You may be wondering why my blog post would be about my lack of ability to be seen by a specialist and having to wait 12 months.
Some of you may know that I suffer from excruciating chronic migraines, that come on suddenly and then linger for 7-21 days. Yes, you read that right, up to 3 weeks. Thankfully that has only happened twice but the average is 11 days of pain, light sensitivity, noise sensitivity and an inability to sleep as they don't go away at night either.
Recently, I was able to finally see a Neurologist [an amazing man who LISTENED to me] and he has told me that he believes that I have Occipital Neuralgia. What's that? Well, the definition is a condition in which the occipital nerves, the nerves that run through the scalp, are injured or inflamed.
Before we get more into my condition - do you know how long I had to wait to see this Neurologist?
12 months. 51 weeks actually, but you can forgive me for rounding up.
Originally, my GP made the referral on 15th November 2022 for 9th July 2023. However, due to strikes, it was rescheduled to 18th April 2024. I found out my appointment was being changed 48 hours before it. It made me so upset I had a migraine episode that lasted 8 days.
Strong emotions are not a migraine sufferer's friend.
I called them and asked if there was anything sooner and I was given the November slot.
Now - before everyone starts bashing anyone - the issue is the woefully underfunded NHS system. Most nurses, doctors and techs I've encountered have been amazing. A few were asshats but that's people for you.
So back to why I'm talking about it. There are several NHS professionals who are regularly highlighting the issues with wait times and the detrimental consequences it is wreaking on the people. By having to wait, conditions can get worse or missed and can sometimes be fatal. Yet when they do mention this on social media, people tell them to "quit", "stop complaining" or "get another job". It's almost like, as professionals, they can't talk about the downfalls of the system they work for!
So, I am hoping that they don't stop posting. That the government and the citizens listen to them. That waitlists are reduced to manageable wait times so that people, like myself, don't have to suffer while waiting for answers and solutions.
Oh, that solution for me? Increased dosage of my preventative, a different medication to stop them when they start [works miracles] and a neuro procedure that is scheduled for this month!
Wish me luck!