GP visits

I have not been to see my GP for about four months now. The reason being that I am unwilling to take stronger drugs than the cocodamol I take. I am in constant pain but am learning ways to cope with it. This means basically resting half my life away. Making housework a thing I can do when I am having a good day. Turning down trips to London to spend time with my grand children. Things like this. My question is, will it affect any further applications I make for disability allowance in the future? I have been for an assessment once and was turned down. A family member insists that I need to make sure my GP sees me more often and he will make a note of my situation regarding pain and mobility? Just in case the authorities need to see if I ever seek medical advise.Thanks for any info. Ann

22 Replies

  • I have a sister with a really good doctor and she has everything on record and she got DA I used to leave it for months and have moved counties quite often so have not been with any doctor for very long. It does make a difference, because they do ask for evidence from your doctor

  • Disability benefits are not handed out to people who have a list of certain disabilities. They are paid to people who find extreme difficulties in cope with the disabilities they happen to have.

    So from the brief example you give it is unlikely you would receive disability payments. Regards Rib

  • As far as disability benefit applications go, my GP really doesn't have a clue what my disability level is, no matter how often I see them. What I do, is when I'm writing a benefit application, I make a summary of each section, then I take that summary into the GP and say "I'm applying for renewal of DLA (or whatever it is), and this is how my disability is currently affecting me" - then I hand over the sheet of paper and ask "can you put this in my file, so you have something to refer to if you are asked for a report". They are more than happy to do so. I occasionally also go to the GP just to update them on how its affecting me, and I start by saying "I'm not wanting any different treatment, but just wanted to let you know how things have gone since the last time I saw you". I think as long as you are seeing the doctor three or four times a year, thats enough when its a chronic condition that isn't really going to change.

  • I think that's one of the best bits of empowering information I have ever come across.


  • True. I'll maybe start doing this for myself so I have a reference point for the future.

  • I just wish I had thought of this a few years ago and I might not have been so frustrated when the doctor filled in forms for disability allowance in such a scrappy way that the decision makers refused on the grounds that my doctor hadn't mentioned the things I was claiming!

  • I have always thought of drugs as very last resort, but now will try any types and doses suggested. Please don't be afraid to try new things especially if your life is becoming so restricted. Better to have less doses of something stronger, or even alternative methods of pain control eg Gaba, physiology, steroids etc. Any progression of your condition should be looked at, irrespective of DLA, and the gp will assume everything is okay/copeable unless you say otherwise.

  • Hi chuck

    I am sorry that you are still struggling with pain.

    I don't have any advice. But things always seem bleaker in winter.

    I too have been unable to take a trip away from persistent pain. And my life has shrunk to depressing proporions. As the fatigue has now become crhonic.

    I am lucky that I have good mobility.

    But worry about the financial implications come the day when I can no longer do my job.

    Thank The Lord it is only part time.

    I have to work until I am 66.

    Pain is such a hidden disability. I have come to realise that in reality not much is known once it becomes crhonic. And the chances of you comming across someone who is current and more to the point motivated enough to read around the recent research is only slightly better than getting rid of it.

    Good luck.

    I think you are on the right track when you say that you are finding different ways of coping with it. May the new year bring some enjoyable things your way.



  • Personally, i think that not going to your GP ''shouldn't'' affect any DLA, but probably will. I am at the point where there is nothing else that can be done for my chronic pain, but I still see my GP occasionally just to keep her in the picture - she can't be expected to give an opinion if she hasn't seen me for 6 months. But, moreover, I am concerned about you not wanting to see your GP because you dont want to be on any more medication. There is absolutely no way that you can be made to take more meds if you dont want to, and your GP should understand that, and it is totally your life, your choice. However, as you say, you are ''resting half your life away''. Like you, I have to pace my life, and make the most of any 'good' hours. But that is done only because there IS no more medication that I could take. I started with co-codamol , tramadol and gabapentin etc, and eventually moved to oral morphine then through to morphine tablets (at a very high dose now, as I have been on them for so long). I am not sure of your reasons for not wanting to take other meds, and if you have tried them and not got on with them, then fair enough. But if you haven't, then why dont you try something new? If you dont like it, then no harm dont. But if you CAN get on with it, then why wouldn't you? It may well mean you have a few more 'good days' , and then at least you could potentially have a better quality of life. I would love to be given an opportunity to have a little less pain, a few more good hours to take the trips and visits etc. Or the ability to stand/sit that little bit longer, enough to bake a cake with my grandson. DLA is there to pay for extra help with mobility and care, so if there is a slight possibility that you could be more independant, should you not at least try? And then, if new medication etc has NOT helped, then you can apply for DLA, with your GP's support, knowing that you have done everything possible. You may then find that you qualify for DLA. Although its an iffy moral dilemma, and it possibly shouldn't be a case of ''having'' to try more meds just to back up your clain for financial support, I'm afraid that in these times, it may well have to be the case.

    Take care

  • Thanks everyone for your replies. I will be taking time to go through each again and see where I can apply some of your excellent advise. Ann.xx

  • There's more to taking a drug or not.

    There's the long term effects to consider,

    the fact that you are desensitizing your body to pain killers which can prove difficult if you need surgery.

    There's toxin build up and increased sensitivity to these toxins.

