Doc Martin story line

Was it just me, or was anyone else upset with the PMR/GCA portrayal on this TV show. Aunt Joan seemed to be suffering a slight stiffness in her shoulders and a bit of blurred vision. After Doc Martin got the results from a biopsy, (he did in his surgery!). She was told she would be put on Prednisolone which would start being reduced after 2 weeks and continue to reduce for a year. It was all treated so lightly. After the time I have had coming to terms with the fact that I have a serious illness & explaining my pain to people around me, I now feel that people will think I'm exaggerating.

10 Replies

  • I agree. I didn't watch the episode in question but watched this week to see if there was any continuity. There wasn't and that's what this wretched ailment needs because it ain't going anywhere quickly!

  • I totally agree, Aunt Ruth was also walking around the station carrying a heavy suitcase. She had a bit of stiffness in her shoulders nothing to bother about and she could easily go and get some high profile job while suffering with both PMR and GCA. She felt Doc Martin was just being over protective and making a fuss. Who has met a GP like that, it is usually the absolute opposite.

    As you say it really does not make it look like anything much, just stiff shoulders and an occassional blurr to your vision. I wonder if she will have any side effects from the steroids, probably not.

  • Typical - didn't see it (never seen it in my life) but maybe a stiff letter to the producers? Ask them to introduce a flare? And point out the REAL guidelines for GCA...

    The fact Doc M did the biopsy in his surgery wasn't actually too bad as he was a vascular surgeon in a past life but can't stand the sight of blood. Which rather messes up the theory as I can't see how you'd do one without spilling a bit!

  • Hi, I've not watched it either. Totally agree about writing a letter. Who does their research? They need sacking!

    Maybe Doc Martin has received phobia therapy for his fear of blood?????

  • Hi,

    I can understand those suffering from PMR GCA are dismayed at the scant information and factual accuracy portrayed in this series. However, I think some of us may losing sight of the fact that it is a light entertainment programme, not a documentary. I'm sure the programme makers would say that as Doc Martin covers about three or four signicant health issues during an episode, they do not have the resources to investigate each and every illness.

    What it does do however, is highlight different illnesses, and maybe prod people into finding out more about their own conditions.

    I would agree its a pity they don't publicise helplines and/or further information at the end of the programme.

  • I don't care if it is "light entertainment" - if they want to introduce a story line in a programme that is about a doctor then the facts should be correct - particularly about how long an illness may last. If nothing else because the general public gets a totally false impression of what is involved and as a result don't believe people who REALLY have the illness. As most of us know all too well.

    One that absolutely infuriates me is CPR in any TV programme, particularly American medic dramas. The patient is sitting up eating breakfast half an hour later. That isn't what happens - but that is what Joe Public thinks would happen when discussions about his/her family member are initiated with regard to resuscitation. They get all upset that the suggestion is made that maybe a DNR might be appropriate. Proper CPR on an elderly patient usually results in broken ribs and very very rarely achieves more than perhaps a few hours or at most a couple of days of very poor QOL with a lot of pain. No - when I am already on the way out with a terminal illness, let me go gently please.

    Mind you, having said that, you would imagine that Casualty might be a bit better than average since they have medical advisers. Most of the NHS staff I know watch and sit shouting at the screen! Four of us went to see the new Casino Royale, 3 of us were NHS staff. When it got to the CPR bit we chorused "NO!" - how embarrassing!

  • Although fictitious with some annoying bits at least it brought PMR and GCA into the public awareness. As an ex eye nurse I did yell incredously at the TV when he did the biopsy in the surgery - but happy to be corrected as things have moved on. What was everyone else's biopsy experience ?

  • Many years ago, he diagnosed PMR on a waiter in a restaurant.

    Yes, we did write in - did we get an answer - did we heck.

    On the upside, it does raise awareness.

    Mind I did not see either programme as I never watch it.

  • I posted a short reply to elainecleary's comment but it hasn't been published. Can anyone out there suggest why?

  • Hi Elaine, I was shocked at the minimal explanation, discussion that went on with the diagnosis in this programme! I know it is fiction, I know they can't go into detail, it would become too boring for light entertainment if they did, but I felt, after my experiences that they actually belittled it! What seemed like a 2 minute obtaining a part of the artery for biopsy with an assistant that was obviously not trained, so anyone could do it type of attitude did not do the medical profession any good either. My biopsy harvesting took 1.5 hrs propped on my side in an uncomfortable position, so that I was too dizzy to walk for quite a while after! It has taken, so far 8 weeks to heal although I do still have scabbing, presumably because of the 50mg of Pred. The side effects were not really mentioned and what it does to your life in general. I am reducing my Pred at moment and with each reduction, down to 30 mg this week I have very significant reactions, I think I am going to try and speak to GP today because I feel very unsure that this dose is correct at the moment! So yes I totally agree with you, if they were talking about something everyone knows about you would see that it was just skirted over but something that is as unknown as this should not be covered or covered in such a way that it actually raises the awareness of it to a level of intelligent information! Sorry for the rant, but I did feel quite strongly about it at the time!!

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