Saturday 9th January 2016

2pm – Livid. Absolutely livid.

I am surprised that I didn’t come straight home on Thursday and document precisely how angry I was following my clinic visit at the hospital.

The doctor I saw is, apparently (remarkably), the head of gastro at my local hospital. The man was simply awful. He had not read a single page of my file beyond the first page which (incorrectly) stated that I have Crohn’s disease. So when he greeted me with “Alpha, is it? [Small talk with my dad, who was with me, about my name] So you have Crohn’s…”, I was instantly put in attack-mode.

I replied: “That’s worrying”, implying that it was not a good sign that he didn’t even know which form of IBD I have. In return, he said “No, not really because they’re basically the same.” Already welling up with anger and frustration, I did my best not to cry, but months of steroid-induced sleep deprivation got the better of me and I burst into tears.

Nevertheless, the tactless doc continued: “You haven’t been on steroids then?”, which displayed his total ignorance on the facts of my case, since I’ve taken them every which way (in my mouth, through my veins, UP MY BUM) for the past year. Thankfully, I haven’t had to snort them. His lack of awareness was made even more stark by the fact that I’ve only recently been discharged from hospital following eight days of failed intravenous steroid treatment. All I could do was stare at him, hopelessly.

After this gaffe, I found it very difficult to listen to a word he was saying, as he clearly knew nothing about me or my treatment plan.

To add insult to injury, he rebutted my questions and suggestions with: “I have more experience of ulcerative colitis than you!” and also suggested to my dad that “steroids have been linked with psychosis”. The man has only just stopped short of calling me a psycho. Simply because I challenged him on his lack of preparation or knowledge of the particular nature of my condition (which the Scandi doctor had earlier characterised as a-typical). I felt I deserved more than this.

Going over this again has fired me up again and motivated me to make a formal complaint. I’ll look into this now.

The good news (I think) is that I’m due to receive my next dose of Infliximab, although I won’t actually get it until next Friday. Better late than never.

Despite everything that was churned up in the follow-up clinic, the consultant didn’t interrogate the fact that I had been into A&E following my previous dose, following a hypersensitive reaction. Let’s just hope that this time I’m OK.


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