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  • FIRST POST
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 9th Oct 17, 7:49 AM
    • 29,853Posts
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    seven-day-weekend
    How to get treatment?
    • #1
    • 9th Oct 17, 7:49 AM
    How to get treatment? 9th Oct 17 at 7:49 AM
    OK, here is the story.

    My husband for several months now has had a condition involving his ear and throat. He will get a sudden coughing/retching fit, associated with a burning on one side of his throat. Recently this has been accompanied by a pain in his ear as well.

    Our Dr hasn't even examined him properly. He listened to my husband's chest through his clothes, and has treated him with anti-histamines and Gaviscon. A second Dr who we saw whilst on holiday gave him antibiotics. She did examine him properly, but was unable to give a diagnosis. She prescribed antibiotics (as well as saying continue with the other medication). She also said he needed to be referred but it would take ages.

    Anyway, it is no better and we are at our wit's end. He is still kept awake half the night with it and we are not terribly happy so far with the state of afairs.

    Could my husband see a specialist privately, without involving our GP? And having done so, could he continue any recommended treatment on the NHS?

    Thanks in anticipation for your help.
    To love someone is to learn the song in their heart and to sing it to them when they have forgotten it
    'I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen. Not only because I see it, but because I see everything by it': C.S. Lewis
    'Let me tell you this one thing. When you fall out, as you will, don't get blaming each other. Look inside yourself first'. - Hilda Ogden, to Sally on her wedding day to Kevin, Coronation Street 1986. '
Page 1
    • Toothsmith
    • By Toothsmith 9th Oct 17, 8:05 AM
    • 8,747 Posts
    • 10,419 Thanks
    Toothsmith
    • #2
    • 9th Oct 17, 8:05 AM
    • #2
    • 9th Oct 17, 8:05 AM
    In the several months, how many times have you seen your own GP?

    Does he/she know how long it has been going on for and how it is affecting his life?
    How to find a dentist.
    1. Get recommendations from friends/family/neighbours/etc.
    2. Once you have a short-list, VISIT the practices - dont just phone. Go on the pretext of getting a Practice Leaflet.
    3. Assess the helpfulness of the staff and the level of the facilities.
    4. Only book initial appointment when you find a place you are happy with.
    • pollypenny
    • By pollypenny 9th Oct 17, 8:39 AM
    • 23,118 Posts
    • 59,834 Thanks
    pollypenny
    • #3
    • 9th Oct 17, 8:39 AM
    • #3
    • 9th Oct 17, 8:39 AM
    Go back to your GP. Explain that it's now a persistent problem, Painful and disruptive.

    How long ago did your husband originally see the GP.
    Last edited by pollypenny; 09-10-2017 at 5:47 PM. Reason: Fat fingers
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 9th Oct 17, 12:51 PM
    • 29,853 Posts
    • 55,834 Thanks
    seven-day-weekend
    • #4
    • 9th Oct 17, 12:51 PM
    • #4
    • 9th Oct 17, 12:51 PM
    In the several months, how many times have you seen your own GP?

    Does he/she know how long it has been going on for and how it is affecting his life?
    Originally posted by Toothsmith
    Several times in those few months, he knows how long it has been going on for.

    Don't know the answer to your second question.
    To love someone is to learn the song in their heart and to sing it to them when they have forgotten it
    'I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen. Not only because I see it, but because I see everything by it': C.S. Lewis
    'Let me tell you this one thing. When you fall out, as you will, don't get blaming each other. Look inside yourself first'. - Hilda Ogden, to Sally on her wedding day to Kevin, Coronation Street 1986. '
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 9th Oct 17, 12:52 PM
    • 29,853 Posts
    • 55,834 Thanks
    seven-day-weekend
    • #5
    • 9th Oct 17, 12:52 PM
    • #5
    • 9th Oct 17, 12:52 PM
    Go back to your GP. Explain that it's now a persistent problem, L sinful and disruptive.

    How long ago did your husband originally see the GP.
    Originally posted by pollypenny
    He has seen him several times in the few months.
    To love someone is to learn the song in their heart and to sing it to them when they have forgotten it
    'I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen. Not only because I see it, but because I see everything by it': C.S. Lewis
    'Let me tell you this one thing. When you fall out, as you will, don't get blaming each other. Look inside yourself first'. - Hilda Ogden, to Sally on her wedding day to Kevin, Coronation Street 1986. '
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 9th Oct 17, 12:57 PM
    • 29,853 Posts
    • 55,834 Thanks
    seven-day-weekend
    • #6
    • 9th Oct 17, 12:57 PM
    • #6
    • 9th Oct 17, 12:57 PM
    Update: I have rung Benenden (keep forgetting we are members) and they have said get the Dr to refer, ask him how long it is going to be and if it is too long they will help out. They also said you can't self-refer so that answered that question.

