Blood tests normal

purpleunicorn Member Posts: 67
edited 28. Feb 2012, 12:40 in Living with Arthritis archive

So after waiting for a week for the letter the GP promised was 'in the post' about my blood tests, I rang up for an appt this morning. The only appt I could get was with a doctor I loathe but I wanted to know what the discrepancy was with one of the blood tests (3 are normal, one needs investigation they said).

So, gritting my teeth I went to see her.

Me "I've come about my blood test results. Apparently one needs looking at"

Her "No, they are all fine"

Me "But I was told one was abnormal"

Her "RF negative, ESR normal, liver function is higher than normal"

Me "Ok, well what does that mean?"

Her "Oh nothing. You are probably one of the people who has a high reading in liver function tests. your bilirubin levels are high, that's all"

Me "Hmm...well what about the other one?"

Her (scanning the screen) "well it says that FT Serum couldn't be processed without clinical details and to contact immunology dept"

"ok, what's that?"

Her (the GP) "I don't know what that is. But you can't have RA as your x rays are clear and so are the RF and ESR. Tell me about the pain"

Me "well, I have pain and stiffness in both hips, back, knees, elbows and now my thumb joints and wrist have gone...I couldn't put my daughter's socks on this morning because I had no strength in my left hand"

Her "Hmm...there is nothing to indicate RA. These pains are not indicative at all...if anything I would say you are menopausal."

Me "I've already been checked for that"

Her "Well, just because your blood tests show normal oestrogen levels doesn't mean you are not menopausal"

Me "Ah, in the same way that a negative RA doesn't mean I don't have RA?"

Her "no".

Me "I'd like a referral to a rheumatologist"

Her "No. but if the small joints in your hands start to be affected then come back"

Me "Small joints THUMBS???"

Her "No, all of them. Goodbye"

So that's it...basically just get on with it. This GP is useless, they all are. Same surgery that forgot to order my xrays, and left 2 of the blood test requests off. A while ago I went to her because I had symptoms of cervical cancer...I have had treatment last year for pre cancerous cells and then abnormal smears again, then various symptoms appeared. I went to her almost in tears and she said 'you'll have to make another appt, I don't have time to examine you, I have other patients to see'. I'm in a high risk category, with a history of cell changes and treatment and she didn't have time???

I hate doctors.


  • dorcas
    dorcas Member Posts: 3,516
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello purpleunicorn

    I am appalled by the way you were treated and your symptoms disregarded :shock: How this doc can treat (mis-treat) you in that way beggars belief. GPs hold such power as gatekeepers to specialisms so having a doc you can trust and who listens to you is so important.

    Would there be any value in writing in to the senior GP in the practice? or perhaps you should consider changing GPs if that is an option open to you?.

    I am so sorry this has happened to you and that you've been left worrying about your health.

    Iris xx

    ps... there are many forms of sero-negative arthers that (by definition) don't show up in blood tests . I personally would seek another opinion and insist on being referred!
  • purpleunicorn
    purpleunicorn Member Posts: 67
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi, and thanks for replying.

    She was adamant that there can be no inflammation due to the blood tests, and that without an RF positive it cannot be RA. Also, the xrays showed no damage so in her mind that is it.

    I was going to challenge her with the sero negative argument but to be honest she threw me with her lack of regard and I am not good at confrontation.

    It is almost impossible to get an appt with a specified doctor - the senior gp barely sees patients anymore, and the rest come and go...I've seen 4 different ones now in the space of a few weeks. When you call for an appt they offer you one dr and one dr only. I actually told the receptionist this morning that I didn't want to see this particular dr and she said she was the only one I could see.

    There is another surgery in the village but this blasted dr works there too.

