Being dismissed by GPs and Midwifes

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  • I am starting to feel very frustrated with maternity care in my area and with my midwifes and GP.

    To explain from the beginning at about 5 weeks I had severe pain my side so I needed to have a scan to make sure the baby was not ectopic. Everything was fine. 2 weeks later I had to go back to the doctors with bleeding...another scan everything was fine. I then started getting stabbing pains in my cervix accompanied by really thick white/yellow discharge and serious burning in my vagina...I mean you can see it i am lobster red.

    Obviously went back to the doctors...she said Thrush... had to courses of treatment which did not help at all nor did any natural remedy. Went back to the doctors they took swabs. I the mean time it got so when i was peeing the second the pee hit the sore area it was horribly sore. I told the doctor this...several tests...all tests and swabs came back negative. Doctor was meant to phone me with these results but never bothered. About 4 appointments later and after trying several doctors I was told that all the doctors would have a chat about my symptoms to see what they could do at their next meeting.

    I made another appointment and I was told that due to me BPD and previous mental health that there were two options. The doctor thinks it is "all in my head" and suggested I kept coming to the doctors for reassurance about my pregnany... another doctor thought it was a symptom of my Intersitual Cystitis and to talk to my urologist in Febuary. Now bareing in my mind I know it has nothing to do with this as I have IC for 2 years now and I have never had swollen bright red burning vagina as a symptom. My IC is a problem with my bladder. I feel I have been completely dismissed.

    Anyway the doctor rang me and said she had decided to write a letter to my midwife amanda to say that she thinks I need extra appointments. She wrote a long letter explaining my intire history from BPD to PTSD to the rapes and the abortion and DV and everything. She also asked of the midwife could refer me to a specialist to have second opinion on my burning.

    My midwife rang me and made me a non-routine appointment with herself. I thought things were finally going to get fixed only to turn up to meet a different midwife who was rude and abrupt. She asked me why i was there and I explained that I was meant to be seeing amanda about the letter from the doctor. She said I would probably never get to meet amanda and it is unlikely i will get to see the same midwife twice through out my intire pregnancy or birth. Amanda has swapped shifts. She knew nothing of my doctors letter so I once again had to explain to the 3rd midwife now my history. I said that i was told i would get to see a mental health midwife but she told me that i had been assessed for that and the mental health midwife only sees people with "severe" issues. She said because I have never had an inpatient stay i do not qualify to see the Mental health midwife. In response to my anxiety and when i told her about my trauma she just said "oh poor you" and said that there is nothing they can help me with, I just need to get on with it unless my pregnancy becomes high risk. She advised I go back to my GP for a referrell for counselling (even though i said that was pointless as 1. I have had years of counselling and it has never really helped and 2. the waiting list is 6 months by which time i will be ready to give birth)...she just said oh... well there is nothing we can help you with and has refused to let me have any more non routine midwife appointments for security, I told her that it states in my letter that the GP whishes me to have more regular appointments...but she refused to acknowlege a letter even exists. She also wouldnt write anything i just told her on my file so I didnt have to repeat myself to ever single midwife I get to meet...

    I also told her about this burning and pain and she just said that there is nothing they can do and I have to get my GP to do something about it. So I am going round in circles and i have had this severe burning for 2 months now!

    And to top it off I have had to have my booking appointment blood tests done 4 times now!!! due to errors on their behalf includeing sending my blood to the wrong place and loosing my form.

    I am starting to feel like I have no trust in them which is upsetting me. If I can't trust my normal midwifes to listen to me and take what i have to say into account instead of dismissing me I really cant see how i can trust midwifes in the hospital to do this so its making me even more set on a homebirth which is something chilly does not want me to have but has agreed to let me do so and obviously as much as i insist there may be a need to go to hospital even with a home birth. if I am honest I am starting to feel that upset and dismissed that I dont even want any of them to turn up and deliver my baby even at a home birth... they are all so hurtful and dismissive.

    I came home and cryed for hours yesterday... not sure what I can do about any of this...

  • Unfortunately all the surgeries in my area are in the same building which means I would be still seeing the same midwifes as all the surgeries transfer to the same services that all run from inside the health clinic. Sadly mine is the only surgery out of the three that has any female doctors and I have tried going to them in the past before settling with this one as the others were much worse :-(

  • 1. HUGE HUGS xxxxxxxx
    2. Find out who the Supervisor of Midwives (SOM) is and contact her.. tell her everything... she will be able to help!

