My Doctor is horrid and I want to make a complaint.

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My Doctor is horrid and I want to make a complaint.

Postby Pipsie » Thu May 02, 2013 10:36 am

I hope everyone is well. This is a long message but I really need help, and I think it best I fill you all in with what has happened so hopefully someone can point me in the right direction. Please and thank you :-D

I have only been suffering from the very severe effects of Fibro since October last year when my world came to a screeching halt. Up until then, though I had likely had some form of Fibro I have always managed to work, and work hard.

I worked as a carer/housekeeper for an elderly couple, one of whom had very severe dementia. Take an hours drive either way, and times when I would easily work an entire week, 24/7, it was long hard hours but I loved it, and I still mourn the loss of my job more than anything. It was my own business, too. Which bites. I turned 27 in March.

I have, since age 13 been suffering from endmetriosis, and from age of about 19 very severe IBS. I just got on with it, I battled through; I took enormous pride in my ability to 'push' myself even when I was felt awful.

Anyway, having had to stop work, I had to move doctors. I left my small countryside practice and am now in a huge suburban one, and I hate it. You get 20 mins, then you are literally turfed out. My doctor is an incomparable knob, everything about him; his attitude his practise- even the way he talks to you are ghastly. Every time I am there he always asks me if I don't think that this is possibly due to depression or anxiety. No, I keep saying it is not.

I told him it took over ten years for me to be diagnosed with Endo, even though I knew there was something wrong, and I was not going through that again. I thought it may make him realise that I am serious. Unfortunately I seem to be going through this all again.

He refuses to help with anything practical, his only trick seems to be to refer me back and forth to consultants who I have seen many times before- for example, I have a huge lump, suspect endo that you can see through my side. It took three trips, and one to A&E to get him to refer me back to the Gastro bods. FYI, when I said I had been to A&E about it his instant response was 'Well, there's no letter from them'. As if everything I say is untrue.

I saw a rheumy a few weeks ago, and he has diagnosed me with almost definite Fibromyalgia, when I asked if I had a sure diagnosis now he said we don't know for definite we have to give it time, as it is a diagnosis made from elimination. Everything else has come back as normal, bar some x-rays which seem to have disappeared off the face of the earth so surely I have it? He was so so belittling when he said that. He also added that things change, and we never know for certain with things like this. What the chuff does that mean?! :-x

Worst of all, he refuses to broker the subject of analgesia in any real way. Not only to have corporal pains from the fibro but I have awful pain from endo, IBS, and suspected IC. I have tramadol and cocodamol to deal with it. I do not react well to tramadol, which I save as my 'added extra' for when the cocodamol is not cutting it.

Not often but frequent enough at the minute with this lump for me to be suffering as many side effects as relief. It aggravates the lump, meaning that I am making a choice on a more than weekly basis between taking analgesics and suffering side effects (which are awful), or suffering pain, which is just as bad.

I tried to explain to him that I really need to get better and the pain from the lump is hampering this. I can no longer suffer through it, this is what got me into this mess, it is no longer an option. I research and come back with suggestions, like Acupan (it's analgesic sparing, meaning it makes one feel opiates more, and to mean that means less pills), I also ask for seperate cocodamol; paracetamol and codeine.

Always, he says no. Because analgesics are addictive; I point out that cocodamol, tramadol, and zopiclone were all addictive so it was a moot point. He replies he didn't put me on them (he certain has kept me on them, and I haven't had zopiclone 'script filled since before Christmas).

He then says I am too young to have such strong painkillers; I say I am too young to be housebound. He would hear nothing about it. When asked what else he could give me, he said nothing. I have been taking strong analgesics since I was 15. I know not to take them all the time, I also used to work in a rehab centre so I know how awful and how easy it is to get hooked on prescription analgesics.

HE eventually relented this time (cus I cried and sobbed about how I am supposed to be Uni right now doing my nursing degree), and is writing to the Panic clinic where I was referred in NOVEMBER, -And am still waiting to get on this much hallowed Pain Management programme... Nine sodding months. I said that could take an absolute age. I asked what he could do in the mean time and he said nothing. I said that wasn't good enough, so I got some esomemprazole... :shock: That was it, as a 'test' to check if it wasn't a stomach ulcer. Tantamount to an insult if you ask me. Needless to say, the ain't done zip, I was already taking 2-3 omemprazole a day. And so the pain continues gets worse with each day... :-?

He did also give me a prod this time. Maybe to show willing..? :roll: When I said I had also shelled out £500 for an MRI scan he said to tell me IF it showed anything. You. Can. See. The. Lump. Through. My. Skin. He is the only doc I have seen who seems to think there is nothing there.

