two questions why do doctors try to treat you for something you don't have? one tried sleep apnoea when I was exhausted getting ready to

move house. and several insist I need blood pressure tablets .my blood pressure is fine exept when after a long wait I get seconds with my rheumatologist and then palmed off with his assistant, barely out of nappys.(are they getting paid extra to prescribe certain medications) ??

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  • I think many doctors struggle at having to deal with a chronic patient for whom they are limited in what they can do - so many went to Uni believing they would come out as purveyors of miracles and send all their patients home cured. There are exceptional ones who understand their role in accompanying us along a rocky road keeping us as well as possible under the circumstances. They are few and far between except when they work in hospice - and we don't need that.

    So when they see a loophole like "I'm so tired all the time" and their most recent training or circular was "sleep apnoea" or it was the headline in the health page of that well known people's medical journal, the Daily Mail, they jump in because the only cause of daytime exhaustion that week was: sleep apnoea! It has been a popular option in the last year or so. If they haven't had to move house when suffering from a chronic condition they wouldn't have any idea what it's like. If they haven't moved house - they wouldn't know what is involved full stop!

    As for the BP tablets - the average GP has targets to tick on having reduced BP in x no of patients. For years it was accepted that a moderately raised BP was normal, then it was decided it should be brought down using drugs to the magic 130/80 irrespective of age or clinical history. And more recently even more aggressive treatment has been touted. Never mind that some patients ended up flat on the floor after hypotensive episodes. Cardiologists often see it all a bit differently though - well, mine does.

    They aren't paid extra to prescribe certain medications, no - but they do have to put on your notes they have counselled you about x, y or z. I'm sure you've been asked about depression? Drinking? Smoking? Weight? And whether they are willing to admit it or not - the drug being peddled by the most recent pharma rep sits there at the back of their mind and they want to take advantage of its wonderful properties. It has been established in studies.

    As they get a bit older they become a bit less eager - is that good or not? I don't know. It is better than the final stage of having got to the winding down to pension and not caring a damn as some appear to do.

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