British Lung Foundation
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The strange things people say.....

The strange things people say.....

So I’m at the doctors for a totally unrelated to my lung problem and the GP looks at my notes.

He tells me I look well then followed it by saying, ‘eventually you’ll start losing weight and won’t be able to breath’!

Another GP the other day said at the end of a lung discussion. ‘You must be very worried about your future’!!! Well until that point I wasn’t but guess what, I was after that!

Similarly it gets to me when people say, ‘you look so well, I don’t believe it’.... have you had similar experiences?

Fortunately I’m now seeing that funny side of their ridiculous comments 🤣

55 Replies
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Georgina, i am something my self laughing at the first comment was the gentleman called 'Dr death' i do hope you can change your Gp quite soon...............skis and a cracked up cat x

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There are about 9 in the practice so I’m working my way round them 😜

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Grrr. No further comment!!

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I might collate their responses and send them a copy for their ‘in-house’ staff development 😀

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Send them to BMJ for publication lol ... What *not* to say to patients

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Good idea 😃

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Great idea!

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Excellent idea.

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Send them to their PPG. They have to discuss all communications and the PPG members are mostly patients themselves.

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DO IT! They need to learn :)

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🤣

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My old heart consultant had a habit of putting his foot in his mouth. The best one was 'Lucy is very interesting....medically speaking'

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I’m sort-of interesting with NSIP but I’d sooner be very boring when it comes to lungs x

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An anaesthetist once said to me 'Good grief, you have enough illnesses to go round the whole ward!'. Not quite what you want to hear in those circumstances. I've also had the 'you look so well, I can't believe it'. You try your best to keep up appearances, but these reactions are definitely disheartening! Now I am just a conundrum and they don't know what to do with me. All the best xx

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The comments are ‘funny’ if you’re in the right frame of mind to see the funny side but it’s not always like that is it!

I suspect some people have no idea what to say!

I’ve got a friend who texts saying ‘How’s tricks.’ It’s a little bit irritating to me... funny what sets me off!!! x

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Would it be marginally better if people said ' oh, you look dreadful' ? Probably not, so we'll just have to make do with the 'you're looking well' for now. I react to it differently from different people. If someone says it completely insincerely, then it does annoy me. Even worse is the slightly aggressive tone that sometimes accompanies it. Almost as if you have the nerve to try and pretend you're ill, when they know quite well that you're fine. These remarks usually come from people who know absolutely nothing about your life and who you're not close to in any way. When people I know well say it, I know it's kindly meant and just accept it as them being kind enough to try and cheer me up.

As for doctor's remarks ! If I started on them I'd be here all night. Keep going until you find one who takes his foot out of his mouth occasionally.

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You are completely right. It is a matter of who says what and how they say it.

I was told by someone that I’d made myself ill as I retired too early and I think too much! 😜 If that’s the case I reckon someone needs to inform the NHS x

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Thinking is never to be encouraged :)

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🤣

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I am afraid these are the type of things that happen. Years ago when i smoked my doctor said i wont give you oxygen while you smoke as you might bolw your self up.!!!!

Oh well i will just die then. Luckily i dont dake too much notice.

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I find the comments more fascinating now than annoying.....thank goodness 😀

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Hello GeorginaS . 😃💜

Yes, that has happened to me. When I first got very sick, I became depressed and asked my doctor for a referral to a mental health professional. He looked me up and down and said "But you wear make up, you don't look depressed!". I'm afraid I wasn't very gracious by replying "You're a doctor and you don't look stupid". Well, I was a tad annoyed you see. Not one of my better moments. So, yes, totally understand. xx 😑

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Hopefully you got the help you needed. Good response though x

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When somebody says something like " by, you look well " I reply that I might have a nice, shiny car but that doesn't mean it's got an engine in it.

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That’s a really good response 😀

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Thank you

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A doctor told me once, during a hospital stay for serious back problems: "Good news. The x-ray shows you have two compressed discs." I just gave him a really icy glare - he was the only one who'd thought I was trying to get some respite care form caring for my disabled husband; he had treated me like a malingerer for two weeks.

