So for a while I've had terrible earache. I've been told it's a virus and/or labrynthitis (sp).

It's progressively got worse and I managed to get an appointment today with a GP.

Now the GP I saw was a trainee and she was in with one of the partners wo was assessing her.

She asked a load of questions, had a look and was perplexed so referred me to an ENT specialist... Then the partner says he wants to ask a few follow on questions; which he does.

1. Are your teeth okay? Any toothache? - No.

2. Have you got any problems with your neck? Why YES! I do as it happens...

And then he says... "well we can prescribe you Amatriptaline to help you sleep at night or an antihistamine to act as a sedative so you can sleep. Are you at all anxious or stressed?"

I mean WTF?! I hadn't mentioned being unable to sleep - i sleep very well considering and yet here I am, thinking I'm onto something here with the neck pain question ONLY to be prescribed a flippin' antidepressant (albeit a multi-use one) and something to sedate me.

Then she kept going on aboutme having a smear. At this point, I admit, I felt a little stroppy and pointed out that I'm over forty and still fat and symptomatic with my Hashi's and that was a more pressing matter given every, single knock-on effect that being poorly treated and symptomatic can have on your health. I'm not knocking smear tests but today was a perfect example of the emphasis being on Bikini Diseases and doling out sedating meds.

I despair!!! I really do.

29 Replies

  • You couldn't make it up. They don't know what's causing it but they can treat it with random pharmaceuticals although they haven't a clue whether these could make it worse.

    Seriously, why should anyone trust these people??? Ahhh, silly me, it's all about QoF points.

    Sorry that you've had such a rubbish appointment with rubbish doctors HeirloomApple.

  • Ah thanks Cinnamon. I have an ENT appointment - what for I don't know, if he just looks down my ears and declares them "fine", then what's the point?

    I don't trust them now. I'm so scared about being tachycardic for so long and what effect that has had on my heart that I'm not really too concerned at the moment about my cervix. I don't mean to sound glib about it but just playing the odds game, I think my heart is going to fail first.

    Yeah QoF points and there was this lovely, new GP-in-the-making getting totally brainwashed into that system.

  • You gotta play the system Heirloom! I do understand what you're saying, am much the same myself with not trusting them but just keep on educating yourself.

    Meanwhile, in other news, there's a 4 week wait for a GP appointment in my area. But it's not due to heart sink patients, oh no, it's to do with heart sink GPs who don't get the diagnosis right first time. I would love to see some statistics!!

  • Oh good grief! I'd love see some stats on that too!

  • Do you laugh or cry? These are the people we have to depend on when it comes to health care management. When we try and 'self medicate' we get patronised for 'non compliance' and offered Happy Pills. Have you looked to see if there are any NICE guidelines for ear ache? That might be a place to start if you decide to go back. I didn't realize that ear ache could be a symptom of not having a smear! Must remember that one.

  • Oh yes, your cervix and ears work hand-in-hand :D

    I will look/see for guidelines. Thanks Scazzoh. She even said, "Have you looked on Google?" - I haven't actually as at this point l don't want another "disease"... I said no and she went "good, we don't like people looking up their symptoms...!".

    I just thought, "you have NO idea! Not a clue!"

  • "Oh yes, your cervix and ears work hand-in-hand"

    Not so surprising when coming from a dr who is talking out of his a**e :)

  • You know what I would say to that Doctor... ' Don't sit down Doctor because I won't be able to hear what you are saying!' because you are correct, he is talking out of his a**e. x

  • I think you've hit the nail on the head there. The reason no GP ever seems to listen to what we say is because they are always sitting down, so they cannot hear us!

  • The senior doctor doesn't know very much if he prescribes an anti-depressant for your problem. There's no blood test for depression but you are prescribed due to your clinical symptom but they don't do the same for a thyroid gland problem, Do they?

    The best prescription to give a patient who has symptoms of 'depression' would be T3 which would be preferable. Psychiatrists can use T3 for their depressed patients.

