Interfering GP . . .

My GP telephoned me a couple of weeks ago saying he was cutting my Phyllocontin Continus by half, as he had been advised by the consultant at APH that the full dose was toxic.

I pointed out that the toxicity was based on blood tests that were now 4 months old and, when they were done I had lost a huge amount of weight – 31kg – which resulted in an effective overdose, hence the apparent toxicity. I had now regained much of that weight, had no reason to suspect that the full dose was still toxic, and would appreciate a fresh blood test.

I got one.

What I didn’t get was any word from my GP about the result which, as he’d initiated the problem, would have been basic courtesy (a debate I’ve had with him in the past, best summed up as “Talk to the bloody patient!” and which was not well received). However, I have just had a repeat batch delivered – at the full dose. QED!

The thing is, Phyllocontin is the bedrock of my COPD medication – everything else builds on that foundation. Reducing it by half was problematic enough in APH, when I was effectively doing bugger all; it would never work at home, not unless I had someone to look after me. This isn’t an assumption – I know it from the odd occasion when I’ve run out

The next test will be the battle for the control of Tramadol. He’s decided he doesn’t like me taking it alongside morphine and Gabapentin. He’s also decided, based on no evidence whatsoever that the decision to add it to the mix was mine.

However, when I was first prescribed morphine and Gaba (Gaba takes time to build up to the maximum dose – I couldn’t wait and pushed the process, but that’s another issue), they simply didn’t work – they did nothing at all. However, on the advice of the District Staff  Nurse, I took them as well as my normal pain meds – mainly Tramadol – rather than instead of, and all was well (I got no advice on the subject from my GP and, at the time, was in no condition to ask). I’ve stopped the others, but retained Tramadol which seems to be the main trigger.

Enter, a few weeks ago, my GP bitching about Tramadol and accusing me of making a unilateral decision to take it. Truth to tell, I couldn’t recall right then whether I had or not – it sounded like something I’d do! A little thought, though, and I recalled the Staff Nurse, so I fired off a fax, apprising the awkward sod of the facts, and there the matter rests as I heard no more.

Crunch time is next Monday, when I order some more Tramadol. Oh, and if he thinks he’d going to charge me for such a shit level of service, where I can only get effective pain control when pushed to the brink of suicide, he can fuck right off!

I have tried taking Gaba and morphine without Tramadol, and we’re right back to where we came in – they simply do not work. Not, at least, at the prescribed doses. Gaba is almost maxed out, though there is considerable leeway with the morphine but, as the current combo works, isn’t wildly expensive, and has no major side effects that can’t be controlled (and my breathing, which arguably should have been trashed, is better than ever), surely it makes sense to leave things as they are, and not change them purely out of pettiness?

6 thoughts on “Interfering GP . . .

  1. Good for you Ron keep pushing until you get the treatment that is right for you and not because they think they know better than the patient because they have studied for years to gain the medical expertise they should have, at the end of the day it is you who knows you and you’re symptoms better than anyone and they REALLY should be listening to you.

    I found by being direct with my Oncologist he tends to flap when asked a direct question and is uncomfortable telling me about how bad the side effects of my treatment might get. WTF these are thing I need to know so that I am better prepared to handle it when it happens.

    As I said Ron keep pushing until you get the treatment that you want and not what they want to give. Take care xx

    • He has studied for years – I’ve studied for longer. GPs, by the nature of their job, know a little about a lot of conditions – for in-depth knowledge they use consultants. And I HAVE the in-depth knowledge simply because I have more time to invest in studying what ails me than he does.

      Will he listen?


  2. hmm just been reading about the proposed charging for GP services..
    i had to get very emotional last weds. feet and legs were still swelling with fluid. admitted ive seen worse on others but the skin was painful particularly around ankles plus my calf muscles were pretty hard. which they would be with the fluid in them. enter nurse practitioner… she said she thought i had a clot. and wanted to send me to A&E for a scan… i had 2 choices she said. 1. she got ambulance i would have to find my own way home if they didn’t keep me in. 2. i could make my own way there n back/ she would give me a letter. fine except 1. i have a funeral to attend next weds. my kids dad who was still a friend . 2. my bank account was maxed out completely through helping the kids sort their dads stuff out and all that goes with a death and post mortem and this was 76 miles away from where we live. so no cash till this monday (pension day) to get to/from a hosp/ £15 each way by taxi as i cant use buses. she then decided to get 2nd opinion (after i had broken down). duty doctor. who immediately said no DVT as soon as he heard the history of it all. upped my furosomide to 40mg cos said that 20 was too low. (one doc started me off on 10mg. neither use nor ornament.and 20 wasnt much better.). now we are getting somewhere. feet and legs still swelling cos of the heat but nothing like they were and most of soreness has gone. if i had taken note of the nurse practitioner i would have been stuck at the hosp with no one to fetch me home. my dog would have been left in the heat indoors with no way to get help for him and she said “your health comes first ” to which i replied “that dog is my baby, my companion, and a living creature totally dependent on me. if i neglect him i am liable by law. “..i thought you can make of that what you want. my daughter calls her the nurse of doom.
    under this new regime, (one report said it was the govt’s idea. the one i read said it was GPs.) in those circumstances would someone be charged twice? and would they be charged same to see a nurse, a nurse practitioner or a doctor?
    to me its another way to take money out of the working mans pocket because it wouldnt be out of those on benefits or pensions.or kids apparently.

  3. You know he’s going to try it on! I know he’s going to try it on and I don’t even know the guy!!!
    I wish that GP’s would leave the combination alone, it’s us that knows our bodies best and we know when we have got more control over the pain. What does he want you to do, take your combination on your better days? If you did that you’d never have better days again. He sounds like a right pillock to me!

    • True, I do, but it’s like seeing “#We are the many” all over Twitter. That’s true too, but it’s the few who have all the power, not the many! Until the day dawns, if it ever does, when we take it back.

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