How can I get my GP to listen

nanof7 Member Posts: 3
edited 17. Feb 2021, 10:34 in Living with arthritis

For years I’ve been told I have osteoarthritis & that basically it’s just a case of managing the pain. I had a total hip replacement 8 years ago & in my mind, my back pain has been worse since then.

The trouble is, I feel that my Drs don’t really listen. I went to the local muscular skeletal centre a couple of years ago & after examination was told I had spinal stenosis. The physiotherapist basically said bend forwards when your back pain is so severe that it brings you to a halt.

Recently, trying to explain to my GP that my medication wasn’t relieving the pain, I felt that I was being a bit of a nuisance. She told me that I have tried everything for pain relief & asked what did I want to try again ? I then had another telephone consult with someone at the muscular skeletal centre who very kindly emailed some exercises to me.

I want to tell my Dr that in spite of the fentanyl patches & naproxen, I still can’t walk very far or stand for long, because the pain in my lower back hurts, really hurts. I want to say that at times, for no apparent reason, I will heat up on the inside & my head & face will sweat so that my face & hair is wet. Its embarrassing. I probably look like someone to be avoided, especially in shops at this curent time when we’re worried about covid. I want to tell my Dr that for the last few weeks I wake a minimum of twice a night with tingling in my right hand, particularly my thumb. Also my left ankle starts to ache for no apparent reason.

I’m not a Doctor, so how can I say, in the nicest way, that there must be something that can help. How can I get her to listen to me, to hear all the symptoms before getting bored & just repeating that there is no cure for arthritis


  • Poppyjane
    Poppyjane Moderator Posts: 770

    Hello @nanof7 , Welcome to the online community.

    You say that you have had OA for a long time and that means you are unable to walk very far or stand for very long. You have tried different medications and exercises but find there are times when the pain is so bad that you are affected both night and day and cannot find relief.

    On speaking to your GP you feel that you are being a nuisance and that she is not listening. You could ask for a second opinion within your GP practice or ask to be referred elsewhere. The heartfelt description of your symptoms and feelings expressed in your post could be written to your doctor/consultant if you feel that previous conversations have been unsatisfactory. This allows you a chance to say "how it is" and "what you want " before you next consultation.

    Meanwhile I attach a link which you might find helpful

    you might also like to talk with some one on the

    Helpline 08005200520 open Monday to Friday 9.00 - 8.00 .

    There you will have time to discuss your concerns without feeling under pressure as we often can do when talking to busy GPs.

    You have come to the right place where people will listen to you and offer their support and advice. The website has a huge range of forums and discussions so do take time to browse around.

    You have been brave to share your symptoms, pain and frustrations about not being heard with us so when you feel brave enough to go back and try again we would love to hear how you got on.

    With best wishes

    Poppyjane ( Moderator)

    If it would be helpful to talk to someone ring the Helpline 0800 5200 520

    Monday - Friday 9.00a.m. - 6.00p.m.

  • Jona
    Jona Member Posts: 406

    Hi nanof7

    i know exactly where your coming from speak to the reception at your doctors and ask if there are any gps that take a special interest in osteoarthritis and then ask for a double appt as you need to discuss in depth what is happening this make do and get on with it attitude really makes me boil when all is said and done it’s pain and not acceptable to be dismissed

    Don’t be dismayed doctors are tired they do have a heavy workload but do ask for a second opinion and they won’t hold it against you in any way just keep pushing surely we have that right to do so let me know how you get on and stay strong

    love Jona 😊

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,487


    Some great advice from Jona there and I would add to take a friend with you if you can although at the moment that is probably not allowed. Drs are 'all-powerful' and I find that I am often reduced to tears at the mere thought of speaking to one.

    On the subject of the hot flushes I am presuming being a Nan of 7 that you are past that age? Having said that flushes can also be a side effect of some medications. My daughter at 16 had loads of them due to oral steroids for cancer.

    Oh and finally when my back is really bad I find using two crutches (and I am loathe to do this all the time) can really take the pressure off for me at least.

    Keep talking it helps

  • nanof7
    nanof7 Member Posts: 3

    Thank you. I know I have to do something & asking for a double appointment sounds like a good idea.

  • Jona
    Jona Member Posts: 406

    Hi again, write everything down that you want to ask the doctor then you can go through it one by one at the moment there is only one person allowed in the room but if your support is a carer make them aware good luck and stay strong

    love Jona x

  • Rina
    Rina Member Posts: 86

    Yes, @nanof7, it’s such a good idea to write everything down. My mind goes a complete blank when I sit down and I can only remember what I wanted to say if I’ve got a list.

    Good Luck xxx

  • airwave
    airwave Member Posts: 579

    Yep, it all sounds familiar for what your doctor says. The tingling feeling is pressure on your spine from the position you’ve been sleeping in.

    Many of the pills we take cause dehydration, this will cause you to feel hot and flushed. Take some water to bed with you, if you wake up take a couple of mouthfuls or even better drink throughout the day, not caffeinated drinks. Caffein irritates the bladder and causes you to pee more.