The last time I felt great with myself it was back in the summer of 2010. I had a lovely family holiday in Italy, at the seaside town called Ventimiglia.
I really enjoyed the sun, the food, and the people. It was the last time I wore a bikini. It was a holiday without pain.
September comes, back to work. I felt a bit bloated, my tummy was hurting, lately I was having problem emptying my bowels. I tried to eat light food such as tuna, haddock and vegetables.
I went to see my GP. After a quick visit the doctor said: “Don’t worry dear, you have just pulled a muscle, take it easy for a little while…” I wasn’t happy with the prognosis, I knew it was not a muscle problem, I had that feeling…it was something else.
I tried to explain to him all my symptoms, the pain here and the sore there. “Can I please have a MRI scan” I asked. Nothing, he did not change his mind. “Rest and take some pain killer if you need”.
As the months went by, the symptoms got worse. Sciatica symptoms began to appear.
Constipation, headaches, sexual dysfunction, urinary incontinence, loss of feeling and control of movement in the right leg and foot, dizziness, memory loss, migraine, loss of vision and pressure behind the eye.
My stomach was hurting.
I had to take laxatives (and I still do) to empty my bowels. I feel better for a couple days but then I go back to feeling bloated. It looks like I am pregnant. When I go out to work I try to keep my belly in so people will not notice it.
I do not feel myself anymore, my confidence is low. I am always in pain! The back, the leg, and the stomach.
I had to go back to see my GP because I was really ill. I could not deal with these pains anymore, the GP felt my stomach and he said that I was constipated.
He also said the pains were caused by my organs being pushed outwards by my swollen colon. He suggested eating vegetables and working out at the gym.
I took his advice, within two days I came out with diarrhoea, fever and a skin rush. I was feeling frustrated, I was going nowhere, I was not resolving my problem.
Booking an appointment with my GP was/is a nightmare as he seems to be always on holiday Sometimes I had to wait weeks before I could see him.
Anyway, the next time I saw him, he sent me to the hospital for a blood test which came back positive with an inflamed colon.
The GP rang me and according to him, I was suffering with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). He told me “eat lean and white meat and try not to stress out”.
Not to stress out? I was in pain 24/7, feeling bloated, keep going for a pee every 10/15 minutes, constipated, etc. I followed his advice. Two months later I was still in a lot of pain.
One evening in August (2012) after work, I could not take it anymore and I drove myself to the Bournemouth Hospital.
The practitioner nurse at the A&E refused to treat me, because according to her, I was not an emergency case as I was not bleeding, nothing on my body was broken or I was unconscious. She evens said that my personal details weren’t in the NHS computer system…She suggested to go to see the after hours doctor.
Sad, crying and a with unbearable pain I went to the 24 GP service. At the clinic, I explained all my symptoms to the doctor who gave me an urine test.
The test was positive and the doctor told me I had a kidney infection! I had to take a course of antibiotic for four weeks.
Few days later I was in Naples with my family on holiday. I was walking with my husband and suddenly I felt stinging pain on pelvic area near my genitals. I could hardly walk.
We managed to get back to the Hotel. I tried to calm down and I hoped the pain was going away. It didn’t. In tears I called a taxi. I wanted to go the A&E.
Over there I was treated for renal colic and given pain killers. My holiday was cut short and we went back home in UK.
Frustrated and annoyed with my GP I decided to change medical clinic and GP. Feeling hopeful, after few weeks, a met my new GP, a woman this time. I thought she would understand me more.
Once again I begged for a MRI scan, denied this time because “You are too young to have a MRI scan, there are too many radiations…”
She wanted to do all the checks again, this is standard procedure. Here we go again!
Blood and urine test, some strange swab tests in my vagina ( I will later find out, by chance that my new GP tested me for gonorrhoea and STIs without ME knowing ) and an ultrasound scan (on the referral letter she wrote that my pain was on the left side of my body instead of the right!!!)
When I confronted her about the swabs, she said “we have to rule out everything”.
The ultrasound scan came back negative. Fed up and disappointed with the new GP, I went back to my old one. I lost a lot of time and effort and all my pains were getting worst.
One day after work I was in so much pain that I drove myself again to A&E.
After waiting for few hours they checked me for kidney stones (as I was complaining of lower back pain, groin pain, leg pain so they automatically thought that I had something wrong with my kidneys) and kept me in for the night.
I really hoped that they would give me a MRI scan (as I knew that with it I would find out what was wrong with me) but they didn’t.