Getting past doctors receptionists!!: I have... - PMRGCAuk


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Getting past doctors receptionists!!


I have discover the magic sentence you need to the doctors receptionist if you want a same day appt!! Earlier today discovered a weird rash half way around my back and stomach!! Instant thought was shingles or chicken pox as grandson also has had a rash for a couple of days. I decided to call and see if I could get urgent appt. this was my call “ I have pmr, I am on steroids and both my grandson and myself have what looks like a chicken pox/shingles rash, can I see the doctor ASAP”. The response was this “ of course, we can see you at 5.15 today”. After I got off the floor I thanked them and made my way to doctors a bit stunned. This password of sorts only gets you access to the gp, unfortunately you will have to sit in the corridor outside the toilets with any other lepers as you have “an unidentified rash”. As we waited outside the toilets various doctors went past smiling knowingly!! Our senior partner then asked what was going on and then said ok and went, and came straight back and said I will see you now.!! Outcome was good I have not acquired any more blasted illnesses and I had been bitten by a mass of midges and whereas I normally would have been scratching like mad because I am on Pred it has subdued my response. But the moral of the story is if you need to see a gp urgently try the words pmr, steroids, chicken pox and shingles and you will probably be seen urgently I just cannot guarantee where you will have to sit!! The partner did say though I did the right thing as if it had been shingles I would have been very ill with the lowered immunity. I told her it was because of this site and she said that was brilliant.

41 Replies

Years ago I developed quite a nasty, itching, stinging rash is several unrelated places - some of them unmentionable - after working in the garden in early spring. I called my GPs office and was told to come right over.

The doctor came out of an exam room where he had been with another patient, took a good look at the rash on my arm without touching it and pronounced "Poison Ivy. Go sit in the corner until I can write your prescriptions."

It took a couple of hours, but I was so grateful it wasn't something horrible I couldn't complain, especially as he came right out to see me when I arrived.

Sometimes they do the right thing at the right time. And then we have to wait...

We're fortunate here in Corwen, N. Wales - not a large GP practice but phone in (takes a few redials mind you) for same day appointment whatever condition.

Also some "pre-bookable" appoint mwnts can be made phoning at other times for a slot in a few days time if there's one available.

My grandson had something called hands, foot and mouth. Common apparently. Just a red rash on the er hands feet and mouth. Grandad caught it and was so ill. Most of us have it in childhood and are immune. I had never heard of it.

A couple of years ago I was working with a learning disabled theatre group. One of the participants was off with hand, foot and mouth disease and like you I had never heard of it. Last year my partners grandson had it. Is it something new? I have brought up two children and have grown up grandchildren but haven't came across it in all that time.

PMRproAmbassador in reply to Omanain

You probaby didn't notice it - it is generally very minor in kids but was a "thing" nearly 40 years ago when we lived in Germany.

Telian in reply to SheffieldJane

Me neither.... only heard of foot and mouth in cattle.

YellowbluebellAmbassador in reply to Telian

Just think, not only have you got pmr but also can get a cattle diesease!! We have reached new heights!!

Nothing new. About 40 years ago, my son's doc called it "little boy crud", otherwise known as Impetigo.

Highly contagious, easily treated with abx ointment.

prunus in reply to Purplecrow

Now you've translated it to something I recognise. I remember that word from being a child in the war all those years ago. Some things don't change - what's in a name?

YellowbluebellAmbassador in reply to prunus

Hand foot and mouth in kids is not impetigo as it’s rash is just a red mottled one and doesn’t ever develop into an open sore like impetigo but it is highly contagious and it spreads like wildfire in a classroom and the has no qualms about getting the adults who invariably feel it a lot more than the kids. Over the years it’s prob been loads of names some you would recognise. Same old infection but nice new name!!


Things like that spread round my grandsons school like wildfire and like you say at most it make them grumpy and just off colour but when adults get it it’s a totally different thing! As I had read on here about chicken pox/shingles and knew it went around the waist most often I immediately thought that’s what I had got. I was really upset because I thought I could have infected zach. Doesn’t happen like that but the brain just wouldn’t let he think straight!! Turns out we were both probably bitten by midges in our garden. At least I didn’t have to own up to my daughter that I had made him ill.

