"Dr's could not see that I was unwell"

About: St John's Hospital / General Psychiatry

(as the patient),

I have written this poem about a very frightening time in my life. Dr's had only ever seen me unwell (because that's the only time you go to see them? ? ) and I think they assumed I was always like that and therefore left my illness untreated which ultimately almost cost me my life. I need reassurance that they are now seeing me and not just a label so if I ever became unwell again I would receive the help and care I need.

ILLNESS-V-ME

I tried so hard to tell them but they just couldn't see,

The person they were looking at really wasn't me,

The person I was begging them to somehow help me find,

The person that I knew I was before I'd lost my mind!

It's like they seen the illness and they couldn't look beyond,

They had their own assumptions of the way I would respond,

They had their own opinion on behaviour I displayed,

They didn't understand me and it left me so afraid.

I knew how hard I'd fallen, I knew I was unwell,

I tried to make them see but it seems they couldn't tell,

Now I'm getting better and I'm getting on my feet,

I hope that they are seeing this every time we meet.

I hope they can see this other person standing here,

I hope they can see that my mind is sharp and clear,

I can only hope and pray that they truly comprehend,

The difference in me now compared to way back then.

I guess I'll never ask and they might never tell,

I pray they're taking note of the "real me" when I'm well,

That way I'd rest assured that next time they would see,

Whether they are dealing with the illness or with me.

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Responses

Response from Jeannette Morrison, Head of Patient Experience, NHS Lothian

Dear Angel252,

Thank you for your feedback and poem.

Your poem has been most helpful in raising awareness of the need for compassion and understanding especially when people are unwell. It is also reinforces the need for us to place the person at the centre of what we do.

I have passed your feedback on to team at St John's so we can all reflect from your insight and improve practice; with the overall aim of delivering a more compassionate and better informed approach for fellow patients attending in similar circumstances.

Thank you again.

Jeannette

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