So. The Appointment. Not entirely sure why I've capitalised it there, but hey, artistic license and all that.
As I was saying, today was my millionth* follow up appointment with my GP and it went a little something like this:
(Picture the scene: A consultation room, a desk, two chairs and various medical paraphernalia, oh, and a mug with a Victorian era Cadbury's advertisement printed on it (mmm chocolate).)
Mr. GP Man**: " Hello! Sorry for the wait, how are you?"
Me: " The same, I'm afraid. Still exhausted and shaking. Although I do have a new symptom! I get a crawly feeling on my skin (mimes crawly skin feeling), and it feels as if it's tingling or I'm being jabbed repeatedly with needles (mimes jabbing with needles effect)."
Mr. GP Man: (Sympathetic face) "Is that all over, or in one particular place?"
Me: "All over, legs, arms, everywhere really (mimes 'all over')"
Mr. GP Man: "When are you next seeing Mr. Lung Specialist Man?"
Me: "January I think, although my lungs are fine at the moment, relatively, and I don't feel the two are connected."
Mr. GP Man: " Well, I think it'd be interesting to see what Mr. Lung Specialist Man has got to say, see if it's anything to do with your respiratory system, but I do think this is all pointing to a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, M.E. illness".
Me: "Yes, that's what I feel" (makes 'I agree with you' face). Are you able to refer me to the CFS Clinic? (switch to 'hopeful' face)"
Mr. GP Man: "How long has it been now?"
Me: " Three and a half months. Nearly."
Mr. GP Man: "Ah, it's not quite long enough (makes 'I'm sorry for the poor state of affairs surrounding referral of M.E. patients, but don't shoot the messenger' face) I'm afraid. It's six months, isn't it?"
Me: "No (emphatically), it's four months now. Action for ME confirmed it for me via Twitter ('get me, I social network with major health charities' face)."
Mr. GP Man: "Four months? Ok, I'm going to refer you. They might come back and say it's too soon but I'm going to give it a shot" (cue the 'Hallelujah Chorus').
Me: "Brilliant! Thank you so much" (goes into 'thanking' overdrive at this point and have to restrain myself from hugging him).
Well not quite, he also signed me off for another two months, printed out a prescription, and said to come back and see him in January. Sadly, he didn't give me any chocolate. Bugger.
All in all, a fantastic, and totally unexpected, result. I knew he was one of the good guys, I just didn't realise he was practically the Angel Gabriel, in a cord jacket. I really wish that every M.E. patient fighting to be heard, to be taken seriously, could be under his care.
* Slight exaggeration.
** Names have been changed to protect their identity. Obvs.