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Talk / Re: NHS clinic access
« Last post by Sunny Clouds on 05 Dec 2021 11:41PM »
I'm lucky that the GPs in my usual practice are good.  You know the GPs in your practice and what they're usually like so I'm not challenging your judgement of the GPs you know.

However, in general, I do have some sympathy with GPs over masking, and I say that as someone who, whilst not as dependent as you are on lipreading, am heavily reliant on it. 

You say do a lateral flow test and that's logical but sadly they wouldn't know whether you had. 

GPs are under so much pressure that not only are GP numbers still decreasing, more and more GPs are resigning from partnership to take salaried jobs, which in effect means they can limit their hours and get less aggro.

The BMA did some research last summer and found that over half the two thousand GPs who responded said they have mental health conditions such as anxiety, stress, burnout etc.

You may say well doctors are stressed anyway, hence the horribly high suicide rates in the profession even before the pandemic, but the aggro they have been getting during the pandemic, like the GP in Manchester who recently had his skull smashed by an angry patient, takes its toll.

Meanwhile, they see how people with covid-19 can suffer, and they can read what doctors with long covid say they're going throuh, and they can read what doctors with ME/CFS say about what they go through, and be frightened.

What I find difficult about all this is that I think that it would have been perfectly feasible for the government, instead of lining the pockets of their mates with scandalously high sums for basic PPE, a lot of it unusable, had kitted doctors out with really good stuff, including, by now, adequate supplies of masks with clear panels in the middle to facilitate lipreading.

Meanwhile, over time I've been asking various health professionals and receptionists etc. a particular question and the response is consistent.  I ask whether there's a field on the screen that first comes up when they type in your name that contains information about your communication or access needs.  Everyone I've asked has said no.  It's expletive ridiculous.

So as I say, you know your GP, and what he did or didn't already know about you and what you'd normally, reasonably expect.  I trust your judgement on that.

By contrast, I think a high proportion of GPs and other health professionals are on a hiding to nothing over this.

I'm still dreading my appointment next week in a secondary care clinic.  I'm less fussed about whether they're ok to take their mask down than whether they're ok to repeat, gesture, write etc.  But it's the same underlying problem.

Big hugs.

Talk / Re: NHS clinic access
« Last post by ally on 05 Dec 2021 10:30PM »
Masks are starting to  freak me out.  I wasn’t expecting to get an apt at the surgery.  However, they decided to see me, as I can’t have a telephone consultation.  Unfortunately, the GP who I’ve seen before decided not to remove his mask.  I sat there trying to tell him I couldn’t understand him.  That didn’t register, and, he continued to talk.  The mask was moving so I knew he was speaking to me.  When I didn’t  answer, or, speak to him, he tried again.  By this time, I was ready to walk out of the door. Then, hallelujah, he lowered his mask, and, asked if I could read his lips. 

My deafness, and, audiology chart is on the computer system.  The audiology chart is more or less a flat liner, so, why would he presume I was able to hear him?  Sometimes, I wonder why GPS, receptionists etc have little common sense when dealing with the deaf.  The dentist wouldn’t lower her mask either.  She wrote what she was saying down on paper.  If the NHS GPS etc are so afraid of covid. Why don’t they ask patients to have a lateral flow test before the appointment?  I took covid tests before both appointments above.  The test kits are free, and, easy to use.  It would save so many problems, especially for the deaf.
I think you make a fair point.

That being said, I phrased my comment about media rhetoric badly.  I wasn't suggesting it was the sole cause of common views about disability, just that it contributes. 

There are all sorts of other things like the vocabulary we use.  E.g.  'wheelchair bound' is, I think, still far more common than 'wheelchair user'. 

'Blind' and 'deaf' are problematic. At least with 'deaf' there's some vague understanding that deafness is on a range, albeit with a poor understanding of the mechanics, e.g. an assumption that if granny has the sort of deafness that means she asks you to speak up and you do, what she hears will be just a bit quieter than you would hear, not that with some sorts of deafness it bursts out of the silence as shouting.  But with 'blind', aargh, I can see why when my mother got old and was registrably SVI/blind but still with some vision, she didn't use a white cane, she relied on being old and using a walking stick, so that other women clustered round her to support her physically, oblivious to how little sight she had.   With a little vision, she was more readily believed not to be blind than she would have been believed if she'd said she was blind.

