recent experience at Doctor's


I just wondered what sort of experiences you have all had with a GP? I know this has nothing to do with arthritis, but I've had problems with one of my ears for a few weeks so with schools breaking up for half term I was lucky to get a phone call back from a GP and an appointment the same day. No help at all as apparently ear syringing is not free on NHS any more and as I don't earn much I couldn't afford it said to continue with olive oil ear drops. Sent me away with prescription only for me to find at the Chemist that this item was no longer available! GP asked me why I was limping I explained Osteoarthritis of the left hip and his response was don't bother to even consider a hip replacement as I would be waiting 2 years, I'm not keen on the idea anyway but he seemed to think it was amusing. I am struggling to carry on working as the pain can be really bad sometimes, (only got mild painkillers because of being type 2 diabetic.) Can I please also ask if anyone has found anything that helps?? Turmeric not had much help from that, exercise hard to motive myself when there is no improvement in the pain and stiffness. The worst pain is when I stand too long and my leg just locks I can't describe it any other way. Also can I ask what you have to do if you physically can't work anymore, I am 62 and just don't know how much longer I can go on. Thanks to anyone reading this at least I know you can understand where I am coming from.




  • Coffeecup
    Coffeecup Member Posts: 16

    Hi, I don’t have many answers but I wanted to give you a virtual hug.

    Do you see an orthopaedic specialist? If not I would insist on a referral. And so what if you go in a waiting list? You don’t have to take it when you get to the top, but if in the meantime it gets worse than at least you’re in the system

    The GP sounds like a right idiot. Could you speak to anyone else at the practice?

    Being in constant pain is horrible, standing is the worse for me too with my knees.

    A physio should be able to make you a personal exercise plan. It is important to keep moving but yes hard when in pain.

  • jamieA
    jamieA Member Posts: 739

    I've had more interaction with the medical services in the last 2 years than in all my previous 64 years. Firstly I appreciate that during a pandemic things are not going to be easy - however I do not think things should be this hard. Neither my GP nor my initial rheumatologist have been what I'd describe as empathetic or proactive.

    I think I've learned the hard lesson that I need to be more assertive and that some in the medical profession don't see the patient's wellbeing as being first and foremost.

  • sunnyside2
    sunnyside2 Member Posts: 131

    waiting lists.. not a given would wait that long. I expected a long wait when my consultant put me on list for knee replacement in December.. and just had a letter saying will happen 4th April. (NHS)

  • Jona
    Jona Member Posts: 406

    Hi @Robin59 ,Hope you are as well as can be expected nice to know your still posting I read in the news today a dr at an A&E dept said if one had to go to hospital then good luck wow amazing statement to own up too.

    I think what people don’t realise is that the nhs has been mismanaged for years and wonder if it’s still fit for purpose I mean how much money will it take for patients care

    they stopped doing ear syringing due to covid because of close contact and your surgery said they no longer do it due to cost? Sounds to me bit by bit it’s all going to go that way 🤔

  • Arthuritis
    Arthuritis Member Posts: 445
    edited 23. Feb 2022, 10:40

    @Robin59 Similar experiences with NHS GPs.

    However I retained my occupational health private doc even after moving jobs, and that was helpful. I tried to break my health issues into smaller problems of what could be treated, alleviated or had to be accepted, and with the serenity prayer tried to tackle those issues that could be tackled with the help of a private doc. The big difference being they have time to listen, and as there is no manna from an NHS contract, have to earn their keep.

    I had type 2, however it is reversible if you put the effort into it, and my blood sugar & numerous other health issues subsided.

    Getting out of type 2 might enable you to have medications not otherwise available to you.

    [Mod edit: removed text regarding waste in NHS which hijacks the discussion with politics - Brynmor Admin]

    Getting rid of Type 2 made a huge difference, and a good licensed dietician can help with this, NOT a GP, who can only identify your type 2, and check progress with a HbA1c test. GPs get no significant training on nutrition. Sorting out my type 2 also helped my blood pressure, so a coupl of health pluses☺️

    Hope that helps and inspires you to take control and do what you can to be your health advocate.

