Dear Doctor…

Today I went to the doctor, as promised in yesterday’s post, to get a referral for someone to talk to about the various things I am facing at the moment.

I have been through this process twice before in my life, during traumatic periods for me and my loved ones.

Each time, the first step – the referral-getting from the GP – was a thoroughly uncomfortable and depressing process. In fact, the second time, I actually had to leave and then come back to see another doctor, as the original doctor made me feel so uncomfortable and upset that I literally couldn’t bring myself to talk enough to get the referral through him. I just sat there in stunned silence, trying not to cry/slap him silly.

This time, I am pleased to report, was different. And that is thanks largely to the fact that over the last 12 months, I have found an amazing GP.

It is the first time since I was a kid that I have had a ‘regular’ doctor, and since lucking in to seeing him at my ‘turn up and wait’ local medical practice, Dr Genn has seen me through some pretty random medical issues over the past year, solved a mystery or two for me, helped me with routine stuff, and diagnosed me with IBS. He has also helped my ex when he was struck by panic attacks, and provided general advice and assurance when my female doctor managed to scare the crap out of me after a routine test.

I felt terrible going back to him for this today, because he has seen so much of me in the last 12 months, but not only was he ecstatic to hear about my success so far with the low-FODMAP diet, but he was understanding and thoughtful about my request for a referral, was kind and gentle in finding out the information that he needed to know, and managed to provide some sound advice while making me laugh as part of the process.

Aside from heaping praise on my GP, my point here is – I have really come to realise of late the importance of having a good doctor.

One that you can feel comfortable with, even when talking about the ‘icky’ stuff.

One who doesn’t make you feel rushed, even though you are a bulk-bill patient and there is a waiting room full of people outside.

One who treats your questions and worries with respect and concern, and not only helps you with what you need, but takes the time to make additional suggestions – for instance, today he has recommended to me a particular book (The Happiness Trap by Dr Russ Harris) he thinks may help me – a recommendation he was able to make after asking about how I like to deal with things and my history with managing stress and problems (I am definitely going to look into it – will let you know what I think!).

So, I guess I have found another thing to add to my ‘thankful for’ list, and that feels pretty amazing given how nervous I was earlier today about even taking that step. Thanks Dr Genn.

And thanks to all of those that have reached out to me since my post yesterday too – having your support and knowing I am not alone really does help, and I truly hope that one day I can provide support to you, if you ever need it.

Love to you all x