ALL OTHERS; A&E, private, the other GP I had to see the other day to get a ref for an ultra sound as he wouldn't, and the other GP who I had to see to give me some better painkillers (he gave me 10mg codydramol to replace 30mg cocodamol AND tramadol :crazy: ) have agreed there is something. He then said that the ultra sound showed nothing... This was done on that trip to A&E... And I know in that letter it says the proximity to my ribs skews the view because I asked them to make sure that they put that in the letter because I am that worried my GP thinks I'm faking/nuts. :twisted:

And finally, just to add insult to injury when I asked him for another note for ESA he said and I quote "Fibromyalgia is not and excuse to stay off work" and added with an extreme air of finality "I'll give you another month". I couldn't work now, I'd LOVE to have more than £71 a week to live off. I would love not to have a panic attack EVERY TIME that brown envelope lands on my door mat...

I can't leave my house alone, as my legs seem to have entirely forgotten how to, well, leg, I need at least one stick- two on bad days, and a chair on awful days and any kind of 'outing' that involves walking more than 10m. I need someone to push my wheelchair as I haven't the strength. I've had to give up driving and sell my car. How the merry Hell does he expect me to work?

I have a history of depression and self harm due in part to awful way I was treated by doctors as a teenager when suffering from endometrisosis- My own mother didn't really believe me at first *sigh*. I am PETRIFIED to tell my doctor as he will likely think I am utterly insane, and that he was right; my illness is due to depression and anxiety.

I have been self harming again, I just have no way of dealing with this. I always used to go for a run or something when I got 'that' feeling. All I want from him is some sensible advice on what to do. But I get nothing but condescension and rudeness. I left feeling that if he didn't believe what was the point? I felt so angry, betrayed, and alone. I seriously contemplated suicide, though I didn't- obviously- I cut my wrist pretty deep... I am so ashamed, after years of having it sorted, and dealing with these urges, I have reverted back... Twice since Christmas. Once before than. I had not previously since I was 23...

To end on a good note, I saw a physio the day after for an assessment for the Pain Management Programme. He was great. He was really impressed with my management of my illness, in fact he said to slow down to stop my flares. He was amazed at my movement as I stretch each day, and he was really impressed with the fact I don't nap in the day, and only take to my bed if I cannot climb the stairs to go to the loo. The positive reinforcement was great, I felt like a person again. And we talked of analgesics. He said try a low dose of cocodamol daily, r/t adhoc and see how that goes.

Just that simple bit of praise and some practical advice was all I needed to help feel like someone was willing to help, and I was a person. I still cannot understand why my GP could not have said this to me. On my first visit he told me to cut back all analgesics and only take them as needed, which I did without question. This is the only practical advice I have had from him. He very much paints the picture that analgesics are causing my symptoms. I have done everything my GP has asked of me, and he returns nothing.

Anyway, my family wants to make a complaint and I would like to know if anyone has an ideas to whom or what we complain to. I know about PALS but that is for hospitals, not GP's..? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks and lots of love <3
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Re: My Doctor is horrid and I want to make a complaint.

Postby Tunes » Thu May 02, 2013 11:56 am

Wow. My heart goes out to you. I can sympathise wiv you completely. My docs are not as bsd as yours but you can tell that they get annoyed and fed up wen you keep going back wen nothin they giv you works. Which is regular. You might as well talk to the wall. Its lack of information and knowledge of conditions like ours. Ive suffered wiv endo in the past and ibs but the fibro ive had for 6 yrs is debilatating i gt to the point where i stopped taking any tabs completely cos they did nuthin to help me jus made me feel ten times worse. Wats the point. So i jus put up wiv it and muddle thru.
I can only suggest you change yr docs even if you av to travel itl b worth it to gt a doc who sympathises and wants to help you.
Good luck.
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Re: My Doctor is horrid and I want to make a complaint.

Postby anonymouse » Thu May 02, 2013 2:11 pm

Hi Pipsi,

Firstly don't worry about the long message, I have a bit of a reputation for long messages myself. It sounds like you are having a lot of problems from most directions in your life at the moment and I really do feel for you.

