This was supposed to be a post of how unfeasible many of our GP practices are run the the UK.
But instead, something extraordinary happened that I must tell you about.
I apparently crossed the boundary line when I moved house two months ago, and so, my GP practice of five and a half years de registered me. Nevermind disrupting my care, they said it was something to do with the way they’re funded by Clinical Commissioning Groups.
I’ll just leave that right there.
Anyway, it’s caused a flurry of problems for me. With great anxiety I registered with a new GP practice and two months after meeting with a doctor, and three phone calls (with three different doctors later) I found that I couldn’t order my repeat prescription online (because they have ICT problems) or on the phone, because I need to go in for a medicine review.
As a temporary solution I was offered a month’s worth of my prescription meds pending a visit to the doctor. I explained, kindly to the receptionist that I had explained twice why I get two week’s of meds rather than a month’s. I wasn’t heard. I was then asked if I wanted a month’s worth again. So I was explicit. My former practice had decided on the advice of hospital consultants that after my last two serious overdoses it was safest to give me two week’s supply of meds. I had ended up in high dependency units in a bad way.
I was then still asked whether I wanted a month’s supply of meds. Feeling compelled to consider whether I should say yes and risk my mortality, I cracked. It might seem trivial, but to someone who battles suicidal thoughts on a daily basis, someone whose mood can go from happy-go-lucky to utter despair in minutes, the mere act of having to ask myself whether I felt safe enough to take home a month’s supply of strong prescription drugs broke me. I declined kindly, not able to deal with the phonecall anymore and came off the phone.
My kind manager was concerned so she enquired.
I hadn’t realised I was that stressed. And for the first time, ever, in my history of working since I was 16 (I’m 32 now) I broke down at work.
At first I didn’t understand what was happening. The moment my voice broke, Jane, my manager sprung up from her desk opposite me. Imogen, my colleague next to me moved closer to me and they were comforting me. I was taken to a room away and talked through my options at length.
The thing that struck me, was, in my history of working since 16 years old, I’d never, ever seen this happen in the workplace. My colleagues dropped what they were doing to look after me.
All I can say is I was, and am completely and utterly overwhelmed by the kindness that met me in my moment of despair.
I come from a country where we don’t talk about mental health problems, because there is great stigma. Because people are more likely to say you need prayers rather than clinical support. A country where when I first spoke words of being sexually assaulted as a child, my listeners pretended that I’d said nothing at all. I didn’t get a hug or a comforting word despite my tears, even when said to my mother.
I’m balled over by the kindness I’ve encountered. And am completely bewildered by it. It’s bewildering but pleasantly welcomed. I say, more of it please.
So very thankful for these angels. It almost feels unreal. Thank you to my beautiful team at work.
Gentle hugs x
Photo by Kawin Harasai