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Author Topic: Condescension, GPs and overreaction?  (Read 2625 times)

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Offline tigger2376

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  • too bad to die youngish!
Condescension, GPs and overreaction?
« on: March 10, 2007, 07:38:01 PM »
I'm a bit ashamed of myself today. Have been trying to deal with bone crushing,mind numbing fatigue for last few weeks, telling myself its normal, trying to exercise,taking vitamins etc but still felt horrible, and was getting progressively weaker, and angrier with myself..so I went to see my GP.
Not my normal one, as its a saturday appointment, but went in, tried to explain clearly,unemotionally and asking if there was anything that could help..hard for me because I really do try and get on with life. Was met with THE most unhelpful, just plain STUPID doctor I have ever met..I quote
'what do you expect, you've got AIDS'
me ' I know, but how can I get over this hopefully temporary feeling? I feel ill,weak and useless,and its affecting my life'
her 'well I'm sure I don't know, and frankly I don't view this as an emergency'
me 'er sorry?'
her 'saturday appointments are for people who are REALLY ill!'
me 'what the hell is AIDS then? I didn't come in as an emergency, I didn't realise saturdays were emergencies only and wasn't told when I booked, I just wanted help for fucks sake....and just BAWLED...totally undignified,snotty, childish tears, couldn't stop.
She just sat there.
Left,still in bits, taken care of by practice nurse, who was so kind I just felt like a total twat.
Will go and see my consultant in a couple of weeks as scheduled but in mean time was even in tears when a dog won a class at crufts on TV and owner was really happy! Just a bit bewildered that I'm this emotional, and I feel so let down by a previously brilliant GPs practice, I know I'm being irrational...AAAARGH!
I know i'm going to enjoy the party in the afterlife, but do you all mind that I'm going to be VERY late!!!

Offline aupointillimite

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Re: Condescension, GPs and overreaction?
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2007, 07:45:01 PM »

So... they're only in for people who are seriously ill, but AIDS doesn't qualify?

"What do you expect, you have AIDS?"

I would have been extremely nasty. 

"Oh really, you went to medical school to be able to tell me all that?  Wow.  You wasted your money.  Tell me, whose dick did you suck to pass your final exams?"

Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline milker

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Re: Condescension, GPs and overreaction?
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2007, 08:38:33 PM »
Jesus Christ this is really unprofessional, i'm so sorry you had to go through this. Vent here, we're here for you, and once you feel better you should notify the board I think.

You should not be ashamed at all, it's your right to seek help and attention when YOU feel that YOUR body is not functioning properly and it's her DUTY to help you.

mid-dec: stupid ass
mid-jan: seroconversion
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Offline libvet

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Re: Condescension, GPs and overreaction?
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2007, 08:40:00 PM »
I don't what to say other than that woman had all the professionalism and bedside manner of a DMV employee with a toothache and a hangover.

"You have AIDS" is not an excuse for failing to do her job.   

Fatigue is a common complaint among those of us with HIV, but at the very least if that fatigue has gotten you to the point of going to your doctor, they have an obligation to investigate the possible causes.

Hopefully, you will be able to get in to see your real doctor and I'd let that doctor know EXACTLY how unprofessional she was.

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Condescension, GPs and overreaction?
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2007, 12:02:21 AM »
I suspect that some doctors mask their unability to diagnose and treat fatigue in HIV  patients with that dismissive and condescending attitude. Fatigue is one of the hardest things to diagnose and treat, period. And some doctors absolutely despise not having a ready answer for a situation. They often take out those frustrations on the patient. It's neither fair nor is it professional. And at the end of the day, it does nothing to diagnose nor to treat the issue.

If the office set aside Saturdays for life-threatening emergencies only (and if so, wouldn't you just go to the ER instead?) they ought to tell you up front.

Nothing excuses anyone being a dick to someone else. Especially not under the paradigm of a doctor/patient relationship.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

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Offline Buckmark

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Re: Condescension, GPs and overreaction?
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2007, 03:03:42 AM »
Your doctor's comment of 'what do you expect, you've got AIDS' is simply inappropriate, in my view.  If he doesn't have any idea or answers about your fatigue, he should tell you so.  He is probably frustrated that he doesn't have an answer for you, but he should be up-front with you about that in a kind and compassionate manner -- not rude or dismissive.  It may be time to find a new doctor, if that's an option.  If not, I suggest having a frank conversation with him about how you expect him to treat you.


"Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things:
     One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell.
     The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love."
- Butch Hancock, Musician, The Flatlanders

Offline Robert

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Re: Condescension, GPs and overreaction?
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2007, 03:22:59 AM »
Yeah, for sure I would tell that Dr to take a hike.

As for the depression/tears...that's a dreadful combination I'm long familiar with.  I'm taking a drug called Effexor which works pretty good.  Last week I tried to stop taking it and found myself crying while reading Sports Illustrated (maybe that had something to do with the "_ _ nt response of mine).  I'm back on it this week and feeling better.

