A while ago I blogged about the pains that the geekdaughter has been getting in her joints overnight. She’s still getting them, although they don’t seem to be as frequent as they were at the time I wrote that post. We had just taken the geekdaughter to the GP, and given our family history (which you can read all about in that other post) he said he would refer us straight away. Now I have private health insurance for the whole family, so whenever we get referred for anything I immediately request to go private. I believe that you generally get seen quicker that way, and it’s usually easier to get appointments at times to suit. Our GP said he would do some research, and find a paediatrician specialising in rheumatology for us.
Time passed, and we didn’t hear anything. Eventually, at the end of last month, we had a phone call from the receptionist at our doctors surgery. “Errr… I’m very sorry, but we’ve been struggling to find you a private paediatric rheumatologist. We’ve managed to locate one in Bristol and one in London, but there’s none locally. I can find loads of NHS ones in the area, but no private ones”.
Now, I’m still under the impression that what we’re dealing with is growing pains, rather than anything else. We’re seeing a specialist as a precaution, because of the family history, nothing more. And whilst I am prepared to travel pretty much any distance to get the best care for my family, I would rather start off seeing someone local because if we’re going to have to have any tests done or anything I’m sure it will involve a number of visits, and I really don’t relish the idea of having to race up and down the country for all of this.
Thankfully the geekdaddy felt the same, and so after a quick conversation we asked the lady on the phone what the local options were if we stuck with the NHS. She reeled off a list of locations, including Manchester, and Alder Hey – a very well known and well respected children’s hospital in the North West. We asked how quickly we could be seen at Alder Hey, and the receptionist checked and said she could get us an appointment within the month. That was an absolute no brainer.
So tomorrow morning we’re setting off for Alder Hey with the geekdaughter, to see a paediatric rheumatologist to talk about her pains. Thanks to the NHS. Today I’m feeling very grateful for the NHS – they have already looked after both our kids very well, with the geekdaughter having had a couple of febrile convulsions and suspected meningitis, and the geekson having suspected meningitis at only two weeks old. And now they’re looking after us again, and better than we could have managed by going privately. Credit where credit’s due, I think that’s great 🙂
I’ll let you all know how we get on after our appointment tomorrow.