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To A & E or back to GP??(12 Posts)
Ok, so where to start... A couple of weeks ago I started to experience a sharp shooting pain in my left arm and it felt weak. Went to GP who said its nothing to worry about. Then started getting pains in my left leg and back and a tingly feeling on left side of back. By the end of last week the pain was driving me crazy and the left side of my face felt sensitive to touch plus my bottom lip was twitching. I went back to the GP who did a blood test, results showed normal kidney and liver function and red and white blood count was in normal range. GP said "you are a young woman, you will be fine, just take parecetamol or ibuprofen"
Well since last weekend I have been feeling weak, light headed and have had a crushing headache on and off. I am very shaky. My family say I look pale and my eyes are slightly bloodshot. The pain in my arm and leg still comes and goes but now more of an ache and leg feels numb or tingly sometimes. I am off work because of all this and have not missed work for years. I eat healthily and exercise but this has really floored me.
Today at the end of my tether I went to the local NHS walk in centre for a second opinion and they said go back to your GP. They said I could try A&E but they'd probably send me back to my own GP too. The GP surgery are full today. Am starting to wonder if I am making myself worse by worrying. Not sure what to do next, wait or try A&E...
Sorry for long post! Please give your honest opinion...
GP, as it is not really an accident or an emergency, so they will send you away.
Get a different GP though, if the last one has fobbed you off and you are not happy with the diagnosis of just take pain killers and you will be fine.
Thanks for your reply. The only problem is that he is the only GP at the practice at the moment as one has just left. They usually have a locum doctor so perhaps I should try asking for them. Will have to go tomorrow as can't get appointment today. Just want to get to bottom of it all!
If you can, change practice. A single-handed practice with this person in charge doesn't sound like you're going to get very far. WTF does 'you are a young woman, you will be fine' mean? You're clearly NOT fine.
In the meantime, go back and ask to be referred. Take a list of all your symptoms and if he/she still insists that you just need to treat with over the counter medication, ask how long the symptoms need to have gone on before he/she can refer.
You could take this article which refers to the fact neuropathic pain doesn't respond well to paracetamol and ask if you could try a low dose anti-depressant for a couple of weeks to see if it will help. My DH takes amitriptyline for this purpose.
That article is extremely helpful, Thank you tribpot. I have been considering changing GP practices so think I need to get the wheels in motion.
May I ask if your DH has been diagnosed with an underlying cause for his pain? (Please don't feel you have to share) It seems that nerve pain is notoriously hard to diagnose.
Yes, my DH's pain is nothing like yours, MummyJenz - he has a (sort of) diagnosis of fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue/chronic pain and is a wheelchair user as a result. His symptoms didn't start anything like yours, so don't be alarmed on that score.
I think a diagnosis may be hard, and I find the NHS is generally pretty rubbish at these kind of cross-speciality/broad spectrum problems that don't have a nice set of repeatable treatments to resolve. But that doesn't mean your GP should just fob you off - even if he/she felt you needed to give it longer before you looked at next steps, that would be better than 'you're young therefore you cannot be ill'.
I am sorry to hear that your DH has suffers so much that he needs to rely on a wheelchair, it is sad that there seems to be little understanding about those types of conditions.
I did ask my GP how long I should wait before returning to see him if symptoms persist but he just said, "you will be ok, you don't need to worry" I feel stupid for worrying so much but its hard not to when I feel so rotten.
Is there something you are worried that it is? (say after a little surf through dr google?)
I've found that sometimes it is a good idea when the doctors aren't taking you seriously to say that you are worried it is xy or z as there are lots of symtoms in common and to then get them to explain why it isn't any of them but something different instead. I suspect that also they are mindful of the threat of litigation so going in with something potentially serious and them not spotting it is different from when you ask them about it and they say that it isn't.
So, going in and saying that you are worried you've had a heart attack/problem (pain in arm and back, female symptoms tend to be different from 'ordinary, well known' (aka male) symptoms. Or that you've trapped a nerve in your neck which is causing the other pains in your arms and legs. Or whatever you think it could be (I'm not a medic - chose those two examples purely on the basis of having watched too many episodes of casualty in years gone by and a dh who actually did have a heart attack when he was a fit 40 yr old and thus not an obvious candidate).
And then get them to explain why it isn't the case - and in doing so they will either realise that 'now' you might be right or they will be able to discount it or do a test to rule it out.
Oh and agree try to see a different doctor. T might also ne worth trying to ring up Nhs direct or whatever's now replaced it as they might be able to take a bit more time to go through your symptoms.
Good luck, hope you are soon sorted (and apologies if this is a xpost with others - I got interrupted posting this and have just realised it is still sitting here!
Thanks for your message zipzap. It was NHS direct that sent me to walk-in centre who then said go back to gp :-/ I do think its something nerve-related and am planning to go back to gp with some information but he'll probably just put me down as a hypochondriac!
My Dad was misdiagnosed by a gp, kept going back with head pain and other symptoms but was told he had migraines but an optician later found out he had a brain tumour, unfortunately too late. If he'd been diagnosed earlier the outcome may have been different (he passed away). I don't think I have anything that serious and its not hereditary but it's scary knowing from experience that doctors can get it wrong.
I hope your DH is ok now, how scary that must have been!
Grr! Rang 15mins after gp surgery opened and appointments are all gone :-( Got to wait until Monday so its going to be another long weekend. Left side of face is tingly and achey again and my eyes look awful. Sorry to vent, think I'm feeling sorry for myself!
Poor you. I hope you feel better soon. If there is any worsening during the weekend, I personally might go to emergency doctor out-of-hours. That way you almost certainly get to see a different doctor.
Can you afford to see a private oesteopath? Those symptoms do sound like they could be related to nerves, real nerves not psychological ones I mean. If it is that an oesteopath might find something. You might be able to get a quick appointment at the weekend especially if you explain you are in pain.
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