    If the GP has asked for you to have more appointments then that is what should be happening and I am sure the SOM will be able to help with this. IF you come up against any more sillyness honey, i'd care to mention that if they don't begin to support you with empathy and understanding then your mental health is likely to deteriorate to such levels that will end up costing the health service much much more long term... so its in their financial best interests to start giving you PROPER service!!

    Once again I wish I had a transporter in the corner so I could be with you :hug: much much love xxxxxxxxxxxxx

  • p.s I might be able to do a bit of advocacy on your behalf by distance via telephone but I really do think the SOM is the best place to go from where you are right now... and hopefully when you connect with your Doula, she will be able to advocate for you xxxx I honestly think that Home is the very best place and safest place for you to be honey ... an independant midwife friend of mine said the other day "the safest place to birth is the place you feel safest" and I truly believe that. To set Chilly's mind at rest... an ambulance will prioritise a home birth over a midwifery led unit needing to transfer. At home you will get two midwives come out to you - in hospital you may be having to share one midwife with 2 or 3 other women. Home, even with high risk pregnancies, is often the best place to be to labour ... i sort of view going into hospital as an intervention in its own right. Big loves xxxxxxxxx

  • Thanks Sarah I will find out who the SOM is and see if I can talk to her about this. I appreciate that they are very busy but what they are actually creating is a catch 22 situation where the more they dismiss me the more I get upset. When I have been met on the odd occasion with empathy and understanding I have felt alot better for a lot longer. The physical stuff isn't helping because whilst I am sure that its nothing dangerous I am raw sore all the time and have been for 2 months now and going round in circles about it is becoming very stressful.

    Chilly is supporting me home birthing because he knows he wants me to feel happiest and a home birth is my intention. He is being very supportive of my decisions but I know he has his concerns. I think he is just very nervous because until I told him I wanted to birth at home and as naturally as possible he was very in the mindset of you have a baby in hospital, you take lots of drugs because that will take the pain away and everything is great.. so my decision to home birth has just taken him out of his comfort zone I think... but he fully supports me he just has a lot of "but what ifs...." situation. He says he just wants me to and the baby to be safe and to him that safe place is where the doctors are in hospital. I know it worries him because when we were at the hospital for my scan he went over to look at the hospital pictures of the labour suites and was putting emphasis on "see they look nice" and "see you can have a water birth in hospital too and I prefer you to have a water birth here" and is constantly telling me that I don't need to worry if I decide to go to hospital because he will be there too look after me and he wouldn't let anything bad happen. But he is supporting my home birth plans :)

  • and what is crazy is all I am actually asking of them is 1. for someone to have another look at this raw burning situation and 2. for a few extra appointments so they can check me over a little bit more often. I am not asking for specialist treatment or to be seeing them constantly or anything...*sigh*

  • Oh hunny massive massive hugs! Sarah is right hunny. SOM is your fisrt port of call now. As for getting Chilly more comfortable with home birth, it will take time, if hes got it in his head that hospital is safest he just needs some new info and some time and he will be fine:) Have you got Ina May Gaskins book Spiritual miswifery, or her guide to childbirth, both books make an excellent case for the benefits of home birth. sending you loads of of love.xxxx

    Turned on, tuned in, loved up, trippin out, freaky on the outside, shiny in the middle.

  • I'm sorry you are having so much trouble with the maternity services
    It not good but its similar in many places in the UK
    There is probably only one specialist mental health midwife in your area(there is only one in my area) which is why she cant see you
    Yes you should see the same midwife each visit but in reality its not always possible (sickness, holidays training)

    No midwife will be able to sort out you raw area midwives do not have the powers to prescribe anything (except for a limited range of drugs for labour)

    There will be many supervisors of midwives in any hospital there is one on-call 24/7

    What might be of help for you is to get a CAF referral this would ensure that all the services are co-ordinated and possibly get you some counselling with the mental health team
    I despair about the state of midwifery services, there is a chronic lack of midwives and of money to pay them, where i work the service has been cut to a fraction of what it was 3 years ago

    Look out to see if there is a Home Birth Support group nearby, also the NCT run classes and can provide some support

  • ooo what is the link to that Sarah?

