Do I tell or not?????

I have my first GP app after my diagnosis from the consultant 4 weeks ago. Can anyone advise me if I should tell him tha symptoms I am getting and the reaction to the meds ( MTX AND HYDRO ) or should I wait to tell the rheumy nurse in 4weeks time. I only really made the app for GP as I need another prescription. I know it seems a stupid question but I don't know which way to go, I don't want to take up the GP's time unnessecerry as I do know they are very over worked., but on the other hand should I tell him how I feel. Knowing the wonderful people out there in cyber space someone will advise me what I should do.

14 Replies

  • Many GP's have a shared care agreement with Rheumy departments, mine does & I would think if your repeat scripts come from your GP yours has too. That said most GP's have limited knowledge of RD & DMARDs specifically so any problems I have with those types of meds I usually report to my Rheumy nurse or if my appointment is imminent my Rheumy.

    My GP takes care of my pain relief, BP, cardio checks, vitamin levels etc & the Practice Nurse takes my drug monitoring bloods. It won't harm to tell your GP though if you want, he may prefer to be kept up to date with how you're doing on your meds between Rheumy appointments, mine does even though I don't bother her with specialist meds generally.

    One thing I would ask whilst you're there is if you could be added to the list for the annual flu jab as an "at risk" patient if you don't ordinarily have it.

  • Hello Diddydriver, what happens at the hospital I attend is that the Rhumatologist writes to my GP to inform her of what happened at the consultation but my GP is always interested in how I've got on and the meds I'm on. If you are feeling really poorly then tell the GP and he/she may be able to help. Does your Rheumatology dept have a Specialist Nurses help line? I would say talk to your GP about it and don't feel guilty about taking up their time as you are as important as the next patient. Make some notes before you go so that you know what you are going to say and you don't forget anything.

    Very best wishes Hil

  • Dear nomoreheels, Thankyou, I presume my GP has a care agreement with rheumy dept as the rheumy only gave me 1months supply of drugs but an app with nurse in 2months. As I have a heart condition for a number of years I already have the flu jab and have had the pneumonia jab as well, so I thankfully that is already in my GP records (one less thing to worry about ) Thanks

  • You're welcome. Having a heart condition your GP will probably have particular interest in how you are in relation to RD. As you've received your copy of the report letter your GP will have too so I would think he'll discuss your Rheumy's findings, will ask you how you're doing on your meds so you can tell him about the side effects then.

  • I really don't think you should worry that you are doctor bothering at all Diddydriver. You are newly diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis after all and your GP will probably want to know how you are managing with the medication and how you are coping with this disease and your heart condition. This is a very good use of a GP's time I'd say. If he or she doesn't know much about RA or associated diseases or the drugs then it's always good for them to learn more.

  • Thankyou hils your reply gave me very sound advise I will talk to him ( my GP ) as you say I am as important as the next person. I have always been the kind of woman that plays down pain ect probably why it took 5years to get a diagnosis, but not any more I think I need to speak up and say exactly how I feel. You have given me the idea that I am important. I will write a list as I do forget when I get in his surgery.

    Take care.

  • I think it's important that you do talk to your GP about this, as it's a chance to work out who's going to do what so that you're clear for the future.

    With me the GP deals with pain relief, blood pressure, cholesterol and Vit D, plus flu jabs. The GP also issues the prescriptions for most of my RA drugs, but directed by the consultant.

    The rheumy deals with assessing my progress with the RA drugs, and tells the GP if things need to change. Also responsible for things like x-Rays & scans and referrals to podiatrist and physiotherapist (or not as the case might be as physio is useless!).

    I have the blood tests at the hospital, and there's often a bit of to'ing & fro'ing to make sure that the GP gets a copy in time to issue the next prescription. However, a lot of people get them done at GPs - so if you're not sure then ask.

    The other question you might want to ask is whether your GP is prepared to get involved if you have a bad flare & need eg a steroid jab, or whether this should be directed to the hospital.

  • Thankyou twitchytoes As I do have a young GP I never really thought about him still learning, how right you are. Maybe he will be interested in how I am getting on with the meds. I will let you know how I get on.

    Do keep as well as you can.

  • Very sound advise helexhelex, I didn't realise just what is really involved with all the things that have to be checked. Yes you are right I do need to have a good chat with my GP I realise that now. Thankyou so much I do feel better at seeing him tomorrow now.

  • If you don't tell him how will he know what to advise you. Tell him so he could give you something to counter act the symptoms for you. He might also tell you to contact ylur rheumy. So yes tell him what is happening. The drs treat the whole person not just bits of you like the hospital does.xxxxx

  • It is always a good idea to keep your GP up to date. They may not know much about RD but can be in contact with the RD consultant if they feel it is necessary. They should be working together for you. Also the GP will be learning more about RD!

  • Hi I think you should tell your GP as he could bring your Rheumy app forward if needed and don't forget your GP works for you he needs to know how you really are please take care x Dawn

  • I've always kept my GP up to date with all visits to Clinics and all Clinics with updates to GP. The system here (and assuming you're n the UK too) is that ALL health notes are stored on an accessible file via the NHS network. Forewarned is Forearmed. My GP is quite keen on following my progress and treatment etc., not only for her own notes, but also to be able to understand the condition should there be anyone else who presents with it in the future. It's by sharing information that we move forward. Progressive research needs historical records in order to present a future model. A reluctance to share could mean someone missing out. I'm all for sharing and if it means telling the same story twice then fine. That's how we learn.

  • It is interesting that ALL your health notes are available. I spent a lot of time tracing my old GP records only to find that when they did arrive they were missing consultant records from diagnosis of OA when I was 12, which is the reason I was tracking them down. The other point is I recently attended hospital as a result of a now diagnosed TIA, yet they had no access to other NHS trust records, I am being treated at 4 different hospitals for different aspects and expected that they would each have access, but they don't. I find it worrying that having finally got a RA consultant to consider all my, from memory, medical history she finally spent the time with me and produced a 3 page report on the interactions between all my conditions, that no one else has access to.

    How can they make a diagnosis when the facts are held in different places. Communication is critical especially when I ended up having another, more serious as I was paralysed, TIA while waiting in A&E and to add insult to injury was ignored by a passing doctor.

    Perhaps this is a southwest London problem, has anybody else experienced this and more importantly did you get it fixed?

    I know this was off topic for the original poster but returning to it, I always keep my GP informed and have a copy of any letters with me, when I attend an appointment, as it is important that he is aware as it may require a change in medication and delays can have a serious result.

    Your GP is the primary contact point and you should always keep him informed, as my post above, the information doesn't always get shared and if it is, then it is generally late arriving at the GP.

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