Inaccurate and unfair report from GP

I am an additional support needs teacher in a primary school, which is a very physical job. I can be outside with children running from letter to letter or number to number, racing up and down corridors with all my supplies, including a very large whiteboard, in 4-5 different heights of chairs in a day from very tiny to just right, I might be building forest dens or going on long rambles with my upper school nurture group or I might just as well be spending all day in meetings followed by 5-6 hours of non stop typing to get everything recorded. In addition to this there are all the other bits of the job which sees a very packed timetable where I move from place to place and task to task with barely time for a quick toilet stop followed by putting away the morning's resources and collecting those for the afternoon. My job is by no means a typical class teacher's job.

Unfortunately all of this and my ongoing muscle and joint pains finally caught up with me and when the day came that I was unable to get out of the building in the allotted time for a fire drill I knew I had to take some time off. I was in agony, despite having a reduced contact timetable, and was certainly not fit to be in work. That was in October 2013. In November I was diagnosed with fibro and by December my employers occupational health team had put me forward for early retirement on medical grounds. In early Feb 2014 my GP received a request for a report on my health and a possible prognosis re my return to work. This report was finally completed on 22nd April 2014 and came to a mighty page and a paragraph! I bet he is glad he doesn't get paid as a piece worker!

This report states that I have required physio 7 times since 1995, never for the same thing twice but all joint and muscle pains. I have had ongoing issues with depression, anxiety and agoraphobia and treatments have included CBT, counselling, day to day help from a CPN and various medications. I was diagnosed with lymphoedma in both legs in November 2012 but there is no mention of that in the report.

What is totally galling though is the second last sentence of the report which states "She is clearly very anxious about how she might cope with a return to work and I think this anxiety may be affecting her progress at the moment." I am so angry about this as I feel it makes out that I simply do not want to be back at work which is nonsense. At the moment I can barely get to one shop, but a few things and get home without being in total agony for hours afterwards and completely exhausted! I feel like this man has barely heard a word I have said over the past months. I have decided that on my next visit I am going to ask to be referred to a pain clinic and see how I get on with that. I have never seen a specialist, I am unable to apply for a blue badge as I need a letter from a hospital or to be awarded PIP for mobility but my PIP application was only sent away in February of this year. I just feel very angry and let down at the moment and I just needed to get it out to people who will understand. If you have got this far then thanks for persevering, Linda.

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18 Replies

  • Oh Linda so sorry for what you are having to go through,Have you thought of going to a new doctor. Lots of hugs sue xxx

  • I think I will have to Sue, I am in a fairly big practice so it won't be too hard but I am going to have one more appointment with my current doctor to take him to task, in a polite way of course. I am just so angry with him, I feel I have had to fight for everything I have had so far, and it hasn't been much.

  • Morning Linda. I was having problems with my doctor and was thinking of moving. Now that he has had more info from the Rhumy he is great, It was just lack of knowledge causing problems.

    Unfortunatly not all gp`s are willing to change, but the more that we can convince to take a fresh look at fibro the better

    Good luck in seeing a Rhummy yourself and ask for written confirmation of diagnosis. The powers that be take more notice if it comes from a specialist than a gp Hugs sue xx

  • Hi Linda. I can empathize with you on this, my GP don't know anything much about Fibro but he is excellent with everything else, he investigates any new symptoms, I know from friends that have Fibro, their GP's put everything down to Fibro, so I have decided to stick with him. I applied for DLA about 4 years ago and they asked him to fill in a form to explain my illness, he put very little information on the form, which was of no help to me, needless to say I was turned down. I have just applied for PIP and have explained to them that my GP is not fully aware of my difficulty's with walking ect as I don't go in and tell him about them as there is really nothing he can do for me and I don't want to be wasting his time, so they can do what they like with that information, I will appeal if I get turned down this time.

    I'm not sure what to suggest, who diagnosed you with fibro? if it was a rheumatologist did you ask him/her for a letter? if you haven't seen a rheumatologist I would ask to be referred to one.

    I wish you all the best

    Mazz x

  • Hi Mazz, it was my GP, after many appointments and tests. I did ask to be referred to a rheumatologist but was told that they would tell me the same thing. I am going to ask to be referred regardless though as I am in constant pain and it is not all in my head.

  • Gosh Linda, how on Earth did you manage to do all that? I know a few people in similar roles and there is no way I could handle it (I would love to be a TA or something similar if I was healthy enough) and you are in an actual teaching role. I feel such a wuss for moaning about my admin job! How do they expect you to cope with a physically demanding job like this with FMS?

