Bryony's story

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“I had chest pains, and then a doctor found a lump in my breast. Luckily I got the all clear, but I’m glad I got the reassurance I needed.”

“Being a primary school teacher, and having two kids at home, it’s hard to find time to get things sorted during term time. I really needed a more convenient way to get medical help, because it can be so tricky trying to get hold of my usual doctor. Especially during the pandemic when it was so hard to even go to a walk-in centre.

My health is generally pretty good apart from a history of kidney problems, and last year I started experiencing chest pains that went on for a few weeks. It just didn’t feel right. I run regularly and the pain was niggling me – I wondered if I’d been affected by Covid in some way without realising.

I knew they weren’t ‘999 chest pains’ but I needed medical advice. It had got to the Friday of half-term and I realised if I didn’t get it sorted then, I would have had to wait ages because of school, and it definitely felt like something I needed to get checked.

When I tried to call the surgery I couldn't get through, so I booked a video appointment with Livi after my husband recommended it to me. A doctor saw me within half an hour. She was really thorough and we had a proper discussion. Even though she wasn’t able to touch me, the experience was at least as good as I’d have had at the surgery.

The appointment got a whole load of things moving forward, which I was really impressed with. The doctor allowed me to be prioritised at my GP surgery, so I could book an appointment to see someone for an in-person appointment.

They ended up finding a lump on my chest. I hadn’t felt it before, and even after the doctor discovered it I still couldn’t feel it! I could tell they definitely know what they’re looking for. I’d thought about all sorts of reasons for the chest pains, including a heart problem, but I hadn’t realised they could have been down to a lump.

The doctor got me straight in to have a mammogram. Unfortunately I caught Covid 2 days before I was due at the emergency breast clinic, so it was delayed, but only until the day after I was out of isolation which meant I was still able to get it checked at the earliest time. Both doctors had asked me questions about my menstrual cycle, which were also asked at the breast clinic appointment. These turned out to be all the right questions to get to the bottom of it.

Luckily, I got the all clear. It turned out the chest pains I was having were hormonal and the lump was a cyst that can reappear at certain points during my cycle, disappearing once I get older. At the age I am now, my hormones are a bit all over the shop and I don’t have as regular a cycle as I used to. But once my period did start, the chest pains went away.

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Having the Livi app meant that I got the right care much quicker than if I’d just waited to be seen at the surgery. I don’t think I’d have even had it checked out properly as I didn’t feel the lump myself – it was discovered at my examination after the referral. I probably would have just brushed it off as a pulled muscle and not bothered to sort it, because it’s usually so hard to see a doctor.

I sometimes think I’m a hypochondriac with things like this, but it’s so useful to know what’s really going on. I’m glad I went through the process, learned about my symptoms and got the reassurance I needed. Now I know if it happens again and I start to worry, I can stay calm and know that it is possible to find a route to getting checked out. The clinicians reminded me it’s important to do so.”