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Stark Raving Lunatics:Nhs Direct

thisoldman
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Registered: 06-04-2009

Stark Raving Lunatics:Nhs Direct

pink floyd    "The lunatics are in the hall , the lunatics are on the grass"
They got it wrong, the lunatics are employed by that nefarious and vituperative organization called nhs direct.
Yesterday after weeks of bowel problems i noticed something and rather than  telephone the  idiots who pose as GP's at my surgery, I had this totally insane idea( as it turned out) to phone nhs direct.
It took ages for typetalk to connect me and it was clear that the lady who answered had never heard of typetalk.

Hello my name is  xxxxxx    how can i assist you today sir.
I want to ask you a simple medical question.
But i need some details from you first sir.
Ok but dont take all day as im having to sit on floor to read this screen.
Why are you reading a screen?
Its a screenphone, havent you heard of typetalk screenfones.
No sir  i havent
Tough  lets get on with my question.
No i have to  ask you for some more information.
Such as?
Your age  , your postal code , do you smoke , do you drink, what is the name of your gp. Have you ever suffered from, a b c. d.
e,f,g,h,j,k,v,m,p,
Oh for goodness sake  we will be here all day  all i want is an answer to  a simple medical q.
I cant answer medical questions . you need to speak to one of our nurses.
Put me through as iv had enough of these morbid questions.
Hello my name is  xxxxxxxxx    I am  a nurse.
I just want to ask you a simple medicaL Q.
There is no such thing as a simple medical question. I nned to take a full case history of the presenting symptomatology.
Well the last lunatic i spoke to took 20 minutes asking daft questions and i havent got all day.
Oh i do understand you sir. How may i help you.
I told her the question about a discoloured bowel stool.
Oh i need to ask you more questions.
I know you can speak english but do you understand english
Oh yes sir  i can understand you.
Well for the last time is what iv said significant?
Pardon.
Is the q i asked you significant.
Significant in what way?
Is it a sign of a serious problem?
You need to ask your gp that.
Well what the f has this 30 minute conversation been about if you are referring me to my gp who i could have foned 35 minutes ago.
Why didnt you.
Because i wanted a quick answer and iv never used nhs direct before.
Well its been nice speaking to you sir, you take care bye bye  sir.
Have you tried googleing the question sir.
oh        p... o...
you lunatics are totally useless.
Bangs down fone. Cheesy
24 REPLIES
thisoldman
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Re: Stark Raving Lunatics:Nhs Direct

oh i forgot to apologise in advance should you be experiencing a bad evil smelling odour from your screen as you read the above. I am currently outputting more  bowel wind than the entire uk off shore wind machines. Wink
nadger
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Re: Stark Raving Lunatics:Nhs Direct

Might I strongly recommend a change of attitude towards medical professionals and that a trip to see your GP might be in your best interests if a problem has persisted for quite some time.
Further investigation may be needed and this is best done sooner rather than later.
I can thoroughly recommend a flexible sigmoidoscopy as a pleasant way of spending an afternoon  Smiley
thisoldman
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Re: Stark Raving Lunatics:Nhs Direct


dear john,
thank you for the courtesy of responding to my op.
I have had more tests than the nasa space shuttle and all results were negative.
If I had one pound for every doctor who has said  "i dont know", id be a multimillionnaire.
so far i have had 7 diiferent suugestions from doctors as the posssible cause of my bowel pain.
Just take some painkillers.
So it takes 6 years of med school to be able to tell a patient to take painkillers.
If you had damp in your house would you simply paint over it or attempt to ascertain the basic cause.
Thats my argument against painkillers.
nadger
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Re: Stark Raving Lunatics:Nhs Direct

I quite agree with you about painkillers and any containing codeine can make bowel problems worse.
Ask to see a consultant gastroenterologist as bowel problems would come into his/her area of expertise. The one I saw was most thorough.
If it wasn't for the skill of the consultant surgeon who did my radical cystectomy and ileal conduit in June 2009 and the consultant surgeon, in London, who did my EVAR 12 months ago I would have a very short life expectancy.
You'll  understand that I do have a great deal of respect for the above mentioned people who were well worth time and money involved in their training.
N/A

Re: Stark Raving Lunatics:Nhs Direct

I don't agree at all that NHS staff are lunatics.  They are trained nurses and doing a very difficult job when you consider all the people that they have to try and help, some more capable of expressing themselves than others. Also, bear in mind that they have to consider the legal position of any advice that they offer.  Having worked for many years in the NHS I know too well how staff have to be so wary because of the risk of being reprimanded, disciplined or even sued.  Folk nowadays are only too willing to seek redress if they feel aggrieved about something.
What you should do is keep careful note of your symptoms, also your diet to see if there is anything that exacerbates it.  Work with your GP and health professionals and as nadger says, ask for a referral to a gastroenterologist if you feel that this will help. 
Steve
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Registered: 13-07-2009

Re: Stark Raving Lunatics:Nhs Direct

Some good advice from nadger, Get that cheque In the post T.O.M. Cheesy
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Re: Stark Raving Lunatics:Nhs Direct

As most people get older they tend to slow down both physically and mentally.
I am convinced that food takes much longer to get absorbed from the intestines and for some reason food intolerance can increase with age.
At one time I could eat like a horse and consume a fair amount of alcohol with no problems and no weight gain but now I am older (and slower) I eat a lot less and can consume no more than a couple of pints.
When we have been out for meals and I have eaten what most people would describe as an average meal I can end up with stomach cramps and frequent visits to the Loo.
I Note from the rant from TOM that he was well wound up by the reply from NHS direct and with his specialist knowledge will be only too well aware of the effect stress can have on the human body and whilst relaxation exercises/ behaviour therapy cannot cure the problem they can as least lower the pain in a more safer way than medication whilst an appointment is being arranged for an Appointment with a consultant.
If the pain is that bad I would not mess about, call an ambulance and you will at least get seen quicker.
If the pain is not that bad and you feel the wait to see a consultant has got too long, phone his secretary.....That usually speeds things up.
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Stark Raving Lunatics:Nhs Direct

Better not go to Malawi then http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/02/04/malawi_stink/ ; Grin Grin
Quote from: thisoldman
oh i forgot to apologise in advance should you be experiencing a bad evil smelling odour from your screen as you read the above. I am currently outputting more  bowel wind than the entire uk off shore wind machines. Wink
N/A

Re: Stark Raving Lunatics:Nhs Direct

I think that you are absolutely correct. Some years ago I was in a lecture and the dietician who was speaking told us that for every decade after the age of 40 years you need to consume 10% less calories precisely for the reasons gleneagles outlines.  Possibly this is why there are so many older obese people - they have not adjusted their eating habits according to their needs.  With the sedentary nature of many older people their dietary needs are very low, calorie-wise.  It is perfectly possible to be overweight and malnourished because of the consumption of 'empty' calories.  As for bowel problems, yes they are common and sometimes due to an over-refined diet .  However, they should be investigated in older people to exclude the the possibility of cancer which is more common in the older age groups.
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Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Stark Raving Lunatics:Nhs Direct

older people haven't got any time to waste on what they consider trivia.  when confronted with the relentlessly stupid, the patience wears thinnest quickest.
menu phone systems are the pits.  wait while some machine regurgitates its recorded message, then figure out was it 1, or 2.  start pressing hash and asterisk to see if they'll get you to a human as zero appears to no longer work.
most gut pain is gas moving about, old man.  that your farting a storm is evidence that it's shifting in a helpful direction.  if you're not given to partaking of a sensible diet, a pizza with vegetation aboard offers some mitigation. 
Moderator
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Re: Stark Raving Lunatics:Nhs Direct

Quote from: artificer
menu phone systems are the pits.  wait while some machine regurgitates its recorded message, then figure out was it 1, or 2.  start pressing hash and asterisk to see if they'll get you to a human as zero appears to no longer work.

