Warning: Health (and health-care) rant! If you don’t care for those, you can just skip to the photos at the bottom.
Lesser-known fact, I have issues with sleep. Chronic exhaustion has been my lifelong companion. Some of my earliest memories are of being literally dragged out of bed by my mum because it was well and truly time to get up and I was craving more sleep. Sometimes I have trouble drifting off (my body naturally falls sleep at around 4:00am, no matter when I’ve woken, or for how many days in a row), but mostly I force myself to sleep at a reasonable time. The trouble then becomes waking up.
Note that I have done the experiment where you go to sleep, don’t set an alarm, and let your body naturally wake itself. Except that I woke 24 hours later. Fail. I’ve also attempted variations therein, where you set alarms for different lengths of sleep. 6, 7, 8 hours, onwards. Nope.
And don’t even try to talk to me without at least 12 hours of sleep.
It never occurred to me that not everyone is this way, so I just never did anything about it. To put it into perspective, I have never, ever in living memory felt refreshed from a night’s sleep. Well… I have actually never woken up and been able to get out of bed without a huge internal battle (and my joint issues don’t help). Ever.
The point of this post is to vent because I hauled my sleepy, painful butt to the doctor’s – whom I just registered with – explained my situation, and had her say, ‘Everyone feels tired sometimes. It’s not cause for worry, and it obviously doesn’t affect you that badly.’
Not to be sarky, but I was in a doctor’s clinic, and I hate those kinds of places. And needles. But mostly doctors’ offices. There is something goin’ on with me. Plus I’d just explained the chronic nature of my tiredness and pain… It stops me from making it to class sometimes, from going out to see people I really want to see, and doing a lot of the things I want to do.
I just want to wake up feeling refreshed. Just once. I want to know what it feels like not to drag myself through the day.
She then asked if I’d seen a psychologist about it; I said that I didn’t think it was psychological, and she just stared and said, ‘Mmhm.’ After my mentioning a couple things, she prescribed an anti-reflux medicine, which – although I said I didn’t think it was related – I’ve decided to try anyway. It can’t hurt.
Finally, I inquired about my knee, which is swollen and quite painful. I just wanted to know if there was anything there that I should be concerned about in terms of getting it to heal okay.
She said immediately, ‘Have you been vaccinated for tetanus after the bite?’
Me: ‘No?’ Needles? Quick! Backtrack – tell her Bobo is an animatronic experiment gone amiss.
‘Hm. Are your immunisations up to date?’
Me: ‘Yes, to get into the country.’ Phew.
‘Well, it’s obviously infected, so I’ll prescribe an antibiotic.’
No puss, no extreme redness, no heat, just the swelling and bruising? I’m not a medical professional, but I do not think it is. Nevertheless, she printed a prescription. And I walked away with no more answers than I had before, feeling brushed off and frustrated. Though I had tried to stand up for myself, it seemed impossible. She had a vocal tic – ‘mhm’ – happening with each couple words I uttered – like something out of a comedy sketch where one character is listening with only half an ear.
I just do not know what is happening, but I feel it is more serious than she was taking it! (Please note that I really, really like the NHS. It’s just this one experience that I’m not happy with.)
What about you, have you had an experience where the doctor just doesn’t seem to be listening?
Anyway, I think I’ll conclude more positively with photos that don’t need words.