    Side effects that also require medication, suddenly you are not taking 1 med but 20!

    The effects on your mental ability compacts on your physical ability.

    GP's are influenced by drug companies to use their drugs and The GP's get bonuses if they prescribe x amount a year.

    It can be done using alternative therapies - I work, don't claim benefits and have a condition that causes chronic pain. I do things despite the pain - I have pain whether or not I do anything so I might as well be doing something and getting some enjoyment out of life. Afterall, it's only pain.

  • I kind of agree with you Dan, as my previous post said. It seems really daft to turn down meds that could help - many of us here would love to be given the chance to reduce our pain and increase quality of life. But many, like me, are at the end of the road and there is nothing out there to help with pain anymore. When it comes to life, you have to help yourself as far as you can before you can expect others to help you - and that includes financial help via DLA. Nobody likes taking meds, the side effects aren't always fun, but if you want any kind of help, then help yourself first

  • Just to clarify, I have tried a variety of medications, tramadol, gabapentin, nerve block injection, amytrytiptiline amongst others and have had severe side effects from them all. I tried to find something to ease the pain. I have also been told by the specialist that any operation on my spine is very invasive and has a high risk factor and he can not guarantee any improvement and so will not attempt one.

    I have also seen a physio who said Long term there will be no relief.

    I am managing quite well with assistance from my local social department as regards to aids to help me in the home. For this I am very grateful.

    I have worked as a care assistant all my life. Hard, physical work.

    Dan I have no intention of claiming anything from the government at the moment and if I was able I would much rather be working.

    Jaffa 7. I have done everything possible to help myself and do so every day of my life.


  • '' I am not sure of your reasons for not wanting to take other meds, and if you have tried them and not got on with them, then fair enough. '' Thats from my first post to you. So fair enough Ann, it seems that like me, you have gone as far as you can. It actually seems very much like my situation - back surgery too risky, all the physio, other meds, with the end result being that there is nothing more that can be done, so live your life the best way you can. I would ask though, if you have tried any of the opiates? They are not ideal for chronic pain caused by mis-firing nerves, but they can help with some of the other issues that occur with chronic pain.

  • Hi Jaffa 7. The last time I spoke to my GP and asked for something stronger such as opiates he said if I start taking them now he will have nothing to give me when the degeneration in the spine worsens. He advises leaving them for as long as possible. I am thinking of seeing one of the other GP's to see what they say. Thanks for you reply. Have a good evening. Ann

  • Are you sure we haven't got the same GP????!!!??? LOL !! Thats exactly my GP's concern - that after the opiates, there is nowhere left to go, and as I am only 45, in 10-15 years time, what is she going to be able to give me then?. Unfortunately, such was my pain that I was in dire straits, and opiates needed to be included. It was a difficult decision for us both to make, but eventually I decided that my needs to be as mobile/independant were now, when my grandson was a toddler and my life was more active, rather than in a decades time. Also, I am a cross-that-bridge-later kind of person - I could be run over by a bus tomorrow, only to have lived in agony for the previous 5 years, when my life could have been better.

    Anyway - get a second opinion as you say, and see what happens

  • Hello Ann, Bob here

    I understand where you are coming from and I also understand your thinking on medications. I have needed to stop taking a medication that slows down my immune system to control my RA type complaint. As I suffer severe contraindications.

    These days if you refuse or show a fear of a medication, that may be prescribed that will be entered on the report that will be sent out from your GP and Specialist When you are going to be called in by the DWP. Sad to say I do not know what the result will be at that time so I would advise you to mention why you have refused certain types of medication as many standard medications in certain groups can be taken together.

    This would then complement further medications that may suppress your complaint.

    One thing they may say, you are preventing the suppression of your complaint, therefore making yourself possibly unemployed due to a possible mismanagement, that the Doctors have tried to prevent. So you are in all intents and purposes preventing yourself managing your complaint, possibly??.

    If you are being called it maybe a good idea to make an appointment with the GP to discuss your disability before a DWP CALL UP.

    Think I remember you use a TENS. Do you still use that ??


  • Hi Bob, what you are saying makes a lot of sense. I used to use a tens machine quite a few years ago. As time went by and my condition worsened the machine wasn't as effective. I am thinking of getting another one. As I tried to explain in my post, it isn't that I do not want to try stronger meds, just that they cause such severe side effects. Thanks for the reply. Have a good evening. Ann

  • Hello Ann look after yourself


  • You can still see your gp, and refuse meds as long as you evidence other things. You can record mood, ability, pain levels, activity. Also, try things like pilates, meditation etc and report back how they help or not.

    Refusing stronger meds is a valid point and your reasons are acceptable.

    Maybe find a free online course to do when you are resting, then maybe you'll feel the time is not wasted. Or start a hobby you can do while resting. Join some forums that interest you, and make a social connection. Go on a google map holiday, pick somewhere, walk the streets, find places of interest etc.

    Use skype for video calls to your grandchildren, not the same as being with them, but you still get to see them.

  • Hi Zanna, thanks for your advise. I really fancy the google map holiday and am going to a little town in South Africa today as my brother is flying there on holiday. It's a brilliant idea, thanks. Ann xxx

  • Brilliant! Enjoy your holiday

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