So here I am! I am writing this in the waiting room of my doctor’s surgery, after months of trepidation. I’ve battled the appointments app system we have at our GP surgery for 3.5 weeks to get this appt to see if I can get HRT patches and testosterone cream. This is how our surgery works, 07:00 the app opens with appointments that are bookable 3 days hence. The choices from the drop-down menus are:-
- Which surgery you are at?
- What TYPE of appt ie smear, blood test or the ELUSIVE ‘face to face’ (the one I need…)
- Preference of particular GP (17 in total only 4 female)
- The reason you need to be seen.
For the last 3.5 weeks I’ve set my alarm to diligently log on as instructed. BUT by the time I’ve filled this mini questionnaire in it is 07:02 and ALL appointments have gone.
I realise I need a strategy- it’s the “REASON” part 4 that’s taking the time, as everything else is drop down- so I decide my game plan is to have the description of my ‘reason’ on copy/paste.
It reads quite simply.
“I feel I want to talk to the GP about the possibility of me starting HRT”.
Even me writing that has taken courage, courage of admittance and courage to say…. ‘I’m not right - something isn’t right’.
So, on week 3.5 I find myself logging on, copy and paste at the ready, research done as to which GP is going to be the most HRT/Menopausal friendly, and ready to literally drop ANYTHING - work or play to get an ANYTIME appt…. Click submit? And BANG!! My moment comes - the app informs me 21 March 3:50pm with my chosen female GP (whom I’m informed by the receptionist is the most ‘MenoFriendly’) is now confirmed.
I guess my point of this blog entry, is determination. An emotion that needs strength and grit and power, ALL of which I do not feel armed with at this time in my life. All the reading, podcasts and you tube I’ve consumed is about how you attack your 11minute appt with the GP, go with info, data, journals, diaries and proof that you believe you need this, and why. No one had prepared me for the hurdle before that - the one of simply GETTING a GP appt. I wonder in a lot of cases would this be enough for some women to give up? I realise we are buckling under our current care system, and by no means is this about blame, but is it that women who after week two or three of setting their alarm at 07:00 just… give up? Or maybe the symptoms don’t present as badly one week, and they feel it all may just go away? I know I felt close… but the message is clear - if you can (finally) get your hallowed GP appointment- get ready to state your case, or in my case – I definitely got ready for a battle that never happened. But always remember “Today is the first day of the rest of your life’ Begin it now.
Set your alarm for 06:57 - tomorrow it’s your turn…
Angeline Davies is a qualified Health Coach Specialising in Perimenopause and Menopause.
Accredited By The PCI Royal College of General Practitioners.