Wednesday, 7 July 2010
The run is ended
I had to visit the doctor yesterday afternoon - the first time I have seen a doctor on my own behalf for just over seven years. There wasn't actually anything wrong with me, and it wasn't my idea to take up a doctor's valuable time, but it had to be. Many years ago I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and was prescribed anti-inflammatory tablets (or capsules or whatever), one to be taken twice a day. Because this would be an ongoing matter, I was given a repeat prescription request form which I had to drop in at the surgery whenever I needed a fresh supply, which should have been once a month as the prescription was for 60 tablets at a time. Now I have an intense dislike of taking drugs but I went along with them at the start because I needed relief from the pain. But I also started taking a daily dose of cod liver oil and Mrs BP ensured that I ate more naturally oily foods such as mackerel. After about three months I found that the arthritis was causing fewer problems and I cut back on the drug. Eventually, one month's supply was lasting me between 12 and 24 months. I was supposed to have a review consultation with the doctor after 12 months, but it didn't seem necessary. The repeat prescriptions were issued as and when I wanted them. It was only in 2003 that I became aware of suffering side effects while I was working on the house we had bought in France, which meant that I was relying on the drug more than usual. I visited the doctor, who prescribed a different drug. Life carried on as normal with repeat prescriptions as and when - until yesterday. Our local supermarket pharmacy collects the prescriptions for me when I need them. I dropped in a request last week and went to pick up the drug yesterday, only to be told that the doctor had refused to renew the prescription until I had a check up. When I got home I rang the surgery and got through first time (a record). What's more, I was given an appointment just 45 minutes later. I was in the consulting room for perhaps five minutes. The doctor asked which joints were most affected, did I suffer from indigestion, do I smoke and how many. He took my blood pressure (normal) - and that was it. I came out with the prescription and went to the pharmacy again. Let's hope it's another seven years before I have to see a doctor.