Personal appearance and doctors attitudes

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Personal appearance and doctors attitudes

Postby Ellieteaspoon » Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:04 pm

I'm wondering whether anybody else has tattooes, piercings, punky or hippie hair etc, and does this colour how doctors respond to you?
I've had 10 years pre diagnosis where about 90% of docs I saw about pain would give me funny looks, interrogate me about opioid painkillers, and generally imply that they thought I was a drug addict trying to get medication to sell or get high. I kinda thought that when I got diagnosed it would end but I've joined a new surgery and here we go again with the funny looks and the leading questions. I've stopped taking all my pain meds now, partly because it really pisses me off that if I have a flare up and need extra tramadol I get interrogated. It's humiliating and makes me question myself. I've often put up with serious pain just to test myself and make sure I've not imagined the whole thing to subconsciously support an addiction. Recently I fell off a horse and broke my ribs and they still got funny about painkillers, when other people I know with the same injury have been given morphine no questions asked.
My sister who dosent look or dress "alternative" dosent seem to have this problem. When a gp gets to know me it's usually ok, but this new surgery is so busy and impersonal they just take one look and make a judgement.
I read lots of posts on here from people who are on a lot more than what I was, but they don't seem to be treated as a drug addict. Is it just me?
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Re: Personal appearance and doctors attitudes

Postby denys » Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:24 pm

No I dont think its just you, first impressions definitely colour how people will react to you, I have a son who is 6ft tall and 18 stone of muscle (he is a Body Guard and does close protection work) he has his head shaved and has tattoos a very stern expression and a few facial scars from playing rugby and from being bottled by someone who thought it would be fun to take on the big fella.

So I understand completely what you mean, I dont have any answers as to how you can change it or stop it from happening as everyone should be able to dress how they wish so :dunno: :dunno: :dunno: :dunno: :dunno: :dunno: maybe your new GP will get to know you quickly and be able to take you for who you are not how you look :hugs: :hugs: :hugs:

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Re: Personal appearance and doctors attitudes

Postby whoami » Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:18 am

I don't think it has anything to do with the way you look

It is the drug you are needing.

Almost every Dr has to know, because of such strict laws, cover himself when he prescribes a narcotic.

The hospitals here have signs up saying if you are looking for pain treatment no narcotic will be given unless your medical records are accessible through shared files with your Dr.

Try not to take it personally. A Dr would not know the difference between a three pce suit addict or a teenager with dreds and tattoos.

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Re: Personal appearance and doctors attitudes

Postby sjc » Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:23 pm

Hi there,

You stated a fair and good question here about doctor's attitudes to personal appearances. Obviously I cannot talk on behalf of GP's or state specifically about your case, but I talk generally about my experiences in general.

Generally, doctors or gp's are sometimes very very funny about giving out medications, especially painkillers anyone - some gp's are very quick to give out medications though. It took me quick a few years of asking doctors to go on strong opiate/analgaesic painkillers for my fibromyalgia, and this was luckily done by one of them gp's who was very quick to hand out any hold I don't know if that was a good or bad thing.....

Do you have a gp or doctor that you can trust and talk about medication issues? Is there one GP that is more creative minded and more approachable at your surgery? Me personally, I tried a few doctors at my gp surgery until I came accross one that seems ok, but I also wrote in to the gp practice manager writing concerns that some gp's didn't take me seriously when I ask for painkillers and why I needed them for my chronic pain issues. So perhaps write in a letter to the practice manager stating your concerns about medication if you don't feel that you are being taken seriously.

I know sometimes specialists or doctors can be alittle judgemental at times about patient's appearance, not all though luckily. Some people on here will say, "oh no, gp's will not judge you on your appearances..." But they are human too.

I have been to one or two doctors, and because I came over as very clean and professional looking, I got some gp's saying that I wasn't ill or even depressed as a result - so in my humble, they was making prejudgements about my appearances and judging me as a character before they got to know me...I am not saying that they judge you personally but in the case where they come accross a patient with potential mental health problems, by law doctors can write about if the patient self neglects.....but in your case, I did not think it would be right for them to make pre judgements - that wouldn't be fair.

Hope all gets sorted, and take care....All the best. . 8-) ..
Sick of being sick, if you know what I mean. Anger keeps me going! I love campaigning for the rights of those with hidden disabilities. Enjoys talking to other like minded people - well, if you are sane, anyway :)
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Re: Personal appearance and doctors attitudes

Postby TATT » Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:08 pm

It really upsets me to think of you coming off meds to check your not faking this because of professionals ! Judgements.

I have done it before, thinking it was the meds side effects causing the breakthrough pain. So I kind of know how that feels, but to feel judged on who you are and then denied help makes me angry.

Sorry no help just empathy :blowkiss:
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