I had my GP appt last week and unfortunately it didn't go well. First of all, as lots of you had advised me to go armed with plenty of information I wanted to print off allsorts from the Internet, but had problems with the printer, don't ask arrrggghhh!!!! But I thought I'd remember what I needed to anyway.
The appt went soemthing like this:
Having explained to GP how I wasn't sleeping most nights and certainly not getting a full night's sleep; that my legs were literally driving me crazy; that I paced the house night after night etc., etc.,
he said; ''... there's no cure for rls so there's really nothing I can do for you.'' (I'll just add that I had also asked him about my fibromyalgia problems too, to which he also replied that there was no cure for that either!) I said that I knew and realised their isn't a cure but thought that there was treatment for it.
To which he replied; ''...some people who take Ropinirole will tell you that it helps with their symptoms, but these drugs don't actually work at all.'' I said that I'd recently searched the Internet and come across RLSUK which I found extremely useful. That I'd joined the forum and along with reading the experiences of others, so many people with RLS had offered invaluable advice.
He almost smirked and said; ''...RLS is a common enough complaint that I know enough about it to know that there is no treatment for it.''
As you can imagine I was more than shocked/flaberghasted by this time, practically at the end of my tether with the man tbh. OK, I said, then what do you suggest I do because I can't carry on like this?
He replied; ''...well just looking at your current meds we could tweek those. The opiates won't be doing the RLS any good, but we don't want to stop those as they've stabilised other things, really there isn't anything else other than stopping the opiates.'' I told him that when I take Oramorph it actually helps to relieve some of the symptoms and by taking Tramadol it will do the same and sometimes allow me to get a couple of hours sleep.
I asked if a referral to a neurologist for RLS and a rheumatologist for Fibromyalgia would be possible please?
''.......not really, the first thing a neurologist would do would be to stop the opiates any way, and as I said, there isn't a cure.'' So what do I do then I asked?
''.....It's a matter of living with it and making lifestyle changes. But if there was a particular drug you wanted to try let me know.'' (Needless to say everything I'd gone armed with had completely left my mind and I couldn't remember the name of any of the drugs.)
To which he stood up, made his way to the door - end of consultation then, and I said; I may as well just go home and shoot myself then if that's the case because this isn't worth living with. He smiled, said ''....I've seen you in worse pain, so things are better. Nice to see you Val.''
When I reached the car I sat in it and sobbed, thinking where do I go from here, if my GP can't/won't help who will? As soon as I arrived home and 'gathered myself together' I called the surgery and said I'd like to be prescribed Pramipexole and also said that I was emailing 2 links for the doctors information; RLSUK and RLS.com. I received a 'phone call the following day to say the tablets were ready to collect.
I really think it's time to look for a new doctor. I cannot believe that any GP would treat any patient in that way, so dismissive it's untrue. God help him if he should ever suffer with this. Family and friends have always laughed and joked with me that having my birthday on Hallowe'en I must be a witch, a nice white witch of course!! Well honestly if I was, I'd cast a spell on him, and give him a nasty dose of RLS to try and see how he liked it. Maybe I'd not be a nice witch afterall. No, but all joking aside empathy, knowledge, understanding he had none. One thing he didn't suggest was that I should stop taking fluoxetine. I've recently read on here how this type of drug can make RLS worse or even cause it. I know that's not the case for me as I've had it since I was a child. I felt so desperate when I left his surgery, like I didn't know which way to turn. It wasn't as though I'd not lived with it for oh so many years as it was and hadn't bothered any health professionals with it. Not until I came across this forum did I think about seeing anyone about it; my symptoms were getting worse and I thought I had it in my arms, but worried that RLS was 'legs' not arms. I now know differnt. My mother had had it for as many years as I could remember, and now I had it, so.................
Thursday night I took the first Pramipexole 0.088g around 7:45pm. Legs felt so much better, arms too but the nausea was awful as was the itchiness, well it was more like 'prickliness of my skin all over my body,' very slight dizziness and headache which I really didn't want (as I suffer badly with migraine). However, I did manage to get about 6hrs sleep............wonderful. The prickly skin lasted all the next day as did the nausea. We were out Friday night and I'd forgotten to take a tablet with me and resorted to taking a sleeping tablet (zopiclone 3.75mg) and tonight, as you can tell I completely forgot to take one until it was too late.......or was it really? I'd like to ask anyone who takes this med, and if they've had the 'strength' to read this far please, (lol), if you've had similar side effects, if so are they likely to take a while to disappear or are they ones which don't go with time?
I have an appointment at the pain clinic on Monday so I shall relate this then and who knows maybe I'll get some help or advice there. Until then I'll persevere with Pramipexole and keep my fingers crossed whilst looking for a new doctors surgery.
Hope not too many of you are up and about tonight or if your were that you've made your way back to bed to sleep as long as possible. Well it's Sunday...good for a lie-in.
Chin up everyone.