Is it just the patients that suffer?

Being told you have RA is miserable. It's a shock, a life sentence, an awful lot to come to terms with. It is understandably easy to feel very sorry for ourselves, I know I did, but what about the Specialist do we ever give a thought to how he/she feels., I know I didn't. In fact I was very unhappy with his 'bedside' manner.

After a very long and painful eight months wait I got to see my consultant last week. On arrival he said he had been reviewing my treatment history then calculated my DAS and said that I now meet the criteria to be given anti TNF injections. He was kind, friendly, attentive and patiently answered all my questions, the complete opposite to previous visits when he gave a prepared speech, then shoulder shrugged evasively when I asked questions, in short made me feel I was a nuisance!!. When I asked why I had had such a long time between appointments and sufferred for 18 months he gave a very plausible explanation of NICE and its policies and practise.

I came away feeling happier, looked after and with hope for the future. I thought about how nice he had been and it occurred to me that on all previous occassions perhaps he had wanted to help but was unable to, because his hands were tied by the NICE criteria. For someone who spent years studying how best to help people it must be very hard to sit before a patient who is in pain, struggling with life and knowing that the only reason you can't help them is because the drugs that would probably help are too expensive to be prescribed.

That's a tough call, so perhaps we should spare a thought for the Specialist's, RA can be a real struggle for them too.

On the other hand perhaps I'm just a sucker for a sob story and a few well chosen words!!!!!

1 Reply

Welcome to the blog. Nice viewpoint. :o)

We sometimes forget consultants can at times feel helpless when confronted every day with people in lots of pain and their treatment is restricted by the cost of the medications.

I recently had a tweet from someone who said their Enbrel, without medical insurance, would cost $1,800 per month. With the Enbrel Quick Assist programme it would cost them $70 per month. With medical insurance it would cost them $10 per month. I mentally juddered. Never again will I curse the NHS. How in God's name do sick and disabled people cope in the USA?


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