He is not my doctor, mine has a day off. This doctor is cruel and dislikes me.
"What seems to be the problem? (As if I don't know, *sardonic eyebrow, smarmy smirk*)
" Well, for three or four days, I've had terible pain in my back. It's got worse and worse until today I had to pull my boy out of school and come to see you immediately. The pain's so intense I can't help crying. (Tears plopping onto cheek, *don't cry, don't CRY!!!*) It doesn't feel like my normal pain - this is a burning, pain across the entire top right hand side of my body, all of the area beneath my ribcage, around my side and through to my back.
(She's run out of junkie-drops *reaches for prescription pad*)
"Does it say in my notes when I last needed any painkillers?" * Forces him to look it up on the computer to tell me it was nearly four weeks ago*
And that's just under 6 weeks since major bowel surgery. He looks at me as if we are done.
"Can you examine me please?" *Small voice, throw me a crumb here*
Cold stephoscope wearily produced, listens to chest, taps and pushes ribcage front and back.
"Any pain Susan? Here! Or here? Or here? Tippety tap, were done in a snap.
"What do you think is causing the pain doctor?"
*Craving for an opiate hit of course* "Oh, I expect it's just muscular"
"Muscular? It doesn't feel like a muscle"
"Just take the painkillers Susan" *and go, I've got really sick people to see.*
*persistently* "So it can't be an infection anywhere then? or radiating pain from a nasty adhesion?!
"No, no no, just pain. Better soon"
I am dismissed, but I don't want to leave. How did we start speaking different languages? Is there any complaint I could see him for that he didn't conclude was fake? Unlikely. I sigh and pick up my bag.
"What shall I do if it gets worse?"
"Oh, just go to A&E Susan"
My own doctor doesn't treat me like that. My own doctor has read my notes, has seen me have three lots of major bowel surgery. My own doctor knows that if the problem was junkie-drops, I'd have been there long before 4 weeks had passed. My own doctor gets to read the letters from the hospital, my consultants and my discharge letters. Problem is, there are 3 doctors at the practice and soon they will have to decide what treatment I do or don't get. Surely the conversation above shows just why that is a really, really bad idea?