St Bartholomew's Hospital
Written by a NHS patient
10th March 2021
The only person nice to me were the two ladies who welcomed me and the nurse who waited with me before the "doctor" called me in. The while experience was traumatic.
Describing my todays hospital visit (St. Bartholomew's, West Wing) was (as a matter of fact) a total misunderstanding full of unexpected patronising and accusations.
Lets start with the most important part, for the last 9 moths now I have a horrible breast pain (the left one to be exact), followed by a lump which appeared 6-7 months ago in the centre of the left breast.
At the beginning I didnt look at it as anything serious, probably because I have lived in denial, it was easier this way, it always is, at least thats how i live my life but doesnt want to live it this way?
I decided to ignore everything and live my life like nothing bad could have happened to me. When i reached the stage when i couldnt sleep on my left side anymore, wear padded bras, felt burning and a feeling the lump getting bigger i decided to wake up and pretend to care, a bit. After my Gp's super bombastic examination, she said it could be cancer and off i went to the breast cancer clinic.The time came, 25th of Feb! Here I go, scared and not sure about anything, terrified but somehow relived, knowing i will finally know, the answer to my misery is coming. I was happy knowing a “doctor” will see me, reinsure me and help in every way she/he can cause it is at the end of the day cancer. Little did I know that my doctor had other plans.
Instead of calming voice, she was literally raising her voice.
Instead of reinsuring me, she patronised me.
Instead of proper body examination she decided to touch me as if i was made of glass and she was afraid i would fall down and break
Instead of her listening to my worries and decided to talk over me.
Instead of her literally listening to me she decided to only listen to what she wanted to.
Let me give you some examples of our conversation (before the examination)
D: “ your breast hurt because you eat dairy”
Me: “Oh i am allergic, i dont eat dairy”
D: ”you do and thats the reason” - while rolling her eyes
D “your breast might hurt because you drink alcohol and caffeine”
Me” My dad drinks a lot, hens why i dont drink alcohol”
D: “ Its the caffeine” which i dont drink
Me “ My breast hurts for 9 months hens why i went to my GP 2 weeks ago”
D : “Your GP scared you, this is why your breast hurts”
Me “ NO i said 9 months like 5 times now”
D : “Anyway, young women dont have cancer, its rare”
Me: “But it happens, I can be the rare one”
D: “yeah but no”
The woman was literally a disaster, nothing was done for me. She spoke to me as if I was 15 and she had to babysit me and feed me with nonsense to kill time. While patronising and refusing to let me talk I could see this patronising smile on her face, despite her wearing a face mask (way too small for her face) it wasnt hard to see what was underneath.
I was in there for like 4-5 minutes, she was rushing me and i literally couldnt say a full sentence, she rolled her eyes once when i spoke about my dairy allergy and criticised the fact my mother doesnt talk to me about her health issues - as if this was any of her business!
A lot happened in those 4 minutes, I left crying and confused. I had no answers, She said she can do an Ultrasound but only for my peace of mind if i am “Like that” - what ever that means but reinsured me she wont be looking at the results. What's the damn point then? Plus I was advised by my friend who is a womens health Doctor and a surgeon who treats cancers for women etc that ultrasound wont detect cancer based on pain etc. Only biopsy, MRI and momogram but MRI is the best way to see cancer at either early or late stage. Well, she declined all and reinsured me (the best part) that despite my grandmother and my mother having breast cancer that its NOT relevant and its simply nothing to worry about - wow, so smart isnt she? Like, I almost believed that i am a drunk addict who loves eating cheese, she is that good. NOT
The whole experience was traumatising and i now understand why so many women die of cancer in the UK. The health system is a joke, really sad true, no jokes about that. I still have no answers which is why i will be bombarding my GP with calls tomorrow and demand biopsy or MRI based on her referral. Doctor wannabe used the fact i was vulnerable and saw an opening and decided to treat me like trash.