British Lung Foundation

I am no further forward

I went to see Nurse today and no further forward. Inhalers they have me on are useless (Qvar 100 and Salbutamol) and last 4 weeks I have been so breathless and unable to sleep in bed so have been sitting up on sofa cat napping. Chris said today ' right that's it we are getting you to change doctor surgeries ' So will do that. Example today saw Nurse - Molly is her name. I only asked to see Nurse so that I didn't bother GP and she could give me advice on this.

This is how it went:

Hi Molly and explained to her recently diagnosed with COPD and my FEV1 reading was 73% (apparently that makes me mild/moderate). Explained I first became breathless after chest infection back in March and went to Hospital with Craig and they gave me chest x ray which was clear.

Couple minutes later Molly said ' How old are you '? 59 I say and she says no you said you are 73 I say what? No I didn't I said my reading is 73 and do I look 73 to you Molly? She wouldn't take her eyes off screen. Then she says have you had chest x ray. I say yes I explained that to you that I did back in March. Back to screen again.............. old Molly says I cant see it. I say it should be on there. Then she finds letter from Hospital and indeed chest was clear.

I tell her I was fine after that until 4 weeks ago when I got breathless and been that way ever since. Explained the 2 inhalers they put me on 2nd July. Showed them to her. She looked at them and said so how long have you been on them? Explained again since 2nd July. Couple of minutes later she looks at inhalers and asks............... so how many of these have you had? I say ' Don't know what more to say to you Molly - been on them since 2nd July ' She looks at them shaking her head and making a face which gets me worried. I ask should I be on them for COPD - is there a problem? She said yes these are not for COPD and I ask for inhalers that are. If only life was that simple eh? She makes decision to get me in for another spirometry test which is not for another 3 weeks. I tell her I don't really want to struggle that long with wrong inhalers as just finished 2 courses of steroid pills and don't want to play Russian roulette with my health. She said oh don't worry you will be fine.

I asked her when I could be referred to chest Consultant as think I would benefit from that and she said that they only do that when GP can no longer manage the illness. Surely that cant be right? That now leaves me thinking that when I am referred to Consultant that I am too far gone. I told her that I would like it confirmed if I have empysema or bronchitis and she said that it doesnt really matter as COPD comes under same umbrella. I have seen 2 GP's at surgery and they both tell me/treat illness differently.

6 Replies

It is your right to see a chest consultant go back to doc and tell him you want to be referred to one they cannot prevent you from going .i had the same problem but I insisted that they sent me to a consultant didn't want to be treated by surgery when they asked why I said because you don't specialise in chest so don't know all there is to know and I want to know for sure what is wrong for sure got referred in the end so just keep trying .Best of luck really hope you get sorted

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It makes me very angry to read how some of us are treated. Twinks, stop being nice ( "I only asked to see Nurse so that I didn't bother GP") and start being a bit more bolshie. See the GP and TELL (not ask) him that you need a referral to see a respiratory consultant. The nurse was so rude! If you don't get satisfaction then change your surgery. You are worth more than this.

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I have been diagnosed with copd for 8 years and never got to see a consultant until a few months ago because I ended up in hospital with pneumonia. I would definately insist that I saw one a long time ago.if I knew then what I know now. Doesn`t it make you so mad when you are talking to doctor/nurse and they aren`t acknowledging you but sat looking at the computer screen and typing, it makes you feel like you are a nuisance.


hi twinks,reading ur post sounds like me,i asked gps nurse Monday wen do I see a consultant/oh wen u need go on oxygen then u get to see 1,why wat elz can theydo for u ,she said lookin at her screen matter of fact,i said well wat if I don't want oxy then /u have to have it,oh do I /well how come I read on blv site news theres thousands missin with copd who have it and don't no /I read the papers daily and nothing on the tv news bout thousands of ppl found dead in the st of England.there full of there selves half of thezs gps nurses ,give me the phenomia jab an said see u in September for flu jab,thats it,told her its my life don't patroniz me ok,sep comes im ringin gp to see about a consultant ,nurse is not a consultant or dc just some think why u bothering gp an consultants for like bldy half of receptionists if u ring.wat u want see gp for.nothin do with u /bldy get on my wick,take care seems theres a lot of us getting fobbed of with our care well my care an my life is up 2 me ,


Hi Twinks

The more letters I read like yours the more I give thanks for my eight GP practise. All of them are excellent and I am constantly monitored. Called in every couple of months and checked and referred to consultants as needed. They operate a call back service as well so if it is something minor they will call you and discuss it on the phone, no need to drag off down the surgery. Who's a lucky boy then?

Bobby xxx


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