“I had been aware that my work insurance offers the Second Medical Opinion service, and working at Occupational Health, I kept promoting it to my colleagues; however, I never really considered using it for myself. Then one day, it just occurred to me that I could benefit too!”
The service I was getting from my own GP had been very frustrating, and I just felt like I was constantly asking for more tests and was being told to return in three months. I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, and I had to have blood tests every month. My blood sugar levels were too high even though I eat healthily and am training for a marathon. I exercise a lot, and I couldn’t believe it was my fault and I wasn’t managing my condition properly. I felt there was more to this than the doctor and nurse suggested, so I asked for a second opinion.
I filled in a form online, and someone called me and triaged my case within 24 hours. Then I was booked in for a consultation with Dr Twomey, the Case Manager GP of my case. He was brilliant, and it was the first time I felt like somebody listened, understood, and got what I was trying to say. It took me a long time to get my medical records from my NHS GP, but I was able to keep emailing Dr. Twomey, who was looking after me in the meantime.
An Endocrinologist reviewed my records, and she recommended a couple of extra tests to be done. I took the report to my GP, who agreed to do the tests, Type 1 Diabetes, not Type 2. This has changed my life completely, as I now require insulin. I was initially quite shocked and upset with my GP, but I also felt relieved that I finally got to know my problem.
I am so grateful for the service because my health could have been endangered without them. Training for a marathon, I’ve been running a lot, which makes your body produce ketones; this is dangerous when you’re a Type 1 diabetic. After receiving my new diagnosis, I went to see a nurse, and she tested my ketone levels, which were quite high. Had I carried on training for the marathon, I did not know that I could have been unwell. I’m glad it was picked up.
I recommend this service to everyone, especially as I see people being off sick all the time for different things and maybe with early intervention, they wouldn’t have to be off work.
This has been a life-changing experience and it’s refreshing to have a service available where people listen, understand, and try to help.