You just can’t get the staff these days...or can you?

We all have experienced very different attitudes from the individuals that staff our GP surgeries, hospitals, pharmacies and numerous other places we end up in our quest for good health.

I’m very lucky. I have a GP who’s wife is hypo who therefore understands what it’s like. My recent blood test came back marked by the lab as “over-replaced.” My TSH is suppressed but my T4 levels still only mid of the “normal” range. Rather than blindly follow the lab’s recommendation, the GP commented back that I should be left at the current dose.

At the same practice, one GP, herself a Hypo, told me she couldn’t tell the difference between the generic makes of thyroxine and therefore couldn’t understand why I wanted a consistent brand. Put it this way, if an apple a day keeps the doctor away and I had to see her, I'd eat a barrel full.

My Endo, is a man of mystery. He is a “we’ll go by how you feel” practitioner in general but when I was “hyper” according to the blood test, he failed to listen when I said I didn’t feel hyper. He seems to have come around since as my last increase had no effect on my blood results what so ever – hehehe!

I recently had a minor op. I’d written all my meds down but was still asked about what medication I took whilst getting comfy on the operating table. Later, a nurse commented that “I took a lot of tablets.” I’m sure the same comment wouldn’t be passed on other conditions, what makes it right regarding my thyroid?

The receptionists at my GP practice are amazing. I’ve gone in and requested blood tests and been told, “No problem, thyroid patients usually know when they need one and are usually proven right, no need to see a doctor.” They know me well enough to have confidence in telling me the results of tests. A newbie did try to tell me I had to sign the forms (already had done so) and that giving results over the phone wasn’t “normal”. A nudge from one of her colleges soon sorted that out for me.

I’m saving the best until last. The big gold star goes to Ken, my local independent pharmacist. He doesn’t treat me like a fool, he answers my questions, without him I would never have understood the wholesale market provides us the cheapest levothyroxine at that time, giving us a different make each prescription. He also explained that only limited manufacturers make 25mcg as it has limited demand compared with higher strengths.

Ken even holds back 25mcg Goldsheilds for me. I would be so seriously stuffed if it were not for my local independent pharmacy.

I do wholly understand how very, very fortunate I am. My story is one the unusal ones where it really shouldn't be. I shall be full of woe the day I move out of the area and meet less enlightened folk.

Enough of my waxing lyrical, definitely your turn! What good experiences have you had? What bad experiences? I know we’ve all had them, it’d be nice to share.

3 Replies

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  • Our experience at a major supermarket chain's pharmacy has, perhaps surprisingly, been generally very good.

    They have clearly marked my partner's details with "Only supply Brand X". And mostly that worked - though there might be a delay at times. And now that Brand X has suspended production until next year (meaning it is now effectively unavailable), it was they who investigated and rang us.

    There is the distinct impression that supply problems, brand switching, and such like are viewed by most of their pharmacists in much the same way as by us.

    Local independents might be good, but their limited opening hours clash with my working times and hence limits our ability to get there. And they generally have very poor parking facilities.

    The chain pharmacy I would avoid, from my experience of trying to get anyone who understands anything, is Boots.

    Ask your doctor (the one who can't tell the difference), if she'd be happy with Stork? Or a Kia rather than her BMW? Or corned beef instead of fillet steak? Just because she lacks discrimination doesn't mean everyone does.

    Rod

  • My Phlebotomist is wonderful at our surgery and takes great care as I'm an easy bruiser!! Normal GP treats me as though I'm reasonably intelligent and vaguely know what i'm talking about. But it takes at least two week's to get an appointment to see him. Had an unfortunate experience with NEW GP to surgery who adpoted the "Pat on the head mentality"!!! while spouting drivel about labs being within "Normal Range" even though he didn't have them in front of him and couldn't tell me what the NORMAL range was or where I was within it.... I just wanted to scream "Why do I feel so bad if you have managed to get it so right"!! but it would have been useless to use the little energy I had left.. Keep smiling Perks

  • It is lovely to read about your positive experiences, and glad that you appreciate your "team" as it were.

    For me it is as though they do not want to help at all. I never feel listened to so avoid going to see any medical person as much as I can. I am going to ring the doctor's surgery for my latest blood test results and dread it as some of the receptionists are so unhelpful.

    I have a hospital appointment this week regarding my choking so I will let you know about that experience.

    Good for you Ken!

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