To go back to GP when essentially they’ve told me there’s nothing they can do

(119 Posts)
Lampadusa Wed 28-Jul-21 23:11:50

Sorry if this is long. My five year old DD has always been very healthy and apart from the usual colds and coughs has never really been ill. 8 days ago she came home from school saying she had a tummy ache. By bedtime she was crying and rolling around with it so I called 111 for advice and a few hours later a clinician called back. He felt it was probably constipation and gave advice, and said if it was still bad in the morning to see the GP. She had a bowel movement that night.

I took her in and the GP took a urine sample, she didn’t really discuss any other possible cause for the pain but just said to wait for the test result and we’d see then.

Daytime wasn’t too bad, didn’t complain of pain as much

We had another night of crying in pain, I spoke to the surgery again and she was seen again. Urine result had come back clear. They said they couldn’t see anything obvious so just monitor her. Better in the day time again.

Fourth night of crying in pain, doubled up, wanting cold things on her tummy, wanting to lie on cold kitchen floor tiles, standing in front of the fan. Eventually went back to sleep, better again in the day

Fifth night crying and screaming in pain, inconsolable, we drove to A&E. ED doctor dipped urine, found leukocytes and blood (despite clear lab test that the surgery took) and prescribed 3 day course of trimethoprim for UTI and movicol sachets. Better again in day, opened bowels. Hopeful at this point that this and antibiotics would make the difference.

Night 6, slightly better, woke up with tummy ache but quickly went back to sleep. Pretty good in day.

Night 7 bad night again, crying in pain, rolling around, wanting cold on her tummy again. Called GP again in day, went in again, doctor basically said there’s nothing wrong, it’s just functional bowel pain, quite common, not much you can do. Keep taking movicol, bowels open.

Night 8 awake for two hours with pain

Night 9 (tonight) she has just woken up again rolling around crying saying it hurts, it hurts.

What can I do? Is there anything else I should be asking for? Any tests? If there’s nothing else that can be done then is this just life for her now? Disturbed sleep and pain every night and no sleep for us either? Because she’s a lot better in the day I’m not sure that the doctors understand how bad it is when it’s bad. I just don’t know what to do at this point.

OP’s posts: |
Lampadusa Wed 28-Jul-21 23:25:25

Should I ask for a paediatrics referral? I’m worried (on top of everything else) that they just think I’m over anxious now because she’s pretty much fine whenever they see her in the day

OP’s posts: |
CharlesDickensHairyBalls Wed 28-Jul-21 23:42:18

I'm sorry to hear about your DD. It's awful when they're distressed and there's nothing you can do.

Can you ask to see a different GP? (Assuming you've seen the same person each time). I had an issue with one of my kids which thankfully is sorted now, but only because I kept going back and eventually got a doctor who listened and got us a referral. I felt the same as you - "will they think I'm just an over anxious mum" - but ultimately I decided that my kid needed me to advocate for him so I just kept on pushing.

I don't think a doctor should be saying "there's nothing wrong". You know what's normal and what's not for your child. Could you video your DD when she is in distress? To show the GP? As horrible as that sounds.

Good luck, I hope you get the answers you are looking for soon.

Lampadusa Wed 28-Jul-21 23:50:51

@CharlesDickensHairyBalls thank you so much for your reply, I’m lying awake now (despite virtually no sleep for a week) just endlessly reading about abdominal pain in children and worrying feeling like what else can I do. I will speak to the surgery again, and ask for a referral, and reiterate how bad it is at night and I have thought about taking a video when she’s in agony so I’ll do that too. I think because there’s no fever or vomiting or anything else they’re saying there’s no serious problem but surely this level of pain over this amount of time is still a problem?! Thanks again.

OP’s posts: |
Houseofvelour Wed 28-Jul-21 23:53:19

Have they checked for appendicitis?

pigeonpies Wed 28-Jul-21 23:57:06

Get her to A&E if she's in that much pain. Keep pushing until you get a satisfactory response or treatment. Don't leave it a minute longer

Lampadusa Wed 28-Jul-21 23:57:41

@Houseofvelour thanks for replying. because the pain is around the belly button not to the side and her abdomen is soft they said they weren’t worried about appendicitis. I’m not sure what all the symptoms of appendicitis are but they weren’t concerned it was that.

OP’s posts: |


Lampadusa Wed 28-Jul-21 23:59:56

Thanks @pigeonpies she went back to sleep a little while ago so the pain must have receded somewhat (for now) but I am definitely speaking to a doctor in the morning. If it gets severe again before the morning we will take her to ED though. Thank you all for not saying I’m overreacting, I feel like the doctors think I am

OP’s posts: |
TableDesk Thu 29-Jul-21 00:00:33

Maybe video her to show GP how distraught she is

MyDcAreMarvel Thu 29-Jul-21 00:00:44

Have you given her ovex? Young children aren’t always great at describing where the pain is. Worms can be ago using in girls and mostly only at night. See if you can see anything in her poo.

