Archive | May, 2015

Hearing without Listening: Part 1

11 May

by Max Scott

  • Part three of the blog series “The desperate fight to be heard, and supported, when living with the invisible struggles of Multimorbidity”
  • Introduction to blog series here

Max Scott_Hearing without listening part 1_cropped photo

I should have recognised the early warning signs. The GP that told me the news that I had a Pituitary Tumour, admitted to me “I only put you in for that brain scan to stop you coming to me worrying about your headaches”.

The Endocrinologist who I was subsequently referred to, carried on with this trend. He seemed more put out by the fact my tumour had been discovered in this way by the GP’s referral, rather than the normal procedure, which would have been that I would be firstly referred to him by the GP to investigate my headaches, then I would undergo weeks of blood tests, eventually leading up to an MRI scan. There my wife and I were, worried by the diagnosis and in need of information regarding the options for treatment, and here was a man who was, instead, showing indignation that he felt “normal procedures had not been followed”.  

Following my surgery to remove the tumour, which involved also removing most of the gland itself, the “Doctor-Patient” relationship between my Endo and I was to deteriorate further as time went on. I was discovering that the post-op “after effects” were greater than I had been warned that they could be. He was having none of it. As far as he was concerned, my blood tests were ok, so I was ok. This was purely because I was taking the right amount of replacement hormones (It is a well-known fact that, although these meds help, they cannot fully replicate the functions of the natural ones). There were several offensive and upsetting comments made to me. “What do you mean, condition?” (i.e. “You’re fine!”). Worse was to come. Asking him about my chronic fatigue, and need to sleep every afternoon, for which he had no answer, his clearly bored response was “I already spend more time with you than my other patients”, and “I’ve discussed this with you Ad Nauseam”. My wife could see how upset I was getting by such an attitude, and became tearful. “Do you know what it feels like, sitting here trying to tell you how I feel?” I said. “Do you know what it feels like sitting here having to hear it?” he replied.

All of this was having a demoralising effect on not only me, but my wife, who had to witness, daily, how poorly I had become. This man was meant to be our first line of support. It soon dawned on us that he was anything but.