Comments 23

Dear Dalriada Doctor

Dear Dalriada Doctor,

I am sorry I inconvenienced you today by phoning twice for a prescription I should have had the consideration to organise before the Easter holidays began.

Mea culpa.

But still, a bit of compassion and respect would have worked wonders, you know?

I get it.

You sounded bored and ready to go home.

Maybe the extra money you are getting for working on a public holiday does not make you happy.

I understand.

Maybe you had been working from 9 in the morning and had had enough of snotty toddlers and drunk youths. Or maybe you were on call last night and you went to see a dying child in the hospice close by your practice. Possible.

But you don’t know my story.

You didn’t scroll long enough through my medical file to see that in July last year, my life changed into a nightmare forever.

I know, it’s been nine months and I should be “over it” by now. After all, my son was only a baby when he died, right, and I can always go and have another one. Like a puppy from a pet shop.

The truth is, and trust me, I did contemplate for a second sharing it with you over the phone, my life is as screwed up now as it was nine months ago.

I still wake up in the middle of the night. Almost every night.

I still forget loads of things. Like birthdays. Conversations. Coffee and lunch dates.

I am still grieving, you see.

Medically, there is nothing wrong with me.

I function, thanks to Fluoxedine and my daughter, who needs me every moment of every day.

But grief makes me forgetful and easily distracted and probably, as you said, disorganised.

I put my family first and end up exhausted and disheveled at the end of the day.

The little energy I have gets consumed easily with thoughts and tears and rage.

On a daily basis.

Yes, I didn’t realise I was running out of pills.

Yes, I should have planned better.

But I think, and correct me if I am wrong, your role there is not to admonish or deter patients but to serve.

I know, I know, I saw the new policy. Don’t use “emergency” services unless necessary.

I was not an emergency.

Not yet, anyway.

But tell me, should I have waited and taken myself off antidepressants and maybe end up jumping off a cliff?

I wouldn’t have been an emergency then either, because I would have been dead…

As I said, I am sorry I have inconvenienced you today.

I will make sure next time I will order my pills in time.

And I truly hope that you will never be at the receiving end of a Dalriada line…

10423270_10152084182716512_293582403789621959_nThis is my son, whose loss I grieve every day. I know you didn’t know. Would you have treated me better if you did, I wonder???

This entry was posted in: Parenting


Mum to one beautiful girl on earth and one sweet baby boy in heaven. Privileged carer. Encourager and friend.


  1. Oh this makes me so sad. I’m sorry you are having to write such a post…silly Doctor! I’m also so sad you are going through this. Much love x

    • Jo, I pondered whether I should or not. But maybe one of those doctors will read it. And maybe next time someone calls, he will treat them more humanly.
      I have been in Dalriada many times with Emma and Georgie. We were never treated with respect and care. This needs to change.xx

  2. I am so sorry to read that you have been treated this way. How awful… 😦 Respect and care should have been shown to you, no matter what you rang for. Sending lots of hugs xx

    • I have developed thick skin, Bek. I wrote this because I don’t want this to continue. If Dalriada is to serve the population, than the attitude should reflect in. Otherwise, I do not see the point of the service.xx

  3. ❤ sending love and hugs… im so sorry you were treated so poorly. That is not ok.

    There is no timeline for grieving mothers. I lost my daughter during labor. She would be turning three this winter and there are still times it feels like yesterday. Its the hardest thing I've done so far. Saying goodbye to her.

    Im proud of you for speaking up and seeking the help you needed at the moment, even if it wasn't convenient for him. You were right to do it and he should never treat a patient that way, he doesn't know their struggles. Im sorry he did that.

    Thinking of you and your precious little boy and sending you all love =)

    • Thank you. I am sorry about the loss of your daughter. You understand me too well. Hugs to you too, lovely.xx

    • I am sorry. I honestly did not intend causing upset. I just needed to raise awareness.Thank you very much for reposting.xx

  4. Reblogged this on My Journey and commented:
    This blog post was written by a friend of mine called Oana. Her beautiful baby boy Georgie, died of leukaemia in the N.I. Children’s Hospice in July 2013.
    I love to read Oana’s blog posts, but this one in particular touched my heart.
    I work in the NHS and occasionally clients appear to “demand” more than I feel that I have to give – there is NEVER enough time, there is NEVER enough staff.
    However, it’s good to be reminded that EVERYTHING we do, should be done with COMPASSION and RESPECT – because very often we don’t know the other person’s story and the burdens that they are carrying.

  5. I’m so sorry to read of this, Oana. All the doctor needed to do was show a bit of understanding, kindness, empathy. I too am very forgetful now, and have run out of meds myself because of what grief has done to my brain. Love and hugs xxx

    • Yes, we are functioning with only a small part of ourselves. The rest is caught up in the exhausting and dreadful processing and surviving. Wish people could see into our souls…xx

  6. Bernadette Jones says

    Reading your post made me feel so sad for you. I lost my first son when he was 3 months old. We grieved for him then and still do 27 years later. We went on to have another two children which was amazing and certainly helped us carry on. When I had my second son my GP labelled me an ‘anxious mother’ because I had taken him to the practice three times because I knew there as something wrong and three times they sent me away. The upshot was he had an emergency operation to remove fluid from his hip joint. During this time I was dismissed as anxious, neurotic and had anti depressants prescribed for me…..all because the GP felt they knew best!
    All that’s needed is empathy and compassion to be shown by the medical profession at times and not for them to make us feel bad about ourselves.
    Lots of love to you and your family.

