I was made aware of Breakspear several months ago but the cost of private healthcare and the payback that travelling to Hemel Hempstead would cause me, left me pushing the idea to the back of mind. Unfortunately my terrible experience with certain doctors in the NHS lead my family to making the decision to send me there, for me. I could not be more grateful to them for making this decision! After three trips to Breakspear, I am already feeling confident in putting my health into the hands of these doctors.
After filling in several forms I was given an appointment for the beginning of September, this immediately set my nerves off as I realised this was possibly my last hope of getting help. As soon as Jack and I sat down in the dining area of the hospital, I immediately relaxed. One cup of tea later and I was ready to face this appointment. Doctor Ijeh was brilliant, he came out to meet us in the dining area and took us through to the consulting room. We spent over two hours in this appointment as he went through my entire medical history, my current diagnosis, current symptoms and meds. He also retested my Ehlers-Danlos as he was not satisfied with the NHS diagnosis of being a 3/9, I am intact an 8/9. Once this appointment was over, we were given lunch before all the testing I had agreed to begin. They weren’t risking missing anything and did a DNA test, three different urine tests and over fifteen blood samples were taken. I was also in need of an autonomics test but this had to wait until a different time. Before I left I was given two injections, one for vitamin D and one for vitamin B12 (this makes your wee go bright pink! How fun?). I was also given some tablets to start taking right away and left feeling so relieved and relaxed. I never leave appointments feeling relaxed so this was very exciting for me!
On Wednesday, two weeks after the original appointment, we returned to Breakspear for my autonomic testing. This was fairly painless and I found out some interesting things about my body! It also proved that I am impossibly stubborn, who knew?! Apparently no oxygen is getting through to my tissues and my body can only sustain sitting up unaided for 35 seconds. I’m not entirely sure what this means for me, guess I’ll have to wait until my next appointment for that explanation. We also had a follow-up appointment with Dr Ijeh on Thursday morning to find out about the results of the many tests and where we went next. Again he was fantastic. He spent an extra half hour with us to make sure we had been through all of the results and I was happy with what happened next. The blood tests revealed a build up of candida, several food sensitivities, which I plan to cover in detail later, a large build up of Nickel in my body as well as showing that I have pneumonia. I was not so delighted with this news after previously having pneumonia as a child! I was asked to see the onsite nutritionist before leaving to discuss my sensitivities and diet changes, he was really helpful and as with the food sensitivities, I will talk more about him another time.
The current plan for the future is to treat the pneumonia with a month-long course of antibiotics, whilst I continue taking the other meds I was prescribed at the first appointment. During this time I’m to have more allergen and blood testing before seeing Dr Ijeh again towards the end of the course of my antibiotics. Giving me plenty of time to get used to my new diet and recover from what turned out to be a highly exhausting adventure!