Ataxia UK’s Friend Beth has written another one in her series of blogs, this time focusing on the importance of being heard by medical professionals and expressing emotions.
I think we can all relate to a situation where we have not been treated well. I also believe it’s important to highlight how this makes you feel. I was trying to explain that I am housebound and can’t get regularly to the GP for a medication check. I am very intuitive, and often find that people don’t understand the condition. They think that because you’re a certain age you should be able to go to the GP.
Eventually, I saw a medical professional. I could see that he thought I was a time and resource waster, and he could not wait to leave the appointment. I was left feeling really upset. I have worked for the NHS for 27 years. I would not waste resources. This had upset me, and I could not let it go. I had to take a step back and instead of thinking I knew what someone else was thinking (although I was probably correct in my assumption). I am unable to accurately predict what an individual is thinking. I had to remember when complaining about my treatment that I had evidence of what I was saying. This was because of how this person treated me and made me feel. I know the NHS is in a terrible state and in many respects feels broken.
This is just a friendly reminder: you are not a time waster. You are entitled to dignity and respect and patient-centred care. It is not easy to complain but for anything to change we must. Remember you don’t know and can’t prove what others think. You can only state how this treatment was and how it made you feel. To quote Mahatma Gandhi: “you must be the change you want to see in the world”.