Am I being over-sensitive or is my doctors surgery just not very helpful?

Okay so here's a bit of background story.

I went to my doctors back in June last year as my sister had just been tested and diagnosed with underactive thyroid and suggested I get checked out too.

I was tested and told via a telephone appointment that I also had an underactive thyroid and it was only slightly under (couldn't tell you an readings or results as I don't have a copy). They started me 50mgs. The doctor really explain anything about the condition and I only asked a few questions as he wasn't very friendly or approachable and I was still reeling from the news (I get quite anxious and stressed at times). I was told to get myself retested in 3 months time.

Fast forward 3 months I do a blood test again and I'm still under so I'm upped to 75s. This time I spoke to another nicer (younger) doctor via telephone was willing to sit and listen to me. The other doctor apparently doesn't work fridays and was then off on holiday for 2 weeks (lucky him). I was only to happy to see someone else given my last appointment with him. The helpful doctor even left the blood test form with the new prescription ready for my next test. He actually checked with me when i rang that that was why i was being tested. whereas the other one never leaves one and in fact when he rang the first time he actually had to ask why he was ringjng me....he'd asked me to make an appointment in the first place!

Fast forward again to december and I'm still under but only just so I'm upped to 100mgs. I asked the doctor what to do with the left over pills from my 75s. He said I could take them back to the pharmacy or I could make up 100 using them. He gave me 2 months supply and told me to retest in 3 months time. I used up my left overs which was less than a fortnights supply.

Fast forward to last week when I get a call from the receptionist asking why I've booked a blood test. Granted it wasnt exactly 3 months later it was about 2 weeks early but I work in a school and they dislike you taking time off during the school day for appointments and last week was half term. Also I've learned from my first experience when I rang up about a week before my pills ran out and they had no appointments available. I learned then that I could get a repeat prescription (up until now I've not really needed to go to the doctors very often certainly not for something reoccurring). That was annoying though as I then had another 3 month stash of them and I only needed 2 weeks!

It didn't really surprise me that they rang given that when I'd booked it they asked if I had the blood test form to take with me and I said no I hadn't been given one I was just told to book another one in 3 months. Needless to say after I explained about half term and it not really being as convenient at another time they said I could keep the appoinment sighed and said they'd get the doctor to do a blood form.

I've just rung the surgery to find out if the results were in. The receptionist said yes they were and my levels were normal. No mention of the doctor speaking to me or if I was carrying on with my current levels of meds. I'm asumming that that's what I have to do. I tried to prompt her by saying "I guess I need to get a repeat prescription then?" All she said was "you have to come into the surgery to do that we don't do it over the phone".

I honestly feel like I have to do all the work. There's no support or advice and I'm lucky if the people I speak to are cordial most of the time I feel like I'm being talked down to.

Am I just been unintentionally thick about things because I just don't know what I'm supposed to be doing and it's stressing me out. I've never had to deal with any long term medical issues.

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8 Replies

  • Hi Pinkymoo. It's so horrible when doctor's surgeries appear to be unhelpful but I guess that's just the way it is in large, busy practices (I assume yours is one of those?). I'm lucky in that regard. I live in a rural area and have a small, practice. The receptionists are friendly and my doctor and I have "known each other for a long time" (his words).

    The first thing to do is to get into the habit of always asking for a print out of all results. Mine know that I will ask and always offer to print them out for me now. Once you have the results you can see two things:

    One, you can spot trends and changes

    Two, you can see which tests were actually done.

    You don't say how you are feeling, but being on higher doses of thyroxine should mean that your doctor would test your iron, folate, ferritin, Vit B12 and Vit D levels as a minimum, as these need to be well within range (not just at the bottom) for thyroid meds to work properly. This could be why you need to keep raising.

    Also, you really need to have you T4 and FT3 levels measured to ensure that you are absorbing the meds ok and that your body is converting T4 into T3 properly.

    Most labs will try to get out of measuring FT3 - my doctor had to phone them and put in a special request the only time I had mine done.

    Finally, have you had your thyroid antibodies tested to rule out auto-immune issues?

  • They should have put a repeat prescription option onto your script so it can be ordered automatically. Id go in and ask them what the best way to get repeats is, let them tell you and then tell them if thats not suitable. Often repeats can also be done through the pharmacy, who then get it from the GPs and fill it ready for you. You could ask about this.

    Also, they may not have told you that you are now elligible for prescription exemption. They often forget to mention this, ask for a form at your GP surgery, good idea to fill it in there and hand it straight back (tick the myxoedema box).

    Its pretty poor that they leave you to find out these things for yourself, but it seems to be the norm rather than the exception sadly

  • Hello Pinks

    I feel your frustration and match it. I'm off for my 2nd appointment tomorrow (since I've been diagnosed) with yet another doctor and I'm dreading it. However I am 'taking no prisoners' tomorrow...I'm not well, it's is having a huge effect on my life and I want it sorting. Its taken me 3 years to get to them admit I have an under active thyroid, and I'm at end of my tetther.

    I don't intend to be rude but I do intend to be firm...and I think you should try the same. Why don't you ring for an appointment, and explain to the doctor that you are new to this and need help.

    This is my game plan....I will let you know how I get on (hope I don't get thrown out of the doctors, ha ha). Let me know how you get on x

  • I think I will probablly try to book an appointment. I'll take my hubby with me. He doesn't take any prisoners.

    I do kmow about the exemption and have filled the form and have my card. That was the one thing they seem to have made an effort with!

    I feel like sometimes I'm wasting their time but then I remember that this is what I pay my taxes for!

    I don't think I've been tested for anything other than tsh and t3 but then it's hard to know when I never get to see the forms as the doctor never gives me them to take with me!

    I think I'm going to have to go in there with a bunch of questions. I just wish I knew what to ask!

  • Hi, It should not be too late to ask for a print of the bloods you have had done since diagnosed. (with the ranges). I think you are entitled to a copy. Receptionists at my surgery print them out at the desk for me, or by phone and I collect. Good luck at your next appointment.

  • I request my repeat prescription online and get it sent to the pharmacy. That may be another option for you if your surgery has that facility. Anything you are not sure about or wondering what should you be doing then do post the question on here, loads of people able to give good advice, most of us have been there!

  • I always get a repeat script when I pick up my meds from the Pharmacy. They are attached to my meds as I have 3pages of repeats. It does take a while to get into all this, ask at your GP practise what patients normally do. I think if you could get the pharmacy to give the repeat with your meds then you already have it for next time. Or your receptionist will print it fir you. You just need to ask what the normal procedure us at your practise. Good luck. Kathy x

  • Me again, I forgot to say although I get my repeats with my meds. The following month I tick the boxes on the script and then hand it either to the Pharmacy or the GP reception.

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