WARNING – THIS POST CONTAINS DISCUSSION OF MALE HEALTH ISSUES!!
…YOU KNOW WHAT I’M REFERRING TO!! 😛
Earlier this evening, I had my first appointment with a doctor for about twelve months…
I was impressed within myself that I was able to pick up my phone and make the appointment myself, one evening last week. In the past, I’ve always had to rely on my mother to do it for me (I know; I am almost 28…). As I got home from work about ninety-minutes in advance, I found a message on the answer phone, asking me to call the surgery and nothing more (apparently, they’re not allowed to leave any other details, due to patient confidentiality). I tried phoning them back but the phone just rang… And rang. So, I chose to reply to some e-mails instead and, rather than trying to contact them again, I thought I would just go ahead and wait until my (late) appointment time. At this point, the worst case scenario would be that my appointment had been cancelled and that I’d need to re-book.
I’d asked to see one doctor specifically, which meant I wasn’t able to get an appointment last week, as this doctor was off on leave. My anxiety was quite high as I looked at my watch, at one point; realising I had less than thirty-minutes before I’d need to leave. Driving up the road, it seemed to calm me a bit. Once I found a parking space and walked off towards the surgery, it was sky-high again and, as I approached the receptionist to inform them of my arrival, my throat was bone dry – I must’ve sounded like I’d just finished a pint of sawdust or something! It turned out that my preferred doctor was off sick for the day and so, I would have to see someone else; another doctor who I had not met before.
I sat in the waiting room, three chairs away from the next person; waiting to see who this doctor would be… All three of the other patients were called away before me (one even had time to return and leave). He was fairly ‘young’ (for a GP) and, in my experience, these kind of doctors are better at listening and attending to your queries and needs. My official GP is very dismissive of things and I haven’t made an effort to see him since 2009. When I bought up my first query (of three), this doctor was highly attentive and even added that it was within his area of expertise.
HERE COMES THE WEE-LY AWKWARD PART…
So, I’ve blogged about this before and I’ll try not to go in to any graphic detail! Basically, I have a bit of trouble weeing! I’ve seen a urologist twice since 2009 (through the NHS) but, I’ve come away without much of a solution. After two separate tests, I’ve learnt that my flow is fine and that my bladder always empties; it’s just that a small amount of urine gets trapped, somewhere in between. Those urologists were reluctant to do anything more than a basic (external) examination, for risk of ‘causing damage’. This doctor explained things very well, stating that I did not have a urethral stricture (as previously suspected), or else there’s be a significant drop in the flow test. He concluded that I have a common problem where a small amount of urine (5ml – but enough to cause embarrassment) gets trapped in the U-bend of the urethra. As I walk away from the toilet and gravity kicks in, it finds a way to make its escape, on to my clothes. The last urologist I saw suggested a ‘milking’ technique to squeeze these last drops but, the doctor I saw today said that they hadn’t explained it properly and that I wasn’t starting back far enough… Basically, I need to ‘grope myself’ before I try to milk it! 😛
That’s a slight exaggeration but, I can’t think of a clearer way to describe it without being too technical! Maybe I need to clarify my definition of groping… I’ve tried this new technique once this evening and, well, it seems to work! 😀 There is a professional term for this; something to do with a ‘delay’ but, I should’ve asked him to write it down…
There’s one more man-related issue that I won’t even attempt to explain. I didn’t bring it up until the end of the session but he’s given me a prescription (without question) that he believes will help. My previous GP suggested another ointment (in 2009), which didn’t do anything except to make a mess (you must be wondering what the heck I’m going on about…).
THAT’S ENOUGH OF THAT! NOW, LET’S FOCUS ON DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY!!
My second point to bring to attention what that I suffer from depression and anxiety. He didn’t question it, even though he did ask me to explain a bit, to which I told him about my short-term experiences with a counsellor last year; unearthed and funded from my own pocket. I expressed an interest in CBT and he suggested a local organisation, funded by the NHS, known as Positive Step. You can ask for a GP referral but you can also refer yourself, as long as you’re in the local area (this is what he recommended I should do). Initial meetings are at a local surgery so, it’s all familiar, you might say.
I did mention that I tried anti-depressants a few years ago and he picked up on the T-word there; to which he suggested I should try working with the organisation before anything else. They would suggest whether or not I might benefit from or require anything further. I’m happy to go ahead and try this, even if I have to pick up the phone to arrange it.
I didn’t give any thought to asking for a referral to a psychiatrist, nor did I consider questioning my need to support in trying to sleep comfortably at night. I believe that tackling my anxieties and worries could help with this. Plus, I’d virtually come to the end of my ten-minute session by this time.
So, I can look forward to some positive things, I feel and, I have received a lot of help in this appointment.
It is scary; the prospect of visiting your doctor for anything at all. I think the moral to my story though is that, you are ALWAYS entitled to a second opinion. If you don’t like what one doctor has to say (even your GP) then, you can always ask to see another, next time. 🙂
“Someone once said the secret of happiness is having someone to love, something to do and something to look forward to.”