    On the following link you will see the side effects further down the page of the prescription your GP was offering but yet T3:

    "NO COMMON SIDE EFFECTS HAVE BEEN REPORTED with the proper use of this medicine." (Medi-Span, Inc.: Database Version 97.2. Data © 1997.)

    This statement makes a fact perfectly clear: When used sensibly, T3 is extraordinarily safe among prescribed drugs. When I say extraordinarily safe, I’m comparing T3 with drugs such as the amitriptyline which your rheumatologist prescribes for you.


  • No they don't. It's unfathomable really.

    I went into the adjoining pharmacist and asked about T3. They actually had some on the shelf but as far as he knows, it's never been precribed (£150 for 28 x 25mcg tablets - huge disincentive for GPs to prescribe that...)

    Oh T3, unlike Amatriptaline which is as cheap as chips but cardiotoxic...

  • I've had labrythitis and I didn't have earache. What I had was complete loss of balance that I was bedridden.

  • Yes, I believe labrythitis is "painless". I have pain and dizziness. I'm off back to see the acupuncturist tomorrow. I have a feeling it is head/neck and hypo related.

    Ah Shaws, are you okay now? x

  • Thankfully labrynthitis was awful while it last and it was a few years ago now and it didn't return. Cross fingers.

    I hope you get sorted out neck/pain etc soon.

  • Have I understood correctly? Did you accept the prescription for the antidepressants? If so, what was it prescribed for as you say it is multi use?

  • I rebuffed the anti-depressants which he prescribed to help me sleep. Then he suggested an old fashioned anti-histamine to sedate me enough at night to help me sleep. Yes, Amatriptaline has multiple uses and can be prescribed off licence for migraine, for example. However, it's really toxic and was at one point, the choice of pill to use to overdose as on as one month's worth is enough to kill you as they're so cardiotoxic.

    I never complained about sleep problems. It was totally leftfield. I don't even have trouble sleeping.

  • Good for you :) . I think some GPs develop cloth ears, offering you something to help with something you've not mentioned - priceless! My GP has developed selective deafness - you ask her a question and you just don't get an answer, she changes the subject. I really do despair about the future health of us all :( .

  • The old-fashioned anti-histamines that are used as sedatives are usually either Diphenhydramine hydrochloride or Promethazine hydrochloride (as far as I know). They can be bought without a prescription in pharmacies.


    Be aware from that link that Benadryl is a name used in several different countries and it isn't used for the same substance in every case.

    Unfortunately, they (sedating anti-histamines) aren't very good for people (under-statement of the year), so if I took one it would only be 2 or 3 times a year.

  • It was Promethazine! I can't take them - they zonk me for days.

  • Good grief - I know I shouldn't be surprised any more, but.....

    I had a bout of terrible ear ache before I was optimal on NDT. It's never come back since.

  • Really Harry? I'm going to hold onto that comment and draw strength from it.

    Thanks, H x

  • That & an awful bout of laryngitis about 3 weeks later. I'm convinced it's all linked.

  • I think they are, there's no doubt in my mind.

  • Every time someone has a smear they get paid a fair bit, so they push the smears and similar tests. The ear ache can be a side of underactive thyroidor gerd, either way I cannot see how this is the solution to it.

  • It sounds as if they are trying to up-sell to their patients so that they get extra money/points/prizes. A bit like when you buy a fridge at Currys and they try to sell you insurance too. And we wonder why the NHS drugs budget is astronomical!

  • Hiya,

    This is blo**y ridiculous!

    The assessor was looking for something to prescribe so he could get points and payments. They get paid to do a smear, they get paid to dole out antidepressants, etc. You did right and stood your ground.

    Go girl power!


  • Not long after I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism I had problems with my ears (everything sounded muffled and I had some pain.) I was referred to ENT, the consultant couldn't find anything wrong but he asked if I was a well person. I told him about my thyroid. His answer to that was " well that's what your problem is, I am surprised your GP didn't tell you" He also said an under active thyroid mimmicks other illnesses. Which I feel I can totally agree with.

  • Green, what did your ENT bloke recommend then? Did they do a hearing test? I would actually like to know the extent of my hearing loss. X

  • Yes but all was clear. It just rectified itself.

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