Anyway, definitely ask your Dr about Effexor (Venlafaxine) or some other antidepressant.  I'm sure it will help.

good luck...

Offline ScooterTrash

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Re: Condescension, GPs and overreaction?
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2007, 08:58:19 AM »
This makes me really mad :(

I think that any sensable person would have been upset by what you went through Tigger.

Don't be so hard on yourself K?

I hope that today will be a better day for you.

Offline twofires

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Re: Condescension, GPs and overreaction?
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2007, 10:06:41 AM »
I told one of my HIV doctors at my little clinic to go take a hike (in no uncertain terms) because his bed-side attitude was similarly dismissive

I told my new doctor they ought to expect HIV patients to have issues with depression, instead of foisting us off onto another clinic (mental health clinic) for scripts for something as normal as an anti-depressant.

your doctor should be ashamed for allowing herself to become burnt out on caring.

Who was it wrote; Give any one species too much rope and they'll fuck it up?
-Roger Waters

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Condescension, GPs and overreaction?
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2007, 10:19:20 AM »
Hi Tigger,

I don't know if you have the spit to want to do this. Is your doctor in private practice or associated with a clinic? If it's a clinic then I would write a letter to the head of the clinic and cc the doctor and say how it feels to be treated so dismissively when you come there for help.

If your GP is in private practice, I would write a letter directly to her and say something about what the experience is like when you turn to them for help and get treated that way. Keep it simple and direct.

We all know the old routine about how hard the doctor is working and such a full schedule, and so many insurance forms to fill out, etc. etc. So friggin' what! THey can cry about it on the way to the bank.

You're entitled to good, responsive care. Period. And any professional who can't provide that should be peddling used cars or something of a like sort for which they are emotionally equipped.

Andy Velez

Offline mjmel

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Re: Condescension, GPs and overreaction?
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2007, 01:26:25 PM »
You ended you post with, "...I know I'm being irrational...AAAARGH!

Me thinks not! OK, maybe about the dog winning and you crying about it. ;). You have a right to seek a solution to your fatigue. It's a condition of having AIDS, or can be meds related as well. There are pills to curb that level of overwhelming fatigue . The clinics could be set up differently in the UK, don't know about that one. But it's not a fault or mistake to seek out advise, a pill, or some sort of relief from your fatigue. No way. Not out of line. It would be absurd for you to really think that you were in the wrong. Doc is having a bad day, that'a all to it.

Offline penguin

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Re: Condescension, GPs and overreaction?
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2007, 02:31:56 PM »

If you are clear that this was indeed the language used, I would encourage you to make a complaint about the treatment you received.

First, n hopefully only step is to bring this to the attention of the practise manager, either verbally or in writing. The receptionist will be able to give you this personís name and contact details. If you donít feel able/willing to do this directly, you can contact yr pctís PALS team who can advise & if necessary, refer you to the Indpendant Complaints Advocacy service, who can act on your behalf. I have pmíd you contact details for your local team.
If this donít do it, or you arenít happy with the response, there are further complaints procedures, detailed here

fatigue, depression etc, these deserve to be taken seriously - please do spend time discussing this & working out a management plan with your consultant.

If you need any more info or assistance, shout.


Offline tigger2376

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  • too bad to die youngish!
Re: Condescension, GPs and overreaction?
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2007, 08:05:59 PM »
I appreciate the support, thanks guys. Have drafted a letter to practice manager which I will review in AM because I'm still mad as hell! ;D
Still very weepy, but weaned myself off citalopram and buspirone last year and am loath to go back, but not going to beat myself up if I do.
Will speak to consultant tomorrow as well, she's outstanding. I think it may disconcert her a little that I'm asking for help though, shes used to me being an arsey cow! ;D
I know my body's taken a battering in last 6 months, and its just coming up to the 'anniversary' of my infection, so know there's lots of contributing factors, but this is first time since diagnosis I've just collapsed, normally I'd have taken this womans head off!
Don't feel too brave right now, so as I said
I know i'm going to enjoy the party in the afterlife, but do you all mind that I'm going to be VERY late!!!

Offline tigger2376

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  • too bad to die youngish!
Re: Condescension, GPs and overreaction?
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2007, 07:45:28 PM »
Sent the letter, toned down a little, and emailed practice manager. Now theyv'e screwed up my pain prescription, (I have arthritis, and as an added extra a dental abcess AGAIN), beginning to feel its my month for the shit to rain on me!
My consultant,however, was great. i've gotta have bloods done tomorrow, then see her in two weeks and she'll try and help.
Again, much appreciated....even managed to stay awake all day today for first time in weeks!
I know i'm going to enjoy the party in the afterlife, but do you all mind that I'm going to be VERY late!!!


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