respond just did a sort of half smile.  As I walked out of the room I'm sure I heard him bang his head against the wall while muttering..why me?  Poor man, I wasn't the kind of patient you want at 5.30pm on a Friday afternoon! 

As I headed towards the lift, guilt swept over me. Why had I given him so much grief? I had achieved nothing. Oh to hell with it, Grumpy 'R' Us today. Deal with it World, being nice is overated!

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