I’m really angry. I’ve had this post bubbling up inside of me for a very long time and it’s about time I let it out.
Have you ever been to the doctors and left the appointment clutching a prescription for some sort of drug thinking, ‘I only went in for advice…’?
I have. Too many times.
The first time I very nearly walked away with a prescription for Valium was when my grandmother died. I felt crazy. I felt scared. I was later diagnosed with fear anxiety. The only reason I walked away with help and guidance, and not pills, was because of the doctor. In that moment I think I would have taken anything to make the sadness go away, but she stopped herself from prescribing it. She said, ‘I’d normally advise Valium, but I think you should talk to someone.’
A week later and I was in a psych assessment appointment followed by sessions at the university with a trainee counsellor. I was that emotional I made her cry too. But I got better. I became stronger and I pushed forward. And the grey cloud passed.
This is what being a doctor is about; sorting things out from the root of the problem, not masking it with drugs in the hope it will fade away…
So, why am I angry?
Well, let’s fast-forward to the time I gave birth to Molly. A few days afterwards I began experiencing extreme pain and lots of blood when having a poo (yes, I talked about poo!) so I went to the doctor. I was told I had a fissure and immediately, the doctor prescribed extremely strong laxatives and said I’d be on them the whole time I breastfed. I left the surgery with the prescription and an uneasy heart.
I know people say not to, but I googled the drugs. Whoah… I’m glad I did. They weren’t meant for long time usage, if used in this way there was the potential to lose all control of my bowels. WTF?! Then I googled fissure. Go on, do it. Ow. Yes, it really bloody hurts. Anyway, I googled causes, because the GP hadn’t told me. Dehydration and diet.
So, Warren and I made a plan. I would take 2 tablets, that was all, and the rest would be fixed with diet and water. I bought prune juice, grapes, anything good for me that would soften the poop. After several horrendous days of pain and not being able to control my bodily functions, I was back to normal, no pain, a healthy diet and no more pills.
I continued to breastfeed and a few months later I had experienced my fourth bout of mastitis and it had become an abscess. I had no idea why it was happening, no doctors were helping me and I was in a lot pain. It was also causing a strain on my relationship with Molly.
I look back and realise not one doctor tried to get to the root problem, instead I walked out with a prescription for antibiotics. Then I was hospitalised. IF somebody had said, maybe it’s X, Y or Z, let’s work on it, I would have continued to breastfeed and I wouldn’t have ended up facing possible surgery.
I had a little look at the causes this week and it’s crazy how many things can cause Mastitis. Some were linked to ineffective draining of the boob, but another was being prescribed the wrong antibiotics. There were so many other reasons but what the..? The WRONG antibiotics? How can that even happen?
Each time someone I know goes to see their doctor about depression or anxiety, they’re always sent away with meds…
Why is it we’re given a cure when what we really need is prevention? Besides, the cure isn’t everlasting, is it?
I know there are staff shortages, I know there are poor incentives, but I also know it’s so much easier to write off a prescription than to actually take time looking at the why’s and how’s… we need the answers, not the pills…
So, next time you see your GP, please do some research. We need to work on fixing the problem not covering it up.