My story

happymegs
happymegs Member Posts: 27
Hi, I have suffered form back pain for nearly 40yrs and 14yrs ago got really bad was covered by insurance at work and had 2 level spinal fusion done privately, made redundant, insurance finished, had to go back on NHS to see my consultant/surgeon never saw him! ( physio couldn't do a lot with me cos of pain and sent me back to consultant). Therefore no aftercare!
Have suffered with pain ever since and have adapted my life, but now more pain with possibly another degenarate disc, and have trouble with neck too which is flaring up at moment, I have aches and pains in legs and joints but Docs never seem to be concerned with listening to the fuller picture and only concentrate on the back problem. I am waiting for MRI scan on further disc and have had injection into left hip bursa and facet injection in right side, and been told that my wait to see consultant will be months away.

What can I do to ensure that my GP sees the whole picture and does tests for any problems that can be helped, I have never had blood tests only xrays years ago and Mri with spine,and am concerned that they might be missing something. I hear of other peoples stories and realise that I am just waiting around without a definate diagnosis and not a lot of help, Please help me ask GP the right questions, thankyou.

Comments

  • speedalong
    speedalong Member Posts: 3,347
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Happymegs, I have OA and so my problems were diagnosed by x-ray and I didn't need blood tests etc so am not the best person to help you with this. I'm sure others will be able to advise. The pain in your other joints may well be referred pain and/or because your collapsing spine is pressing on the nerves that serve your legs etc

    I hope your appointment comes through soon. You could always ring the consultants secretary and ask when your appointment is and if a cancellation occurs could you have it. Have you got pain meds from your GP. Also if you asked your GP to test your blood - you could say to him to ease your mind and explain to him what you fear - he might very well agree just to get you off his back?! is there is a history of arther in your family?

    Speedalong
    I have had OA since mid twenties. It affects my hips and knees. I had a THR on the left aged 30 and now have a resurface-replacement on the right - done May 2010.
  • happymegs
    happymegs Member Posts: 27
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi speedalong, thanks for reply and I will ask gp for blood tests, Mum had arthritis and older brother had fusion few years earlier than me and he was great so stupidly thought I would be ok too!
    Will phone hospital this week to see what's happening found out GP was two weeks late in sending letter off, not a happy bunny :(

    Am on co-codamol and feel very sleepy, but going back next week to GP and she maybe put me on patches don't know what kind though.

    I'm normally an easy going person but I seem to have lost it lately and am rather down and irritable therefore very impatient.

    Take care, maggie
  • speedalong
    speedalong Member Posts: 3,347
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Maggie, does your GP know there is a history of arther in your family? Perhaps he needs reminding. That is very annoying he was late sending off letter.

    There are diff strengths of co-codomol. I was originally on 2x8/500 - no better than smarties!! Saw different GP and she put me on 1 to 2 of the 30/500 ... two of these knocked me out!! So for ages I took one plus one paracetomol. Then my body got used to this combo and I was having major probs at night. Saw different GP(!!) she offered patches but I prefer PRN at the mo as my pain various day by day and is worst late afternoon and evenings. So now take 1 x 30/500 plus 15mg codeine and 1 x paracetomol at night and this seems to strike a balance - not too bad pain relief wise and I'm fully composmentus in the morning! (sorry to have waffled on ...!!) defin go back to GP and negiotate - get emergency appointment.

    Speedalong
    I have had OA since mid twenties. It affects my hips and knees. I had a THR on the left aged 30 and now have a resurface-replacement on the right - done May 2010.
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 2,254
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Maggie
    Living with symptoms but no definite diagnosis can be frustrating and cause you to feel down and I hope you don't have to wait too long to see your consultant.
    Always ask what any test is for and what the result means. Ask for a copy of your test results and any letters written about you so you keep an up to date record of your condition.
    Plan your appointment with your GP carefully. Write down the questions you want to ask and the symptoms you want to describe, take them in with you and write down his answers. Rehearse how you will ask them so you feel confident in your ability to express yourself clearly and get the most from your time.
    Learn to ask 'open' questions i.e. questions that need an answer, not just yes or no, such as 'what do you think is causing this pain in my joints' rather than 'is this pain connected to the problem in my back'. say how concerned you are that you haven't got a definite diagnosis and ask what other investigations could be done.
    Do give us a call on the freephone number if you want to talk things through. We don't mind irritable and impatient!
    Best wishes
    Val
  • happymegs
    happymegs Member Posts: 27
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Speedalong, sorry not to have replied before, been working and get wiped out after but not in now till next Tuesday :) I've never thought of telling gp actually :roll: good idea! going to ring hospital tomorrow to check if they have got letters.
    I am on 2x8/500 cocodamol x4 timesdaily, within 1/2 hour of taking these I'm sleepy and constantly feel weary, don't know how I'd be with stronger ones, although need something to ease pain and get a bit of my life back. Phoned doctors mine is off til 12th May and will wait as she knows how I feel about medication, feeling better now and mood lifting so coping better, thanks for help and advice will take note of your tabs and ask GP about them. Take care maggie
    speedalong wrote:
    Hi Maggie, does your GP know there is a history of arther in your family? Perhaps he needs reminding. That is very annoying he was late sending off letter.

    There are diff strengths of co-codomol. I was originally on 2x8/500 - no better than smarties!! Saw different GP and she put me on 1 to 2 of the 30/500 ... two of these knocked me out!! So for ages I took one plus one paracetomol. Then my body got used to this combo and I was having major probs at night. Saw different GP(!!) she offered patches but I prefer PRN at the mo as my pain various day by day and is worst late afternoon and evenings. So now take 1 x 30/500 plus 15mg codeine and 1 x paracetomol at night and this seems to strike a balance - not too bad pain relief wise and I'm fully composmentus in the morning! (sorry to have waffled on ...!!) defin go back to GP and negiotate - get emergency appointment.

    Speedalong
  • happymegs
    happymegs Member Posts: 27
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you very much Val for your advice and I have started to write down questions etc ready for docs as you suggest, I am going to have a good think and prepare for my appointment and have taken note of other things you have suggested and will follow them up.
    I wish you well in you retirement and from the good wishes on this site I should imagine that you'll leave with a whole lot of love to support you as you've supported others. Take care, Maggie
    Hi Maggie
    Living with symptoms but no definite diagnosis can be frustrating and cause you to feel down and I hope you don't have to wait too long to see your consultant.
    Always ask what any test is for and what the result means. Ask for a copy of your test results and any letters written about you so you keep an up to date record of your condition.
    Plan your appointment with your GP carefully. Write down the questions you want to ask and the symptoms you want to describe, take them in with you and write down his answers. Rehearse how you will ask them so you feel confident in your ability to express yourself clearly and get the most from your time.
    Learn to ask 'open' questions i.e. questions that need an answer, not just yes or no, such as 'what do you think is causing this pain in my joints' rather than 'is this pain connected to the problem in my back'. say how concerned you are that you haven't got a definite diagnosis and ask what other investigations could be done.
    Do give us a call on the freephone number if you want to talk things through. We don't mind irritable and impatient!
    Best wishes
    Val