Referral

I called the surgery and asked for the earliest available appointment. One day and a short discussion later I was assured that a letter of referral would soon be made available. The doctor went on to explain that I would need to select my own preferred consultant and that the health centre would then forward my referral letter directly.

While researching my condition, I had become aware of a number of UK neurologists. The name that kept cropping up on discussion groups and headache forums was that of Dr Manjit Matharu.

Dr Matharu BSc, MBChB, PHD, MRCP – Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Neurology at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.

Dr Matharu is also the course coordinator for www.headachemasterclass.com, a website that promotes educational seminars for health professionals. Allow me to paraphrase; their aim is “to provide the information and training needed to effectively help those who suffer from common, disabling and undertreated headache conditions “

His reputation and qualifications were and still are exemplary. My mind was set; I would deliver in person Dr Matharu’s name and address to my doctor’s surgery first thing in the morning.

Two long weeks later I finally had a letter confirming my appointment. The smile I held that morning made all the recent memories of  pain fade away. My only worry was with the timing as it meant I would not be able to see Dr Matharu until the New Year and I’d naively thought I would have a cure for my headache well before Christmas. I guess, Dr Matharu must have been the first choice for many patients in similar circumstance.

That night I discussed the appointment with my girlfriend who went on to explain that she had been doing some research of her own through a family friend. The friend in question is a health correspondent for a national newspaper and had recommended Dr Giles Elrington, a Consultant Neurologist who runs the headache clinic at Bart’s and is also Director of the City of London Migraine Clinic.

Mindset readjusted, it was an easy decision for me to change my appointment. Not only could Dr Elrington see me in early December, a week before a planned holiday, but it would also be three weeks before Christmas. The prospect of an accurate diagnosis and cure within this timeframe proved far too tempting to ignore. I was also encouraged by Dr Elrington being named as a regular speaker on the Headache Master Class website.

Cont…

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