My middle child has always struggled with lung issues. She is prone to asthma incidents and attacks after a triggering event. Such an event would be if she were to go swimming when the ambient temperature is very low.
A few weekends ago she went for a walk by a river with her friends and their dad and upon her return I saw from her blue lips that they must have taken a dip into the river.
Her cough developed within an hour and slowly but surely her coughing and wheezing worsened over the next 10 days despite the use of asthma medication. After a sleepless night I contacted the doctor to ask for dissolvable steroid tablets because I knew by then that the situation would not clear itself without stronger meds.
Our General Practitioner has barricaded herself into her surgery and away from her patients since March. This has resulted in us being reduced to requesting medical assistance and advice vicariously through the GP’ receptionist.
This has its downsides. She has been massively over diagnosing patients, including myself whom she instructed her receptionist to order me to attend the local hospital’s A&E department with a suspected heart attack – which I am delighted to report I was not in the midst of.
I also had my medical condition discussed in front of a sizable crowd of patients via the intercom system linking the receptionist’s desk with the car park. It is fair to say we have not been well served by this doctor for some months now.
But I was confident that she’d simply prescribe a few steroid tablets and leave it at that. Instead, the receptionist advised me that I had to take my daughter to an “Acute Clinic” in another part of town. I assumed that this clinic was one dealing with acute respiratory infections and conditions.
Our first indication that all was not well occurred as we walking in the door of the building. Security guards in visors and masks yelled at us to stand still, then nursing staff came running with hand sanitiser and face masks. It was only then that I asked, “Is this a Covid clinic or a respiratory clinic?” It was, of course, the former.
I was told nevertheless to stay as GPs were inside and they would be able to diagnose any condition and offer treatment. Ok I thought, the carry on at the door had left my daughter rather stressed, but at least a doctor was a short wait away. We were led into a surgery room and went through a triage with a nurse. Once we had discussed the asthma, she went off to find the doctor.
The doctor examined my daughter, said that she could not hear any underlying chest infection issue, agreed that her problem related to asthma and she prescribed the medicine I had asked for already from my GP. So far so good.
As I rose to leave the doctor then started talking about how my daughter’s symptoms could be Covid19 symptoms. I said that I disagreed, we had gone through a list of those symptoms with the nurse and with the exception of the unspecific “persistent cough” none of the symptoms mirrored any issues she had.
I pointed out that even the cough was not relevant because it was caused by the asthma and the doctor had agreed she could hear no infection in her chest.
The doctor kept on insisting that I consider her taking the Covid19 test. When even my daughter said no she didn’t want it, the doctor then said that I must then ensure that our whole household “self isolate” for 14 days.
I asked on what possible basis could she tell us that we must self isolate. She had already made the clinical decision that my daughter had asthma and prescribed the treatment. She had not treated any additional condition so where was this Covid claim coming from?
I explained that my children had just gone back to school after 5 months of it being denied to them and I was not going to disrupt that because the doctor wanted to pretend my daughter had a condition that was not supported by her clinical findings.
Only afterwards did it dawn on me that the 14 day period from when the “symptoms” occurred was all but up. I didn’t keep the children out of school and my daughter’s condition improved dramatically after she took the steroids.
That, I thought, was the end of that!
The Scottish Health Service had other ideas though. A few days later a receptionist from our local GP’s office called. She’d been asked by the bunkered down GP to let us know that, wait for it, my daughter’s Covid19 test had come back positive and this meant that the whole household must self-isolate for 14 days.
Let me remind you at this point that my daughter had not been given a Covid19 test.
I admit I hit the roof.
I demanded to know why doctors were lying that asthma was Covid19.
I demanded to know why a person that refused to take a test had a test result written up in their notes.
I demanded to know where they felt they had the right to ruin my children’s education once more.
I got no answers at all, just told that I must speak to the barricaded GP.
I have since submitted a formal complaint for a full inquiry into this matter, and await some news from them.
I feel appalled by the breakdown of trust and respect I feel has occurred between myself and the medical practitioners. I do not want them to be making political decisions when treating me. I do not want them to act as if patients are some form of biohazard to be hosed down in chemicals at the door if they are ever deemed important enough to allow into the building in the first place.
Politicians cannot supplant their politicized agenda into the health care of children. When a doctor examines a patient then they, not some Minister or public policy drafter, are aware of all the facts they need to diagnose that person.
People cannot then have their worlds turned upside down by what they do not have, after the doctor has determined what they do have.
Helen Ilitha is a South African/Scottish lawyer currently living in Scotland. Working in the legal tech sector.