MyDcAreMarvel Thu 29-Jul-21 00:01:10


ThelmaDinkley Thu 29-Jul-21 00:01:49

I had something called abdominal migraine when I was little. Basically migraine but in the stomach. It tended to strike at night. It was really painful. Think I was given some medication. I developed IBS as an adult. You definitely need to push in this as something isn’t right and you’re your dds advocate. Good luck

devuskums Thu 29-Jul-21 00:02:35

Has she been checked for infection? I had osteomyelitis as a child, it was agony and I would be rolling around in pain, then it would go and I would be fine. Everyone apart from my mum thought I was putting it on. Eventually mum took me to hospital and refused to leave until they worked out what was wrong. You are definitely doing the right thing by listening to your daughter and acting on it.

pigeonpies Thu 29-Jul-21 00:03:31

Look you need to stop worrying about what people think of you. You are your daughter's voice right now, she doesn't really have a say about what happens to her. It's the parents job to advocate on her behalf.

I had unexplained Abdomial pain last year. Went to AE and had an ultrasound followed by CT, full blood, urine checked twice and pain relief. I'm fine now but that point is that they can do so much more

If you don't go back they'll assume it's all fine now. Unfortunately with these things you need to keep pushing and making your daughter's voice heard.

Rainallnight Thu 29-Jul-21 00:04:55

Poor you, it’s awful when they’re so poorly.

I agree with going back to a different doctor in the practice. You’re well within your rights to say it is not ok for a young child to be in so much pain. That is not over-anxious.

Or as has been suggested you could go back to A&E if it gets really bad again in the night.

CharlesDickensHairyBalls Thu 29-Jul-21 00:05:30

I totally get it - it's a really powerless feeling when you know that something is wrong with your child but you don't know what and you can't find out by yourself and the people who you'd hoped could tell you what's wrong don't seem able or even very motivated to!

Totally frustrating and I also cried quite a few times from worry and frustration.

I'm sure the GP is doing his or her best but maybe next time go "armed" with some questions. If the GP is saying that it's normal, then: what might cause the onset of functional bowel pain when she's never had it before, can I change her diet to avoid this, how long will she have to spend crying in pain every night before it becomes abnormal and she can be referred, what other causes could there be and are there any symptoms associated with those causes that I should also look out for, etc, etc.

I don't meant that you should try to "catch out" the GP, just go in prepared with a list of questions and try not to get emotional (I did!) because it makes it harder to remember the answers! If it gets to the point they can't answer your questions to your satisfaction, then I think you can ask them to ask for specialist advice or refer.

Try to get some sleep and I hope you get it sorted soon.

Lampadusa Thu 29-Jul-21 00:06:24

@MyDcAreMarvel I didn’t know that about worms in girls. I will get some ovex thank you so much.

@ThelmaDinkley I have just read about abdominal migraine! I will mention it to the doctor tomorrow.

@devuskums she has only been checked for a urine infection. I will mention osteomyelitis also tomorrow

Thank you all so much

OP’s posts: |
22Giraffes Thu 29-Jul-21 00:06:43


Have you given her ovex? Young children aren’t always great at describing where the pain is. Worms can be ago using in girls and mostly only at night. See if you can see anything in her poo.

I agree with this, definitely worth considering. Hope dd feels better soon bear

Grapewrath Thu 29-Jul-21 00:08:55

Take her to A&E. Ds had similar a few years ago and it turned out to be a potentially serious issue that wasn’t detected by go exams or urine tests

Lampadusa Thu 29-Jul-21 00:12:23

@pigeonpies you are completely right, and thank you. When I had unexplained abdominal pain a few years ago they did all the same for me as well, I feel like they’re just saying ‘some children just have tummy pain, that’s how it is’ and I can’t accept that without more being checked.

@Rainallnight you’re right, it’s not ok, thank you you have helped me feel more confident to say that.

@CharlesDickensHairyBalls thank you, it helps to hear that someone understands. I am going to write a list of questions now

OP’s posts: |
Elieza Thu 29-Jul-21 00:19:43

Is she moving her bowels regularly now? Or was it just the once and nothing for two days again?

I recall older posts where the advice was to take meds until the stool is very soft pretty much diarrhoea, and then gradually ease back on the meds once dc is going daily and has been for a few days.

Hadenough21 Thu 29-Jul-21 00:20:59

Might be a long shot but is she eating or drinking anything before bed that she doesn’t have during the day? My child gets tummy pain after milk. We had weeks of complaints about tummy ache (not as bad as your poor dd sounds though) until I one day decided to buy lactose free milk instead and the tummy pain was gone like magic. I’m sure you’ve probably considered food / drink as causes, it’s just a thought. I would keep pushing for further tests though.

TableFlowerss Thu 29-Jul-21 00:21:54

What a horrible situation op. Hope your little one is ok. I’d record her in pain so they can see it’s clearly real and she’s suffering and show then it. Poor little thing

lightacandle Thu 29-Jul-21 00:21:55

Logged on to say this sounds like possible intusussception . Worth asking about.

lightacandle Thu 29-Jul-21 00:22:40

Ps as a HCP I would agree - advocate for your child

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