So, I’m what you would call ‘known’ to my doctor’s surgery. And the Maxillofacial department at my hospital. I go a lot. Like, A LOT.
I’ve been to my GP more times than I can count. As a child, I was always there with my tonsils or a cold or a stomach ache. As a teenager, I was there with headaches and back pain. As an adult, with migraines, IBS, and my jaw.
I’ve been referred to the Maxillofacial unit at Leicester Royal Infirmary when it became clear that I was having more than just migraines. That’s always fun.
Because I have a ‘facial deformity’ as well as pain, I guess I’m an interesting case. There was always 3 or 4 doctors in the room, each examining my mouth and playing with the moulds of my teeth. I felt a bit like an experiment.
The consultant referred me to the Pain Clinic. The doctor there was a lovely man with a thick Indian accent and a warm smile. He referred me to a physiotherapist and for steroid injections in my face. When these, and the meds he prescribed me, didn’t work; he discharged me from the Pain Clinic as he couldn’t think of anything else that might help.
Back to the MaxFax I go. And the rooms with many doctors all looking more interested in my notes/x-rays/moulds than me. I was made a plastic bite guard type thing. Had to wear it every night. Soooo uncomfortable but I’ve always been game to try things that might help the pain. Nope.
Double jaw surgery is the only option left. But my local orthodontist’s waiting list has closed. So, if I want the surgery then I have to source my own orthodontics. That’s also great fun – as an adult, getting NHS braces is like trying to find a banjo playing leprechaun on roller skates dressed as a princess. No one wants to help you once you turn 18. Unless you’re willing to pay for the privilege. Then they’re falling over themselves to help you. Curious, right? Ha.
So I get my dentist involved. It’s strange really – my dentist was never a big part of my journey up until this point. I think because the pain has always been the motivating factor; as opposed to the way I look. Man, my dentist is epic. He listened to me when I explained everything that had happened up until now, and DID NOT hesitate to refer me to other hospitals in the Midlands for my braces so I hopefully wouldn’t have pay for them.
This led me to Coventry hospital, where I’ve had just one appointment, but they’ve already been more help than the consultant I’ve been seeing for the last few years. I spent around an hour with them, and they agreed to take on my case and make me a priority for both surgery and braces.
So I’ve seen my fair share of doctors. Some good, some not so good.