Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Abbijo: Rant on the NHS

Okay so I went to the doctors today again because I have been feeling really unwell in myself and have an abscess forming for the fourth time since Easter, so for the fourth time in about 4 months! The first one got so big that it actually burst before the doctors would do anything about it. They kept prescribing me with an antibiotic called Flucloxacillin which is a Broad Spectrum Anti-biotic. This did nothing to combat what was wrong with me so the doctors tried another Anti-biotic which also had no effect, I cannot remember what this one was called as it was a couple of months ago and I have been on so many since then. Finally after at least two months they decided to test me and at the end of June they diagnosed the problem as MRSA. When they told me that this is what I had I was totally shocked because I have heard of it as a superbug that is really dangerous. My doctor told me that it wasn't a major problem as there was no abscess at this point so it wasn't life threatening. Instead of making me feel better it made me feel worse, I had had an abscess that they had not treated and in the end had burst. Luckily everything was okay with mine and I didn't get blood poisoning or endocarditis which I believe you can get if this is left untreated (disclaimer I am by no means a doctor!). So with the swabs they had done they were able to prescribe me with an Anti-biotic that my MRSA was not resistant to, this was a particularly strong one that can give you stomach ulcers if you do not follow the instructions carefully. Everything cleared up nicely and I was so happy because finally I could say that I was well for the first time in months.

However when I came home for the summer holidays, after a week or two I noticed another abscess forming and made an appointment with a doctor who continued to tell me that it looked like perhaps just the remnants of the MRSA and to leave it as it should disappear on it's own. Two days later the abscess had become a fully formed lump like I had known it would. I went to a walk in centre as the GP was closed where they swabbed it for me but told me they could not do anything and I would have to see a doctor when the GP was open again. So I made the appointment and as this doctor didn't have all of my records from Bristol it was difficult communicating everything that I had gone through, annoyingly she prescribed Flucloxacillin again for me. I have by this point had that drug six or seven times since my first dose in Easter which all of my medic friends tell me is a really bad thing. Basically it meant that every time I finished a dose, my immune system would have to rebuild itself again. This time though the Flucloxacillin actually seemed to work and the abscess disappeared by the end of the course of Anti-biotics. 

Dressing cosy because I'm not allowed outside, no make-up, no cares just fed up of illness 

But just last week I noticed what appeared to be the formation of another abscess and I nearly cried. I decided not to go to the doctor immediately because I didn't want to be turned away like in the past as it was too small to do anything about. I booked an appointment this morning and was seen very quickly, I have yet again been prescribed with an Anti-biotic, but this one is called Doxycycline. Apparently taking this means I have to become a vampire for the next week, I'm not being forced to drink blood or anything but the pharmacist told me that I will burn if my skin sees the sun. He says it makes your skin extremely sensitive to the sun and I should go out with extreme caution! The doctor also told me that if this clears up and then comes back again he will put me on a long term Anti-biotic for preventative measures. I am not sure exactly how long, long term is in this case and I hate taking tablets, but if it means I can finally get a clean bill of health I will gladly do it.

So I guess what I have learned from this experience is that seeing different doctors around the country does not help, because they all want to try the Flucloxacillin before doing something else so you end up taking a ton of it. They also don't believe you when you tell them something is wrong which means it has to get to the point where it is painful before they can treat it. 
On a side note, when my abscess burst, I went to the BRI (Bristol Royal Infirmary) basically to A&E and had MRSA present there and leaking all over the place and they did not even test me they just stuck a dressing on it and told me to get it changed frequently, probably twice a day. So you hear all this stuff about MRSA and how people who have contracted it have their own private wards and things like this and yet I managed to walk in and out of the BRI without anyone knowing I had MRSA, safe? 

Smiling with the thought that this could be the beginning of the end to my illness

Don't get me wrong I think the NHS does do a good job a lot of the time and I am very grateful that it is so heavily subsidised so if one day I need lifesaving care I won't have to pay for it, but the amount of antibiotics that I have had to purchase in the last few months is ridiculous, it is so expensive getting ill and with doctors continually trying things that aren't going to work, just to 'make sure' I feel like asking them to buy the medication for me.      

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