Sorry to start my new membership of the forum with a whinge, but I soooo need to get it off my chest.
I've been a smoker for 25 years, in recent years getting through 40 a day, give or take a few. I recently made the decision to have yet another go at giving up, and duly made my appointment with the smoking cessation lady at our surgery. That's all she's employed to do, by the way - help people like me quit. In the past I've tried patches (my bum looked like a patchwork quilt within 2 weeks!), gum (tasted foul, hurt my chest and made me fart a lot..... sorry, but it did!!), Inhalator thingy (had absolutely no effect whatsoever!.... ok, it did then - it made me look and feel really stupid sucking on a plastic fag that didn't even look like one!) Zyban (whoa man, spaced out or what?? and when not, felt incredibly sick).
So, this time I thought I'd have a bash at the new kid on the block - Champix. It took me 5 different chemists and nearly a week to get my prescription filled..... I was not impressed. But eventually I had the fancy looking packet in my hand, and was raring to go. I'm not going to go into the initial dosage instructions, but I did feel during the first week that I still had absolutely no desire to stop smoking........ that was until day 8, around about the time you get up to the maximum dosage, and suddenly I didn't want to smoke :eek: . To say I was amazed is an understatement - all of a sudden I can't stand the smell of smoke, if I stand near someone who has been smoking they smell dreadful..... pongy breath or what??! I have had the odd feeling where I think "surely one won't hurt?", but I've resisted, or turned to my distraction method - my colouring-in book (don't laugh till you've tried it!). The only side effect I have noticed with the Champix is that I get about 30 minutes of nausea when I take the morning dose..... it could of course have something to do with taking it on an empty stomach (for 25 years, my breakfast has consisted of a cup of coffee and a fag!!).
On Monday this week, the smoking cessation lady phoned me at work to see how I was doing and to arrange the making up of my next prescription. On Wednesday, I called in the dispensary bit of our surgery to collect it...... they had no record of it being prescribed, so I would need to phone in the morning (SCL had gone home), but don't worry as there's a pack of pills on the shelf. Thursday morning, I phoned the SCL to find out why she hadn't put the prescription through - sorry, she forgot :mad: . She assured me that she would walk down the corridor to the dispensary and sort it out..... any problems and she'd phone me. I called in to the Dispensary on my home to be told that they're out of stock, and there's up to a week's wait :mad:. So where did the pills go that they said they had??? Where was my promised phone call to tell me they didn't have any pills????
I am so angry it's not funny - I really don't need this hassle. I mean, it's not rocket science is it? If you are going to be prescribing a new drug to an increasing number of patients, surely you would set up, and keep an eye on the supply chain? Let's face it, the SCL doesn't have to see any other patients - she's not involved in flu jabs, blood pressure etc, only helping people quit smoking. The surgery receives additional funding to pay for this service, and it is my understanding of 'the system' that the more patients use the smoking cessation service, the more funding the GP gets.
I ended up phoning every chemist within a 50 mile radius that was still open yesterday evening..... most hadn't even heard of Champix. I now realise I'm not going to be able to get the prescription made up for several days as it's Good Friday today. I even phoned the NHS smoking helpline..... oh, ha ha, what a joke that is - go on, phone it for a laugh some time - if you're into smug, condescending and 'holier than thou', you'll love your little chat! Utterly useless 'service'...... well, it was for me anyway.
I suppose it all boils down, in a nutshell, to the fact that I feel I've been badly let down by the one small group of people who are actually paid to help me, and thousands like me, improve our health, by giving up smoking. Perhaps they now have so many Government Directives to follow that they don't know which direction they should be going?
I've decided I will be writing a letter of complain to the practice. It annoys me that the very few dealings I have with our doctor's surgery always have a level of incompetence involved. Usually I avoid the place like the plague (have you ever noticed how many ill people there are just sitting around?!)..... I've had a sharp reminder why! I'm that angry this time, that they are going to be told.
Sorry about that.... I feel much better now......Oh, my god, I'm turning into a grumpy old woman...... even worse, I could eventually turn into my mother! :eek: