So I'm Not a Hypochondriac...
Last updated: June 2022
About 6 years ago I went to my GP with a rash across my neck and other ongoing symptoms.
"It must be psychological"
He asked me what I did for a job and when I replied that I was a primary school teacher, his was response was "well, you are bound to get ill if you are working with children!" Deflated, I put off going back to see a doctor. A year later, after persistent problems, I tried again. This GP was kinder but only ordered the most basic blood test. When it came back ok he said "as the problem isn't physical, it must be psychological so I will refer you to the Wellbeing Service. That was a bit of a disaster as it clearly wasn't what I needed.
Asking the right questions
Fast forward 4 years of putting up with feeling rubbish, I moved to a new house and went to see a new GP. I cannot praise and thank this man enough! I had an unusually large lump on my face and rather than just give me something to clear it up he asked the right questions about my history and ordered an ANA blood test. I was diagnosed with Lupus shortly after.
Learning to cope with change
All I knew about Lupus was that my cousin had died from it, after contracting TB, when she was only 17. Aside from my lung collapsing earlier in the year, mine is fairly under control and I am learning to understand my limits. I have two sons, one with Autism, and so juggling family, teaching and finding time to rest can be challenging. I have recently found a massive comfort and distraction in gardening and growing...although this probably makes me overdo it from time to time, it is worth it!
Have there been things you have learned along your lupus journey that you wish had been explained to you by a healthcare provider earlier?