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What do you do when you can’t get past your GP to a specialist?

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So I had my visit to my GP last week… it’s taken me a week to cool down enough to blog about it with somewhat less emotionally…

A new doctor was there subbing for my usual one who is on mat leave. So I thought, “great! a new guy! maybe I’ll get somewhere”. I riffled off my perimenopausal symptoms and he immediately agreed that I was bang on the money in determining that I indeed am in perimenopause.

Great. At least some acknowledgment.

So, I asked him if he’d refer me to an endocrinologist (in Canada we can make a move without a referral. We can’t just call one up on our own, we have to go through the GP gatekeepers). Anyway, he said, no I’ll do your blood work first because they’ll ask me for that before they’ll even see you. He then went on to admit that my hormones levels would likely be in the normal range, but that at least we’d have a baseline to work with for the future.

So I said, great, let’s do it. So we did. (I couldn’t even get my other GP to even do the hormone level tests, so this seems like major steps forward for me).

One week later, surprise surprise, the hormone levels come back in the “normal” range.

We expected that right? Right.

So what does he do? He tells me, no I can’t refer you to an endocrinologist or a gyno because your levels have to be abnormal before they’ll take you. And from the GP level, he doesn’t think there’s anything he can do other than put me on the Pill or give me antidepressants. Fabulous choices!

Pardon my French but WTF!!!.

So if I can’t get past the gatekeeper, I can’t help or medically explore the perimenopausal symptoms I have now. I have to wait until I’m in full menopause before a doctor can help me.

That’s ridiculous!!!!!!!! I am furious.

So plan B… I made an appointment with a new GP. I’m hoping that she’ll have a more progressive approach to this. I can’t possibly be the only woman to experience early perimenopause. I know I’m not because I talk to you guys on Twitter and I know you feel my pain.

A couple of blogs ago, I mentioned that I had an appointment with a naturopathic doctor. I had canceled that appointment because I had that blood work done with my GP and I didn’t want to confuse matters. But I guess I’ll rebook that as it seems to be one of my only options now.

I’m annoyed by the system and it’s reactionary methods. I know what I have NOW and I want to deal with it NOW, not later when it’s worse.

Is anyone else in this boat with me or am I rowing it alone?


Sara Purves
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Sara attended the Claude Watson School for the Arts, a prestigious Toronto based high school for gifted creative students. She then moved on to the Ontario College of Art and Design for 4 years where she majored in Environmental Design. After graduation in 1993, Sara pursued many creative arenas including: retail store design, fashion design, had gallery exhibitions of her paintings, and volunteered in many areas of the arts before settling into a career in graphic design. Sara was employed as art director and graphic designer at several well known advertising agencies and creative design shops where she worked with a variety of clients. Sara is also someone who’s unwillingly entered early perimenopause and muddles her way through frustrations and solutions.

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