So wait for it. We don’t have bed bugs…..we have BIRD MITES from the sodding pigeon’s nest outside the window! I’m weighing up the relative benefit of it now being our landlord’s responsibility to pay pest control vs the risk of salmonella / Newcastle disease?! ++++ other supposed infections these mites can reportedly transmit to humans – my baby humans!!! The saga continues….
I’ve loved GP this week. You can’t predict what will come through the door, although frequently osteoarthritic knees and skin lesions it seems. Not sure if this is representative. I seem to have encountered several 2 week referrals too. Hopefully most will result in a rule out and not worst case scenario. It makes you reflect on the recently revised stats of 1 in 2 of us developing cancer at some point in our lives. Why is this? Because we are just living longer? Or is it our toxic and stress ridden lifestyles?!
I’ve seen some interesting mental health cases. It never ceases to amaze me how often I’m thrown by them. We don’t like to admit to stereotyping people but the truth is we all sub consciously do this, as our brains attempt to categorise things. Let’s just say my preconceptions of some of the patients I met this week, were promptly challenged, in both a humbling and insightful way. A useful reminder of how much more we learn from our patients than our text books.
We did a couple of home visits too. You get a real insight in to the person that you can’t get in a hospital setting. It felt a bit intrusive but also the trust placed in you, is emphasised by the fact you are invited into their home. These patients are generally more poorly than the patients you see every day in the surgery. We had an emotional case that involved capacity, consent, decisions about (potential) end of life care and communicating with family members. I watched the GP navigate their way sensitively through the complexities of it all, providing just the right amount of guidance to empower their decision-making. Will I ever be able to do this?!
My supervisor is brilliant – she pushes me out of my comfort zone. I was leisurely working through my patient schedule one day this week, thinking how in control and on time I was. She then popped her head in and said, “Seeing as you’re on time, I want you to take one of my patients. They have a complex history with several co-morbidities and I think they need a referral. Can you check their symptoms, talk through their bloods, explain the potential implications, what might be the cause and why we want to refer them? Great, thanks!” One hour later I was just about confident I’d covered everything (after calling my supervisor back in twice), said goodbye to the patient and dashed out to call in my last patient of the morning. I stared blankly at all the faces in the waiting room as no one replied “she just left” said one of them. My heart sank.
So no.1 child seems to have coped well with my role change so far and makes reference to me putting on my ‘doctor shoes’ in the morning. No.2 child had his first day at nursery this week. He cried a lot, but probably less than me. It was NO easier second time around. All I could think of when I left him was the panic and terror he would feel, the moment he realised I’d left him with complete strangers in a place he’d never been to before. How cruel. An 11 month old CANNOT make sense of that, or be reassured until their safe adult returns. I only checked my phone about 30 times during morning surgery. It seems so unjust that maternity leave ends right in the middle of their ‘separation anxiety’ phase. I wish I had never read that paragraph, in that book, written by that eminent child psychologist, who said that we shouldn’t put our babies in childcare until they are at least two (if possible) hahaha. The page of the book is ingrained in my mind and resembles a weapon that I beat myself with - not infrequently. I try to block the thoughts of whether or not this same experience has contributed to child no.1 being just a little bit crazy. But then I reassure myself with some self-talk that it’s more likely down to genetics. He is after all, my child.
I’ve finished the week on a high, looking forward to date night with my other half (1 of 2 in about 2 years) before he jets of to Cannes for 10 days with work. It must be so hard for him. No doubt it will involve a child related drama I’ll enlighten you with next week…..