So my apologies if I was suggesting that the media push to characterise as many disabled people as possible as faking it ws the sole or even main cause.
Health and Disability / Re: High blood pressure
« Last post by Fiz on 05 Dec 2021 05:06PM »
I've lost nine and a half stones in eighteen months before so I do know it's possible. That started off very healthily but I got caught up in the control and became frightened of food. A lot of me wishes that I was still frightened of food.

I've taken my steroid dose down a notch, slightly earlier than planned as I was going to try and get through Christmas before doing this but lowering the blood pressure takes precedent at the moment.
Talk / Re: Disability on Strictly come Dancing and other reality shows
« Last post by Fiz on 05 Dec 2021 04:45PM »
You would think that the public wouldn't consider a Paralympian athlete who has won Gold in cycling and running lazy and doesn't do her best though but possibly in the same way people can't understand part time wheelchair users, they can't compute that the Gold medal winner can't do a tough 3 hour trial and get back and cook dinner for 11 people. I suspect it's limited understanding about disability rather than media hype about scroungers in this case. I'd hoped her sharing her experience would educate people but it's not sinking in.
Health and Disability / Re: High blood pressure
« Last post by ally on 05 Dec 2021 04:41PM »
I had high BP readings a while ago, alongside anaemia, and, other health issues.  I decided to take control of my health, and, lost five stone.  The above are all fine now.   It wasn’t easy, but, once I started to lose weight, i just carried on with it.  I can’t join SW clubs due to being profoundly deaf.   Therefore, I did everything alone by researching the internet.  There’s some good sites to look at online if anyone is interested in losing weight.
Health and Disability / Re: High blood pressure
« Last post by Fiz on 05 Dec 2021 04:39PM »
I already eat a low carb diet to try to prevent further weight gain from the steroids in that 13 days out of 14 I don't eat potatoes, rice, pasta, bread or wheat products but my downfall is my fortnightly shop has treats in it for the day it arrives which I now must stop. My mainly keto diet is flipping costly though and sticking to it strictly will make it more so. At home I tend to eat a Seagan diet for animal welfare reasons, though eat vegetarian when out due to lack of choice but I think pulses and nuts are higher in carbs and calories than lean meat so I think I need to eat what my body needs over animal welfare for the foreseeable. I was feeling so ill earlier that I looked up whether diazepam lowers blood pressure and it does so I took 5mg and even that dose made me feel less like keeling over. I think I also need to eat less.

I really hate medication, apart from the cortisol replacement, I only take supplements that I could be eating but will discuss with my GP about medication to bring my blood pressure down because this level isn't safe if left. I assume that if I can lower my blood pressure by losing weight that I could then stop the medication. Plus it has to be said, I have been feeling so weak and ill the last few weeks and if that's caused by high blood pressure and there's something that would lower it, why wouldn't I take it. Historically my blood pressure has always been low though and my knowledge about high blood pressure and the medications that treat it is limited. I guess I may know more soon!
The public won't get it because of the hard-sell skiver rhetoric in relation to disabled people over the last decade from certain politicians and certain media outlets.
Health and Disability / Re: High blood pressure
« Last post by ditchdwellers on 05 Dec 2021 12:53PM »
My blood pressure readings were high when taken at the hospital last week. I'm not overly surprised as I think it's probably the stimulants I'm on for narcolepsy causing it. I'm a bit worried about bringing it up with my GP in case she recommends I change meds and not all narcolepsy meds for everyone; this one has been a real game changer for me.

The only other alternative I can see is taking blood pressure meds but this is a an absolute last resort for me as I don't like taking more meds to counteract the side effects of other meds! I will if I have to. Reluctantly.

This is a dilemma isn't it Fiz? Continue with our current courses of treatment with the addition of blood pressure tablets or change tactics entirely?  :f_sadface:
Health and Disability / Re: High blood pressure
« Last post by oldtone27 on 05 Dec 2021 12:52PM »

I had high blood pressure due to kidney damage, but it is now well controlled (for over 10 years) using tablets.

It took a few trials with different medications (there are several types) before coming to a mix of calcium-channel blockers and beta-blockers.

I find I have no side effects from these medications and my blood pressure is consistently in the 130/60 range which is acceptable for my situation.

I recommend that you consult your GP as prolonged high blood pressure can be dangerous.
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