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Need to prioritise what I ask my gp about

(27 Posts)
Asmadasmax Sun 18-Mar-18 02:17:51

I've several problems I want to discuss with my gp. They're all getting me down. Partly to do with the antidepressants I'm taking - side effects and also whether they're actually helping. Also chronic pain I have that I've never discussed with my gp, in my hands, wrists, arms, shoulder ... Also sores I keep getting in my mouth. Also extreme anxiety regarding a hospital procedure I have coming up.

I know my allotted ten mins isn't long enough for all this but I don't know which to discuss and also because all of them are affecting my mental health I'd like to mention them all. I'd like to ask for some valium to deal with the anxiety of the hospital procedure but think she'll laugh at me because I've been told before that they don't prescribe valium for anxiety and given betablockers that didn't help at all.

I'm getting myself in a right state about it, can't sleep because I'm running through the conversation in my head all night - and I don't sleep well anyway due to the antidepressants I take, which is something else I should discuss. The only thing the ADs help with is that they take the edge off the chronic pain, so I'm reluctant to ask to change them and to need to take pain killers again - then I get anxious about the side effects of constant painkillers!

Sorry for rambling on - any suggestions how to deal with it?

Emmastone123 Sun 18-Mar-18 02:20:11

Perhaps book a double appointment?
Also write everything down! It will help you feel in control.
You'll be fine. X

Asmadasmax Sun 18-Mar-18 02:25:38

They don't offer double appointments. It's a miracle to get one at all tbh!

MrsSkeletor Sun 18-Mar-18 02:31:56

How about posing it like this: you are experiencing a lot of symptoms related to stress and anxiety (chronic muscle & joint pain, insomnia and mouth ulcers) and you are concerned about how your medication regimen might be adjusted to address this, particularly in the lead up to your upcoming procedure. That then opens the door to explore why your current meds aren't meeting your needs, and if things could be made better. I hope your doctor is open minded about the short term use of Valium to deal with your scary procedure - that seems to vary from doctor to doctor, but certainly no one should laugh at you if you are dealing with a lot of anxiety. Good luck.

Catsandkids78 Sun 18-Mar-18 02:34:26

Sign up to GP at hand - it’s an NHS app. I get an appointment same day at a time that chooses me . As regularly as I need . Xxx

Catsandkids78 Sun 18-Mar-18 02:34:52

Also you can pay £4 a month for the private version, Babylon health to have an appointment with a GP as and when

Perfectly1mperfect Sun 18-Mar-18 02:36:59

As you say they are all affecting your mental health, start the appointment by saying 'I have come to discuss my mental health as I feel there are a few things affecting it. Then you should be able to talk about everything you mentioned as they are all affecting one problem. Write it all down before you go so that you can be clear and not waste time but don't feel rushed.

I get fed up with doctors clock watching after 5 minutes. Sometimes you need more time, this is balanced by the patients that are in and out in 3 minutes.

Asmadasmax Sun 18-Mar-18 02:42:57

Cats is that an online doctor? Would they be prepared to discuss antidepressants and valium though? I used one once muggy have been called Pushdoctor or similar?) I had an appointment about migraines because it was lasting a long time and they just told me to see my regular gp.. bit of a waste of time and money for me.

Asmadasmax Sun 18-Mar-18 02:43:31

Muggy??? Should read might have been ...

underneaththeash Sun 18-Mar-18 07:56:37

You need to mention all your symptoms to the GP as they may all be related to a particular health condition for example - the mouth ulcers and joint pain could be linked, they could be a side effect of your current medication. Your GP won't be able to diagnose you without all the facts.

Catsandkids78 Sun 18-Mar-18 10:14:29

Yes gp at hand is a actual practice - I don’t have a regular GP . They prescribe me my codine which is a controlled substance - they private Babylon one can’t do that but Gp at hand can .

Asmadasmax Sun 18-Mar-18 13:09:30

Gp at hand doesn't cover my area

EduCated Sun 18-Mar-18 13:12:17

Agree about mentioini g all the symptoms in the context of your mental health. Your GP will help prioritise what to look at (from a position of knowledge) and advise you to book another appointment if necessary to follow up.

