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Hello all. I'm new to posting on forums, but I can see how knowledgeable and experienced you all are, so here goes. I hope someone can help with advice about a referral.
I've suffered chronic and sometimes highly acute back pain since my 20s (I'm a 48 year old female). I've been "ill" for the last five years, with life changing consequences - previously a runner, hillwalker and horse rider (all of which helped maintain my back health). I've had to change my lifestyle considerably due to joint pain, frequent back problems and terrible fatigue (which even beats that fatigue we get in pregnancy). Last year I was twice at a specialist NHS eye hospital with Scleritis and very recently have started having bouts of unexplained diarrhea. At the moment I have pain in my left buttock/pelivs. You can see where I'm going with this........
Anyway - from 2009 to 2013 I went 'round the houses' in NHS (Scotland). I've seen consultants in medicine, rhumatology and neurology. I've had every test under the sun, all of which come back negative. Last year, after the rhumatologist mused over AS then confirmed I don't have it, I decided to get out of the system and try to get on with my life, stop thinking about it and accept the limitations. Very frustrating.
However, the buttock pain and new bowel problems are making me wonder if I could face the fight and get back into the system again. It's hard, because I feel like the medical professionals see a middle aged woman and assume I'm neurotic. I try really hard to persuade them I'm not - I'm a professional, a mother, an ex-sports woman, with no interest in being ill, but because I have nebulous symptoms I don't feel like I'm taken seriously.
What do you think? Should I step up to the fight and get in there again? If so, who should I ask to see, or what sort of specialist? Not had much success with general rhumatologists. Could I ask to go to Bath from Scotland? Or does anyone know if I can ask to see someone in another health board in Scotland? Or, should I just wait and see for another couple of years, if something happens that might allow a diagnosis?
Your advice on how to negotiate the health system would be very much appreciated.
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