..'does exactly what it says on the tin'...

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Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Doctor doesn't lie


Earlier today I had the privilege of an appointment with my GP. I had a head injury a few days ago so I was hoping for my kind, caring, considerate doctor to give me some sound advice, and a quick check over to see everything was running smoothly. But what I got was more like a rude awakening...

I suffered a head injury last week on the football field, not overly severe, but not minor either. A few seconds of unconsciousness, 7 hours of memory loss, and 2 nights in the capable hands of the nurses at my local hospital. A CT scan, 231 blood pressure checks, 172 pills and several horrific meals later they deemed me fit enough to continue my recovery at home, which I was ecstatic about. As stated there were the after effects, the tiredness, memory loss, confusion, irritable mood, drowsiness, and throbbing headaches. Over the past few days these have simmered and I'm once agin slowly becoming my 'charming' old self. So as a advised precaution I made an appointment to see my local GP and just make sure everything is as it should be...but maybe I should have just passed on that encounter...

I walk in to take a comfortable seat in the doctors office, a pleasant looking chap, late 40's, smartly dressed, a welcoming smile, and then a glance at the wall clock. Was I late? No, I'd been there 20 minutes early. Was he in hurry? Surely not, I thought. Catching up on my injury as fast as he could with the electronic notes I was astonished to hear him dismiss it as a mere light head bump, I'm sorry? I asked, clearly he didn't have half a clue as to the happenings or the hospital report. But after a quick explanation we seemed to be on the same page, frighteningly. After a few regular questions he continued to advise me as to what may, or may not occur in the coming days and weeks, and boy was I in for a shock! 'I see they did a CT scan, which is good, however, I should say at this point that if there was very little internal bleeding it would not have shown up on the scan.' Hmm, OK, go on, he continued to explain that if there was any small amount of internal bleeding then it could well become a severe issue and lead to a more complexed and life threatening situation. In some respects I wanted for him to repeat himself, but in others I'd heard quite enough. 'Vigilance is key', a phrase he seemed to repeat every 15 seconds. Surely I'm being vigilant by coming to see him, as a professional, for him to asses how well I was recovering! 'It's a possibility, you have to be vigilant, I'm not saying it will happen, just be aware'. He continued to ask me some more questions, 'does your head hurt?', it suddenly began to hurt more than it had earlier in the day, 'do you feel weary at all?', I was sitting on a chair, but I was now feeling like the floor was moving, 'is your memory better now?', I couldn't remember anything from when the door closed behind me as I entered his office.

I'd come here to get reassurance, advice, and help, and I was leaving even worse than before, more confused, more anxious, more on edge, more worried, and less well, this wasn't right. I accept the truth can be hurtful, and we need to hear it at times, but surely there is an easier, and slightly more pleasant way in which a doctor can 'inform' a patient.

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