    Thanks for the replies.

    https://www.benenden.co.uk/health/cover/healthcare/treatment-surgery/
    To love someone is to learn the song in their heart and to sing it to them when they have forgotten it
    'I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen. Not only because I see it, but because I see everything by it': C.S. Lewis
    'Let me tell you this one thing. When you fall out, as you will, don't get blaming each other. Look inside yourself first'. - Hilda Ogden, to Sally on her wedding day to Kevin, Coronation Street 1986. '
    • Manxman in exile
    • By Manxman in exile 9th Oct 17, 1:41 PM
    • 1,048 Posts
    • 728 Thanks
    Manxman in exile
    • #7
    • 9th Oct 17, 1:41 PM
    • #7
    • 9th Oct 17, 1:41 PM
    I had to be referred to a specialist a couple of years ago. It would have taken months so asked my GP to request a private referral, which I had within ten days. Cost of that about £200. If I had required further treatment (which I did not) it could have still been done on the NHS, but of course would have necessitated a wait.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 9th Oct 17, 4:05 PM
    • 29,853 Posts
    • 55,834 Thanks
    seven-day-weekend
    • #8
    • 9th Oct 17, 4:05 PM
    • #8
    • 9th Oct 17, 4:05 PM
    I had to be referred to a specialist a couple of years ago. It would have taken months so asked my GP to request a private referral, which I had within ten days. Cost of that about £200. If I had required further treatment (which I did not) it could have still been done on the NHS, but of course would have necessitated a wait.
    Originally posted by Manxman in exile
    That is Plan B.
    To love someone is to learn the song in their heart and to sing it to them when they have forgotten it
    'I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen. Not only because I see it, but because I see everything by it': C.S. Lewis
    'Let me tell you this one thing. When you fall out, as you will, don't get blaming each other. Look inside yourself first'. - Hilda Ogden, to Sally on her wedding day to Kevin, Coronation Street 1986. '
    • spirit
    • By spirit 10th Oct 17, 9:56 AM
    • 2,618 Posts
    • 5,730 Thanks
    spirit
    • #9
    • 10th Oct 17, 9:56 AM
    • #9
    • 10th Oct 17, 9:56 AM
    I was worried about a mark on my skin whilst in Florida last year.


    I'd already used the local private hospital for cosmetic surgery the previous year, so when I got back, rang them and asked to see a dermatologist.


    They agreed and said to contact my GP and get them to write a referral letter. They did this and I took it with me the following day.


    Bear in mind though that if you see someone privately and they want to make further tests, you'll need to make arrangements to pay for those.


    I was 'lucky' in that the skin mark was nothing, but it was worth the consult fee to put my mind at rest.
    Mortgage free as of 10/02/2015. Every brick and blade of grass belongs to meeeee.
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 10th Oct 17, 1:35 PM
    • 4,000 Posts
    • 2,971 Thanks
    sheramber
    While not a diagnosis your husband's symptoms are like mine - due to acid reflux.

    The acid burns the throat causing pain and coughing/retching

    Mine is controlled with tablets.

    A hiatus hernia can also be the cause.

    So the problem may not be with his throat.
    • Toothsmith
    • By Toothsmith 10th Oct 17, 1:56 PM
    • 8,747 Posts
    • 10,419 Thanks
    Toothsmith
    Several times in those few months, he knows how long it has been going on for.

    Don't know the answer to your second question.
    Originally posted by seven-day-weekend
    So several months and several times - does that mean about once a month?
    It really shouldn't be the case - but NHS GP Drs really are very busy people, and you need to make yourself 'stick out' a bit if you feel something is wrong and you want treatment for it.

    You might well have done this - in which case being fobbed off is unforgivable - but your husband needs to let the Dr know that this problem is persistent, it is worrying him, and that it is not getting better.

    If he is just turning up once a month saying "oh Dr, I've still got this bit of a cough and my throat feels burny now and again" - then nothing is going to ring an alarm bell to a Dr with a waiting room full and running half an hour behind. (As I said - not ideal but this is the 'beloved' NHS we have these days)

    He doesn't need to be rude or angry, but he does need to say "This has been going on for several months now, it is badly affecting my life, and I really would like to get to the bottom of what is happening. Nothing we have tried has helped so far. Please can you refer me to somebody?"

