Patients to be badgered into exercising by GPs…

NICE is apparently going to force GPs to press their patients to undertake physical activity. That will not be well received by this spoonie.

When I was well (i.e., prior to 1986, my last good year**), every holiday was spent backpacking (a sport which has nothing in common with gap-year oiks), as were many weekends, and when I wasn’t doing that I was out every available  Sunday with the Ramblers. I also, more often than not, walked to work and back – I covered almost 3,000 miles a year on foot.

**Partial year anyway, In Spring and early Summer I was in remission (ME), but by late Summer I’d crashed irretrievably.

That was then, this is now, and there are many days when I find walking as far as the bathroom a major challenge, and that’s all of 6 yards away. While I no longer believe I’m in imminent danger of death – and what the consultant’s motives for dumping that load of  bovine ordure on me was, I have no idea – that doesn’t mean I am any less disabled. I still have ME and arthritis, and my lungs and heart are still buggered.

Any doctor telling me I need to exercise more will be treading on very dangerous ground indeed,** and I strongly recommend that those of you reading this who are chronically sick take a very firm stand, and resist being bullied into any activity which might harm you.

**It’s fair to say that GPs are vehemently opposed to this idea – doesn’t mean it won’t be foisted upon them, or that some zealots won’t willingly embrace it.

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7 thoughts on “Patients to be badgered into exercising by GPs…

  1. I think most GPs have enough common sense to not pressure those who can’t exercise into doing so. It’s still a stupid idea though- I know that before I got ME my GP would ask if I was exercising as part of checking my health overall, but I wouldn’t have reacted well to being told I had to exercise (and it took me a while to realise that dance mat = exercising, because I’m a bit slow sometimes :P). I’m hoping it doesn’t happen.

    I am amused that my CFS team consider me to be doing a form of GET though- I’m currently slowly increasing my pillows (went from one to two in 2 months and I’m working on number three) so I can sit up more and maybe get back into my wheelchair. Not quite how GET is normally described but it is working for me. (When they wrote their letters of support for my benefits they said that attempting GET (the normal kind) would be detrimental to my health and I’m not likely to improve any time soon- it worked and I got my benefits without argument.)

    • You have a CFS team? Here the attitude is either “we don’t believe in ME”, or “no-one ever died from it (yeah, right), so we don’t care much!”.

  2. I do. They even visit me at home. Their website makes them sound a nightmare (all biopychosocial and stuff) but they personalise it so it works well. They’ve been helping badger people on my behalf and let me know what stuff I should talk to my GP about.

  3. Hi Ron…
    I totally agree with you! This topic gets me steaming angry with the “ones who know best.” Just like you I USED to be able to do so much. Most days I find myself using the phrase “I used to…” I no longer have a car so I walked to the closest swimming pool almost everyday all summer until it closed for the season. I not only loved to swim, I LIVED to swim!!! Swimming pools (and water exercise) have always had a positive effect on me physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. And for 2 summers I can no longer walk the 2 blocks to the pool. I haven’t been able to put a small one in my side yard cause I don’t have enough help to do it. And I can no longer attend the low impact exercise in my community because I can not keep up with folks in their 80s due to my chronic pain and disabilities. I could end up doing even more damage to myself.

    Do these know-it-alls honestly think we enjoy this lifestyle??? Further, will they PAY for resources to get us what we need to accommodate us to have a unique way to help us??? No!!! Also, the most affordable food around here is loaded with carbohydrates and is processed!!! I am so disgusted! If THEY aren’t going to supply what we NEED, they can just forget the topic of exercise!!!

    It’s all I can do to fight the depression of how my life is now and figure out how to adjust and have some sort of lifestyle since losing the one I had!

    By the way, excellent topic! 🙂

    • About 26 years ago, when I was still moderately fit and active (ME hadn’t reached its peak yet), I had a treadmill stress test at the cardiology clinic, and the consultant insisted on having a resuscitation team standing by. If that was necessary then, then if anyone wants me to exercise, it’s even more essential now. Plus better pain meds and oxygen.

      And even then I wouldn’t do it, because I know I’ll crash and burn.

  4. My City (Leicester) has begun what is known ‘Active Lifestyle Scheme’; and it is this project GPs & Practice nurses may refer disabled people to. I agreed to a referral to this last July and after one appointment having to be deferred by me due to a Fibro-Flare; I’m still waiting!! So, unless your Council & Health providers and more efficient than mine (highly likely) this is yet another notional scheme that will fail!!

    All best x

  5. well here is another one who does what exercise she can when she can. and it dont amount to much i can tell you. most is when i can get into my nearest big town. thankfully there are loads of places to sit down every few minutes if needed.plus cafes etc, other than that its 5-10 minutes in my nearest small town and leaning on a trolley at local small supermarket. walking for me is a slow process and getting slower at the moment. only other exercise is like you Ron. 6 steps to kitchen,bathroom or bedroom. often get up and walk into the latter ,stand for a few minutes leaning on window sill (no good sitting down if you want to look out of these windows. sills are too high.) if they expect me ti do more than that then ill tell em to get me new legs, and lungs. etc.

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