Asmadasmax Sun 18-Mar-18 15:30:57

I think I'm going to have to write it all down because i know I'll start crying when i start to talk blush So it's acceptable to mention all the problems briefly in relation to affecting my mental health?

EduCated Sun 18-Mar-18 17:35:35

Yes. They need to know everything that’s going on if they’re going to help you properly smile

BeyondThePage Sun 18-Mar-18 17:39:20

take a list with you - of 4 or 5 short bullet points written down. Just enough to give your mind a jog that that is what you want to talk about.

Asmadasmax Sun 18-Mar-18 22:42:08


seventh Mon 19-Mar-18 05:37:41

I would write it down in list form. Tops 6 points. A copy for you and a copy for doc.

HopelesslydevotedtoGu Mon 19-Mar-18 05:54:50

I would try and decide whether you primarily want to talk about your antidepressants or chronic pain in the appointment, they both sound like big issues worthy of a whole appointment.

Write a bullet point list of the issues eg 1. Still feeling anxious and low on antidepressants 2. Pain for six months in multiple parts of my body 3. Mouth ulcers coming and going for 3 months...... and pass it to the GP at the start, say today I'd definitely like to talk about this one issue, but if there is time I have these other issues too. For example they may decide to request some initial blood tests for the other problems and then when you come back they already have the results.

Then can you book another appt on your way out, even if far away book now and then you can try and call for something sooner in the meantime.

If you have current mouth ulcers a dentist can also review them.

Do you have any therapy/ counselling services in your area that you can refer yourself to, often called IAPT, may be another way to help your mental health/ get some support for the hospital appt.

taybert Mon 19-Mar-18 06:28:16

Tell them right at the start that you’ve got a few things to talk about and that you know it’s too much for 10 minutes but that you feel all the problems are affecting your depression so it’s hard to pick them apart. GPs are trained to manage complex problems in 10 minute segments so if you do it this way they’ll be able to help you to prioritise the problems and start to chip away at them. They might start with one today then book a follow up appointment in a few weeks and move on to the next thing. It’s ok to go and say that you don’t know where to start and you’re not sure what the right thing to do is.

Asmadasmax Mon 19-Mar-18 09:15:25

Thanks. One of the biggest problems is that appointments are only available two weeks in advance and go straight away. So you have to ring at 8 am to get an appointment in a fortnight. I struggle to use phones (not sure why but part of my anxiety) so that causes more anxiety anyway but by the time you get through all the appointments are gone, especially as my doctor only works two days a week. If she tells me to book another appointment it could be months before I can get one with her.

StickyHandPrintsOnMyFace Mon 19-Mar-18 09:20:24

I'd write down your 4 main points, as you listed in your OP. And then hand the paper to the doctor and ask them to help you prioritise them to fit as much as possible into the 10mins. Good luck.

Pippioddstocking Mon 19-Mar-18 09:23:11

This is a very difficult situation and is a huge fault of the NHS. 10 minutes will simply not be enough time to SAFELY address your issues . Perhaps ask the GP if he/she would consider allowing you to book a double appointment , clinicians can often over ride the booking system.
It's very difficult when a patient comes with a huge list in a 10 minute slot. Clinicians will try and do all they can but I've never once see a patient not complain when it goes wrong / something is missed.
Limiting what you discuss is to safeguard both you and the clinician .
The fault lies entirely in expecting problems to be addressed in 10 minutes , not the fault of the clinician or the patient but entirely the fault of the ridiculous system .

Asmadasmax Mon 19-Mar-18 13:01:03

I've never complained at the doctors, despite the fact that it's nearly impossible to get an appointment and the online appointment service is a farce because there's never any on there.

hanahsaunt Mon 19-Mar-18 13:24:52

When going in with a complex problem to a new GP for which background information would be useful, we have written to the GP in advance noting within the letter the time/date of the appointment. The doctors have been surprisingly grateful because the appointment can then be used to maximum effect (and in one case enabled him to speak to a senior colleague with a special interest in that area first).

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