    • Bernadette, I have so many similar stories to tell you…I hope my post will change sow thing! They need to start listening to us! So very sorry for your loss!xx

  7. Nikki says

    This brought a tear to my eye.
    I too ran out of medication and was told to phone doc on call.
    The way he spoke to me was appalling.
    He said he would provide me with a perscription if I really thought I needed it and couldn’t wait.
    No compassion.
    wish you all the best x

  8. Dee says

    When I hear of people being treated this way I get so cross! I know people have bad days, we all do, but for a ‘professional’ to berate a person reaching out for help is beyond me.
    He evidently couldn’t see the bigger picture. Would it have been better for you to arrive in A&E? Wait for hours before being seen? Ring for an ambulance? Dal Doc is not an ’emergency’ service. It is there to provide urgent assistance out of normal GP hours. This was all you wanted 😔. Urgent assistance.

    I wish I could send you the strength to complain to the service. Unfortunately, it is the only way things will change. I’m sure they do get people abusing the service, but, in the time it has taken me to write this, he could’ve checked a system & written 100 prescriptions. A few emergency tablets to tide you over until the GP reopened.
    Bless you and your beautiful family with your little angel boy. He is truly handsome. I pray that in the days ahead, you continue to gain strength from your daughter & family, to allow you to keep going, and to one day, be able to do more than function again.
    I think this doctor needs a wee reread of his Hippocratic oath…

  9. Emma McPhillips says

    I too am on fluoxetine and actually ran out of my medication on Saturday 4th and phoned Dalriada myself. The doctor who I spoke with was very understanding and I explained how I always made sure I had my tablets but unfortunately I had been mistaken. He explained that although they don’t normally prescribe repeat prescriptions he would fax a prescription to my nearest chemist to see me through until I got to my GP today. I am so sorry that your experience wasn’t like mine, but I don’t think all Dalriada doctors are as you experienced. I have 3 children and have visited Dalriada on many occasions with either them or myself and have always been treated well.

  10. inspiredcounselling says

    This is so sad that you have to experience such treatment at this time. Unfortunately the medical profession have very little consideration for mental health, grief, or anything outside of physical health problems.

    This must drain you of so much energy, and your Souls must ache more. I appreciate how much energy it takes to write this; bearing your heart for others to see the pain. I pray for you all tonight, knowing your little boy is waiting in Heaven for you. We will only know why our Children went there early when we get there.

  11. danielle says

    Hi oana
    I am truely touched by your post. Dalrida doctor on call really needs to be more of a better run service for patients in there hour of need. As a first time mum i was being put of going because they tryed tell me my 9 week old daughter was out of sorts cause first vaccines. 48 hours later we had diagnose of meningitis lucky we trusted parent instints and got her to hospital. Sorry for the loss of your gorgeous brave boy and added stress from dalriada for something you really need to help you try make things managable whilst missing him so much x

  12. Kathy Davis says

    Dear Oana,

    I am terribly sorry for your loss. No parent should have to go through that. I truly am sorry and cannot even to begin to imagine how you must feel.

    I too, have had good experiences with dalriada doctor. I am sorry that your experience was not good. It is a shame that a small minority blacken the name of 100s of healthcare professionals that work tremendously hard, going over and above their call of duty on a daily basis. I believe you should complain about this individual professional, and get the apology you deserve. I would just ask that if you have positive experiences with healthcare services, that you hilight those too! It feels that people only publicise the negative things in our society these days.

    I wish you all the best,
    Kathy x

    • I will, Kathy, Georgie received the best of care in the Cancer and Haematology Unit in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Belfast and I have written about it before. Your comment gave me the great idea of a post dedicated to the great doctors and nurses there.
      Unfortunately, my experiences with GPs and Dalriada doctors have been much less positive and with the exception of a couple of female doctors who showed emphaty, they have always come across as harsh and uncaring.
      I wrote my post as a reaction to years of negative experiences with GP doctors and Dalriada, not after one single isolated incident.
      I feel that I am not the only one who believes that the system needs to change at its core.
      Again, as I said, this is my personal experience and opinion and you don’t have to agree with me. I am actually happy you have had positive experiences yourself.
      Best regards,

  13. Pingback: Dear Dalriada Doctor-Part 2 | Mama's Haven

  14. suzanne3childrenandit says

    I think that venting in this way is very therapeutic for you Oana and for all of us. You share what you like on here and yes, it’s important to make people think. But this doesn’t just make the doctor thing, it makes us all think – don’t judge a person before you know their story. This is a rule that I try to live by. Bless you Oana. x x

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