The good things about my GP is that he, is personable, holistic and thorough. He is also just round the corner, but I would happily travel to see him. He communicates with the CF team and suggests useful referrals. When I was younger and less mature, I visited GPs randomly to avoid authentic conversations about my health and treatment, I didn’t want another doctor poking their nose into my business, telling me what to do. Fortunately I have matured enough to make use of my GPs approach.
Last year he referred me to an exercise physiologist who bulk billed me for 5 sessions under an allied health plan for chronic conditions. The physiologist, let’s call him Greg, got me doing realistic exercise routines with the view of them being sustainable i.e. not so vigorous that they caused excessive pain or discomfort and meant that I would quit as soon as I stopped seeing him. He also had the theoretical knowledge to help me address issues with my posture and other orthopaedic constraints.
The main lesson I took away was that there are supports out there that can be very useful. I just need to be open to them and honest with my GP, so that I can make use of his skills and powers of referral.
My suggestion to everyone is to find a good GP. One who you feel comfortable with and interested in taking the time to get to know you and professional enough to be thorough and treat your whole self, not just CF. You may have to try a couple before you find one that fits, but it’s the same with shoes. You are worth the best. Then, be open and vulnerable enough for him or her to provide their best service. If they suggest a referral, give it a crack, it might even help. If not, you will have educated another allied health person about CF – a valid contribution to society.