After 31 years, 8 GPs and a host of farcical tales so infinite, I could never recount them, I now have a repeat prescription for the tiny amount of opiates that don't even nearly get me through a week.
A nice lady phoned me from the surgery a few weeks ago and explained that my "usage was stable" (?!!?) my needs regular and unchanging (oh if only!!) and (this is a subscript, she didn't actually say these words but if you imagine they weren't implied you've never been on the naughty step) "I haven't murdered anyone at knifepoint for an extra dose or three"
This meant, that just like everyone else, my prescriptions could now be issue automatically and repeatedly without the usual accompanying junkie-hop.
From now on, they would be sitting there waiting for me, accessible and benevolently provided. This is almost too much newness for me to deal with in one big step.
For the last 30 years, I have had to
A) Writhe miserably for a minimum of 72 hours.
B) Call for an appointment that morning or put a request through to speak to the duty doctor. ("The duty doctor is often very busy you know, he's there for emergencies, blah blah")
C) Then, I'd have to explain all over again, every time, to even the most well meaning that, yes, I do still have very severe crohn's, no there haven't been any miracle cures, and no, the missing two-thirds of my bowel haven't grown back.
D) Collect 4 x weekly prescriptions to take to the pharmacy that could be kept there for each Monday morning.
E) Collect said prescriptions weekly, first thing on a Monday morning in-between trying to get two sleepy and often uncooperative pre-teen boys ready for and delivered to school.
For most of those 3 decades, this has been the bane of my life. Way worse than the actual symptoms themselves.
What if your own doctor is away?
What if you get the slightly senile senior partner they can't quite bring themselves to sack?
What if they get the dose wrong or the name or my address? (Which I estimate they did at least 90% of the time, meaning three or four trips where one would clearly never do.)
What if something pops or twists or turns inconveniently septic slap bang in the middle of a bank holiday weekend and you have to explain to those most dreaded of wraiths, the On. Call. Locum?????
What if the pharmacy forgot to order more in or for some reason, Atilla the Hun has been bought in as cover pharmacist and just doesn't like the look of you?
The what-ifs make this the roller-coaster of long term pain conditions something only a fully fledged sickie could ever really know.
With trepidation, Dave set off for the surgery this morning and miracle of miracles, the prescriptions were indeed sitting there waiting to be collected. He took it to the pharmacy and yet more miracley miracleness meant that they had re-ordered the stocks. It was diagnosed right and the dose was even right.
I think I ought to have got some kind of certificate I can pull out at all of those times above when delirious agony has been preferable to running the dreadful pain gauntlet assault course.
"This is to Certify That
Has successfully completed 3 decades of judgmental & obstructive pain management.
We award the medal of repeat prescription with no pre-appointment and hereby recommend that all health related establishments at least give her the benefit of the doubt