Getting support from your GP

Stigger
Stigger Member Posts: 72
So, have seen the surgeon (well, his minion, he wasn't actually there) and told him that due to my new job, I want to wait until next year for my THR. Also went to see the GP and tell her of my decision and ask her how she could help me to cope for the next year. I was met with an onslaught of 'I think you're putting it off' implying that I was somehow cowardly for making this decision.

That's not the case. I just want to defer it for a year. I ran through a list of options that I had previously researched, with her. She refused all of them. She also said that the surgeon had written to her and that they both felt I should have the THR now. On previous visits, she had said that she could easily help with medication to enable me to continue working for another 5 years or so.

She asked why I was putting it off and my reply was that:

1. I had a new job, a fabulous job and wanted to work at it for at least a year before I had the THR. It is wrong to take a role and then go 'off sick' for so long.
2. I wasn't impressed by the Physiotherapy offered to enable me to cope afterwards. A sheet of exercises and a set of instructions on how to measure my chairs to see if they are tall enough (not even a home visit) is hardly suitable for someone having a Left THR when their right leg is fully amputated. Physiotherapy should be planned and personalised to suit my circumstances, in conjuction with my prosthetics expert.
3. The local PCT will only offer Metal on Plastic and not the ceramic implant I would prefer.

She nodded at all this but made no comment. She noted that my hip was very bad (one of the worst she has seen) and that I was a very stoic character. Well maybe, but if I want to continue to work, to contribute to society rather than be a drain on it, surely I can and expect the support of my GP to do so?

Apparently not. She wouln't prescribe any further or enhanced methods of pain relief, suggesting accupuncture. I already have purchased my own crutches to walk with (she said she would order some for me, but never did), I've bought my own TENS unit - no point asking for one of those, and take 30/500 codeine and paracetamol 4 times a day with 50mg Diclofenac 3 times a day. They no longer work.

I also asked if she could prescribe something to help me sleep for a little longer; she said no.

Unfortunately, I was left with the distinct impression that now I had postponed the surgery for a year, I was on my own. The pain would be my responsibility, my own fault. Sleeping or not sleeping, my decision.

I have found that there is a local Pain Clinic, but I need her to refer me. I have booked a telephone call with her on Wed. Can you give me some advice on how best to persuade her to refer me? If she refuses, what would you do? Thank you.

Comments

  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 2,289
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Stigger wrote:
    So, have seen the surgeon (well, his minion, he wasn't actually there) and told him that due to my new job, I want to wait until next year for my THR. Also went to see the GP and tell her of my decision and ask her how she could help me to cope for the next year. I was met with an onslaught of 'I think you're putting it off' implying that I was somehow cowardly for making this decision.

    That's not the case. I just want to defer it for a year. I ran through a list of options that I had previously researched, with her. She refused all of them. She also said that the surgeon had written to her and that they both felt I should have the THR now. On previous visits, she had said that she could easily help with medication to enable me to continue working for another 5 years or so.

    She asked why I was putting it off and my reply was that:

    1. I had a new job, a fabulous job and wanted to work at it for at least a year before I had the THR. It is wrong to take a role and then go 'off sick' for so long.
    2. I wasn't impressed by the Physiotherapy offered to enable me to cope afterwards. A sheet of exercises and a set of instructions on how to measure my chairs to see if they are tall enough (not even a home visit) is hardly suitable for someone having a Left THR when their right leg is fully amputated. Physiotherapy should be planned and personalised to suit my circumstances, in conjuction with my prosthetics expert.
    3. The local PCT will only offer Metal on Plastic and not the ceramic implant I would prefer.

    She nodded at all this but made no comment. She noted that my hip was very bad (one of the worst she has seen) and that I was a very stoic character. Well maybe, but if I want to continue to work, to contribute to society rather than be a drain on it, surely I can and expect the support of my GP to do so?

    Apparently not. She wouln't prescribe any further or enhanced methods of pain relief, suggesting accupuncture. I already have purchased my own crutches to walk with (she said she would order some for me, but never did), I've bought my own TENS unit - no point asking for one of those, and take 30/500 codeine and paracetamol 4 times a day with 50mg Diclofenac 3 times a day. They no longer work.

    I also asked if she could prescribe something to help me sleep for a little longer; she said no.

    Unfortunately, I was left with the distinct impression that now I had postponed the surgery for a year, I was on my own. The pain would be my responsibility, my own fault. Sleeping or not sleeping, my decision.

    I have found that there is a local Pain Clinic, but I need her to refer me. I have booked a telephone call with her on Wed. Can you give me some advice on how best to persuade her to refer me? If she refuses, what would you do? Thank you.


    Hi Stigger

    Thank you for your posting. It sounds as if you really are going through a frustrating time. It may be worth thinking about changing your GP and have a review of your medication as well as talking about seeing another physiotherapist, your prior experience didn’t seem to be a good one.

    You said that you will be having a call with your GP on Wednesday, I am wondering if it would be helpful for you to speak to the Patient Advice Liaison Service prior to that, they may be able to give you some advice if you are not referred, though hopefully you will be
    http://www.pals.nhs.uk/members/officeSearch.aspx

    Just thought this link to Arthritis Research UK booklet on sleep may be of interest to you as you talk of sleep
    http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/arthritis-and-daily-life/sleep-and-arthritis.aspx

    also a link with regards to hip pain that you may find useful
    http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/conditions/hip-pain.aspx

    You are of course very welcome to call us on the helplines for an informal chat – 0808 800 4050 (Monday – Friday 10am – 4pm)

    Best wishes
    Lynda
  • Stigger
    Stigger Member Posts: 72
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Dear Lynda
    Many thanks for the post and your good advice.

    I finally had my telephone converation today. My GP would like 10 days to think about whether to refer me to the pain clinic or not. She will advise me by text in 7 - 10 days.
    She asked why I wanted the referal and I explained that I felt she had washed her hands of me following my postponement of the thr and that I would like to see a pain specialist to enable me to manage for the next year.
    She didn't comment on that but asked if she refused, would I pay for a private appointment, to which I replied I would decide when she gave me her answer.
    I am going to telephone the people you have kindly informed me of tomorrow and investigate how to change my GP. If I get time I shall also ring your advice line (but that might not be until Friday).
    I love my new job and I refuse to be blackmailed through pain into having a procedure which I do not yet want.
    Really cross with her, so unnecessary.
  • Stigger
    Stigger Member Posts: 72
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have received an appointment from the Pain Clinic via letter for next Wednesday. I must have been referred after all. Very pleased and thank you for all your responses. I really appreciate them.