When mental health issues are in the family. My general doctor retired. He was an excellent doctor. He’s the one who diagnosed Graves Disease and Hyperthyroidism. I knew that he was past retirement age and that it would happen one day. I was selfishly hoping that it would be another few years before he made the plunge.
The clinic contacted me and reassured me that they were making the arrangement for a new doctor. This was a relief as I passed many years without a general doctor due to our *wonderful* (high in sarcasm) medical system and red tape.
I was contacted last week to make an appointment with my new doctor. I have to admit that due to my multiple chronic illnesses I was worried about the transfer of my file to a new person. I was worried that the new doctor wouldn’t be as good as the last or wouldn’t take me and my pain seriously. So many people have horror stories about being ignored or accused of looking for drugs by their general doctors. So many of my doctors in the past, brush off my symptom as personal quirk not worth worrying about when in fact I did have a very real illness.
Turns out this new doctor may be a good match after all. This new doctor used to take care of people 70+ or who was in a terminal phase of cancer. She is also a psychologist. I might be young, but my hair is completely grey, I have arthritis, up and down issues with blood pressure, so 70+ health isn’t a big stretch for me. You have to find humour in your illnesses or you will sink.
She did tell me something that is sticking with me today. My depression and anxiety issues may not be caused by Grave’s Disease or my dysfunctional thyroid. Since my grandfather, my dad and my aunt all struggle with depression due to low levels of serotonin, she believes that it may be my case also. So my hopes that my mental illness would be temporary might be shot down.
Because I just underwent radiation to kill my thyroid, my general doctor opted to wait until my thyroid is stabilised and then we are to see each other again and make my happiness priority number one.
She said that she would then take each of my physical health issue left unaddressed by the endocrinologist and the Rheumatologist and work to fix them one by one. Although it still means a lot of waiting, I have hope that I am being taken seriously.
She was also surprised that I was still holding on to a full-time job and that my specialists hadn’t offered short term / long term medical leave. I did confide that since the radiation it’s been a real struggle and that part of me did wish I was off, but at the same time, I got married recently, I’m a new homeowner and I have kids, I need the salary. It would be unfair to put an additional burden on my husband.