  • Fif
    Fif Member Posts: 115

    I feel really fortunate when I read some of these posts. I live in the Scottish Borders and have been really supported both by my local health centre and hospital. Before the pandemic I broke my hip falling off my bike while cycling. Didn't realise it was actually broken for a few weeks, but when I did go to A&E I was admitted the same day and had a hip replacement the next. During the pandemic I was still experiencing some pain, not in the hip, but in the buttock and leg so I emailed the surgeon to see If this was normal. She made an appointment to see me, arranged for xrays on the day, which didn't show any problems and an mri scan later, the results of which she gave me via a conference call. Some wear and tear in the lower back seemed the most likely cause of the problem, but by this time I'd had my RA diagnosis. Once again, as soon as I got in touch with my health centre re. swollen hands and pain things moved very quickly and I really feel that under the current circumstances I couldn't ask for any more. In addition, despite all the stress and strains of the job, everyone has been unfailingly polite, helpful and considerate. Perhaps I've just been very lucky, but I'm sure there are plenty of others out there who have had similar positive experiences but these never get the same publicity as the negative ones.

  • Arthuritis
    Arthuritis Member Posts: 445
    edited 20. Feb 2022, 21:58

    @Fif My Scottish friends in Aberdeen say similar things. In London my lifetime experience of NHS has been they avoid taking any action unless it is so blatantly obvious and damaging that it might result in a court case, just before, you might get something. My RA diagnosis was no different. Had NICE guidelines for prompt action been followed I might not have become a chronic patient for years to come, but as it was, my gp brushed off my concerns and did nothing even when an nhs endocrine consultant suggested I should be referred to a rheumy. Nothing happened until I went private, and the private rheumy did the blood tests and diagnosed me in the same week after nearly 1 year of NHS waiting, and even then gp was reluctant to do anything, until my nhs endocrine consultant followed up with a letter to the GP asking him to take it seriously.

    The nhs rheumy confirmed few GPs act in time or follow NICE, and I might have had a better outcome if addressed sooner.

  • jamieA
    jamieA Member Posts: 739


    I fully agree that there must be plenty of positive experiences but presently I'm personally struggling to find many. I live in Scotland and was only diagnosed with PsA six months into the pandemic so don't know what a normal response would be. However I don't think what I've seen this last 18 months is an acceptable level of service on multiple occasions by multiple medical staff.

    My rheumatologist didn't move from behind his desk on the first two appointments - he didn't examine me. He told me I had to 'suck it up' regarding my pain levels, told me he wasn't prepared to give me further steroid injections when the MTX hadn't worked and finally at our 3rd meeting announced that I was lucky to be there as if I was a new patient I'd now have to wait 78 weeks for an appointment with him. When I called his clinic during a really bad flare looking for assistance I was told by one of his staff if I felt that bad I should go to A&E.

    The first occasion I was admitted to hospital with a combination of pneumonia and a PsA flare the nurse in charge of the ward tried to discharge me - at a time when my CRP level was 340, I was on oxygen and couldn't walk - to 'stop bed blocking'.

    My GP surgery refused to do a house call when I fell really ill - with what turned out to be pneumonia - suggesting my wife call NHS24 who in turn told her to call my GP. Eventually my daughter called 999 and the paramedic who attended in an estate car called in a 'code red' ambulance as my oxygen levels were dangerously low. That's happened twice - with the GP asking my wife to take my blood pressure, pulse, temperature and oxygen saturation level rather than visit. I then bought all the necessary equipment to do this - and have had to use this when I fell ill again and the only offer from the GP was a telephone consultation - again resulting in a hospital admission.

    On a positive note I've found two of the rheumatology nursing staff really helpful. I also requested a change of consultant 9 months ago and last Monday saw a new rheumatologist for the first time. He put me through the most thorough examination I've had in all this time. He did however tell me that having checked previous X-rays and MRI scans - and after confirming this with his examination - as well as PsA I had osteoarthritis in my hands, knees and feet, bursitis in my feet and stenosis of the spine.

  • Arthuritis
    Arthuritis Member Posts: 445

    @jamieA I feel terrible that you have been so let down. RA is seen as a lost cause, even BUPA that I’d paid for years promptly wrote to me to withdraw cover for anything related to RA.

