Baggage I claim

So today I went to the hospital for my much anticipated appointment to sort out my hand. Hospital appointments and any sort of examinations usually bring out my anxiety and I feel emotional and hypervigilant. Today I was greeted by a Doctor who was very short with me, clearly was very rushed, wouldn’t listen to anything I said, did different examinations on my hands without explaining to me what she was doing and why and also brought a support student and with her but never asked for my permission or introduced her. She really emphasised the fact that I had depression and I was on medication for depression and made me feel like a burden almost to the system and I couldn’t understand the relevance of the medication and the fact I was being treated by a psychiatrist. She told me that my bone wasn’t broken it was ligament pain and I just had to get on with it basically. I felt extremely anxious and I started to get tearful but not in front of her. She said I’d have to see a physiotherapist as she left and I had to ask if I should leave or wait. She told me to wait, while not even looking at me. 

I could hear her explaining my case to the physiotherapist outside the curtain – emphasis again on my mental health situation.

I nearly walked out.

I’m glad I stayed because the physiotherapist, Julie, was lovely. She was friendly, empathetic, she listened to me, explained what she was doing and why. She found the point of the ligament pressing into a bone and the relief for me was almost europheric!

I was so relieved and can you thank her enough.  apparently ligament damage can take longer to heal than bones which I wasn’t happy to hear plus I’m supposed to rest my arm a lot more which is really not possible at all but she did make me an emergency appointment on Thursday where I’ll get a specially made splint which will keep the ligament where it should be and hopefully reduce pain.

I’m still looking at 6 to 8 weeks of healing but I’m so glad that I know what is wrong with my hand now and I know that there is a solution.

Later on I picked up the children earlier and took H and egg with me to my interview which I was really worried about but they seemed to be understanding about it as S is away and I’m alone all week. The job would be a great opportunity for me especially going back into the job market but I don’t think I did very well overall an interview. Not only did I arrive with two children in toe but I also  used my bad hand to pour water and managed to spill it all over the table.

I was able to answer the questions and refer to specific experiences but the other two candidates have a long history with the social sector and they are probably going to be a better fit because I don’t really seem to fit anywhere to be honest.

I’m absolutely exhausted this evening as are  H and  egg for coming to my interview with me. I’m proud of them they behaved so well and I got complimented on them a lot because of how well behaved and sweet they were.

So tomorrow unfortunately I’m back out to the city this time to the family planning clinic to get my depo injection. Hopefully it’ll be on time so I don’t have to have my next menstrual cycle.

This week is another full on week for me and another week while S is away. I do check in with my psychiatrist this week which I have to say is long overdue because I’m just feeling generally fed up and exhausted. But surely I’m doing everything I can to get out of this low?

I’m going to include in this blog post the email that I sent to the hospital. The reason I’m doing this is because I shouldn’t have been made to feel vulnerable and anxious and I don’t think anyone’s mental health should be regarded with such relevance when this is an injury that clearly has nothing to do with my mental health. The letter is really out of principle, I want to reclaim some power because I did feel genuinely powerless in the appointment, I think it’s really important that the doctors take on feedback like this because a lot of people would not have felt able saying anything.

I did CC an advocacy agency into the email so I could have some help when I get a response from the hospital which will apparently take 20 days.

Hello

Today I visited plastics after x2 ED trips and 1x GP visit for pain incurred through injury to my right hand. I followed advice on each occasion – was given different diagnoses, had X-rays and a CT. 
I was in still pain and suffering numbness to my right hand.
-In plastics I was greeted by a friendly nurse and shown to a cubicle.
-The dr that introduced herself and presumably brought a student. i was not asked if I minded, nor was I introduced. 
– the Dr proceeded to make observations and tests on my hand without explanation. I told her I’d had a CT, she at least TWICE made it clear that she wouldn’t have done that. I felt that she wasn’t listening to me. I felt no empathy or any compassion at all. In fact, I felt more of a burden, she argued against my own observations and was just shy of implying it was ‘all in my head.’  
I have been in pain for weeks, I’m a mother of 4, so I’m constantly using my hand and struggling with effects that aren’t in my imagination. My hand is numb and I had no feeling in my smallest finger and part of my ring finger. I’ve also suffered intermittent, excruciating pain.
I also suffer with depression (I was asked if this treatment was through my GP or a psychiatrist- I don’t see the relevance?). I felt emphasis was applied to the fact I’m treated through the CMHT for my depression.
I actually also suffer with PTSD and anxiety. I don’t like hospitals, any form of examination leaves me anxious and at times, afraid. I didn’t expect to be made to feel anxious by this DR. But she did because she seemed rushed and not prepared to listen.
– I was referred to a hand therapist – I had to ask what happened next (as a kind of ‘let’s show some interest’) – I heard the Dr outside talking.
– Julie the physiotherapist was a stark contrast to the Dr. she was very empathetic, she explained her examinations, she showed interest in my difficulties, and helped find a solution. Her whole demeanour was person based. I felt more at ease, I now understand what is wrong with my hand as she was able to identify the issue through a process while listening to me, as opposed to treating me like a skeleton.
My email is both a complaint and a compliment. 
1, I feel that the dr needs to learn to listen more, put people at ease and students SHOULD be introduced and permission given, as opposed to assume. 
2, I feel that less emphasis should be put on standardised examination without HEARING the issues first.  
3, I think a patient shouldn’t be argued against.
4, my admission of depression should have rendered a more calm and at least compassionate reaction to my situation, as opposed to treating me like a statistic with a quick discharge
5, Julie deserves recognition for her patient care. Her ability to listen, explain thoroughly and offer solutions.
I look forward to your considered response 

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