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Living with A Chronic Illness

Trying To Get To See Your GP

As you will know C has a chronic illness, I have documented it along our journey along the way.  This has helped some have an understanding on what a chronic illness is, for others it has helped them realise they are not alone, how to push for medical help.

One area that has come to light since becoming ill, is that C also suffers with TMJ, it is a condition that affects the jaw. Four years ago she had a referral to the hospital, where they gave her a sheet with exercises to do and said nothing they could do.

For the past four years we have struggled on trying the exercises, pain relief, hot and cold you name it we have tried it all.

Over the past few months her pain and jaw have got worse.  To the extent she is not sleeping properly, she can barely talk or eat.  You can hear the bones of her jaw clicking and grinding and making noises that you have not heard before.

During this time, I rang our GP, I was told they had no appointments and maybe could speak to an out of hours Doctor.  I explained about C’s jaw and told that she would triage it and one of our GP’s would ring us that day.

At just gone 5pm, I had a phone call from the receptionist telling me that the GP has said why am I talking about her TMJ when there is no diagnosis for this.  I explained she has a previous diagnosis, and had spoken to a GP a week before regarding this, she found this on her records and said she would go back to him.

About 20 minutes later another phone call, again from the receptionist, saying with the amount of medication she was on he can not prescribe anything else.  I pointed her to a Consultants letter from 2 weeks previous, where it highlighted which medication she was now on.  Which was one pain killer and one other.  I got upset and said he has obviously not looked at her medical records and passing the buck, and that I wanted him to phone me.

He eventually rang me, with his first words I have looked at her medical records.  We went over the conversation of what was wrong and he asked me what I wanted him to do.  I said something to relive the pain and a referral back to the hospital. He refused the referral as wanted to leave her another two weeks, and asked what pain medication I wanted.  Well at this point I did lose it, and pointed out he was the Dr and not me.

He suggested Naproxen which she had tried from a previously and did not help. Another he could not increase as she already had it, and then Tramadol.  As much as it would give her some relief she is 17 and I did not want her on it, plus the side effects would be awful for her.  He just said there is nothing he could do and would review in two weeks time.

He rang me two weeks later, and surprised that there was no improvement, he left the call saying we will see how it goes. I explained that the pain was getting worse, you could see and hear her jaw, that she was barely sleeping or eating.  I left the call and went and hid and cried,  C was fast forwarding a major crash and our GP couldn’t care less.

Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

I was telling my Mum, and she just said go private, we will pay just get something booked.  So I went online and found someone privately, at the same hospital where we see C’s ME Consultant.  I booked an appointment for last Friday.  During this time I had a text from our GP surgery saying they had put in a referral and then another saying the hospital has refused the referral.

At the appointment my parents paid for to go privately, he spoke to C, and asked her all sorts of questions.  He did a lot of examinations and tests and even got me standing behind him so I could see how bad it was.  Her jaw is a lot worse than I realised.  He has given her exercises to do, totally different to the sheet she was given four years ago. We do have another appointment booked and I do feel hopeful that she will get whatever treatment she needs to make it better.

I am going to shout about this, I am going to show just how much we are still in lockdown and how much we are not getting the medical treatment we need.  Not even being able to get in the door to see a Dr.  This is going on her medical records as he is writing to our GP surgery.

I am lucky that we could go privately, through my parents.  But what if we did not have that option.  What about the thousands of people out there who do not have that option.

Have you had an experience where the GP has let you down?

About Author

I am Sam and owner of StressedMum, I hope you enjoyed reading my latest post, I always love to read comments from my readers

28 Comments

  • Margaret Gallagher
    1st July 2021 at 12:57 am

    How aweful for you all – so many barriers more so with lockdown
    I’ve paid private in the past

    Reply
    • admin
      1st July 2021 at 9:53 am

      There are so many barriers still and seems quite common 🙁

      Reply
  • Carly Belsey
    1st July 2021 at 5:05 am

    Oh wow I am so sad to read this. This breaks my heart and the fact he asked you what you wanted him to prescribe!! That’s terrible. Poor thing. I hope you get the treatment she needs soon as this is unacceptable to be living like this. Thankfully I haven’t had to chase the doctor about anything recently but I know people who have.

    Reply
    • admin
      1st July 2021 at 9:52 am

      It breaks my heart to see her like this, and to hear all the other stories from others experiencing similar. I am lucky my parents stepped in and we are now going private, but what if that was not an option.

      Reply
  • Amy SIMPSON
    1st July 2021 at 7:50 am

    My Old GP let me down,prescribing me a medicine that had 30% Penicillin in,which i’m highly allergic to

    Reply
    • admin
      1st July 2021 at 9:51 am

      Oh no that is dangerous, did he not ask if you were allergic to anything

      Reply
  • Rebecca Smith
    1st July 2021 at 10:19 am

    I don’t blame you for shouting out about this – it is awful how C has been treated recently and it is so hard to get an appointment at the moment.

    Reply
    • admin
      1st July 2021 at 11:06 am

      I have had run ins with this GP before, he is great for general things, but anything else and he just doesn’t know what to do. I had to explain a consultants letter once. Her jaw has been something we have had to deal with since she became ill, but this is different even I can see that and am not medically trained. I did lose it with the GP when trying to get her some help, espcially after he asked me what he wants me to prescribe.

