Tuesday, 18 September 2012

My Experience With Doctor's



IV had some awful & some brilliant experiences with Gp's - I want to share some of these experiences with you & debate some of the issues raised in the news today about complaints about Gp's rising in the last year.

I moved to the place I live now 13yrs ago & registered with the local GP.  I wasn't ill at this point so all was well & I found the GP was ok - although rarely saw him.

I became pregnant & had a horrific pregnancy leading to my youngest Ethan being born 2mths prem by emergency c-section (which is beleived to have accelerated my fibro).

Slowly I began to feel more & more ill, I had pain so bad in my right hand it felt crushed, the fatigue was keeping me bed bound for days. I had chronic IBS and to top it off was suffering from depression.

Again & again I went back to the GP again & again he didn't seem interested in what I was telling him. On one particular visit he lost his temper with me & shouted at me that I was causing my own *emotionally induced pain* it was in my head & that if I stopped being upset all the time -'d feel better.

My initial reaction as I'd been poorly for 2yrs by this time was to jump across his desk & smash his face in but I didn't I left in tears like nearly every other visit had ended.

I was in my 1st of my counselling diploma at the time & shared with my peers what had happened, I talked things through with my peers & decided it would be appropriate for me to tell the GP I was not happy with the way he had treated me, also how it had made me feel.

Feeling emotionally supported by my peers I went to see the GP again, this time though I took my husband with me as I didn't feel strong enough to go alone.  I sat in front of the Gp's HUGE desk shaking & breathing off the hot prickly tears trying to escape down my face.

With my voice shaking I mustered the courage to say " I am angry at the way you spoke to me at my last appointment " what looked like rage to me spread across the Gp's face, he then roared at me " you have NO right to be angry with me " to which I retorted " are you saying I'm not allowed to have feelings " his response was to tell me "I no longer wish to be your GP I want you to leave now ".

A few days later I received a letter saying that I, my husband & 3 children had all been struck off !  I was more angry than I'd ever been.

I signed on with a new GP in the same building but with a different practice. My new GP was lovely he listened to me & importantly didn't tell me my pain was in my head, although he didn't know what was wrong so sent me to see a rhuematologist.

The rhuematologist did blood tests for arthritis, all my results came back negative.  He told me it was most definately arthritis & sent me for physiotherapy.  The pain caused by the physio was excruciating.

One day my mom called to tell me she'd been diagnosed with something called Fibromyalgia & would I like to see a consultant that specialised in the illness.  At breaking point I agreed.

My parents paid for me to have a private appointment, I took with me AA book filled with symptoms, time I'd been ill for, everything I could think of.  He asked me to go for a walk while he read it all.

When I walked back into the room he said " from reading this I am nearly 100% sure you have fibromyalgia, there is one test I need to do " that's when he tried pressing the fibromyalgia tender spots to which I had 17 out of the 20.

Almost immediately I felt releif ( I was unaware of the fight I was about to get into to get correct treatment) although left his offices with sleepong tablets to which he had said " you can take these for the rest of your life or until there is a cure for fibro, as your body will grow accustomed to them & eventually they won't make you sleep but will help with other symptoms ".

My GP was brilliant with me when I told him about my fibromyalgia diagnoses (I also immediately quit seeing the arthritis doc n stopped pysio) my GP sent me to a different pysio who was way more gentle with me meaning it didn't hurt as much doing the exercise.

BUT that was the beginning & end of my treatment for about a year, until that is all of a sudden the pain began to spread throughout my whole body.  GP put me on amytriptylene for the pain.  Unbeknown to me at that time me & amytriptylene do NOT mix well.

Unaware of other drugs available, my rights or anything else for that matter I bumbled along for another 2yrs until again a bad flare had led to a severe depression leading to me nearly having a breakdown.

I had joined Twitter in 200c but didn't really get it, being bed bound & feeling like I'd lost my mind my mobile phone became my only connection to other people so in early 2011 I began tweeting. I soon became aware of people called #Spoonies.

Spoonies being a person with a chronic invisable illness - the term had been coined from a writing by @bydls called 'The Spoon Theory' (this can be found on another page of this blog).  I began to connect with these people & soon found the support I had wanted so much.

I learnt much about other drug treatments, the names of all the individual symptoms that made up fibromyalgia & with this new found knowledge I approached my GP.  At first I asked for venlafaxine which he gave me, although the chronic pain persisted.

Slowly over time I asked for new drug treatments by name :) I am now on

Dihydracodeine 90mg slow release 3x a day

Gabapentin 600mg 3x a day

Venlafaxine 37.5mg 2x a day
Naproxin 500mg 2x a day

Zolpidem 10mg 1x a day

Levothyroxine 100Mc 1x a day

I also take vitamins B12 & rosehip with consent of my GP as although we think vitamins are good for us they can cause adverse affects if mixed with long term medication.

Ie: if taking Levothyroxine you shouldn't take sea kelp.

What I have learned is that even with a good GP I have to take the lead & tell him what I need.  Learning the names of the serperate symptoms really helped to (I have a blog:
 call it by its name).

I do look back at times & wish I'd made a complaint about the GP who struck me off as I have since learned he is like that with most of his patients ! He likes to be #right he doctor you stupid ignorant patient ! Although I had the strength to tell him how I felt at the time, I was to vulnerable to take it any further & also very much unaware of my rights as a patiemt.

So they say now complaints are rising because people find it easier to complain ! I don't agree because there will be thousands of vulnerable people being treated badly & not complaining.

If we all complained they would see a ten fold increase in what they are already seeing ! Eventually I got lucky, I got a GP that listened & allowed me to tell him what I needed. He was willing to try some of the drugs I suggested. If he didn't wan't to give me a certain drug he explained why. By meeting eachother half way we have built a wonderful doctor-patient relationship.

I know my doctor-patient relationship is rare in comparison to what other people go through.  Doctor's are less inclined to listen, less compassionate, less empathic & some come across as authoritarian control freaks - things must change in the Uk when it comes to General Practitioners !

The link below is the news that's hit the headlines today about the soaring complaints against doctors ! If only the other 1000's would speak up to like I wish I had 11yrs ago xx G


1 comment:

  1. Fibromyalgia is a medical condition characterized by chronic widespread pain and a heightened pain response to pressure. Fibromyalgia is frequently associated with depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Other chronic pain also present. Better treatment reduce this pain. That’s why people should start taking consultant for fibromyalgia treatment