Regarding your GP: You can certainly complain about your GP. The usual was way of doing this is by submitting a written complain to the practice manager and go from there. I have always been a little concerned about this as the Doctors tend to be the Partners of the practice so what authority does a "practice manager" have over them to keep them under control? You could also put a call into the NHS Trust Headquarters in your area to ask about an external complaints process but also while your there you should ask about changing Doctors. As your current GP is causing you many problems I would try focusing on changing doctors as a priority then consider if you want to put your effort into a complaint as well. I think you are right to complain but I'm also realistic about what is required to do this when you are already struggling so much with the condition, so only you can make that decision under your circumstances if you get what I mean. You could also contact the GMC to make a complaint here, or just find out more about their complaints process. (http://www.gmc-uk.org/) Personally I think they are there for more serious negligence type stuff and may direct you to the GP's internal process first, but you don't know until you try and I could be completely wrong.

Are you still under pain managment? If so I would try and get an appointment and make some requests. Firstly I think you need access to talking therapy and counselling. You have got an awful lot on your plate at the moment and its getting too much for you to handle and you need some help. When it comes to self harm everyone obviously would want you to stop this straight away. My personal opinion is that it seems to be a coping mechanism for you, I think you are a person who can deal with physical pain better than emotional or mental pain. I think by self harming you are converting "mental anguish" into "physical pain" in order for you to deal with it better. In some way the blood is within you and contains your pain but by releasing it you are releasing some of your anguish and letting it come out of your body. What do you think about that? Feel free to tell me I haven't got a clue and I'm completely barking :-)

Your ESA is in transition at the moment which is why your having to rely on sick notes, it would be a lot easier if you had a decision made about your ESA but this can be a whole battle yourself. Have you applied for DLA? It sounds like you are "virtually unable to walk" and if this is the case then you are entitled to higher rate mobility component payments, you can then either take the payments or go for a mobility vehicle to help you get around as you have said that's an issue. Are you able to cook a meal for yourself each day? As this is the test for the lower rate care component. It may be worth your while to get some help with benefits, see if your local citizens advice are any good or if they can forward you onto a locally "better" service/charity.

When it comes to stronger pain management your GP is correct about them being very addictive as you know. I would only recommend going further up the analgesic ladder If you remain under a pain managment consultant. Due to poor managment on behalf of my GP I am now morphine dependent, I kept telling them it would happen but they argued with me about it and eventually I refused to increase my dosages again and again and asked for a pain management referral as I had no confidence in their opinion. I got the referral and the consultant agreed with my understanding and disagreed with me GP. 12 months later I have only managed to reduce my morphine intake by about 25% and we have found a few other problems that morphine has caused in my body too! So if you go down this route you need everyone (specialist and GP alike) to be working with you not against you and also they need to know what they are on about in the first place.

With the NHS you should be entitled to a second opinion, get this confirmed and ask for it. I would get a copy of your medical records from your GP and ask for a copy of all reports coming from other services. Your records are your data and you should be entitled to copies of it unless the doctor believes it will cause you harm by getting copies of these things. Hopefully then this would answer your questions about what you think they may contain, who has said what etc because there seems to be issues they are not being entirely open and honest about with you?

Regarding the Fibro diagnosis, have a little google for uk fibromyalgia stories of diagnosis and similar conditions, there are some good websites out there that you can use to see if the correct tests have been done. Basically they need to test for inflammation to dismiss things like arthritis, test your immune system to rule out autoimmune conditions etc then check your joints for signs of damage that would indicate other things not Fibro.

So I wish you all the luck I can, get your GP changed, consider your complaint, consider more benefit help and DLA, get referred to some talking therapy to help you cope and try and work closely with pain management and consider trying more standard Fibro drugs first like Amitriptyline, Duloxetine, Pregabalin and Gabapentin before going above tramadol and codeine especially as your system sounds very sensitive to drugs.

If you have any questions please ask, I don't really do anymore than sit in bed with my ipad on my knee day in and day out so feel free to post or PM and I really do wish you all the very best in the meantime.

Anonymouse x
Fibro, Chronic Pain, Insomnia, Psoriasis, Migraines, Light & Hyper Sensitivity & Joint Subluxation but apart from that I am perfectly healthy & battling for ESA & DLA. - Twitter: my_fibromyalgia - Facebook: myfibromyalgia
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Re: My Doctor is horrid and I want to make a complaint.

Postby lolo73 » Thu May 02, 2013 8:03 pm

I sounds like your practice has more than one GP, I personally would refuse to see this idiot again. Secondly you can complain to the practice manager or your local PCT PALS service, GP's are accountable or indeed go straight to the General Medical Council and make them aware of how awful you are being treated by one of it's members. I think you need to be seen by a pain management specialist, I know you are waiting on a course but I am concerned this is more an alternative approach to pain management rather than a medication based individual consultation type appointment. You can of course move to a new practice and I think on this site there is a list of fibo friendly Dr's x
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Re: My Doctor is horrid and I want to make a complaint.

