Wednesday, 14 October 2015


Doctor, Doctor, I've got wind! Can you give me something?
Yes - here's a kite!
Doctor, Doctor, everyone keeps throwing me in the garbage.
Don't talk rubbish!
Doctor, Doctor, I feel like a pack of cards.
I'll deal with you later.

People always assume GP's have it easy, earn £100,000+, earn LOADS of money.

But, do you know what? GP's Work Hard. They work really hard. Sorting out your coughs and colds, and nasty rashes, and bumps and bruises, and vomit and diarrhoea and blimey, I don't want to think about some of the things that they have to see and smell.  They earn it, however much it actually is. It is well-earned!

And do you know what? My GP, Dr. Rachael CLARKE, is worth every penny. I am sick. I am poorly. I am ill. I am really quite ill indeed. I have Primary Progressive MS. And do you know what? The support of my Health Care Professional, my GP, of Dr. CLARKE is so hugely reassuring. So massively reassuring. I honestly don't know what I would do without her.

And do you know what the most important thing is? She believes me, when I say I am in pain, when I say I've got fatigue, when I say I have a strange sensory symptom, all of which are invisible, she listens.  Dr. CLARKE doesn't sugar-coat things. But she is prepared to work with me.  She is honest. She explains that she is not a Neurologist, and she doesn't have all the answers, especially since there are A LOT of questions. She offers to face the uncertainty with me. To think outside of the box. I couldn't ask for anything else. I really am very lucky.

I can be serious with Dr. CLARKE, I can explain my fears. and we can talk through my options.  I can make suggestions and we can talk those through and discuss them. I feel like a person rather than a nameless 'patient'.  Dr. CLARKE offers me 'continuity of care', so I can walk in her surgery and she can say, 'Oh, you look rough' because she knows me. When I go into her surgery and grunt, she know that I am experiencing 'Cognitive Difficulties' and could possibly have a UTI. I hugely value this. She makes time for my consultation, and I really appreciate that too and I do not underestimate the importance of it for a second.

And, I can have a laugh with Dr. Clarke, forget my MS for a second, and just enjoy human interaction with another human, an articulate, amusing, educated woman. Talking about dogs or horses or recipe ideas.

I once went in to Dr. Clarke surgery feeling really terrible, and she asked, 'Do you want me to prescribe an suppository?'. Erm, that would be a 'NO'! Nobody wants to be prescribed that.  She realised what she had just said, and agreed, it probably wasn't the best offer I'd ever had!
The reception staff at Merridale Medical Centre are fabulous too.  Jade and Martin and Abbie and well, all of them really.  They do what they can, even if that is just to pass on a message. They greet you with a smile, and sometimes that is all that they can do, but sometimes that is enough.

I hate my MS. And I am scared by it.  Because of the uncertainty I face.  The fear of the unknown. Dr. CLARKE understands this, understands that this fear that is born out of uncertainty, and the guilt that is born out of disability and lack of mobility. Dr. CLARKE doesn't promise to solve all of my problems, or to predict the future. She does something better than that she ensures that I do not have to face it alone. That is tremendous. To have that understanding is immensely reassuring. Thank You Dr. CLARKE.


  1. Sounds like you have a great G.P. One who understands takes a lot of pressure off having MS.
    Love my G.P. as well. He dx'd my MS right away. A number of neurologists have said "He must be good" and I respond with "Yeah, that's why I see him."
    Keep fighting (I know you will).

    1. I am pleased that you have an excellent GP too. You cannot underestimate their importance. Thanks for your comment. x

  2. Very happy for you that you have a great doctor. The NHS gets too much negative publicity when the people working in it in my experience do an amazing job. I also have had good experiences with GPs - that's after finally getting diagnosed with what is a type of MND in my case - before that I had a GP tell me "you've got a bad back learn to live with it".....erm no, in fact it's MND Mr doctor (who's now left by the way). Isn't it great when a healthcare person admits they don't have all they answers?? - so reassuring in fact. Rather that than the blundering arrogance I experienced at times before I was diagnosed. We and the people who can help us are much better off when we all work together. Very happy to have found your blog :)