    As I said - you don't have to be rude - but sometimes you just need to be politely assertive.
    How to find a dentist.
    1. Get recommendations from friends/family/neighbours/etc.
    2. Once you have a short-list, VISIT the practices - dont just phone. Go on the pretext of getting a Practice Leaflet.
    3. Assess the helpfulness of the staff and the level of the facilities.
    4. Only book initial appointment when you find a place you are happy with.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 10th Oct 17, 3:37 PM
    • 29,853 Posts
    • 55,834 Thanks
    seven-day-weekend
    So several months and several times - does that mean about once a month?
    It really shouldn't be the case - but NHS GP Drs really are very busy people, and you need to make yourself 'stick out' a bit if you feel something is wrong and you want treatment for it.

    You might well have done this - in which case being fobbed off is unforgivable - but your husband needs to let the Dr know that this problem is persistent, it is worrying him, and that it is not getting better.

    If he is just turning up once a month saying "oh Dr, I've still got this bit of a cough and my throat feels burny now and again" - then nothing is going to ring an alarm bell to a Dr with a waiting room full and running half an hour behind. (As I said - not ideal but this is the 'beloved' NHS we have these days)

    He doesn't need to be rude or angry, but he does need to say "This has been going on for several months now, it is badly affecting my life, and I really would like to get to the bottom of what is happening. Nothing we have tried has helped so far. Please can you refer me to somebody?"

    As I said - you don't have to be rude - but sometimes you just need to be politely assertive.
    Originally posted by Toothsmith
    Thank you, that is what he is going to do. It is obviously necessary to bow and scrape to get any treatment these days . I would have liked to think it might be the DOCTOR'S idea to refer him, rather than my husbands.

    Having said that, any treatment I have had for a condition I have had for years has always been due to me telling the Dr what to do.

    Very sad.
    To love someone is to learn the song in their heart and to sing it to them when they have forgotten it
    'I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen. Not only because I see it, but because I see everything by it': C.S. Lewis
    'Let me tell you this one thing. When you fall out, as you will, don't get blaming each other. Look inside yourself first'. - Hilda Ogden, to Sally on her wedding day to Kevin, Coronation Street 1986. '
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 10th Oct 17, 3:39 PM
    • 29,853 Posts
    • 55,834 Thanks
    seven-day-weekend
    While not a diagnosis your husband's symptoms are like mine - due to acid reflux.

    The acid burns the throat causing pain and coughing/retching

    Mine is controlled with tablets.

    A hiatus hernia can also be the cause.

    So the problem may not be with his throat.
    Originally posted by sheramber
    Thanks yes, the one Dr said that, and gave him some Gaviscon.
    To love someone is to learn the song in their heart and to sing it to them when they have forgotten it
    'I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen. Not only because I see it, but because I see everything by it': C.S. Lewis
    'Let me tell you this one thing. When you fall out, as you will, don't get blaming each other. Look inside yourself first'. - Hilda Ogden, to Sally on her wedding day to Kevin, Coronation Street 1986. '
    • jenniewb
    • By jenniewb 11th Oct 17, 1:21 AM
    • 12,263 Posts
    • 11,548 Thanks
    jenniewb
    Hope you get some answers OP, but just to add that the best way I was advised by a GP to get help (by my own GP) was that if there is a problem and treatment suggested has not worked, keep turning up and presenting with the problem. When you stop going for appointments your GP assumes you are fine, they don't assume if you stop a treatment halfway through due to chronic pain (my experience) that you are in pain and could not continue, they assume that cancelled appointments or even no-shows are a way of you indirectly saying you are fine and don't need any more help. In that vein, keep making appointments if you are not satisfied with what has been advised, prescribed or suggested.


    There may be a wait but if you explain you are happy to wait (and many of us wouldn't have the choice so it's OK to say this) they will refer and these days you often get a choice between a few nearby hospitals with varying waiting lists- check the star rating and feedback scores and any ratings from professional assessments (and check the date to see how long these assessments were done to see how much value you need to place on it) as the last thing you want is to wait for ages and find you are not happy or doubtful with the way any tests or treatments were carried out.


