StethoscopeI am a retired State Registered Nurse of over 20 years so have some insight into the medical profession.  I have had little need to visit a G.P….only my psychiatrist. I only visit my G.P. to get a  prescription for a long-standing back complaint. It was resolved with a low dose opiate within 3 days….every time. No problem.

When I moved to a different city I had to find myself another G.P. One who was on the same planet as myself. I asked around and was advised of one G.P. by former nursing colleagues who described him as the best of a bad lot. “Here we go,” I thought.

When my back complaint flared up I made an appointment to see him. I got to see him 2 weeks later by which time my agony was gone. I explained to him that I was a former State Registered Nurse but he seemed more intent on looking at his computer screen. Without a word he handed me a pathology request form and told me to make a follow-up appointment in two weeks. I did so and went and got my bloods taken.

On returning to get my blood results back from him they were all within normal limits with the exception of my Potassium level. Potassium is important for the electrical conductivity of the heart. It can also indicate kidney disease. He made me repeat the test 3 times. He must have been making a fortune out of my poor veins. There was, however, no E.C.G. and no renal function test as he continued to be more interested in his computer screen.

Despite the fact that my psychiatric medications were all within normal limits, he began messing about with the doses prescribed by my psychiatrist. Within a week or two, my mental state was all over the place.

Fortunately I remained lucid enough to look for another G.P. I was in luck. He was in a different town but had a good reputation and was a former I.C.U. nurse. He actually spoke to me and would ask my opinion. He instantly repeated my Potassium level and it turned out to be an an error on the part of pathology. He immediately consulted my psychiatrist and my pysch medications were returned to the what that they were before. Things were looking up again. It took a few weeks but I returned to my old self.

When it comes to your health, it pays to shop around. Don’t settle for second best.