…train my cat to make dinner!

I woke up this morning in tears…feeling very low and lonely.  I’m still trying to fight off this episode of cellulitis, nothing I do seems to be helping long-term.  I’m frustrated with my GP surgery, every doctor I see (when you can see them that is – last time it was a telephone triage appointment) seems to be unable to understand 2-3 separate problems can connect to make one big problem and the solution isn’t always the standard you would have for each initial problem.  They understand cellulitis, as a condition, but not in conjunction with lipoedema; in fact, I can’t even get them to acknowledge lipoedema, they always correct me with lymphoedema (‘cos I’m fat and have large legs) and if I repeat lipoedema, they give me that look as if I’m a simpleton. No GP has ever looked it up, or taken any interest in lipoedema.  After all, how could a lay-person who suffers from a condition, no more than a doctor who has studied general medicine for years.

All I can say is I’m totally, and utterly, disappointed and frustrated by most medical professionals (except specialist nurses; they are under-rated and under-valued).  I’m not sure if it is particular to Birmingham (‘cos this place is a shit-heap), or because the NHS is being squeezed into oblivion by the Tory government, but things have certainly changed.  There is no ‘care’ in healthcare these days.  If your condition doesn’t fall into a neat little box you’ve got no hope.  All they want to do is foist their drugs, lotions or potions on you; as long as we keep profiting  the pharmaceutical companies (and their shareholders) it seems people’s lives, health and, in particular, their mental health do not matter.  I suppose this is why the internet to some extent is a life-saver.  Although it is difficult wading through the diatribe, eventually you come across some good advice, humour, support etc.  The difficulty is everyone has an idea and when you want a quick solution it can be very frustrating.

Over the past few years (prior to diagnosis) I invested in solutions to my problems by buying stuff (chi-machine, rebounder, vibration plate) or consuming strange concoctions (apple cider vinegar, gelatine, bullet-proof coffee).  All of which I am unable to determine has helped or hindered my progress, I have always been looking for a quick fix (2-3 weeks) to see or feel an overall improvement, if nothing definitive I’d go back to the drawing board (internet) and start again.  This is why I’m frustrated with healthcare provision at present, it places the onus on the patient to investigate their condition and to find solutions unless of course you are willing to take prescribed medication.  The problem I have with just taking medication, is it deals with the symptoms, but fails to acknowledge the underlying  cause.  The way the NHS is being run, because it is so tight on time, prioritises medication over any other solution and this working model is repeated over and over, so if you have a reaction to one medication they often prescribe another to deal with that symptom and if the same thing happens another medication, and another – ad infinitum.  We are encouraged to be drug addicts, but not happy-clappy drug addicts, ‘cos the pharmaceutical companies, its shareholders and the government don’t want you to feel happy in a natural way ‘cos they can’t make money off.  They want you feeding off their drugs, keeping you in just the right amount of pain and misery, so as to be able to offer you more – all the while slowly destroying your internal organs.

All I want is a meaningful discussion, not limited to ten minutes, to discuss my concerns, my fears and possible solutions – I want a more holistic approach to my  healthcare, but I’m afraid I think it more likely I can train my cat to make dinner!

I am just well-upholstered…

My euphoria, sans Pain Management appointment, was short-lived.  I’ve had a sore leg for a few days/weeks (I’d scratched it on the shower screen a few weeks ago) which hasn’t got any better.  I suspect cellulitis, as well as a particularly annoying varicose vein, so I attended the walk-in centre at the hospital after work.  The lady I saw was again, very good; she was patient and took time with me.  She checked my heart beat, lungs etc.  but when it came to the blood pressure my heart sank, I always have problems getting my blood pressure checked because of the lipoedema in my arms.  It is excruciatingly painful.  Despite my best efforts to pronounce lipoedema, (I think most health care professionals only hear lymphoedema), and explain I am better with a wrist monitor, she proceeded to use a small cuff on my forearm.  I thought, maybe it wouldn’t be as bad here as in my upper arm, WRONG, it was excruciating, I’m sure she looked at me like I was over-reacting, or over-acting.  I let her continue despite the pain until a reading was reached; 160/105mmHg.  Too high, she said.  (That’s because I was being tortured, anyone’s blood pressure is bound to rise under those conditions).  I checked later on and there is a distinct bruise, on my arm, where this torture had occurred.  I’m not really complaining, I think overall she did a splendid job, in comparison to other healthcare professionals I’ve come across.  Lo and behold, my own diagnosis was right, I have got cellulitis and she has given me antibiotics (Flucloxicillin) for a week, she also said I should go to my GP about my varicose veins.  

This goes some way to explaining why I’ve been feeling generally quite low and run-down, I thought is was mainly due to having a busy week and not being able to rest as much as I’d like.   Hopefully, the antibiotics will kick in quickly and I’ll start to feel better, I’ve booked next week off work and although I’m hoping to rest and recuperate a little,  I am also hoping to get a few things done around the house.  I need to feel a bit more on top of my game for that as housework is already a struggle when you are living with lipoedema, fibromyalgia and are a buxom beauty (trying out positive affirmation to help my mood).

P.S. – I just looked up buxom out of interest in the dictionary/thesaurus and was quite tickled by the synonym “well-upholstered”, I may just use this expression in future in place of fat, which has become such a derogatory term.  From this day forward, I shall proclaim loudly, “I am not fat… I am just well-upholstered”.