GP Diagnosis & extra support

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GP Diagnosis & extra support

Postby Oriole » Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:06 pm

Hi All

I was diagnosed with fibro recently by my GP. As well as other pain/joint issues I have been suffering with severe stiffness in neck & upper back, which sometimes travels to my arms. I get a lot of pain in legs, severe fatigue, morning stiffness and other symptoms.

My GP is great & been very supportive, but I wonder if I should be asking him for referrals elsewhere? I've had an x-Ray on my neck and whilst there were no issues with the bones, it's not getting better -I am still wondering if I should have an MRI scan to see if there are any other neurological issues? The neck stiffness also causes frequent headaches.

I have been given amitriptaline which helps a lot with the sleeping problems and also cocodamol, which helps with the pain, but I take these sparingly as I wonder whether I will be allowed to take them on a longer term basis? Adjusting to the news of the diagnosis has also been hard and feel a bit down about it & feel my health is worsening that I may have to cut my hours at work. I am wondering really whether I should be asking for further investigations, referrals or support?

Thanks for listening & interested in any suggestions you may have.
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Re: GP Diagnosis & extra support

Postby whoami » Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:54 pm

Do you feel comfortable with your Dr? Do you trust he will listen to your concerns?

It sounds like your Dr is on top of things. Sometimes we tend to want to look for something else in hopes that there will be something wrong to be fixed and take all the pain away.

Talk to your Dr about your concerns.
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Re: GP Diagnosis & extra support

Postby FluppyPuffy » Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:13 pm

There are more dx's being made by GPs with them being much more aware of FM these days. They can send you for the same sorts of tests, scans etc that a specialist may send a patient for.

You are entitled to ask to be referred to a specialist if you feel that the dx made by your GP isn't the right one, or you feel that you need it confirming by someone who usually deals with such conditions. But after you have been seen by the specialist, you'd more than likely be discharged back into the care of your GP.

If you have confidence in your GP, and from you have said, he sounds like a decent one, this shouldn't be necessary. Maybe talking to him about your concerns might help ease them a little.

What sort of extra support were you thinking about?? You can be referred for various therapies, treatments to help deal with the various problems that tag along with FM, you'd have to see your GP to see what is available in your area and what might be suitable for you to try. If you're wanting to talk with other FMers, you could have a look to see if there is a support group in your area.

Wrt the meds you've been prescribed, with you saying
Oriole wrote:I have been given amitriptaline which helps a lot with the sleeping problems and also cocodamol, which helps with the pain, but I take these sparingly as I wonder whether I will be allowed to take them on a longer term basis? .

does the taking them sparingly also apply to the amitriptyline?? Just wondering as taking them on such a basis means you're highly unlikely to get the best out of them. They are designed to be taken daily to keep the level steady that will have built up over the first month or so of taking them. If you're taking them just as and when, the level will fluctuate, which will mean that their effectiveness will be impaired as there isn't the consistency in taking them that is needed.

Whilst co~codamol can be taken as and when needed, it has been found that keeping a steady level in your system that help keep things comfortable, and increasing dosage when needed is an effective way of managing things for some.
Oriole wrote:.....I wonder whether I will be allowed to take them on a longer term basis? .

It's not unusual for us to be on a variety of meds for the long term, the times when it may be necessary to come off of a med are because it has become ineffective, or doesn't suit in some way, or because a different med may be more effective. Again, this is another concern to talk to your GP about as he will be able to give you specific advice relating to you and staying on them.

It does take a while to get used to being dx'd with FM, it's something that most of us have gone thru in some way, shape or form. But you do come out of the other side and find ways to live with it and still have some fun and :bear-dancing: :bear-dancing: :bear-dancing:

Have you told your employer about your dx and your worries about the hours you work and how it may have an effect on your health?? If not, it's another person you need to consider telling your worries and concerns about as, under The Equalities Act, an employer is legally obliged to make "reasonable adjustments" for any employee with a disability or illness to be able to carry on doing their job as effectively as possible, with their problems being taken into account and allowed for.
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Re: GP Diagnosis & extra support

Postby Oriole » Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:44 pm

whoami wrote:Do you feel comfortable with your Dr? Do you trust he will listen to your concerns?

It sounds like your Dr is on top of things. Sometimes we tend to want to look for something else in hopes that there will be something wrong to be fixed and take all the pain away.

Talk to your Dr about your concerns.


Hi whoami

Yes indeed, I do trust my GP and feel very comfortable with him. It's more me really, unsure about what I should be asking him for as it's all so new to me.
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Re: GP Diagnosis & extra support

Postby Oriole » Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:09 pm

FluppyPuffy - thank you so much for your extensive reply and advice. It's not that I disagree with the diagnosis, I'm in fact mightily relieved that he knows about fibro and has been able to identify what is wrong with me. I am very grateful for that after reading many horror stories on here of doctors who don't seem to understand it all. I am worried about my neck in particular, in case there are any additional issues and I am seeing him later this week, I will ask him if any more can be done.

In terms of extra support, I am not really sure, I just feel I need a little more information etc on how to cope and manage and perhaps some treatments to ease the pain? I have started seeing a chiropractor about my neck, but I am not sure really what's available in my area on the NHS.

Regards meds and taking them sparingly - sorry for the confusion there, I meant the cocodamol I take sparingly - I have been told to take for relief of the neck pain/stiffness - I take anywhere between 1 to 3 doses of 30/500mg cocodamol per day. I do find them to really help with the pain, but I am worried as I've read they can be addictive and they do also cause constipation at times.

Thank you for all the advice an information, I do appreciate it :-D
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Re: GP Diagnosis & extra support

Postby FluppyPuffy » Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:24 pm

Wrt to your worries about your neck, talking to your GP is the first thing to do. Maybe write down the symptoms and problems it is giving you that are particularly troublesome to you and take this with you so you make sure you get all the important points across.

For some additional info, help and support, as well as access to other possible treatments, you could ask about being referred to your areas Pain Clinic/Management peoples. Thru them you can often access things like acupuncture, physios, pain management programs/courses, info and advice about meds, talking therapies. Or such things may be available separately, as it does seem to vary from area~to~area.

A lot of the meds we take can become habit~forming, but when taken sensibly/as prescribed/directed, problems with this would normally be minimal. And as FM tends to be with us for the long haul, the benefits a med can bring may well outweigh the concerns about dependence. It's another one to discuss with your GP as he knows you and should be able to give you some more personalised advice based on how you are and what he thinks could happen with the meds.
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