Thyroid UK
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Got round the bl**dy receptionists, blood taken 3 stabs later - and I forgot the blasted reverse T3 test!!!

Hello chaps! So, here I am having decided that what I need is a reverse T3 test as well as the adrenal test, to find out if CT3M is right for me and whether or not to go commando. As in no T4. So I had my telephone appointment with my GP - a self-confessed alpha female who did battle on my behalf with the knee surgeon and got me struck from his list! Way to go Louise! However, she is a little amenable to intelligent discussion - within the narrow strictures that poor GPs on around £2400 per week (PER WEEK!) are confined to (i.e. "no bloody NDT no how!! But I'll listen to an endo...")

So, with said amenability in mind, since I had lost the blood form the endo had given me for my next blood test ( ;) ) - which is now due, I spoke to her on the phone. During the conversation I slipped in the parameters for a full iron panel (spoken verbatim from a crib sheet I'd created from the info generously given to me by Paul R) which I 'thought' the endo might want, as well as the free T4 and T3 - which I insisted he would want, and she rather surprisingly agreed.

Full of the joy of getting what I needed, I went to pick up the blood test form only to find she-doctor had written up solely for a thyroid function test and TSH! I was not happy. I spoke at length to a most pleasant and personable example of pond life who passed that day for a receptionist, explaining that the doctor herself had authorized a Free T4 and free T3 screen - blah blah, at which she told me to just write it on the form myself. I was a bit concerned about the frizz-factor from the steam escaping my lugs, but managed to explain in single-syllables that the lab won't accept this most dastardly of tests unless demanded by an endo; i.e. authorised by a member of the only member of the super-species of human beings worth listening to, apparently; namely a doctor :x .

Pondo made out that she was capable of writing a note to the GP, saying that she would give the doctor the note (tomorrow since poor doctor [on £2400 PER WEEK] was not in today), and that she will make sure I will have a new bloods form to pick up the next day. Rivitt. Rivitt. I duly went back the next day - and lo! The note had been duly amended; by some other amphibian that had scrawled "T4 and T3" on the original form, in handwriting reminiscent of a spider which had been dipped in ink and had then randomly staggered off across the page . It was not the writing of the superspecies, despite the similarly drunken hand, since this was just about legible. And anyway, it couldn't have been the poor, overworked GP (ON £2400 PER WEEK) since she had had a well-deserved day off yesterday….as she does every week. Ahh. Bless.

I wish, when I was angry with someone from whom I need something, I wouldn't speak with the whine of a jet engine winding up for take-off. I don't think it adds to my cred. However, at least the froglet before me perceived the agitation with which I reviewed the bloody form ... sorry, the bloods form ... and apologised, saying that she would get the doctor to see to it today. I explained again at length that these tests need to be seen to be authorised, lab won't do them if . . . blah bloody blah.

Cut to the chase, I got the form filled in with the fT4 and fT3 requests, mooned off to the path lab at the local hospital, swaying slightly in the breeze since I’d had no T3 for at least 32 hours, to be greeted by a bloodless phlebotomist with a face that looked like a sucked-out bitter lemon. Actually, that expression was warm compared to the one she assumed when I asked for her not to use the vacuum thing as it blows my veins, but a syringe and fine needle. You’d think I’d just shat out of my nose. She obliged, however, and only rammed the thing home three times, whence she drew enough for a bloody transplant. Sorry, blood transplant.

I got home feeling fuzzy but contented. Until the seed of a nagging doubt that had taken root suddenly shot up – shouldn't I have had a phial filled for my private test for rT3 at the same time? So I asked here on HU – and guess what? Yep!

I am still deflating two days later. It’s too late to have the rT3 – yes indeed folks, as y’all will know, it should have been done at the same time.

Explain that to a frog! :'(

6 Replies

Your post gave me the best laugh I've had in days. I'm still spluttering. Nowadays I am blessed with friendly, pleasant doctors. They still do nothing, but at least they are polite about it.

Having said they do nothing, I have now taken control and my GP is now listening - to the extent that he has now taken up the baton and is ordering blood tests that haven't been done before. He took a report from Dr M and Dr P's written diagnosis at face value. He hadn't heard of either so there was no bashing and no suggestion of charlatans, quacks, fakes, etc.

