On Tuesday, after suffering all weekend with one of the most intense migraines I’ve ever had, I booked an emergency appointment with my doctor. Unfortunately for me, I had to see one of those stand-in doctors, as my own wasn’t available.
I was already stressed and annoyed from the pain, which on several occasions made me throw up and I spent most of the weekend sleeping with the help of my tablets because I just couldn’t handle the pain. I wasn’t happy about seeing a doctor that knew nothing about me, therefore meaning I had to fill him in on everything. However, I knew it couldn’t be helped if I wanted to be seen that day.
My bad mood continued to grow as I had to wait an extra fifteen minutes to see him. It tripled when the examination began.
It couldn’t even be called an examination. More like an inane conversation I could’ve done without. Granted, I was probably extra grouchy because of the pain I was in, but he was so unhelpful! He had to triple check – triple fucking check – whether or not he had the right patient’s file up. He hadn’t even noticed until he asked about my medication and how I was doing on it.
For those of you who don’t know: I’m on a high dose of mirtazapine (for depression), as well as oxytetracycline (for my acne).
I told him about my migraines once he had the right patient on his screen, and how I’ve been experiencing pretty bad bloating. He said it could be a side effect of mirtazapine, which I already knew, as I’d been informed by my usual doctor before starting it that weight gain, among other things, was one of the most common side effects.
Before he could go any further, I told him the weight gain wasn’t actually bothering me, it was the swelling of my stomach. To give you guys an idea of how bad it is, I used to have a waist of about 26 inches (28 when it was a bad day). Now, it’s about 36 inches on a good day. It’s really painful at times, to the point where I won’t want to get out of bed and then you get the stares and the questions. Several times, I’ve been asked how far along I am. It’s devastating.
What did he say to that? Not much, in all honesty. He didn’t do any tests. Didn’t feel my stomach. He just said that maybe I should come off my tablets altogether, to which I finally lost my temper. My usual doctor has always told be I’d need to be slowly taken off mirtazapine due to the nasty side effects and withdrawal it can cause. To come off it altogether at such a high dose was dangerous. Why didn’t this doctor already know that?
He backed down, seeming sheepish and knocked me down to a lower dose. Then he had the audacity to say that it seems my depression stems from my weight gain. I’d already lost my temper and I was running on zero patience, so I told him simply that I’ve been suffering with depression on and off since I was 15. When I was 15, I was a UK size 6. Now, at 20 and after being put on mirtazapine last year, I’m a UK size 12-14 (depending where I shop). I know I look healthier now. Like I said: the only thing bothering me was the swollen stomach and the headaches.
Oh, but it gets worse!
Like he hadn’t already made my day one hundred times worse, he then asked jokingly if there was a chance I was pregnant, which would explain the weight gain and my lack of periods (if he’d looked through my file, it would’ve told him that I haven’t had a period in almost two years now). Oh and then he said that I should try a group therapy, because I’d see that there are people with problems twice as bad as mine, and I’d see that my depression isn’t actually that serious.
Not that serious? I was hospitalised twice because of it.
Another reason why I went was because of my insomnia (probably the reason behind my migraines), to which he said he would prescribe sleeping tablets. Did I get those sleeping tablets? Nope. Not only did he do absolutely nothing for my migraines, swollen stomach or insomnia, but he’s taken me off oxytetracycline and lowered my dose massively on mirtazapine.
And people wonder why I hate going to the doctors. My usual doctor is great, don’t get me wrong. He was furious when another stand-in doctor didn’t take my depression seriously and I ended up in the hospital. At my first appointment with him after coming out of the hospital, he immediately put me on the top of waiting lists and sorted my medication and whatnot.
However, to see my usual doctor, I have to wait nearly two months and when you’re in as much pain as I have been for the past week, it’s just not good enough. By then, the pain will probably be gone or in my friend’s grandma’s case, you die before you get seen.
I know there’s something not right with my body. For my waist and stomach to gain over ten inches in a few months is not normal, but adding the pain I’m in? And the no periods? And the migraines?
Sadly, all I can do is wait until May to see my doctor now.