GP not listening

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Has anyone any experience of GP not really listening!

I first noticed 1 bone spur on my fingers back in May I then started to experience severe pain in my hands I was referred privately to a rheumatologist in July to rule out Rheumatoid arthritis. I had a scan on my hands and was told I have major damage in my hands but it didn’t look like Rheumatoid Arthritis so was passed back to GP. I was already on naproxen for knee pain. Since August I have now developed painful bone spurs on every finger and experience severe pain every day ! Not only my hands but my feet and toes are now affected, both knees and I have pain in my legs I also found a small lump on my fibula bone which is painful and hurts when walking ! The pain keeps me awake at night and some days I am in so much pain I can barely get out of bed then others it’s more bearable. Unfortunately the scan done privately the doctor doesn’t have access to and after two visits to the gp abput pain they decided to X-ray my hands to see how bad it is ! No results yet. But I feel like they think I’m exaggerating the pain told me to use voltarol gel !

im so frustrated as I am concerned that this OA is progressing quickly I thought it was a slow process but can’t get any answers from the doctors or advice on proper pain relief!

any advice please

Comments

  • helpline_team
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    Hi @Kempkat

    Thank you for posting on the Online Community. we are sorry to hear that you are going through a tough time with your arthritis and that you feel that you are not being listened to by your GP.

    Osteoarthritis (OA) can affect people differently some people have the condition in one area and some have it in several and understandably it can be very difficult to cope with when you have it in multiple areas and can affect how we feel from one day to another, we hope that you have a good support network with family and friends that you can talk to, but also if you would like to talk things through informally and in confidence, you are welcome to call our Free Helpline on 0800 5200 520 9am - 6pm weekdays.

    For your hands you could ask you GP for is a referral to see a Hand therapist who have done further training in treating conditions affecting the hands wrist, arms, and shoulders. They are normally in a hospital setting and can advise on exercises, preventive treatments and they often use wax bath therapy which uses a bath of molten paraffin wax which is one of the most effective ways of applying heat to improve mobility by warming the connective tissues. Wearing splints can also provide support to the hand and wrist. Some can be used when you are carrying out everyday activities and some are for when you’re sleeping and resting. The hand therapist can also advise if these would help you as well.

    Not being able to sleep at night can have an effect on how we feel, possibly speaking to a pharmacist to see if they can suggest anything to help with this. Other ways to help is you could try relaxation techniques to help you sleep, some people find breathing in slowly and deeply, holding your breath for a few seconds, before breathing out fully and slowly, also a warm shower or bath before you go to bed can help to relax you. Research has also shown that people who have trouble sleeping and also with many forms of arthritis may benefit from Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) this is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave. It helps you break down what feels like an overwhelming problem into smaller more manageable parts.

    Hope that you get the results back from you x-ray very soon, when you speak to the GP ask him to refer you for physio and also for a prescription for capsaicin cream which is a drug free complementary treatment, which is recommended for osteoarthritis and has been given a score of 5/5 for effectiveness for this condition, it is only available on prescription from your GP. When applied in the form of a cream it is thought to provide pain relief by temporarily changing the way our body process pain which works mainly by reducing Substance P, a pain transmitter in your nerves. If you were to get the cream, it would need to be applied 4 times a day and allowed to build up into the system for at least 2 weeks.

    Best wishes

    Chris

    Helpline Advisor

  • Kempkat
    Kempkat Member Posts: 11
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    I Was finally referred back to a Rheumatologist who has confirmed that I actually Have Inflammatory Arthritis and not Osteoarthritis!

    just waiting to find out if it is Seropositive or Seronegative !

  • jamieA
    jamieA Member Posts: 743
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    Hi @Kempkat

    In my experience having a GP who isn't listening isn't good for someone with a chronic illness. I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis just over 3 years ago. If there's one thing I've learned in all of this is not to be a passenger in my treatment and to speak up when necessary. My GP practice was less than helpful and at times actually a barrier to my treatment - forgetting to put in referrals, forgetting to cease drugs that I no longer needed to take and forgetting to mark my records as immunocompromised. By last year I'd had enough and changed practice and the difference is significant. I appreciate not everyone is able to do so but if you can you should consider it. For similar reasons I changed my first rheumatologist and the one I have now is much more proactive with regard my condition.

    I hope you get the help you need soon.

  • Kempkat
    Kempkat Member Posts: 11
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    Hi @jamieA

    So sorry to hear about your struggle too !

    It’s terrible how people have to fight to get a diagnosis and treatment!

    One of the problems is that I never get to see the same GP and often it’s over the phone so they don’t see the changes. The last GP I saw after fighting for a face to face, took me seriously when she saw how swollen my fingers were and the lumps I had ! It also helped that she actually had Lupus herself so understood the pain and symptoms!

    Hopefully getting somewhere now so hoping it’s not too long until I get the correct treatment.

    Hope you are getting the treatment and support you need now too ! Take care

  • jamieA
    jamieA Member Posts: 743
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    Hi @Kempkat

    I'm ok now thanks my new GP practice is a real breath of fresh air. If I call in the morning with an issue I'm seen that day where with my previous GP it was 10 days for a telephone appointment and 21 days for a face to face.

    One suggestion I'd make is to see if you can get referred to a pain management clinic if there is one in your health board area - I was and it helped me. I do daily exercises for my hands and I wear compression gloves which I find help. I was also referred to a rheumatology podiatrist as I was diagnosed with metatarsalgia - arthritis of my feet. She stressed the need for good, well fitting shoes. I now find I need buy wider fit shoes.