A cautionary tale re NHS failings and ladies after menopause

I realise what I am about to discuss can effect men and ladies under menopause too but more commonly after menopause.

I have a relative aged 66, otherwise healthy, very active, slim and with high pain tolerance.

She has on occasions in the last 4 years fallen probably through rushing in heels. Consequence of those falls a very painful back, GPs visited. Take pain killers and go away the standard reply. Even a trip to A&E brought no help. Take painkillers and go away. This was after hearing a loud crack picking up a granchild.

Feb this year in agony again, the very strong lady reduced to tears turning over and moving visits GP again, told we don't do anything for backs these days. Exercise and take painkillers.

I have a physio friend who told me she most likely has a fracture, she needs a bone density scan and calcium. This without seeing her.

So back to GP, oh dear he says I have back ache too ( this is the jobs worth my son has dealt with about APS). Sends her away, come again in a few weeks. She does I say demand a scan and calcium. A I trust the physio. He says there's no point and bone density not necessary. But agrees to refer to another GP for second opinion. Weeks go by in agony. So the second guy says ok to an MRI but will she be content when it comes back normal and no she can't have calcium.

So fast forward MRI results back she has widespread osteoporosis her spine has crumbled. Now they order a bone density scan oh and large doses of calcium.

She had early menopause and broke a wrist 15 years ago but nobody picked up the relevance. And for 4 years GPs have ignored her.

I am so so cross, her back is ruined, she is a widow who wants to be active but I believe that's gone now. The GPshould be ashamed they have not even said sorry, this could have been prevented or at least halted 4 years ago before her spine was ruined.

So ladies take care and take your calcium and fight fight fight.

3 Replies

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  • I do so hope she writes and complains. If people don't complain then these Doctors will just go on treating patients badly. There is a mechanism for dealing with this sort of thing and it is up to us to encourage others to use it.

    That is appalling.

    One word of caution. Yes we must have calcium, but better that we ask for a test to see if we are deficient. If we take too much we can actually cause other problems, unlike Vit B12 which just gets flushed out of the body.

    If you have a Thyroid condition or are on warfarin, Heparin or any other risk factors for osteoporosis then a Bone Density scan should be done every 3 years. Doing an MRI before the Bone Density was fortuitous in your friends case but it should have been the other way around. She has every reason to complain.

  • Yes I realise too much calcium can cause a problem but directly before the MRI which she really had to fight for he refused calcium as unnecessary without any blood tests because she has milk on cereal. They even had the cheek to ask why, the pain was getting her down.

    The thing was she asked for a bone density scan on my physio friends advice but it was refused as pointless. Haha.

    This lady never generally visits the doctors looks after herself and would gain nothing from lying so I fail to understand why they just judged her as having a minor pain.

    I am surprised to learn those of us on warfarin should have bone density scan every 3 years. I had one on the Profs say so in 2004 but have not been offered one since. Looks like I need to ask him to write that to my GP when I email him.

    Come to think of it my hubby has had thyroid about 10 years and my daughter has for 4 years and neither have had it mentioned. Are there any articles you know if I could download.

    The more I learn the crosser I get.

  • Care between different GP's and practices seems to vary so much, I have had good and bad, currently good, but I have experienced at times the very worst of attitudes. Mary F x

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