Is it just me or does everyone blame everything on pmr? Only been taking Pred 3 weeks and already a nervous wreck about any new ache or pain!

I think we normally blame everything on the pred. Rain, tsunamis, hurricanes it is all pred's fault.

YellowbluebellAmbassador in reply to piglette

I thought it was because I am a bitch!!

I will check on the PMR symptoms and the side effects of pred and see if you are mentioned!!

YellowbluebellAmbassador in reply to piglette

Oh I am sure I am there under “ total pain in the backside, has been known to bite and should be treat with caution. Do not feed after midnight and don’t be lulled into a false sense of security”

Oh yes there you are!

You 2 are so refreshing.

YellowbluebellAmbassador in reply to englishrose417

That’s because if you don’t laugh at something you end up wallowing in all the crap we have to deal with. We all know we are ill and we will have bad days and I know that I am only just starting this journey but if I can either make someone laugh or at least make me smile then things don’t seem quite as bad. Hopefully you had a smile on your face after hearing us joke about x

I came down from Pred 40mg to zero for 2 weeks it was wonderful I started myself back on 5mgm when the misery started again. I go to the Mayo Clinic here in the US they say whatever helps, you 2 would have been a great help. Keep up the good work.

YellowbluebellAmbassador in reply to englishrose417

If you see the replies in this site they all say if it works for you it is right and everyone is different. Just keep plodding on and things will get better I am sure. I am glad me and piglette made you laugh because we all need to have lighter moments amongst all the rubbish we are dealing with. Take care of yourself and you know you can always tune in for a laugh now and again! Xx

Hidden in reply to Yellowbluebell


That is definitely caused by Pred.

Purplecrow in reply to piglette


The biggest issue is whether some new ache or pain is the beginning of a flare vs effect of Pred. or just something that otherwise normal people get , like rotator cuff, bursitis, arthritis, etc etc etc.

bunnymom in reply to Hindags

Yes exactly. And after 2 and a half years I still don't know. Same thing with fatigue. Did I do too much? Is it stress? Is it adrenals? Do I need to exercise more? Should I rest more? Around and around we go.🎠

OK. Now I'll tell you another story.

It was in my early PMR days, on a cold winter morning. It had snowed a couple of days before and the temperature had plummeted. It was so cold, there was frost on the inside of the windows.

I didn't want to wake my hubby, but I wanted a really warm pair of socks to wear inside my boots. I didn't turn the light on when I went rooting in the sock drawer, but I felt a around and found a really fuzzy pair after rooting around in there just by touch. I sat down on the edge of the bed, pulled them on, got the boots on (no easy task in those days, I'll tell you), got into the rest of my cold-weather get up, got out of the house and started walking down the hill to the bus stop.

About half way down, I started feeling something really odd going on with the bottoms of my feet. It felt like there was something in my shoes, something like pebbles. I said to myself "Oh, shoot, what the heck is happening NOW?!? Is there no end to the crap I'm going to have to put up with?!? WHY ME?!?!?!?"

Well, I got on the bus, walked onto the ferry, walked to the office, and by the time I got there, those pebbles felt like rocks. I was sure some dire new symptom was about to cripple me. I thought I wasn't going to be able to walk. I was close to getting hysterical.

It took a while, but I finally got the laces undone and the boots off. I was wearing slipper socks. You know, the kind with the no-skid plastic patches on the bottom. No wonder it felt like I had rocks in there!

I laughed like mad with relief, and learned that not everything that goes wrong is PMR.

YellowbluebellAmbassador in reply to GOOD_GRIEF

I know it seems so easy to just blame everything on pmr or Pred and as I am so new to this even the slightest pain has me imaging the worst of every disease I must have developed overnight. Must admit I have been known to wear slipper socks and then realise they are bloody uncomfortable when wearing shoes/ boots. Unfortunately when I have done it it’s been down to just me being an idiot and not pmr or side effects of Pred!! This does not bode well for this journey if I started out an idiot.!!

