Time for a bit of a rant I’m afraid.
Normally on these pages, I’m fairly reserved/excited about shiny stuff, however only 6 days in from the start of the implementation of the UK spending cuts, I have already been hit squarely in the face with one of the ConDem’s cuts, and I am absolutely livid about the nature of it – as it comes from the NHS!
So, from the off you should know that I suffer from hyperhydrosis – fairly common for young lads of my age, as our hormones are still all over the place apparently. For those who have not come across this before, hyperhydrosis is the nice name for excessive sweating. I say excessive, what I mean is, that you sweat at even the simplest of things (like walking to the shop), and not just that you’re really sweaty after running for the bus. Bit gross right? Totally why I don’t often shout out about it, but I know several friends and people on-line who are also affected by it, and for all involved, it’s horrid to live with.
It goes without saying that revealing that I have this condition in a public manner, such as I have just done now, is a pretty major thing for me to do – it’s not something that I particularly have gone around telling people in the past, but I felt it important to speak up and say my piece in light of the situation I found myself in today.
Hyperhydrosis can be VERY debilitating in an everyday life context – and it’s something that perhaps doesn’t get recognised more widely for what it is. Doctors in particular always seem keen to know the extent of measures that the patient has gone to in an attempt to try to deal with the symptoms – and, in my case at least, always react with a huge amount of sympathy. It should be noted that I am fortunate… some Doctors are not so sympathetic, and I know of several stories of patients not being provided access to the same treatments that I have been lucky enough to have had in the past, which really doesn’t help with getting folk to take the situation much more seriously.
In my case, even walking from my old house to the train station (a two-minute cross-the-road walk) proved a nightmare, and you’d always be panicking about whether you were going to start sweating badly for no reason. Every morning, without fail, I’d get to work as a horrible soggy smelly mess, and frankly, it was such a huge knock to my confidence that I withdrew from my colleagues and friends completely. It was so embarrassing, especially as most of the general public don’t seem to think that there may be a medical reason why someone is a bit yukky and just presume poor hygiene (and I’d always showered twice a day prior to this anyway)! Going to friend’s houses or to a house party was a total no-can-do as by the end of the day / after the trip, you’d just be a mess! I’m already a rather shy nervous chap, and to say this destroyed any confidence that I’d had would be an understatement.
It’s not just debilitating, but mighty expensive too – I’d be rushing out to Covent Garden at least three lunch hours a week having to buy a new t-shirt to replace the one that I’d worn that morning. It genuinely was THAT bad.
After trying most of the treatments known to man (including all of the aluminium deodorants), I finally went back to my GP to get further help with this issue, and they instantly put me forward for Botox treatments at my local hospital. Botox is kinda the final stage which you get to when nothing else has worked. Botox helps to stiffen up the sweat glands in the arm pits (or wherever else they inject it), and thus really makes a HUGE difference to the person affected. In my case, when I had my Botox my problems completely went away – it was like a brand new lease of life! Suddenly I was able to do even the most basic of things again without worry, and my confidence finally came back (so totally don’t worry if we’re due to catch up any time in the future, my perspiration levels are now even better than normal hehe – I probably perspire far less than you do!!).
However, and this is where the rant starts, this morning I went back to the Hospital for a top-up dose and the Matron told me that this may have been my very last top-up dose, as the Government was on the cusp of pulling funding for my treatment.
Yes, you read that right… the Conservatives, whose keystone pledge during the last election was to ring-fence/protect the NHS budget so that nothing would have to be cut, have totally gone against their word and are now making cost-saving cuts across the board – what a fckn surprise!!!! 😦
You may well think, ‘ooh, Botox, that sounds a bit expensive and Celebrity’ – which is unfortunate, as most people see this poison as only being used on foreheads (which you can’t get on the NHS anyway!), however it has huge ‘medicinal’ benefits to thousands of others in the country who get this via the NHS, as other treatments for hyperhydrosis are nowhere near as effective as Botox is. Without having my Botox injections, I dread to think what my position will be once I need a top-up in six months time, and am not able to get one, I really do. The last thing I want is a return to the rather broken lad that I was last summer!
At this time, I have no idea how much this costs to be done privately, but as a recognised medical condition which affects a large number of people, I think that it shameful that this route of treatment is now closed off to me unless I wish to pay a premium. Yes, I pay my NI like everyone else, and no, I’m not particularly a burden on the NHS, and to that extent (and perhaps selfishly), I am really bitter that I appear to be putting in as much as everyone else for a National Health Service that no longer meets my (rather simple) needs. I mean, seriously?!
Thanks to everyone on twitter who has been so nice this morning when I had a mini-rant about it on there earlier – your words of encouragement were fabulous, and meant a lot!
As for the ConDem government, the sooner we stop marching and instead start calling general strikes as a means to get an end put to these drastic (and largely unnecessary/destructive – see earlier rants!!) spending cuts, the better!!!
Once again, the ConDems show their true colours, and we all know what yellow and greeny-blue makes – a murky shade of brown.
(NB – image above is from Google, and, obviously, is not me, but if a picture could speak a thousand words… these four would be the first I’d think of right now!)