    If you need any help with what to bring to the GP when you go back, things like a diary of when the symptoms occurred, how long they were for and what or how they affected your partner will all help to show how intrusive the symptoms are and if things have worsened or are worse than the GP thinks they are. You didn't say if you were at the appointments with your partner and I could be grossly stereotyping here but IMO, men tend to underestimate their symptoms when discussing them with Doctors or make out they are no big deal and the main issue is a curiosity and bit of frustration rather than it being something that worries them or causes problems elsewhere in their daily life. It may not be something your partner wants and that's OK but if he is attending his appointments by himself, helping him write a quick script so everything is included and a noted reminder scribbled down to not follow every other description with "but it's not a big deal really" or words to that effect
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 11th Oct 17, 3:36 PM
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    sheramber
    You do have to tell it exactly as it is. Don't just say it affects my sleep- tell him I only got 2 hours sleep etc. Detail every way you are affected.

    Describe the pain exactly as you feel it. My GP sat up when I said the pain had downgraded from excruciating to painful. Give it a number from 1-10 with 10 the worst pain. Everybody has a different pain tolerance. Unless your GP knows you , rather than you are a bum on a seat, he does not know how you are affected unless you spell it out.

    If you are not getting anywhere with your usual GP is there another in the practice you could see instead.
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 11th Oct 17, 5:53 PM
    • 2,460 Posts
    • 3,523 Thanks
    trailingspouse
    You don't have to 'bow and scrape'. You just have to tell the doctor clearly what the problem is. They're not mind readers - if they give you antibiotics and you say 'Thanks', they'll assume that you're happy with the outcome of the appointment.

    Your husband needs to see himself as part of the team - at the end of the day we are all responsible for our own health, but sometimes we need help from a professional. That doesn't mean the professional just tells you what to do and you do it and you get better - it means you join the conversation, explain that it hasn't worked, explain fully what the problem is, discuss options, and go back if it still hasn't worked.

    To be fair to the doctor, most coughs sort themselves out without any intervention at all. If it's still persisting, then there may be a secondary infection (hence trying the antibiotics). If it's still persisting after that, then go back and explain in detail what the problem is and how it's affecting you.
    • rach_k
    • By rach_k 11th Oct 17, 6:00 PM
    • 1,057 Posts
    • 1,825 Thanks
    rach_k
    I agree with other posters in that your husband needs to be very clear about the problem with the doctor. Have you been with him to appointments? I think many people find it difficult to overcome Britishness at the doctor and will admit to mild discomfort when they can barely walk, say thank you when nothing useful has been offered and then leave and not go back! Having a second person there to insist that you tell it exactly like it is can be a real help, so if you haven't been in the room with him at the appointments, I'd do that next.

    It sounds like, fairly or unfairly, you (and your husband?) have lost confidence in his GP but if there is more than one doctor at the practice he should be able to ask to see another doctor there. Why not do that? A fresh set of eyes might help.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 11th Oct 17, 10:44 PM
    • 29,853 Posts
    • 55,834 Thanks
    seven-day-weekend
    Thanks all for your advice. I suppose we expected the Dr to do something, without being asked, when he knew my husband was no better, after months of the same symptoms. However, I know from my own experience that I have to tell him what medication to give me for my long-term condition.so I don't know why we expected different. You shouldn't have to keep going loads of times before anything is done, but still, that is obviously how it is these days.

    We are not allowed to see another Dr in the practice unless our own Dr is unavailable.

    Thanks all again for your advice.
    Last edited by seven-day-weekend; 11-10-2017 at 10:48 PM.
    To love someone is to learn the song in their heart and to sing it to them when they have forgotten it
    'I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen. Not only because I see it, but because I see everything by it': C.S. Lewis
    'Let me tell you this one thing. When you fall out, as you will, don't get blaming each other. Look inside yourself first'. - Hilda Ogden, to Sally on her wedding day to Kevin, Coronation Street 1986. '
    • bunk bed
    • By bunk bed 12th Oct 17, 10:40 AM
    • 48 Posts
    • 56 Thanks
    bunk bed
    Update: I have rung Benenden (keep forgetting we are members) and they have said get the Dr to refer, ask him how long it is going to be and if it is too long they will help out. They also said you can't self-refer so that answered that question.

    Thanks for the replies.
    Originally posted by seven-day-weekend
    It's a shame you can't self-refer. That (to me) defeats the object of having private health cover, if you've got to wait for the NHS to get their finger out in order to be able to access the private health care.
    • bunk bed
    • By bunk bed 12th Oct 17, 10:42 AM
    • 48 Posts
    • 56 Thanks
    bunk bed
    Thanks yes, the one Dr said that, and gave him some Gaviscon.
    Originally posted by seven-day-weekend
    .. which you can get OTC from the Chemists!!!

    There's a lot of patient-blaming on this thread, sadly. Probably typical of our society, where the NHS appears to be our national religion.
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