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That deserves an icy glare! Hope it all worked out x

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I discharged myself and went to a recommended osteopath who said the NHS physio had given me exercises which would make the problem worse. With the first visit the osteopath made the spasms much less severe, and with repeated treatments I was better in 2.5 months - from only being able to lie prone or stand, to being able to drive 500 miles to visit my parents and attend a school reunion. Whereas the NHS treatment over 1 month, I got nowhere, just disbelief and pain.

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Terrible. You did the right thing and it worked. Hopefully everything is going well now too x

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It was 21 years ago. I have been left with a weakened back, but keep doing the exercises the osteopaths have given me, and I go back to an osteopath whenever I realise something's going a bit wrong again. I don't go near the NHS when I have back pain any more.

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A locum doctor said to me, when I mentioned I have emphysema, 'well that's something I wouldn't want to have'. How insensitive, he wouldn't say it to someone with cancer.

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Terrible! My GP said ‘well at least you don’t have cancer’. When all the comments come together you start to realise there’s something very wrong with how GP and consultants communicate with their patients x

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My Dr says no cancer "yet" it's like he's not going to give up til he finds it

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Terrible!!! x

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Shocking! 😡

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The doctor is an idiot, you can tell them I said that ;p

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Grrrr.. 😫

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So true - the 'you look well' as the gp then reads the notes, oh 'you've got a lot going on' !

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It sums it up really. We’ve all got ‘a lot going on’... I think next time anyone asks me ‘How are you’. I’ll say I’ve got a lot going on 🤣

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My oxygen delivery man seemed very pleased with himself when he blurted out, The average life span of someone who starts oxygen therapy is 2 years. I soon replied well you've been delivering to me for 7 now :) . Should have reported him for it really because that's just not the sort of thing he should be saying to what could be very vulnerable people, lucky I'm pretty thick skinned so I took a deep breath and didn't give him a knuckle sandwich on his way out which is what he deserved. :) ..

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That’s terrible!!’ A knuckle sandwich might have been a good solution 😀

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It would certainly show that some people are fit and well long after his 2 year verdict.

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Well, we all know that you are far from average - I think that at 83 I am probably over the average life span, as are many out there. Not on oxygen but you know what I mean. Who wants to be average? I wonder what the average life span is of people who do deliveries every day, the roads are pretty dangerous. Love Iris x

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I’m looking forward to being ‘normal’ whatever that is! Statistics about averages only paint part of a picture anyway. x

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Reminds me of the time the consultant said after my bronchoscopy and ct scan, "its only bronchiectasis". She should try it.

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Great hey! I asked the guy doing my CT scan the other day if he’d tried laying face down in to two soft pillows and tried to take a deep breath! Guess what? He hadn’t! ‘It’s only...’ is annoying x

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this is all beginning to remind me of Spike Milligan

Spike Milligan's epitaph 'I told you I was ill' voted UK's favourite i Wonder if he managed to squeeze it out verbally before he passed away..............skis and tactful cat

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That’s true....😀

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My old doctor's advice on staying healthy was "Keep your bowels open and keep away from Doctors".

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Love it! Sound advice 😀

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Change your doctor for goodness sake! Why on earth?! I think that people absolutely (dr.s obviously included) don't think how it will affect a person when they say things. My God... try not to let it get to you! No one knows how it will affect you, or if it ever will get that bad. No one has a crystal ball.

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Thankfully I’m looking on the funny side of their stupidity but......I’m also becoming increasingly intolerant of their throw-away lines and lack of sensitivity x

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Having a Great Giggle to myself after reading all the Replies to GorginaS, how we all can relate to all the stupid comments by other people regardless of their Stature.... My Best one, the same every Friday Morning, shopping day, we're I walk with my Oxygen attached very prominately to my Nostils, are the same People I bump into ..." O Your still here Then", erm Yes, or "Have you had a date Yet" (for trx), or "Wow, you look great, wouldn't think you are ill"........Keep putting the Lippy on ( the one that doesn't come off)..I Smile with my Ruby Red Lips...Ha Ha , Just Laugh. xxxxx

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Your post made me smile. Thank you. Many years ago I used to see someone and if I asked him what he was doing that week he’d say ‘I’m going to my ...I can’t believe your still alive clinic’ ... He was scouser too 😜

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