Advice needed - long

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Advice needed - long

Postby Lisa B » Fri Jul 06, 2012 3:59 pm

This might turn into a bit of a rant, so I'll apologise now. I'll also apologise for the length.

I've just joined the Forum. My 18yr old daughter has been feeling tired on and off for a couple of years. She usually complained the most towards the end of term, and the break would perk her up again. I didn't think much of it at the time. Then at Christmas (2011) she felt exhausted. I put it down to having been to New York on a college trip at the beginning of the month and the shock of a family friend, in her 70s, dying suddenly. That last one knocked both of us sideways. She also had a 4 week course of anti-biotics Nov-Dec for a golden staph skin infection.

Anyway, she didn't really recover her usual bounce for the following term and she was done in by the Easter break. Instead of recovering she stayed tired all the time. The week back after Easter she had a 3-day exam (photography) and I was very concerned for her. However, she managed it but she was so tired I gave her the rest of the week off - and I'm not a soft touch by any stretch. Since then she hasn't really improved and started getting random aches and pains. She started having more time off college, who have been very supportive of her health issues and made sure her work was e-mailed home for her to do as she could. (She managed to get top grades in her BTEC). I decided enough was enough and took her to the GP and, as I see from other comments on these forums, that's when the frustration really started.

The GP decided that daughter was depressed and that was causing the symptoms! I'll be the first to admit that by that time she WAS miserable, she'd been tired and achy for many weeks, but depression as the primary cause. Nope, we weren't buying it. He ordered blood tests including auto-immune tests, which all came back normal. Then he referred her to a young persons counselling service.

We had to phone him up a week later to ask for something for the pain as OTC painkillers weren't doing anything. He prescribed citalopram. Fortunately, I'd done some research on fibro and CFS so I knew that these were also used in these cases. The GP had mentioned that these two conditions might also be a possibility.

My daughter is quite shy with strangers and doesn't like telling personal stuff to people she doesn't know. The counselling service was telephone based, thus she didn't have a visual reference of who she was talking to (the joys of dyslexia/dyspraxia :-x ). Therefore she was reluctant to go into much detail and didn't really put much emotion in her voice. So, they think she is depressed too. She's now waiting for a CBT appointment.

We visited the GP for a follow-up appointment yesterday. The citalopram had stopped having any effect on her symptoms. In fact, she now had insomnia. Very little sleep for a week made for one bad-tempered daughter yesterday and the GP was on the receiving end. He had told her that she was depressed and that was the main issue. His reasoning (from previous visits) is that she is withdrawn and weepy and irritable, and is tired. Tired and pain will make anyone weepy and irritable after a while. He stopped the citalopram, telling her how to wean off, and prescribed amitriptylin (spelling?). She is naturally a shy person. Her college is 8 miles away and most of her friends are at least one bus journey away. The buses here stop running after about 7.30 in the evening so she can't visit her friends or go to the cinema as there is no way back. (We do the parent-taxi thing at times but it's not something we would do 5 nights a week). So she stays home a lot and either watches TV or skypes her friends or is on Facebook.

We have decided to treat her as though she has FM. Again, we accept a diagnosis of depression but reckon it has been caused by the initial tiredness/pain rather than being the cause of it. Has anyone else felt they were banging their heads on a brick wall? I can't afford to go privately. Where do we start? Would seeing a different GP at the same practice for a second opinion be worth it or would this 2nd GP be biased by what the 1st has said - no doubt with some rather caustic comments after daughter's loss of temper yesterday. Would a change of practice be better - would a GP there be swayed by all this or would they be prepared to really listen? And if we felt listened to we'd be happy with whatever diagnosis given. (I suppose that's the problem here. Daughter doesn't feel listened to. She feels that the 1st GP made some assumptions based on typical teenage behaviour and didn't allow/consider that not all teens are like that).

Thanks for making it to the end. I think I just need someone to hold my hand, give me a hug and listen.
Lisa B
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Re: Advice needed - long

Postby masonsbarms » Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:25 pm

hi lisa b, sorry your daughter and you feel so bad.

i would say keep looking untill you find a gp you are happy with and then ask for a referal to a rhumatolgist,

we have nearly all felt what your feeling but you need the right gp keep fighting as it is a battle but one that can be won.

good luck and take care xx
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Re: Advice needed - long

Postby FluppyPuffy » Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:30 pm

I've moved you into here Lisa as it seems a bit more suitable with you questions about GPs :-? :-? :-?

I'm sorry to hear what you and your daughter ave experienced with the lack of support and understanding from your current GP. With people who have been in similar situations, one of our first suggestions tends to be try a different one at your surgery to see if they are any more helpful to you. Maybe ask if there is someone who has experience of dealing with chronic pain conditions. If this doesn't help, then changing surgeries may be something you need to consider. Again ask if there is someone who is familiar with chronic pain problems and see how you go on.

WRT to your daughter being shy, rather than initially having to speak to someone, could she write down how things are affecting her instead?? This could then be handed to the GP to read, who could then start talking to your daughter, asking her questions, which she may find a little more comfortable to deal with.

I've not had counselling/therapy over the phone, only on a face~to~face basis, so I don't know how effective it can be. Maybe when her CBT comes thru, it will be more suitable for her. It helps with finding triggers for problems, then finding ways to handle issues much more effectively, and can help with all sorts of areas :blowkiss: :blowkiss: :blowkiss:

The thing with depression and chronic pain problems isn't a straightforward one, typically :facepalm: :facepalm: :facepalm: :facepalm: It is quite often difficult to determine which came first, or which is the primary problem :facepalm: :facepalm: :facepalm: I found that stopping trying to workout what came first helped make things a little easier to manage. Instead I now try to focus on what I can do to help make each problem that little bit easier to live with.

Don't worry about ranting on here, a lot of us are parents, so more than understand that you're trying to get the best help you can for your daughter :grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug: While you're waiting to make your next move, you might want to suggest that your daughter has a look round the forum as well. There is a lot of info, advice and suggestions on here, some of which your daughter may find helpful :hugs: :hugs: :hugs: :hugs:
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Re: Advice needed - long

Postby denys » Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:02 am

Hi Lisa, I agree with what has already been said, one other thing though, does your daughters college do youth counselling??? my thinking is that if she could talk to someone face to face in familiar surroundings maybe she would feel a little more validated and if this person then wrote to your GP on your daughters behalf maybe the GP would be more inclined to listen and take the onset of her symptoms and the order that they had appeared more seriously, I know she has had youth telephone counselling but as you said this was with a stranger, I dont know that I could open up to a complete stranger on the phone either, doesnt seem a particularly helpful service :yikes: :yikes: :yikes:

my younger daughter fought for 5 years as she was in pain constantly with her stomach and was fobbed off as being depressed etc. until she changed to another doctor in the practice and late last year underwent investigative surgery which found she had some nasty adhesion's and her left ovary was attached to her bowel.

Keep fighting and tell your daughter you will find a way through this together :fingerscrossed: My thoughts are all jumbles and coming out all mixed up but is there a younger GP in the practice one that she might relate to better, they shouldnt be prejudiced by the 1st GP but should be looking at your daughters case with fresh eyes :hugs: :hugs: to you both

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