    I can understand why you are angry, I think the GP probably thought they were supporting you by mentioning your anxiety, but obviously you don't feel that way. I think you should go and explain if you can, how this report made you feel unsupported and was not clear enough. They need to realise, that their target audience (ie the school) are not trained medical professionals and may well interpret the report in a different way to how it was intended, if this makes any sense! I don't always manage to type what I know I mean in my head x

  • Thanks Stormwytch, that makes perfect sense and gave me a different perspective, which is always helpful. I will be seeing my GP next week so I will suggest that to him. Thanks again, Linda.

  • Hi Lruk

    I am so sorry to read that you are having all of this unnecessary and unwarranted nonsense thrust upon you without any adequate support. I would definitely see a different GP, and I would consider liaising with my union rep if I were you?

    Maybe you could ask for a recognition of your disability? If they would do this?

    I genuinely hope that everything gets sorted for you my friend.

    Take care and good luck

    Ken x

  • Thanks Ken, the local authority have recognised both the lymphoedema and the fibromyalgia under the equalities act. As for my local area union rep, I contacted her before I was even off work but she really wasn't very helpful. Hopefully I will know the outcome off all of this in a few weeks, I will keep you posted.

  • Thanks Lruk, I want to wish you the best of luck and i will be interested to know how you get on? Take care

    Ken x

  • Hi Lruk so sorry your gp has failed to understsnd your situation fully and has not supported you. They are the one person you need and frequently they are not up to the job, its shocking how often people find themselves in similar situation. I do hope your situation is resolved as soon as possible. Sharon

  • Thanks Sharon.

  • Hi Lruk-I have a similar job here in Ireland with Special needs kids and it is full on! I have been off work for the last year with Fibro and Cfs and am in the middle of a salary protection claim-my Rheumatologist's letter basically said I had Fibro but then negated it by hinting that it might be overmedicated thyroid-he knew what the letter was for-luckily the Endo wrote a lovely letter for me saying my Thyroid Meds are fine. The Rheumy was absolutely thoughtless and made everything more complicated than it needed to be. He also wouldn't write Cfs as "they will know that it's a symptom". Unbelievable aren't they!!

  • Sadly Boronia, yes they are. You would think that the money was coming out of their pockets, the way they try to make it sound like we are all imagining our pain.

  • Thanks to everyone for their thoughtful and helpful replies. I will see the same GP once more, to let him know how angry and let down I feel and how far from the truth his report was, then I will try another GP in the same practice. It isn't possible to attend a practice out of our designated areas where I live but there are 2 or 3 other doctors I can try, though none of them are terribly sympathetic.

    I should have a decision on the retirement thing in a few weeks and I will keep you all posted on that. I am able to just take my pension in about three weeks but I really don't want to go down that route because I feel I would be giving in if I did. We will see, thanks again everyone, Linda.

  • I hope you are feeling ok today. I'm sorry to hear your struggle. I empathise with all you have said, I was a nursery teacher and it is an extremely physical and brain draining job. I would say go to your doctor and discuss his report stating what he has missed and what needs to be said. Take a list with you. Have you been diagnosed with fybro by a specialist? if not ask to be seen. Ask for all your medical reports as well.

    I took ill health early retirement from teaching after long term sick leave where I explored every medical option with my doctor in order help me get back to work. My doctor was supportive and that does help greatly, so if discussing with your doctor does not work ask to see a doctor who is more familiar with fybro. I also used the councils dedicated counselling service I had my own personal counsellor, everything is completely private and it helped me a lot and she wrote a very supportive letter to go with my ill health claim.

    When you apply for ill health retirement they do look to see if you have been to a pain clinic. My first attempt failed because I left it to HR to put it all together and they missed a lot of things out. I then asked my union for help, and they were extremely helpful and with their help and I got my pension. It's not a lot but It certainly helps. If you need any advise please get in touch my thoughts are with you I know what you are going through. Hope this was understandable. Xxx

  • I have come across a couple of doctors who don't believe in Fibro. Wow - so many of us making things up to just try and get out of work and lead boring lives at home! I suppose if your doctor diagnosed it he at least accepts its existence and he can just as easily prescribe the drugs that a rheumatologist can. However, what a GP often can't do is speak with the same amount of authority about a particular condition so trying to get referred may be the best thing. It's odd - if he diagnosed the Fibro why shy away from saying it in your report? Could you ask him why he didn't perhaps? As that is at the heart of all your problems. I agree that he probably meant well with the anxiety comment. Even if it's true it doesn't negate the fact that he diagnosed you with Fibro and he should clearly put everything relevant to your current state of health into a report about your ability to work. Maddening. All the very best of luck. Guess you may have seem your GP now? I really hope you were successful with him.

  • Change Doctors Honey. Not all of them are so rude, mean, and uncaring. I pray you find a good one, that can help you!!!

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