How to make my GP understand my pain

Stigger Member Posts: 72
I have very, very severe (surgeons words) end stage Osteoarthritis in my left hip. I'm on the list for a replacement in January.

I work (I have to - life is tough) and my right leg was fully amputated years ago.

It is not in any way an exageration to say that I am in agony. The pain runs all down my left leg, my ankle feels as though it is broken, my shin aches, pelvic pain and hip pain means I cannot settle and I cannot sleep for the pain.

I take 2 x 30/500 Co-codomol 4 times a day, 1 15mg Meloxican and 1 x 10mg Amitriptylene for Phantom pain and Omneprazole to stop stomach rot. She did prescribe Tramadol as an alternative but it didn't work at all, so I went back to the Co-co, which whilst it doesn't fix the pain, didn't make me feel sick.

My GP will not prescribe me a pain patch.

My job is very pressured and it is fairly common that I do not stop for coffee, lunch etc all day and often I don't have time to stop and take my medication or eat something to stop it rotting my stomach.

I appreciate that these drugs are expensive and there are issues around dependency but I see so many who have the support of their GP and are prescribed patches to relieve the pain.

Even the GP and the surgeon say it is easily one of the worst hips they have ever seen - so how do I ensure I can make her understand and to convince them that I really do need the pain relief for a few months?

I don't seem to be able to do so at present and sometimes I can't see how I will make it to the operation.

Thank you.


  • Agape
    Agape Member Posts: 76
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Stigger, I am so sorry to hear about the amount of pain that you are in. My heart goes out to you as you struggle to manage at work and to make your GP understand your situation.

    When I think about the amount of pain that you are in mine doesn't seem to compare, but a couple of months ago I was calling my Rheumy's office kinda pleading for them to give me something as I was in agony and I heard nothing back! Therefore I can relate to you on that front, but I do hope that your Dr has a change of mind and prescribes something for you so that life becomes much easier. Sometimes I think if only our GP's/Rheumy's lived in our bodies for a day then they would look at and deal with things differently.

    Roll on January for you :wink:
  • Boomer13
    Boomer13 Member Posts: 1,931
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    All I can say Stigger is keep going in, phoning and pestering your docs. A patch seems appropriate given your situation. I have realised the hard way that the only way they will listen sometimes is to keep badgering them; I know it's hard and a nuisance to have to do this, but they must help you through the next few months if it's that intolerable for you.

    There are meds out there to help severe pain, why should you not have help?

    Best wishes
  • Stigger
    Stigger Member Posts: 72
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you both for replying; although I am sad to hear you are also suffering, I don't feel so alone.

    When you read all the posts of people with such supportive help, it sometimes seems as though you are the only one struggling. In the cold light of day I realise this and I'm truly grateful you responded.

    I will have another go at talking to the GP. Daft really; at work I run huge departments and manage lots of professionals. In the Dr's surgery, I seem to be either inarticulate or unclear. Perhaps it is the frosty atmosphere that chills my tongue.

    I shall endeavour to be more of an annoyance :)

    Thanks once again.
  • Boomer13
    Boomer13 Member Posts: 1,931
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Good for you Stigger! I really hope you get help; your pain sounds awful. I have hip pain myself and was prescribed very strong meds for my pain, and I don't have nearly the damage you describe.

    I had a doc that would do nothing until I pestered him 3 times, then he would help. My current doc does not hold back in prescribing if I complain. She is much better at reading me. I'm not the pestering sort and I too find it difficult to speak clearly and not understate things in visits.

    If they still won't help you Stigger, maybe you have to go to another GP. If your hip is that bad, it should be a no-brainer after looking at your xray that you need a pain patch, or such for relief.

    Best of luck...
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    When I was in hospital (not in the UK, mind you) I was given a leaflet called: the european patients charter. I hope I translated it more or less correct. The first paragraph was about the patients right to live free of pain. And the doctors duty to assure this pain-free life. I would think this should count for the UK as well?
  • maria09
    maria09 Member Posts: 1,905
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I hope you get sorted soon
    I used the so called pain patches of bupernorphine they were useless and I ended up on a high dose that had to be reduced gradually so I didn't suffer withdrawal symptoms!
    I now take paracetamol and tramadol which help but I'm never pain free!
    Is there another doctor in the practice that you can go see?
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 3,020
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Dear Stigger,

    Thank you for your post to Helplines. Your situation has really touched a chord and I'm really struck by the support that has been shown from fellow forum members.

    Has anyone mentioned a referral to a pain clinic? Pain clinics are used to helping people whatever the level of pain. If it's possible to get an urgent referral, then that might be helpful.

    Also given that you are under this orthopaedic surgen I wonder whether it's worth talking to their secretary/or team and seeing if someone might be able to see given your level of pain. If someone would, could they be persuaded to write to the GP suggesting some medication? (And they are qualified to state the drug names and dosages).

    But the problem with reading different ideas and options, it's not the same as you being listened to in real conversation and being able to express how it's affecting you. So if you'd like to talk it all through informally you are most welcome to ring us for a chat.

    I do hope this is of some help.

    Kind regards

  • Stigger
    Stigger Member Posts: 72
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks Guy and everyone.

    I do believe I am quite clear, I take notes with me and have printed off the recommendations and taken them too.

    I clearly explain but she doesn't listen. I don't know why, but she is quite implaccable and refuses to prescribe anything else.

    Her latest line is "it's only a few week" to the operation.

    It is a tiny practice with only 2 doctors, both part time.

    Pestering her seems to annoy her and make her less keen to help.

    She is just disinterested in my requests and disinclined to take any further action.

    Thanks again though.
  • Boomer13
    Boomer13 Member Posts: 1,931
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Stigger;

    I'm sorry to hear your GP has been unhelpful.

    I'm sure you've considered it but could your surgeon be of help with pain management? It seems to me important for your health not to arrive at your surgical appointment stressed out and exhausted.

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Change the gp if possible. I'm thinking about doing the same. Tricky thing since we socialize privately sometimes. Since that does not be the case with you- drop her!