Dealing With The Medical System

It’s a total headfuck. Seriously – there is nothing more guaranteed to make you want to tear your hair out and bash your head against the wall than dealing with the NHS.

To their credit, the NHS do an excellent job in emergency care. They have saved my life on two occasions (although on the first of those, I wouldn’t have been so close to checking out if they hadn’t left me on a trolley in A&E bleeding out for 5 hours before a consultant was finally available to look at me).

But as for the rest of the time. They are so overworked and understaffed, that everyone gets the same quality of care – shit.

I called the Early Pregnancy Unit on Tuesday morning and left a message. After my last mc they told me to call them directly and not go through my GP.

Two days later and I’ve heard nothing.

For comparison, this exact thing happened after I called them and left a message saying my baby’s heart had stopped. They didn’t call me back. How is that effective management of women going through this kind of thing? To not call back when someone leaves a message like that? And why the fuck do you have to leave a message about a miscarriage in the first place? Because there is no budget for a person to man the phones, so it’s all done via an answer machine.

Of course, what doesn’t help is that every woman in early pregnancy worries about her pregnancy, and that spotting is very, very common. So in addition to all the high risk cases and unexplained cases like mine, you also have every healthy woman in the area requesting an early scan too (some even lying about spotting to get a scan). And you can tell who they are – they are the ones smiling and joking with their partner in the waiting area, sitting next to those of us carrying non-viable embryos, and those of us waiting for surgical management of miscarriage (yep, all in the same cosy waiting area together). They are the ones that come out smiling and elated with their early ultrasound picture, ready to go home and post it on Facebook, ignorant to the fact they were sat with other women who will go home and cry for the loss of yet another dream.

Bitter? Yes, I probably am.

Because that unit is my only support. It’s the only thing out there that can give me the information I need. A scan, maybe even an hcg doubling rate or a progesterone test if I cry hard enough while I am there. And to have your only support be so utterly crap at looking after you puts you in a helpless position, which I hate.

This is the kind of care we face in the UK, where “healthcare” is free.

And what about a private option?

I called the closest private hospital this morning. I can have a consultation for £230. That’s £230 for a chat.

It doesn’t include any tests or a scan.

Is it even worth asking what I would have to pay to get a beta, progesterone test and an ultrasound at 6 weeks?

I doubt it, given we can’t even afford the consultation fee (especially with Christmas almost upon us, and me having been a stay at home mum for almost two years).

It’s times like this, when we’re at the mercy of others, that I wonder what I’m doing. I wonder whether I should be back out there contracting £300+ a day and barely seeing my children.

Or, as a third alternative, I can request a private scan at an ultrasound clinic. They won’t offer anything other than a check on the baby – size, heartbeat. Been there – it didn’t make any difference last time. I had a heartbeat right up until a few days before I miscarried at 11.5 weeks.

There’s no winning, is there?

I called and left another message today, and explained to them that I’d lost five pregnancies in a row and that they were my only support. I asked them to please call me back.

I hate being dependent on someone else. Hate it!

And to top it all, I’ve had some very light brown spotting the last two days. This in itself means nothing, because I’ve spotted in every pregnancy I’ve ever had, term and non-term. But it doesn’t help my state of mind. The two losses I had at 6.5 weeks started with brown spotting at this point that never went away. I’ll just have to wait and see.

I’m not ringing the EPAU again though. I’ve decided today I’m just not getting into this headfuck of dealing with the NHS system, because it is so bad for my stress levels.

And as we know, stress causes your body to make cortisol instead of progesterone. Very bad for pregnancies.

So if they don’t call, fuck them 🙂

Seriously – I believe in this pregnancy and I won’t have their stupid system fucking with my head and making me all agitated and angry. I should have gone with my gut feeling and not called them in the first place.

Phew.

I feel so much better for ranting about it all. Thanks for listening 🙂 I’m going to go and do some cleaning in the kitchen now, cause that will put a smile on my face!

7 thoughts on “Dealing With The Medical System

  1. Wow I’m sorry there’s not a better system in place over there! It’s good that you still believe in this pregnancy, just try to hold on to that. If they get their act together and call you, great! If not, just go with your gut. I feel like we all are pretty good and spot on when we just listen to our heart and go with our gut on these things. Hang in there!!

  2. My god. That unit sounds awful. We have free healthcare here and it is better than that thank god. I wonder which calls they do bother to return if they don’t return yours????? Far out. You’re doing great lovely. Get the meditation on to find the zen space. We are all with you. Xx

  3. Ugh!!! That sounds unbelievably frustrating! I can’t believe they don’t even have a single person to man the phones. I do hope they call you back, and I do hope you’re body stops the spotting (just for your peace of mind), but I’m glad you’re still feeling good about the pregnancy! Xo.

  4. Thanks everyone. I just needed to rant about it yesterday! To their credit, the staff do the best job they can, but we live in a really densely populated area and I think it’s just particularly difficult for them here 🙁

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