Hugging your GP.

Wednesday November 11, 2015

Sometimes I think I must be the luckiest girl in the world.

Yes, in spite of the fairly tragic things that have happened to me during my 52 years on this planet, life is good.

I have the blessing of a wonderful GP.

Oh, don't get me wrong – my previous GP, who first diagnosed the bi-polar was wonderful too. And a former GP in quite another city was great – even though he thought my depression was a result of sin and not a faulty serotonin valve in my brain (I'm quite sure that sin was involved too – but I'm not going to get into a religious argument with any of you just now).

Today I discovered just why she's as wonderful as she is.

I needed an appointment with her simply to rubberstamp the emergency prescription of meds the doctor on call had given me when I first realised that this was a serious down.

I think she was supposed to give me twelve minutes and she insisted on giving me half an hour.

In that time I was invited to join the GP/Patient forum. My children were invited to join the "Young Carers" group and I was validated, supported and made to feel loved.

Okay – so part of that is on me. I showed her my Moodscope scores for 30 days, 90 days, a year and four years. More than anything else that demonstrates a willingness to be responsible, to measure, to be part of the solution. I had annotated my comments so that the odd "down" in the middle of an otherwise stable period could be put down to a cold or other physical cause. Apart from that there is a consistent pattern.

I'm not sure a GP is supposed to share themselves. But oh, I am so honoured that my lovely GP chose to share with me her history with a family who suffer from mental health issues themselves. She has experienced it at first hand. She would be the very last person to say, "Just snap out of it."

Your GP is a person, with health issues themselves. They suffer with the politics, which were never what they signed up for. They really want to help, and so often their hands are tied.

I said, "My daughter might want to study medicine," and she said, "Oh no! The politics are awful!"

She loves giving care in the community. She loves being the GP for four generations of the same family. She hates the politics.

At the end of the appointment I asked if I could hug her. She said yes, that quite a few of her patients hug her.

You know what? I'm not surprised.

She's a gift. And I'm very, very grateful for her.

A Moodscope member.

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