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I Was Ghosted By My… Gynaecologist?!

When I look back at the two years leading up to my final diagnosis, I never imagined myself getting ghosted by the only gynaecologist practising in the town I was living in at the time.

I was living in a small university town when I first started experiencing my symptoms. I had a small hard bump filled with fluid on my vulva. The bump was painful at first, but as it grew, it became less painful and easier to ignore. I knew I needed to consult a doctor, specifically a gynaecologist, but I was nervous and put it off. By the time I set an appointment, the small bump was now the size of a big marble. 

When I scheduled an appointment, I learned there was only one gynaecologist in town, and he wasn’t even based there. Instead, he would set up practice at the local clinic on a Wednesday bi-weekly. It was either him or travelling to the nearest city, an hour and a half away. 

I have learned that this setup is standard in small rural towns in South Africa. Specialists who find it less lucrative to set up base in small, rural, or university towns will instead visit clinics regularly to meet with patients. Patients travel to the city where the specialists are based regarding complicated procedures when necessary.