British Lung Foundation
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has anyone experienced short tempered gp's or health professionals regarding copd sufferers?

recently diagnosed with copd (emphysema) and had a stressful appointment with my gp. he was very abrupt and unsympathetic when i asked him to help with anxiety and he resisted my request for a rescue pack (he did give way eventually) but said i must contact the doctor before taking it. has anyone had a bumpy ride with their gp or health professionals or is it just me?

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The only doctor i had an issue with was a locum doctor - i tend to find the ones that go on and on about cigarettes are the worse, i often want to go and light up when they have finished lecturing me about the consequences of smoking- i smile, let them go on and on then remind them i know the consequences, because that's why i m sitting in front of them! its as if they want to punish me for my past life!!

Crazy thing is I don't smoke yet I still get the unsympathetic look down the nose. Never forget that smoking is completely legal and heavily taxed so you have more than paid a few doctors wages through the years.

One time (some years ago) ended up in A & E because I could not breathe, I was gasping and scared out of my wits. The doctor told me to stop coughing my germs on him. Another doctor accused me of smoking and got really angry when I told him I had stopped, he marched away leaving my adult son holding a blood gas needle in my arm. One of my problems is that I get exhausted due to the exertion of breathing and many times I have had a really angry nurses stick a sats monitor on my finger and tell me that my sats are 95% so I should not be complaining. I have end stage emphysema and am on maximum treatment, I dread getting ill enough to have to go to hospital for antibiotics because I have had so many nightmare experiences. I have prednisolone and antibiotics on hand now to avoid hospitalisation, I know when I am getting ill and need to start them. I feel lost and so alone because people don't realise the misery, suffering and depression go with this disease.

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sorry to hear you had such a bad time at your hospital, its outrageous that you were treated like that. My only problem has been with 2 gp's, the hospital doctors and nurses were very supportive, helpful and kind. Glad you can now use your rescue pack of prednisolone and antibiotics, it will hopefully stop those exacerbation's quicker. I have suffered from crohn's disease for 20 years and have never been treated so unkindly. Now that i also suffer with copd i can only assume that this bad treatment comes with the fact of being an ex smoker, but dont forget we are all entitled to a duty of care from medical professionals whether they like our lifestyles or not. Wish you well for the future and hope you never need another hospital visit.

I just wrote a reply and it vanished on me..................................

If you want to talk anytime, we are all here to help ok. Try social services for many benefits including home adaptations and occupational therapy. There are medications for pain and depression if you don't already have them and your Gp can arrange counselling if you need it. And if you are not happy with your GP, think about changing. Sounds daunting I know but its your life and you are entitled to the best standard of care.

Thinking of you xx

Years ago I woke up with chest pain. Went up doctors and he just said an infection and gave me antibiotics. During the day I became more and more ill and eventually went to my neighbours and virtually collapsed on their doorstep. They insisted I ring the doctor. I did and asked him to come out to visit. He was very grumpy and said I was panicking but very relunctantly agreed to come out. I felt so bad about this that I struggled into the surgery instead. He listened to my chest and told me I was verging on pnuemonia and that I was quite ill. I just looked at him.

It's such a shame that people have such bad experiences at the hands of those who are paid to help them.

Lets hope its only a minority ,I have to say I get wonderful treatment,my g p 's are brilliant,my local respiratory team are also really great,and on the rare occassion's I have been hospitalised my treatment and care have been reasonable but not brilliant.

I worry about the future and cuts to the NHS and what effect they will have on us.

It's probably quite important that when a patient is treated badly by medical staff that a complaint is made ,not always easy to do but very important.

Keep puffing


Patomic, my hubby is at the same stage as you, and I agree, the majority of 'proffessionals' who we have to deal with, are so unkind, even downright hostile.

A while back our GP left the practice, so had to choose another GP, he made his choice, made an appointment to see him, to ask to be taken on his role?

Hubby has end stage COPD and end stage Heart Failure, so is not well in general,

The GP's answer to his request, "I know nothing about heart problems, or Emphaseama, you'd better go to someone else" ??

I thought he was a Doctor, able to deal with just about anything, is that not why they choose to become GP's.

Anyway, hubby replied that he had chosen him from what was available within the practice.

GP eventually agreed to treating him, under sufference. The other GP's were a waste of space, for his conditions. So he had little choice.

We are still with same GP, 4 years later, however now he is on community care, so almost all treatment and decisions are undertaken at home, by the community team leader, Matron. For the first time in nearly 20 years, he is at last listened to, treated with respect and dignity. It is wonderfull, just hope it continues.

Here's wishing all COPD people a breathe easy day, and a better understanding and acceptance within the NHS.

