Conceivably both. Or, equally conceivably, he simply doesn’t give a shit. Inexcusable, whatever the truth.
As regular readers will know, I’m suffering from Lymphoedema, Lymphorrhoea, and Cellulitis, and the last is the big problem right now. A few days ago it was swabbed and sent for analysis. The results came back recommending treatment with an specific antibiotic, Flucloxacillin.
This was first prescribed over a month ago. Not only didn’t it work – it had no perceptible effect at all – it’s an amazingly inconvenient drug to take, having to be take an hour before food, or 2 hours after,** As I tend to eat only when I’m hungry (rather than the traditional three meals a day, whether one actually needs them or not), this creates problems.
**Or, as has just dawned on me (which shows how slow on the uptake I am right now), taken on an empty stomach, so why the hell don’t they just say that? Oh, it appears that they do. Oops.
It creates even bigger problems in that, last time, it shut down my breathing after a week. This is a known side effect, so prescribing this for someone like me, for whom the ability to breathe is already impaired, strikes me as cavalier in the extreme – or just plain dumb. To do so twice looks like unbelievable levels of stupidity or malice.
So, when he pitched up here a few days ago, telling me he’d once again prescribed this crap, I was not best pleased. I pointed out that I’d already told him it shut down my breathing.
You mean it made you unwell?
No. I mean it shut down my breathing.
So it made you unwell then?
Seriously, WTF does this cretin think I mean by it shut down my breathing? It means exactly that – I was fighting for every fucking breath! This was not being “unwell,” this was potentially dangerous, if not fatal, had I persevered with the drug.
Grudgingly, he said he’d prescribe something else. So guess, 24 hours later, what the pharmacy delivered. Yep, spot on! You really couldn’t make this shit up.
But it gets worse.
The dressings I need for my legs are expensive, they cost £45 a day, and the GP made a serious attempt to guilt-trip me about it. Screw that! I didn’t ask for this, I don’t want it, and I won’t accept responsibility for its cost. It’s goddamn agony and my right leg has been several times the size of my left leg, itself swollen, for a month now, and I’m leaking lymphatic fluid at up to 3 litres a day. Couple that with diuretics that can have me peeing over 5 litres a day, and it’s a constant battle to stave off dehydration.
Lymphatic fluid has a perverse ability to dissolve skin, so normal dressings, which are simple absorbent pads, are not wildly successful, and not only to the hold the corrosive fluid close to the skin, they also leak like buggery.
The dressings I need, called Flivasorb, are designed to draw the fluid away from the skin, and keep it locked away, so the surface in contact with the skin is always dry – similar to the technology used in disposable nappies and sanpro.
And they are amazingly effective. Or would be if my GP hadn’t fucked with the supply of them.
A week ago the lead nurse put in a prescription for 2 packs (20 sheets, barely a week’s worth, even with care). Moronic GP knocked that down to 5 sheets – enough for a day.
And guess what – the bastard did the same thing this week. I’m waiting here for two packs, and five bloody sheets arrived!
It’s clear to me, as a former industrial buyer, that Flivasorb are grossly overpriced, but that’s a problem for the NHS, or the DoH, to renegotiate the supply contract. It should not be made my problem.
And if my GP is too cheap to fund my treatment, he should come out and say so, not accept a script from the nurse for 20 sheets and, as soon as she’s gone, sneakily and gutlessly knock it down to an utterly useless 5. And the prick always does this for a delivery close to a weekend, so there’s no prospect of getting more until next week.
He should also stop pissing about and refer me to the Lymphoedema Clinic without delay. Or bite the bullet and shoulder the expense – doing neither is not an option. And the thing is, this clown has never seen my legs. The nurse offered to remove the new dressings so he could see for himself last time, but he refused saying, “No! They’re horrible!” Well done doc, given impressionable patients a complex about themselves. Bloody good job I’m not one of them.
They are, in fact, as I’ve said myself, horrible. They also stink. None of which is any excuse for a doctor refusing to see the severity of the condition for which he’s fucking up the scripts
It’s not for ever, just a month or two (possibly even a week or two, but I think that’s too optimistic, my right leg is a mess), hopefully, until I stabilise and go into compression. Right now, the unending loss of protein in the lymphatic fluid could harm, or even kill, me. As I said in an earlier post, the consultant who said I was going to die from a surfeit of albumin got it arse-backwards, but I could still die from the lack of it.
I’m eating as high a protein diet as possible, but without daily blood tests there’s no way of knowing if I’m even holding my own, never mind making progress. I’m also trying very hard not to get fat again!
As I’m getting increasingly tired, despite now sleeping in a profiling bed – comfy, but tends to keep me in one position, which is bad for my hips (osteoarthritis) – I think it’s a safe assumption that I’m not holding my own.
Researching the problem of protein deficiency is difficult, as either Google is in one of its uncooperative moods or none of my favourite, and reliable, medical websites cover the problem. I’ve been able to put together a symptom consensus based on a bunch is sites which do, at least, look to be competent:-
- Oedema (swelling)
- Thinning brittle hair and/or hair loss
- Ridges in finger and toe nails
- Skin rashes; dry skin
- Weak and tired
- Muscle soreness and cramps
- Slow healing
- Skin ulcers
- Sleep issues
Thinning brittle hair and/or hair loss is the only one that doesn’t apply to me; though hair growth has slowed perceptibly, that could be seasonal.
I’m trying to get out of this flat, where I’ve been marooned since last September, and regain some semblance of a social life. Flivasorb will allow that by keeping the exudate from my legs locked away, meaning I won’t be leaving a trail like a slug, or creating a puddle wherever I stop for more than a few minutes. Or, which would make me extremely unpopular, in taxis.
My GP’s attitude, though, will ensure that he keeps me a prisoner in my own home for the foreseeable future.
And that is not acceptable.