“I work all over South Essex providing mobile hair and beauty services and when my headaches started in 2017, I just put it down to stress and driving. But the headaches were getting worse and I was noticing a distinct lack of concentration, nausea, dizziness and memory loss. I started to worry about not being able to work at all.
“My headaches started from the moment I woke up, worsening throughout the day, and I would find myself lying awake at night. I knew I needed help, so I followed the usual process of seeing my GP.
“My doctor did his best, but it was all starting to look like guesswork as he tried out different painkillers and I made the suggested dietary changes and cut my caffeine intake. Without knowing the cause, it was difficult to get an effective treatment plan together and a referral to the hospital was going to take months. I began to get worried it might be something bad and it started to prey on my mind.
“The tipping point was the day I had to cancel a booking due to nausea. There and then, I decided I wanted to take control of the situation and I was happy to pay privately if it meant getting a good night’s sleep!
“A friend of mine mentioned he’d had an MRI scan which had helped them find out what was causing his back pain. I knew there was a scanning centre locally, so I went online and found MRI Plus in Leigh-on-Sea. It’s literally a few miles from a regular client, and I found out I could simply complete a self-referral form online and wait for someone to give me a call to book an appointment.
“As I didn’t want to wait any longer than necessary, I booked my appointment for the very next day and couldn’t have been happier with the experience. Everyone was so friendly, from the receptionist who helped me make my appointment, through to the radiographer. The scan was quick and I had my images straight away.
“My report was sent to my GP, and she was happy that I’d taken the initiative in booking my own MRI. It meant that she was able to rule out anything serious and refer me on to a specialist who could run further tests.
“Since then, I don’t suffer from daily headaches and I’m no longer worried about losing work. I’ve actually been able to expand my business and I’m finally getting a good nights’ sleep!
“Being able to book my own MRI was a revolutionary experience for me, as I always thought your GP had to refer for everything.”
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