I have problems with new doctors, have even been told by one doctor that there is nothing wrong with me, I have a new COPD nurse and she is wonderful, the only one I have seen go through my notes. My sats are often 95%, strange how I still feel awful and my breathing bad. There are not enough people that wish to take the time, because its not a decease that can be physically touched. They all have a go at me for smoking which I have not done for quite a few years. My nurse actually sat down and asked questions about lifestyle what jobs I had had and where had I lived and said its not down to one thing alone. Wish these experts would stop being judgemental

Hi Everyone, yes i too have has a couple of bad experiences with doctors.I woke up breathless and feeling very ill one morning, i phoned my GP and asked if it would be possible to have a home visit, as i felt too ill to move.He asked me if i could make it down to the surgery and i agreed and went to the surgery, he examined me and said he was phoning an ambulance as i needed to go to hospital, i then told him i had drove to the surgery, and he looked surprised, and said he would ask the ambulance to pick me up at my house !!!

Why don't they believe us when we say we are ill, i have never asked for a home visit in my life before.But since then i have had no problems, but i don't think some doctors always think to be honest, and i don't think they are all that knowledgable with this disease unfortunately.

hi i have had quite a few problems with my gps and also hospital drs they just dont want to be botherd with you at all for our conditions i have copd /emphysima all you get told is stop smoking even when your not they just dont believe you they look at you like your a piece of dirt thats my impression anyway and if you suffer depression /anxiety well thats even worse because they say your imagining it all my god as if ,who would wish all these things upon themselves stupid silly doctors they just dont want to know us at all so i understand what you people are saying but just take care all of you ......jan

Yes the best people to talk to about this awful disease is the BLF they understand everything and after a very upsetting incident with a Consultant i phoned them and they managed to

calm me down, and also told me what level of medication i should be on for my stage of this illness, i wasn't on a strong enough inhalour it seems, so i informed my GP and he changed it

straight away.And anxiety comes hand in hand with this illness, if you think about it, anyone who cannot breathe properly is bound to be anxious and depressed.I would advise anyone who isn't getting the right information to phone the BLF they have trained people to deal with our questions.Take Care everyone.

I have got to the point where visiting the doctor is not much use any more because I am told to start the steroids and antibiotics and come back if there is no improvement, I do this without consulting the doctor in the first place and then put in for a repeat prescription. My doctor decides to change my enteric coated steroids to the cheaper uncoated versions and whenever I take them I vomit (I also have hiatus hernia and severe reflux) yet they still try to cut my steroids for the cheapest version telling me that there is no proof that the enteric coated are any better....well, I can tell the difference. Through all the steroids I now have bone problems, cracked ribs from coughing too hard, a collapsed vertebrae, severe pains in my joints, especially the base of my thumbs, I limp because of bone hip pain. Steroids have caused me gain weight and my doctor told me to exercise. Getting the right pain medicine is impossible due to the side effects and whenever I go to the doctor I cant seem to get through to them how I feel. It is hard for me because I was always extremely active and to be stuck in a body that does not work is hard. I am classes as a pink puffer and I get extremely breathless with little or no exertion and I get so frustrated because I don't understand it. Its medicine, nebulisers and oxygen from one day to the next and I know I am slowly getting worse and I'm trying to fight it all the way. I refuse to get into a wheelchair yet and want to do as much as I possibly can as independently as possible. My mother had this same disease, and my older sister died from it 2 years ago at 59, poor girl could not stop smoking and took her oxygen off to have a cigarette in the kitchen. The doctors nag about smoking but our age group never knew the dangers of smoking when we started and it was really all she had. I am lucky that I managed to stop but it was one of the hardest things I ever did in my life and still to this day fancy a smoke now and then (but don't do it). I don't want sympathy, I want the doctors and health professionals talk to me like I am a real person, a human being and treat me with respect instead of telling me I am on maximum treatment and there is not much else they can do. I know that dying from breathlessness is the worst way to die, I have almost been there, where I wanted just to lie on the floor and let it all stop. They say that no one needs to be in pain these days but they are lying. I used to be a home carer and watched many patients suffer terribly because doctors were unwilling to prescribe or afraid to over prescribe.

Next on my list is this new ESA thing we will have to go through. If the doctors are unsympathetic, what will happen to us wit these so called ATOS people who want to examine us and tell us if the think we can work or not. I wish I could put these people in my body for a couple of hours to see what it's like.

The saddest thing of all is that I know there are people out there who are far worse off than me. I have the love of my son and my little dog who I wake up each morning for and look forward to spending time with. I have a great sense of humour, I still find time to laugh and I appreciate the beauty of the warm sunshine or a beautiful sunset. Some people are not that lucky.

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Many thanks to everyone who responded to my question. This was my first outing in the community and have found the comments very useful. I find the level of support and kindness shown by members is excellent and knowing there are others with similar problems to me has been a great help for me coming to terms with the copd and knowing there is life after diagnosis. Best wishes to all.

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