I share my thoughts because writing them down clarifies the questions buzzing round my head. I share them to document a health journey that I and many other people are travelling. I share them in case they help other people.
This Wednesday I went for my appointment with the gastro dietitian at the main hospital in my area. I have to say she was helpful, well informed and polite. In fact there is no reason for me to feel disappointed or upset by the appointment at all. So why have I come away feeling let down by the NHS yet again?
I am privileged to have been able to discuss my health issues with my GP including undertaking several sessions of blood tests. I've been referred to a local dietitian, a gastroenterologist, another dietitian, an immunologist and finally another dietitian. All of these appointments required a fight at my GP surgery. They have spanned 6 years so far. I know many people don't get this much from their NHS service and for this I am truly grateful.
For all of the research I have done and all the appointments I feel guilty for taking up, what have I discovered? I am lucky to know that I don't have IgE allergies, Crohns, Colitis, IBD, cancer or many other illnesses and diseases. My situation could be a lot worse.
I do still have symptoms. My own food trials and exclusion of lactose, dairy, wheat and gluten have made me feel 75% better. But what if my self diagnosis is incorrect and I don't need to undertake this diet? It still worries me that I am missing the cause of these symptoms. My latest appointment concluded that I had food intolerances and IBS. The NHS has little left to offer me in testing or advice. There are still so many unanswered questions. And to add to the mixture I have an almost 3 year old with the same problems!