      Reply
  • Bella and Dawn at Dear Mummy Blog
    1st July 2021 at 10:47 am

    I’m so sorry that you had an awful experience with your GP. My mummy gets fed up of having to repeat her medical history to her GP and often finds a higher level of service when she goes privately x

    Reply
    • admin
      1st July 2021 at 11:03 am

      It seems to be quite common now that people are having trouble accessing medical treatment, I am so sorry your mummy experiences this as well x

      Reply
  • MELANIE EDJOURIAN
    1st July 2021 at 12:59 pm

    You would have thought the other doctor would have realised how bad C’s jaw was. I can’t believe they were so incompetent. Hope this one manages to help her.

    Reply
    • admin
      1st July 2021 at 2:20 pm

      I know and this is part of why I am so angry, the dr we saw on Friday was lovely and explained why it was happening and the stages to try to restore it back to normal

      Reply
  • Rhian Westbury
    1st July 2021 at 4:26 pm

    I’m very lucky and have never been in this situation before but it upsets me that you’ve had to go private just to get any form of treatment or someone to take it seriously x

    Reply
    • admin
      2nd July 2021 at 10:06 am

      This particular GP is great with just the general illness but anything else and he is out of his depth, I have seen him and he has been great but have also had many a run in with him with C as he just doesnt understand, and getting to speak to one of the others is like I am asking for the impossible

      Reply
  • Jupiter Hadley
    5th July 2021 at 12:12 pm

    It’s really a complex time, especially when it comes to doctors! I was trying to register at a new place, and they just didn’t want to file me as a new patient until I “needed an appointment” something I did not realize as I was waiting for them to register me before trying to book one, which I felt was pretty logical. Going private is well worth considering.

    Reply
    • admin
      5th July 2021 at 1:23 pm

      It is a nightmare and seems to be happening everywhere, we do see C’s ME Consultant privately, but we had seen him on the NHS and he is brilliant, plus others travel from all over the country to see him. We are lucky we are not that far away. I am also lucky my parents have stepped in

      Reply
  • Natasha Mairs
    5th July 2021 at 1:01 pm

    oh my. I am glad your daughter finally got to see a doctor. The first doctor sounds awful!! Our gp will only accept appointments booked that morning, you can pre-book. the phone lines open at 8am and then you are in a queue for 20 minutes, then to be told all appointments have now gone and to ring back the next day,

    Reply
    • admin
      5th July 2021 at 1:22 pm

      Our GP is the same, you can prebook but they only have so many prebookable appointments. I have seen this GP for general things and he is fine no problems. He doesn’t know what he is talking about and I have to keep explaining what it is, etc. I am fuming still and will refuse to speak to him about C in the past. Even the poor Receptionist who was having to phone me felt for me, I apologised for getting so upset and angry and she just said I get it I am a Mum as well.

      Reply
  • Christy
    5th July 2021 at 5:14 pm

    I had a very bad experience with the GP last year that resulted in emergency hospital treatment after I paid for a private consultant. I think it’s very worrying that we now have to pay privately to reach someone who will take things seriously.

    Reply
    • admin
      5th July 2021 at 5:58 pm

      That is shocking to hear, but sadly it is becomming more and more common place now. What about those who simply do not have the option of going privately that is scary as well. I really do think that things need to start getting back to normal if they are wanting us to move forward

      Reply
  • Jenny
    5th July 2021 at 7:38 pm

    I have TMJ, caused by stress and grinding my teeth. I have been waiting for a referral for over 12 months!

    Reply
    • admin
      6th July 2021 at 7:22 am

      I really feel for you, it is madness that it is taking so long. He did explain why it was happening and two exercises he gave C was draw a line down a mirror and stand in front and open and close her mouth trying to keep the jaw straight as hers goes wavy, and the other is put a finger on her chin and push back while opening her mouth and also when yawning to put your chin down onto your chest so you don’t open your mouth too much.

      Reply
  • Melanie williams
    6th July 2021 at 10:48 am

    Good on you for making some noise this is utterly disgraceful. No matter what we should be able to see a GP and obtain an accurate diagnose and treatment. This is so wrong xxxx

    Reply
    • admin
      6th July 2021 at 11:07 am

      Thank you, this is why I am making a noise as it is not just me having one of my ranty moments. This is potentially a serious matter. The fact our GP had not read her medical notes, the fact he did not know what he was dealing with so dismissed it, and the hospital probably refused the referral as she had not been seen my our GP. This is happening to thousands of other people as well and this could potentially turn into something life threatening for some.

      I am hoping with restrictions easing that we return to normal, if not I am going to take this further our local MP is also the leader of the Liberal Democrats and is actually very easy to talk to. I will be taking this to him and asking for help for the thousands of people who are struggling to see their GP

      Reply
  • Kira
    6th July 2021 at 7:40 pm

    Honestly I have given up with our Gp, it has been an absolute nightmare through the whole pandemic

    Reply
    • admin
      7th July 2021 at 9:58 am

      Sadly so many are saying the same thing, my Mum has heard that from now on they will be carrying on with telephone appointments and not face to face. This really will not work

      Reply
  • Playdays and Runways
    8th July 2021 at 7:04 pm

    I am so sorry you have had this awful experience with your GP. Our GP is impossible to get hold of at the moment. I pray it gets better soon

    Reply
    • admin
      8th July 2021 at 7:11 pm

      It seems to be common all over the place, I have just been speaking to a friend and she is experiencing the same

      Reply

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