An hour or so later, I came out distraught having been told I was suffering with depression – the reason why, I was feeling unwell. My illness then, being diagnosed by my GP.
My GP told me it was ‘severe reactive depression‘, I was suffering with. Apparently, my body (not my head) had had enough of the experiences of racism and homophobia I was enduring at work and gave up on me – reacting all on its own. It was my first illness in my long career, so was more surreal.
Anyway, I’ve come a long way since then and as Elton John sings… “I’m still standing” in 2012. I know this has been possible because of, the love of My Husband Alex, the support of my GP and the understanding of my counsellors.
As you’ve guessed and which I now write about often, I’m no longer ashamed or embarrassed of depression. I strive to do my bit around the stigma and misunderstandings of mental health issues. Apart from having an unhealthy craving for chocolate, I’m as ‘normal’ as anybody else – whatever that actually means?
Today, Alex and I arrived back from a well-deserved holiday (since 2010) in North Africa. It’s been a tough couple of years for us both. I’d been suffering with ear ache all week on holiday (although, I blame the two lovely ladies from Manchester we met there – ha), and decided to get it looked at.
With the bank holiday weekend coming up in the UK this Easter, and my birthday Friday I thought it best to get my ear checked-out sooner rather than later and went to the same place I did in 2009 as I was unable to get to my GP.
And yes, you’ve guessed it?
That same caring NHS Nurse Practitioner (Lucy) who looked after me 3-years ago, was the same caring NHS Nurse Practitioner who looked after me today!
Some things might change over the years like I have, and now how the British Coalition Government wants to change our National Health Service. However, what won’t change and what no Government (rightly, or wrongly) can change is the professionalism of NHS staff like Lucy.
We sometimes take for granted, how lucky we are with a free health service regardless of who and what you are.
Lucy didn’t know it, but she features heavily in my first memoir I am writing about depression in that – she saved my life. It’s a ‘thank you’ to her and all the other unsung health heroes out there, like those who helped nurse My Mum during her last days with cancer.
So, my thought for today is this… the next time you get the service I know more often than not the NHS provides, say ‘thank you‘. It might just be a couple of words to you and me, but will mean a lot to those like Lucy who chose a profession to look after others like you and me.
I doubt very much she and the many hundreds of thousands like her, do it for the love of the money.
This has been a… I heart the NHS, ‘View from the Bottom’.
Take Care, Max x.
Live Healthy, Laugh Often & Love Yourself!
Published by My Mum. Copyright © Kevin Maxwell Film, Media & Performance 2012.