    Thanks winter, I understand that its not any individual persons fault and that the services are really over stretched... its just frustrating and at times upsetting that it is like that to begin with.

    I didn't think that the midwifes would be able to do anything about the rawness but my GP surgery now is refusing to do anything about it and have pretty much told me that its "all in my head" and to talk to my midwifes about it...who can't do anything. I have made another appointment at the GP but after about 10 appointments, several doctors and a doctors meeting at which they have all decided its my midwifes problem and not theirs I am not very hopeful that anyone is going to treat my problem... and I am not sure what to do about it myself... I have tried all the usual home remedies for burning and nothing is working and I am sooo uncomfortable. :-( ~

    Thanks for the advice :-)

  • editted to add: this website seems to just be an advert for his dvd which whilst am sure is probably excellent - is quite a hefty price :eek: Will do some hunting around and see if can find any other resources which Chilly might like :)

    I got it wrong honey sorry, am friends with a guy on facebook called Homebirth Dads and this is his website

  • can you get someone to along with you to the drs? have they actually examined you properly? maybe you could go to a GUM clinic? i'm not saying it's an STI, but it's a different group of people to look at you - you can turn up to any i think - and it might help to get another opinion?
    hope it sorts out :(
    i don't think you're alone in ahving mishap midwife service. mine was very scattered as well, i hardly saw the same people more than once (even after baby was born!)

    remember to look after yourself and relax lots... pregnancy is a time you have to be selfish to be unselfish!!! (whatever people may tell you!)

    i've got a fair few baby things i've not got rid of or passed on in case you want/need them (inc. a car seat and a bouncy chair). we were stressed financally before baby came along, and hand me downs helped us so much!

    we reenact Noah's ancient drama, but in reverse, like a film running backwards, the animals exiting

  • Quote

    have they actually examined you properly?

    The first doctor examined me and said it was a severe case of thrush, so I used a pessary and then used a pessary a week later but it didn't help. Tried all the natural thrush remedies I can think of too but again no help. So I went back she did tests for everything including bacterial infections and all STIs came back negative although she did not take yeast cultures. since then I have had loads of other appointments and eventually she looked again and said "hmm yes it does look very sore" but after the meeting with all the other doctors she has come to the conclusion it is a symptom of my anxiety towards the pregnancy so therefore is in my head even though she has seen that I am at times lobster red. :-( She at that point just told me the GP surgery could do nothing and my midwife needs to sort it out :S.

    I have thought about going to the GUM clinic for a fresh pair or eyes so I might do that this week as I can't spend my entire pregnancy like this sometimes i catch myself clutching my vaginal area when its just me sitting in the house because its so painful and raw all the time :-(


    i've got a fair few baby things i've not got rid of or passed on in case you want/need them (inc. a car seat and a bouncy chair)

    Awesome. I'd really like anything you've got as we have a very small budget. Not sure how to get them from you as I can't drive although I can pay for postage in the new year on smaller items or anything that is postable, or maybe Tom could give me a hand in the new year or something. Thank you :hug:

  • unfortunately it could still be thrush if that's not been ruled out :( i had it quite badly and couldn't get rid of it with natural treatments.. i used the cream to no avail too. a lot of women have it recurringly in pregnancy. if that's what they think it is it's not unusual for them to be dismissive as it's harmless despite it being very painful (first time i had it they didn't even offer me cream i had to ask).
    A gum clinic can test you for thrush. i got told straight after being checked that i had it! if it's not that, at least you could rule it out

    re. money make sure you claim everything you're entitled too! free dentist while pregnant. healthy start vouchers and maternity grant when pregnant if you're on jsa/income support.

    we reenact Noah's ancient drama, but in reverse, like a film running backwards, the animals exiting

  • Thanks for that link bluekez. I have read a bit about Vulvodynia and considered it as a possibility actually because there is a connection between it and Intersitual Cystitis which is the bladder condition I have. I also once before had this issue...that lasted for months...negative everything...4 months worth of constant thrush cream and tablets no help... then one day it went away and I thought that it had been resolved. I am now thinking the two episodes might be connected.

    I haven't ruled out thrush and will see what the GUM say. I normally get really itchy if I do have thrush though and I have had no itching...and normally things like garlic will help the discomfort but nothing has been working :)

    Thanks for your replies.