    Edit: Have just called surgery again and told them I wasn't happy and that I wanted to see the one decent dr that is there that is still seeing patients. So I have that booked but he can't see me til 8th March.
  • kellerman
    kellerman Member Posts: 741
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Oh boy....are all docs like this...I had to demand a blood test and refused to move until one was booked.
    I was also promised xrays...I'm still waiting...but I have seen a rheumy and have an appointment for an MRI scan.
    I have been told I have AS as well as the OA and OP.
    Can you change docs...I actually thought about this but from what I've heard and seen we haven't got a decent one in my area.
    Menopausal !!!! I'm way past that and I don't remember not being able to use my hands.
    I know that one of my blood tests couldn't be taken on a friday for some reason....the nurse knew this but not the doc or reception staff.
    I think this one was the HBL-B27 one which is a sign of AS.
    Most of these docs need to retrain.
    I worked for the NHS for 29 years but nowadays I despair that we have to fight for everthing.
    Don't give need answers.Is there a doc who you can talk to...some-one you feel comfortable with.
    I wish you luck. May
  • dorcas
    dorcas Member Posts: 3,516
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I can well understand your feelings of frustration and anger. :roll:

    Confrontation is never easy... and sometimes can be counter productive. Nevertheless you are entitled to have your legitimate concerns addressed; would it still be worth you phoning and asking specifically to see the senior doc?.... even if it takes a few weeks to get that appointment!

    Being seen by 4 different docs must have been difficult for you...and must be time consuming for them and you... and maybe lead to inconsistency?

    I do hope you can get to see a doc who will look again at the information you've given.... maybe next time make a list of your symptoms, inflammation and pain... (and the questions that need answered) to take with you... that way the info doesn't get lost!

    Iris xx

    ps... just seen your edit! glad you'll get to see someone else :wink:
  • purpleunicorn
    purpleunicorn Member Posts: 67
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I forgot to add, when she said that the x ray showed that I didnlt have arthritis in my hip then I couldn't possibly have it in my knee as knee arthritis always follows hip and you can't have one without the other!?!?
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    In my experience from over the past 15 years GPs rarely know enough (and that doesn't mean detail) about arthritis in all its various guises and those who are better informed are not numerous by any means. It's true that their 'area' is osteo arthritis but many seem unwilling to think outside the arthritis stereotype box. At the time my trouble began I had one slightly swollen knee, I kept going back to the GP with it as it kept swelling and all she said was 'It will go away.' I, idiotic fool, believed her. It ended up being 27" inches in circumference. The first rheumatologist I saw also told me it would sort itself out. :roll: never mind, bridge-water, it's all long gone.

    You have an appointment with (hopefully) a better doctor and March 8th is not that far away. Arm yourself with your notes, diary of symptoms etc and any info that you have gleaned from us - contact AC for info sheets that you can show this doctor, and I hope he/she takes you far more seriously than the doc who has been 'dealing' with you. (What an astonishing comment about the hip/knee thing :) ). As I understand it a sero-negative RA does exist, as do various forms of sero-negative inflammatory arthritis (mine is one of those). As I said, GPs don't need to know much but they should be aware of these things. (Having said that, life as a GP must be tough as you need to know a little of everything and not specialise but it is a pity that they are not more willing to refer people like us to those who DO know a little more than them.) I wish you well, I won't be about next week but I hope it goes better for you this time. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • PollySid
    PollySid Member Posts: 343
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Poor you, what a horrible doctor.
    I saw about 5 doctors at the practice when we moved here until I settled on one I liked and that seemed to listen. My neighbour doesn't like him but he seems fine with me (so far anyway).
    So, if what your doctor says about hips and knees is right, everyone that has had a TNR will have had a THR previously :roll:
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,280
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    This is awful treatment, its 2 years ago now since I changed GPS, and it the best thing I ever did, I am lucky there is only one doctor at the practice
    I am in the process of having more and more blood test, and because one is raised he has sent me for more,
    I do hope you can get something done about it, Iris has given you lots of advice , the one thing I have learned of this forum is to make yourself heard, not always easy, but you go for it,
    Good Luck x