I just choose the first option that I assume would get a human then tell that person to put me through to the right department.
I hate those automated systems that ask you to enter your account number and DoB simply to be asked again when you get through Angry

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Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
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David_W
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Re: Stark Raving Lunatics:Nhs Direct

Medical diagnositcs are not something you can say "is X serious?".  Not without background history, the NHS direct people cannot just say "yeah, it's a general sign of a nuclear bomb going off in your lower intestine" and causing you undue stress and anxiety.  Bowel discolouration, are you on any medication (iron tablets for instance), do you have any medical conditions, things like that so they can rule things out or give you options which may mean "see your GP" or "call an ambulance".
I have lung issues, I've suffered spontaneous pneumothorax (collapsed lungs) and had operations on them, I was sitting at home quite happily and I coughed up a little bit of blood, naturally with my lung issues I was worried so I called NHS direct and spoke to a lovely nurse who asked some questions, told me that is most likely nothing to worry about but if I cough up more blood to go see my GP, it gave me peace of mind (and I didn't cough up any more blood).
Let us put it akin to a car, you take a car into a garage and say "it's got a rattle, is that a bad sign?" you want the mechanic to say "yeah, your big end is about to fall out" or do you want the mechanic to ask questions about the rattling so they can figure out what the problem is before giving you a possible answer?  Stomach problems, I've had stomach problems for years now too and yeah, it gets kind of frustrating to have doctors not know what causes it, but I'm very pro-active with my health, I do my own research on the internet to figure out what could possibly cause the issues I'm having, does the symptoms I'm looking at adequately describe my own.  A case in point, every blood test I had showed signs of infection, this went on for years and being told "dunno whats causing it, come back in 3 months and have another blood test" made me frustrated, so I sat down for an afternoon and researched infections, what causes infections, I learnt about the two different types (viral, bacterial), I also had to learn about the FBC to figure out exactly what was showing up as a sign of infection.
Next time I went to the doctor, he said "blood shows signs of infection, it could just be that you naturally have that sign in your blood", he'd spoken to the blood person who said my results were within normal range although showing signs of infection.  I said to my doctor "what about H-Pylori?", doctor was very interested, said it could be a cause and arranged another blood test which indeed did show I had the H-Pylori bacteria so it could be treated.  Don't know if it's gone and my stomach is still playing me up, I'm seeing my doctor again in a week and suggesting a duodenal sore/ulcer, which I'm sure my doctor will take note of, simply because I've done the research on my own symptoms and am not coming up with something uber rare and unusual (25% of people have H-Pylori apparently).  So you have access to the internet, google your symptoms, check medical websites that offer information, check the symptoms to see if they match then suggest to your doctor to get tested, I think doctors actually like it when patients engage them in matters of their own health rather than go in with a "somethings wrong, dunno what it could be, just fix it," attitude.  Of course, should I go in saying "I have a nuclear bomb in my lower intestine!" he may not listen to me.
itsme
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Re: Stark Raving Lunatics:Nhs Direct

Helicobacter pylori is the cause of stomach ulcers and I worked on the early stages of cheap breath test to detect H-pylori inflammation in the stomach. Not sure whether a breath test is available as the company I worked for sold it on. The treatment is a triple cocktail of drugs but was not very successful with people that had been suffering with ulcers and been using antacids over a long period.
thisoldman
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Re: Stark Raving Lunatics:Nhs Direct


thank you all for your kind replies. I have seen consultants/specialists etc and they simply refer me back to the surgery.
It seems i have some kind of irrational irritable bowel syndrome, for which there is no apparent cure.
Painkillers make me sick..
I did rant in the op simply because:
nhs direct took far too long to deal with, to me . a simple question ie  what looked like a sliced peanut in every stool. I dont eat peanuts.
Using a screen fone can be exasperating at the best of times ( to both parties)
I eat non junk food , do not drink and live sensibly apart from  smoking.

Once  every two years these bowel problems occur  and i simply get no where with the  gp s  or hospitals.

I really sympathised with what nadger has gone through, but i am sure that many of you can understand my frustrations at being given differential diagnostics.
Living in a rural backyard i dont have immediate access to a major hospital. The local hosp , some 25 miles away has 2 depts, a primiitve a&e
and 1 egyptian dr.
weekends if you are unfortuneate to take ill, can be a nightmare here.The local a&e is staffed by anyone they can get for a shift. Last weekend they had a foreigner from Poland, yes hed flown in from poland for a lucrative 2k shift.
Any way  enough from me, but i do have serious misgivings in the quality of nhs and gp facilities in rural areas. Trying to get a gp appointment in our small village is a nightmare for everyoneand you are very unlikely to see your gp of choice.
lol  maybe i should raise a ticket on the plusnet system and see what happens.lol  cheers