Postby Picklepudding » Thu May 02, 2013 8:13 pm

Oh my goodness, that sounds awful. I agree that you should make a complaint. I hope that you manage to see another doctor who's more sympathetic x
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Re: My Doctor is horrid and I want to make a complaint.

Postby jennthefunkyranger » Thu May 02, 2013 10:15 pm

If there's more than one doctor, I'd ask to see someone else too. I had a bad experience with one doctor in my practice who told me the symptoms were 'my age' (mid 20s!), and I now refuse to see her as I got fed up with her dismissiveness. A few people locally have said the same thing - they knew which doctor it was before I said.

I eventially managed to see a really nice doctor and I've made appointments with her since, as she was the one who finally listened to me, but she's leaving :(

I've seen another doctor there a few times before who I've found listens properly too, but I've been told she's left and moved to the surgery down the road - as that's closer to home, I'm considering moving there
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Re: My Doctor is horrid and I want to make a complaint.

Postby anonymouse » Fri May 03, 2013 7:23 am

I forgot to mention that I don't know if PALS cover GP's but just ring them and ask, I'm sure they will be happy to help, that's why they are there. Some good advice from people here too!
Fibro, Chronic Pain, Insomnia, Psoriasis, Migraines, Light & Hyper Sensitivity & Joint Subluxation but apart from that I am perfectly healthy & battling for ESA & DLA. - Twitter: my_fibromyalgia - Facebook: myfibromyalgia
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Re: My Doctor is horrid and I want to make a complaint.

Postby FluppyPuffy » Fri May 03, 2013 9:45 am

Linky to PALS website http://www.pals.nhs.uk/ You should be able to fond your local office as well as see if they can help with your GP problem.

Usually, for a problem at GP level, the first thing to do is contact the practice manager with your concerns. made sue you do so in writing and ask for an acknowledgement in writing by return, and make sure you keep a copy of everything that you write and send in.

:goodluck2: :goodluck2: :goodluck2: they are huu~mon just like us, so the usual rules of earning respect and regard apply to them, even tho some of them think they are way above us mere mortal patients :swear1: :swear1: :swear1: :swear1: :swear1:
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Re: My Doctor is horrid and I want to make a complaint.

Postby Pipsie » Fri May 03, 2013 11:53 am

Thank you very much for all your advice.
Annonymouse: I am already on 1800mg of gabapentin so I am (in my opinion) moving through the analgesics options in a clinically viable way. And yes, what you said about my coping is entirely true- hence why running and exercising made such good replacements for it, physical burn instead. Thank you for your offer of help, I am floundering. I have also just had my letter for an ATOS assessment put through. I am in the middle of filling my DLA form out. Goodness knows which sadist whatnot came up with that.
I have been given a number for self referral counselling at my local hospital, giving them a ring after this.
I have researched thoroughly fibro when it was first mentioned, and in my opinion all tests have shown fibro; normal bloods barr vit D deficiency, an 16/18 on my tender points on a good day when at the rheumy.
My GP is referring me to see a doctor r/t the Pain Management Programme... Though when I went for my initial assessment (having been referred by my gynae not fibro) she put me straight on the programme waiting list so I have little faith in this. I dunno... May be my gabapentin can be put up again.
Thank you for all your advice. I am off to start writing letters...
:) x
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Re: My Doctor is horrid and I want to make a complaint.

Postby shazq » Fri May 03, 2013 6:07 pm

Hi Pipsie

You have been given some good advice, just wanted to say :goodluck1: with your complaint. :fingerscrossed:
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Re: My Doctor is horrid and I want to make a complaint.

Postby Pipsie » Fri May 03, 2013 7:14 pm

I have been given some cracking advice and support from all of you so thank you ever so much.
:-D
Lots of love to you all xxx
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Re: My Doctor is horrid and I want to make a complaint.

Postby anonymouse » Sat May 04, 2013 3:19 pm

That's no problem at all pipsie, there seems like a lot there to deal with but I'm sure if you make a list and go through it one by one you will get there in the end. If you need any more help and advice you can get in touch with me, especially about ESA/DLA, or alternatively you can post anytime on here and as you have seen there are plenty of people who want to help and even more that haven't posted as what they were going to say has been said already.

I wish you the very best of luck with it all, as you go try and gather and keep copies of everything as its all evidence to help your cause and pace yourself of course to avoid any flares. However I'm sure you know this all anyways.

All the very best
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