    The sad thing is that the biologic drugs we have to take are such a huge cash cow ($40bn annual sales) for the pharma industry that there is no incentive to find a cure, indeed, 40bn reasons to suppress one if a researcher stumbles on something. YES, big business DOES do that through lobbies & suppression. Remember Kodak? They suppressed the digital camera for decades to protect their & their industry’s film & chemical sales before Apple with nothing to lose got wind and produced the first consumer digital camera.

    Tobacco suppressed evidence their billion dollar products were toxic for decades, before they could no longer stem the tide.

    Back in the ‘50s stomach ulcers were touted to be caused by executive stress and bad diet and considered incurable. Pharma profited hugely selling PPIs & carbonate salts. There was huge resistance to an Aussie doc, (Larry Marshall) who claimed his research showed it was curable and caused by a bacterium, and the EXCESS stomach acid was the stomach’s desperate effort to kill the bacteria, which usually works with most bacteria, but not this one. The pharma prescribed just thwarted the stomach’s attempts, and caused other diseases.

    Poor doc was harshly treated by the med & pharma community, with great efforts made to silence & discredit him. It took him 10 years to get his research accepted, and today every young GP thinks it is common knowledge, rather than hard won. Much like Galileo and his claim the Earth goes round the sun.

    Only historians & forensic accountants know that since 1910 pharma through its govt lobby & sponsorship of med schools, have huge influence on how medicine is taught, ie, diagnose , prescribe pharma for the symptoms, then more pharma for the side effects & so on.

    So I hope some researcher somewhere that has something that can treat the cause of arthritis and not just blunt the immune sys will have Dr Marshall’s spirit & strength to make it public.

  • airwave
    airwave Member Posts: 579

    I can confirm to positive experiences of late with a mix of quick and slow responses to appointment times, understandable at present. Many doctors do have a ‘tongue in cheek’ attitude and are willing to allow humour and truth into their patients lives, I for one appreciate a candid appraisal.

    Our support for the NHS is vital and we must not let our view be coloured by our low emotional state caused by illness, the doctors are human as well and try very hard not to let us down.

    its a grin, honest!

  • Robin59
    Robin59 Member Posts: 32

    Thank you all for replying to my original comment, yes Jona I am still here posting when I feel down!!! I know lots of people on here are going through similar experiences some worse than me. It just helps to be able to talk to people who understand and to be honest those who haven't got arthritis can't understand, no ones fault!

    As far as my ear problem is concerned Specsavers do earwax removal (not syringing called something else) Only problems with that are a) it costs money between £50 and £70 and b) there were no available appointments at any of the Specsavers that are local to me. To be quite honest I don't see the point of going to a Doctor for the arthritis or the ear problem, oh for the days when I took mobility for granted. I wish everyone all the best and better experiences than I have had! 😥

  • StarAnise37


    I completely sympathise with you. My GP was just as unhelpful. Only suggestion was basically 'go away and throw money at it'. Although you will be on a waiting list (I waited 3 months for the triage system to allocate a telephone 'consultation' with an orthopaedic practitioner who is not a consultant), it has resulted in a consultant appointment before the end of March 2022. You can always not take it but at least you are on the system.

    I was in in excruciating pain (bone on bone) and my knee swelled up badly after exercise to the point I was virtually immobile for 3-4 days after. I had an injection in the affected knee called APS (Autologous Protein Solution) a couple of months ago, paid for privately - not available on the NHS - and carried out by a orthopaedic consultant. It is very expensive but within a couple of weeks, the pain began to ease. The swelling has now mostly subsided. After 4 weeks, I could start do strengthening and stretching exercises. I wasn't able to stand more than 20 minutes. Now I can stand over an hour and I'm hoping it will only get better. So exercise is vital. 'Motion is Lotion' as one website put it - the lotion being the production of synovial fluid in the joint that ease stiffness. I haven't had to take any painkillers for several weeks now. During my painful phase, I found that Tramadol helped but it did make me feel sleepy. But I had to 'throw money at it' as my local GP services had nothing to offer, not even sympathy!