My doctor – the one I trusted (past tense) – earlier today, informed me I was a fraudster.
I was shocked and so was my fiance.
I normally do upbeat posts because that is how I try to be in my everyday life. This post is a true account of what happened to me today. If you wish to skip it, of course I’ll understand.
I had to have a doctor’s note for the government department that deals with my disability benefit, and since the Nasty Party is in government, disabled people are put through the wringer – I have yet another assessment, just 8 months after the last. For nine years I am disabled with severe unrelenting pain. I am barely able to walk a few steps and then I’m unable to. Neuropathy and inflammatory pain just doesn’t disappear! (I wish!!). Anyway, this doctor’s note was to confirm that I indeed suffer migraines (which they already knew from my form-filling) and that my pain has increased so much so, that even a longish car journey – whether as driver or passenger – is out of the question. Those long car journeys trigger dreadful migraines. Gov. dept. wants me to drive a long way there (and back again, of course) to be bullied again at another ‘assessment’ – which then decides my fate: do I still receive those grateful pennies to try and live on?
I had already asked the gov. dept. for a home visit assessment instead, stating the reason of my debilitating migraine attacks triggered by long car journeys. They accepted the migraine attacks and offered to send a taxi for the next assessment. I’m having to send a doctor’s note proving that these migraine attacks prevent me from travelling as either a car driver or a passenger.
To help my usually kind and professional doctor (the only one I trusted after the others wrongly diagnosed me, and in doing so crippled me for life), I wrote out a simple letter, typed out, with my details and a sentence saying that I cannot travel to an assessment due to the long journey triggering terrible migraines.
I thought this a good idea since they usually ask, perplexed, “what do we write?” My thinking was: they can either use the actual letter I typed by simply adding their name and signature; or, they can use it as a template.
I began saying this, but was interrupted.
“You can’t write letters for us!” He told me, standing up, his voice considerably raised.
I tried explaining again, in a normal voice, whilst seated next to my equally shocked fiance, the purpose of my letter.
“You can’t send this, it is fraud!”
I said, “I’m not a fraudster. I thought the letter might help…” Interrupted again.
“If you send this, you are a fraudster and I will have to report you!” He was loud and angry and standing and the balance of power between doctor and patient was over. He was humiliating. He talked down to me. Disrespectful. He was the Doctor. A demi-god – an angry one at that! Whilst, I was somehow lesser – ill, crippled, now living on a low-income, an irritating patient. No use for society anymore. Throw me away.
At the beginning of the consultation he said I had to hurry up because I always take long. (How very rude). The reason WHY I take long is not my fault, but the medical centre’s fault as they refuse to accurately relay my diagnosis from professional (private) physiotherapists that my hip had been indeed partially-dislocated…and left for nine months because the doctors didn’t have the good sense to x-ray me when I complained of severe pain and the enormous difficulty in walking. Instead, the ‘good’ (this) doctor informed me several months ago, that according to my medical records, my physical trauma isn’t physical but psychological – an absolute lie.
He wanted to know what I wanted the letter for, and who it was to. I answered him. Again, I told him I am not a fraudster. I would never just send a letter off without the agreement and that person’s signature. I was angry at this slander.
I hadn’t even typed the doctor’s name on my letter because as I said before, I didn’t know if the doctor I would see would want to use it, or perhaps use it for a helpful template.
So, how could that be fraud?
But it was verbal abuse and slander. From him, the doctor.
I tried to keep my cool.
He sat back in his chair, asked me some questions pertaining to my migraines and wanted to look in my eyes. Afterwards, he was annoyed when I said I hadn’t recently been to the optician. Though, I know, that this is NOT related to my eyes because the migraines have been increasing in severity and number ever since my nerves were damaged. I would have told him this, but he didn’t want to listen. (For a whole year, during 2015, I had no benefit income because the gov. dept. that handles them saw fit to cut me off. I would have been on the street if not for my mum). But, I could have gone this year to get my eyes checked but I hadn’t got round to it. My health has been rapidly declining and I rarely leave the house as it is too difficult.
He then said he could write me a letter but it’d cost me. I was still angry from the slander accusation, and incensed now that I have to pay for a letter with the little money I get, related to the chronic ill health they are responsible for!
They, the doctors, did this to me!
I said, why should I pay for that letter when it is this medical centre that put me in this (crippling pain) predicament?
He didn’t like that!
He said some more stuff. I said I was not a fraudster. Then, he relented and said he’d misunderstood – NO APOLOGY for calling me a FRAUDSTER!! – that “I know you’re not a fraudster”.
Worried, I might complain about you? That your conduct, to me, today, as a doctor is wholly unprofessional?
I was given a prescription for migraine medicine.
I reached across the desk to take my letter back. Leave it here, he said, I’ll need it for writing my one.
(Yep. That’s why I wrote it dumb arrogant ‘doctor’).
I felt violated. I left there feeling so weak and fragile against the ‘machine’. Because when your health is taken away, how can you fight? I don’t even get the right medical support and I desperately need good pain management. I worry what damage I do to my liver with the ibuprofen because I take so much for the inflammation.
If I, as a patient, had been verbally abusive and slanderous, I would have been ordered to leave. However, that doesn’t seem to apply to NHS doctors.
Meanwhile, 2 months on, my last email to them today, I still wait for access to my medical records to help my case in suing them.
Wish me luck.
Copyright Faith McCord 2016
Story and artwork belongs to Faith McCord who is the author and artist holding the copyright. This is not a public domain work. Worldwide rights.