from his patients to be able to assess their current status. We should try to encourage our GPs by giving them this same information in the hope that they will one day realise, for themselves, that something is wrong with their system.
Here’s what happens in the consulting rooms of a real doctor: on a symptom check-list, the patient, whilst still in the waiting room, highlights those symptoms still outstanding. Then, when more relaxed in his consulting room Dr S would take the patient’s pulse. He did, after all, need to know the speed of the heart as this affects oxygen uptake, body temperature, brain activity, etc. and a slow heart beat reduces all this activity. He also recorded temperature, blood pressure, and checked the state of the patient’s tongue.
Not a single one of a whole string of GPs has ever noted this basic information. At most I have had my BP taken. You must have noticed how very carefully they never ask how you are. I had one who, on being shown my symptom list, stated, “Well, there is clearly something wrong but it is NOT your thyroid. We will have to do lots of tests!” Regretfully, I didn’t have enough energy for her lots of tests. I always try to remember that vital statistic: “most GPs are average”. Please repeat this out loud! In fact some of them are below average because the blood test results often come back with the instruction from the lab.technician: “Tell the patient the result is normal”. Your GP is not allowed to think for him/herself.
I thought we should follow Dr Skinner’s format when visiting a GP and present them with a high-lighted symptom list which, next to name/date, includes a space for the vital signs to be entered, then specifically ask for these measurements to be taken. We should also have a second copy for our own records on which to enter our vital signs right there in front of them. At the very least, our medical records would have valid information against which to compare on subsequent visits. Surely this is something a doctor would need. Perhaps it would shame them into behaving like real doctors. My copy of the symptom list will have ‘GRBS’ at the bottom!
Remember to remove your coat in the waiting room in an effort to balance your temperature with the surroundings; breathe deeply, stay calm and smile. This is passive aggression.
In the meantime . . . I need a new GP (south-west corner of Birmingham B31) and a new consultant. Any suggestions? I have six weeks’ medication left.