I know what you mean about blaming things on pmr or the pills we are popping. I have got a sore gum below a big molar which started about 10 days ago, around the same time I started on Adcal. Ignored it at first but now am taking paracetamol as the soreness is there all the time and feels like an abscess, so off I went yesterday to the dentist, where an xray couldn't find anything and no prodding around near the tooth could detect anything, so am still on paracetamol and going back on friday for review. I was then at the drs later yesterday so mentioned it to her, I asked could it be a reaction to the steroids or Adcal but she didn't think so, she checked my jaw (knew what she thinking, could it be related to GCA) but its not my jaw, its my gum, so at this point I'm left wondering what it is and why I have had it for so long, it is bloody annoying me now. I still think it might be a tooth problem, and i hate the dentist and hope they don't have to ever take it out! It may not have anything at all to do with this pmr or treatment, but can't help linking it.

YellowbluebellAmbassador in reply to Lonsdalelass

If this isn’t clearing up you really need to see your dentist and doctor again. Who knows what might be causing it but it definitely isn’t normal to have to take pain killers for sore gums. Keep at your doctor and dentist until you get some answers. Keep safe and good luckx

Thank you


Good tip! Thanks.

There's a joke around here "it takes 7 years to train a doctor and 7 minutes for the receptionist to think she is one!"

Joking aside we are very lucky here. We can book appointments online for future dates but if it's urgent and you phone up and its not the receptionist that decides, you are put through to a Triage Doctor, who decides what should be done.

YellowbluebellAmbassador in reply to RunRabbitRun

I wish ours did that. We just have to deal with the “trained receptionists”. I know they need to ask why but just can not see how they can decide who is urgent and who isn’t!!

. My local medical centre has pre -bookable appointmenta made either by the local receptionists or online, and a rapid access clinic where you can speak to a receptionist who will put you through to a doctor who decides if you need a same day appointment. In addition every day there's an on-call doctor who will telephone you back within 2 hours to give advice and who is able to make appointments.

Just over a fortnight ago I rang the rapid access clinic at 9.10am, was told I was number 4 in a queue, spoke to a receptionist, (who's in a different medical centre, 3 miles away, which is in the same group as my local medical centre), told her I was asthmatic and had a chest infection, and was put through to a doctor. He made me an appointment for 11.20am the same day.

piglette in reply to Thomas45

That sounds fantastic. I phoned up the receptionist last week and asked for a telephone appointment and was given one for 6 November! Actually seeing the doctor in real life is even worse. It is a tiny village practise.

YellowbluebellAmbassador in reply to piglette

It does make me mad when people have to wait weeks for an appointment. For gods sake I could be dead by then!! Seriously we shouldn’t have to wait that long. I know there are urgent appointments available but the we have to wait to see if our specialist receptionist seems our problem urgent. I would happily tell my symptoms to a nurse who can triage and decide my fate but I refuse to have my health decided on by a clerk who has decided she has the 7 years necessary experience to become a doctor!! Sorry, rant over now!!

Perhaps that is the grand plan, get rid of half of us in advance as we will be dead so more appointment places available!

My surgery does not have any checks by the receptionists who are pretty clueless. It really depends on how much fuss you make.

I get strange periods of itching and rash...disease, Actemra, Rayos...?? I have GCA, PMR, Fibro

YellowbluebellAmbassador in reply to Dream21

I also get itching where there is no rash but I want to tear at skin. Mentioned it at doctors but never really got a reply. The recent spots were really big but just turned out to be midge bites!!

PMRproAmbassador in reply to Dream21

I had itching which eventually would develop into open sores, especially in skin creases. The form of itching was similar to dermatitis herpetiformis which is a version of coeliac disease and then I realised that it improved between holidays when I ate little or no carbs (i.e. bread/pasta) in an attempt to lose weight but reappeared when we had been to Italy to our flat. Experimentation showed it was due to wheat - not gluten - and avoiding wheat gets rid of the problem. I can eat proper sourdough (not the imitation stuff) and spelt, kamut and rye anyway. It is thought to be part of the autoimmune aspect of PMR.

YellowbluebellAmbassador in reply to PMRpro

It looks like most of my favourite foods are fast becoming more and more problematic. I love toast, crisps, potatoes of all sorts and pasta I also have an extremely sweet tooth!! This is going to get nasty.

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