Anyhooooooo - prior to this lot I was traumatised for life by the GPs and receptionists from hell. These are quotes from the nhs reviews website about them:

"It is best to avoid going here if possible",

"both doctors and receptionists are very rude",

"The customer facing staff are extremely rude and unhelpful. We have been registered for over two years and apart from one GP who I have only seen once, everyone I have spoken to / met has been completely disinterested in me as a patient. Go anywhere else but here!"

One day I will explain to my current GP why I have always found it so hard to describe my symptoms. I simply no longer knew what I was allowed to say without being shouted at or told I was making it up.

I don't think T3 does have to be asked for by an endo. I finally had mine done 10 days ago, after refusal by the lab. My GP phoned them and specifically requested it. If my pleasant, mere male GP can do it, I'm sure your alpha female one can.

If I can get my GP fully over treating me like an alien species who he's not quite sure what do to with and get him fully on side (which is happening) I will then clone him and send a copy to every surgery. He is the only doctor I have ever met who is prepared to admit when he doesn't know what to do - quote: "I'm out of my depth here". He'll never know just what music that was to my ears when he said that 2 years ago. Long before diagnosis of hypo etc, but it spurred me on to take control. I said at the time that I didn't mind if he was.


At least I brought a chuckle - that made my day, actually.

What a rotten time you've had - I'm astonished that that surgery gets any patients at all with those reviews. About time someone complained about them. But boy are you repaid by the GP you have - what a find! My alpha female has the greatest ability to refuse any request slightly out of the ordinary and make it sound as if she is doing you a great favour. There was no way on earth she would prescribe T3 without sanction - she is too wedded to her salary to put patients at risk of her being sanctioned herself, I reckon. A safe player.

And GPs don't get intelligent others from the subspecies of non-medics since they are told at the first lecture of the first year of med school, "you are the creme de la creme" - it's all lofty vistas from thenceforth! But yours sounds like he has a sprinkling of that rare commodity, humility. Let's hope he doesn't arrogant-up like the most of them! As for the lab - they won't do anything here other than the boggiest of standard. T3 is just plain exotic in the grim north!

Good luck - and keep on keeping on . . .you sound like you're nailing it!


Schenks, I'm so sorry you're experiencing all these trials and tribulations, but thanks so much for the laugh. Only complaint: it wasn't long enough! lol

Looking forward to more of your blogs, Grey


You are extremely kind and encouraging - thank you!


Hi Schenks, great laugh, love the pond life. Do you know that your blood is stored for several days or more depending on what is requested (Vit D3 for instance-2 months). You may still be able to have it tested it depends on the reverse T3 shelf life which I don't know. If you know this already I apologize. You need to speak to the Head Honcho who gives permission for your blood test to be taken (your Dr requests T3 or whatever and he/she decides if they will actually do it!!!!) This will be the Consultant Bio Scientist on duty each day. Your Dr will have to speak to them directly to ask for whichever test and will need to make a very good case for it (pt taking Levo still remains unwell, doing research kind of thing) and it may then be agreed, nothing definate. It's a lot of messing about and if your Dr won't do it then you have a problem. If you get your Dr to make the request either firstly in writing and then by phone with all of the relevent important reasons why and they still don't do it you can then make a really strong complaint. I did this and it worked. I did not go through the complaints dept but went straight to the Executive Director of the Hospital (William Harvey in Ashford, Kent) the next thing I know is that I had the Consultant Bio Scientist on the phone, he informed me that they still had my blood and he would do it immediately. Job done!! It pays to complain!


Hi, Phoebs, thank for the info, it may prove useful. The NHS labs don't do rT3 as far as I'm aware, or else I've been conditioned to think that, and I don't think I could get some of my sample off them to send to Genova or whoever for a private test. My GP won't request a rT3, particularly without express permission form the endo I don't think, but I will write her a note and ask her to do so - not sure what to ask! I doubt the endo will, although I will telephone his secretary next Wednesday (only there one day a week!) to see if he will ask. I don't even know which lab will still have it - can one find this out? I must say, you're a braver woman than I've become. I used to be a real fighter of this sort of thing, but I've got to the point where I have given up a bit, I guess. Dealing with pondos who try to block you is one thing, taking on the closed ranks of the doctors' club is another! I reckon the bloods will be no longer there now, but if not I will sure remember the information for future reference, thank you.


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