I have just left my fifth – and apparently, final – physio appointment. After some neck manipulation, I was told that “nothing seems to be working” and that I was not able to make a further appointment. I was shocked – I assumed that we would keep going.. keep trying.. until things started to get better..
I’ve had a total of 5 sessions over 7 weeks – the first one of an hour and then the rest of 20 minutes each. Each session was different – discussing posture and lifestyle, teaching me some exercises, neck massage, neck and shoulder massage, manipulation… nothing was tried twice. I did not expect that something would be tried once and then given up on. I certainly didn’t expect to have one short massage – does it ever take one massage to fix an 8-month long problem? I assumed it would be a course of treatment..
I feel like a failure. Maybe if I had been more positive about the results, said the right things… but then, I only gave totally honest reports of how I’d been during the week / how my neck seem to have responded to treatment, with the idea that honesty was what was needed to progress….
I’m angry. I can’t believe another medical professional has given up on me (yeah, yeah, I know that medics can only do what they can do, I’m not expecting a miracle worker) but more than that, I’m angry that he seemed more than happy to let me leave the room having no suggestion of where I should go next. I had to stay seated, stand my ground and continue the conversation despite all signals that the appointment was “over”.
“So where do you think I should go next? What would you do, given your experience?”
“I’d probably see a chiropractor or an osteopath.”
“Are those things available on the NHS at all?”
“So, unfortunately, those options aren’t available to me.”
“What about acupuncture? Do you think that might be useful?”
“Is that available on the NHS?”
“I’m not sure if you’d find one locally.”
“So how do I find out? Do I need to go back and see my GP? Could you refer me?”
“I’ll write a letter to your GP.”
“So.. what do I do? Do I need to make an appointment to see her?”
“Yeah, give it a week or two and then make an appointment.”
“A week or two”? Why?? Why not now? Why not somebody try and help me now??
My physiotherapist seems like a nice person. He even apologised, as I was leaving the room, for not being able to help. I didn’t need an apology from him. I needed his expertise and advice, for him to see my treatment through – if not with him, then with whoever he advised me to see next.
I can’t understand why, out of all of the NHS professionals I’ve seen, not one has wanted to see my case through or ensure that I’m going ahead on the right path. They have all seemed perfectly happy to see me leave their care unhelped and unadvised.
I’m tired. I don’t feel like I can keep fighting for help all the time.