Sunday was a bad day. Pressure on my brain and lungs. I decided to phone for an ambulance in the vain hope that oxygen might help but my oxygen levels were normal so I was advised nothing could be done. Ambulance men contacted out of hours GP service. GP phoned me. Very nice but said I could not be still suffering from coming off nitrazepam. Soon put him straight about that!!! Was advised to see my own GP. I was shocked that the recorded message for OOH and chat with OOH GP focused to a large extent on how busy they were, how difficult it would be to see anyone, how long I would have to wait for any referral to consultant, to get tests, treatment etc. The NHS is in crisis here, hospitals are working at dangerous levels, many documentaries, news programmes about the NHS right now. Quite shocking.
Yesterday, I could take no more. Phoned my GP surgery and more or less demanded a home visit. Normally they won’t come to see you unless you are at death’s door!! The GP who advised me to stop taking nitrazepam came .. possibly because I had said on the phone that I held him personally responsible for what has happened to me. He was very thorough, took extensive notes, examined me, took bloods but absolutely no empathy, no concern … I felt he was just making sure he did everything correctly perhaps because of my official complaints and possibly a bit worried about ?legal action which I am not planning to take. I was having a bad day so he could see how difficult it was for me to function – walking, handwriting, following verbal instructions, concentrating … And so I am being referred to neurology at my request. I am going privately so that I can be seen quickly. I have no expectation that they can help in any way but I want to know if there is any brain damage that can be detected by a brain scan. I mean damage from 40 years on these drugs not from withdrawal per se. He said that “benzos are poison” and he is not wrong there. But he was non-committal about anti-depressants.