Friday, 3 December 2021

Notes

 I haven’t seen my doctor since the middle of lockdown
Mostly I have seen dealing with ANP nurses ( Advanced Nurse Practitioners) who have advanced assessing and prescribing skills.

The nurse said a strange thing to me today.
She told me that the doctor had thought that I had been mildly depressed when he last saw me 
This came as a bit of a surprise as he never relayed that news to me at that time and I told her so.

I wonder what else has been typed in those computerised notes locked away in the ether

57 comments:

  1. Joan (Devon)3:41 pm

    I had an X-Ray on my hips because I was in a lot of pain and when I rang the surgery for the result I was told that everything was normal. A couple of weeks later my GP paid a visit to see me as I am on the vulnerable list and accidentally left my computerised notes and being curious I read them and it turns out I have arthrits in my hips. As you say, I would also like to know, in fact I think we have a right to know.

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  2. You don't get to see the notes? I get to see mine, perhaps because I'm going through the Veteran's Administration.

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    1. Dave I think if you have insurance or pay directly for your care then there is a clear agreement to see everything
      In the uk there seems to be a deference, a mystery about health care which is imbedded

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  3. Replies
    1. At least I’m not depressed now lol

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  4. I had to have an emergency MRI scan on my spine recently, and was told....at the ripe old age of 62....that I have an extra vertebra in my lower spine - 6 instead of 5. I've had several scans and x-rays for back pain over the years and never been told about this before.

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  5. I was told I'd never stroked behind my eye, only to discover it was in the notes that I did after complaining of a black spot in my vision! We haven't had a GP going on four years, so no continuity of care.

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    1. I’m beginning to realise just how stretched the nhs is relating to catchup following covid

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    2. A relative (a nurse aged 56 and retired on health grounds) had a biopsy taken a few weeks ago of a very nasty malignant-melanoma-looking growth for it to be tested to see if it really is cancer. On asking yesterday why he had not had his result yet he was told, "it will likely take a few months". Really? Astonishing? Took my breath away (and his, and he would know better than me what service to expect). Years ago my mother got a similar result within 36 hours. NHS really seems to be barely functioning any more.

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  6. You could "mildly depress" your doctor's belly with a fist in his solar plexus. He may have also written "shirt hanging out and flyhole unzipped".

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    1. I have a close friend who is a GP
      Her stressors during the pandemic has been immense
      I’m not upset at the statement , I’m just interested

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  7. You could ask to see your notes though-I was a bit miffed after seeing the copy letter a neurologist sent to my doctor-The hospital wanted me to see him after diagnosing me with hemiplegic migraines and regularly.I walk like a drunken aunt sally-he bloody well said "this lady prefers to lay on the sofa in the afternoons"- I had explained about aunt sally but he didn't seem to know her-he also said" hopefully it will go away"it arsing hasn't-and as I had experienced scary electric sensations in my head and not being able to move for moments-His explanation and dismissal"there are things as yet we still don't understand about the human brain" x

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    1. I was always taught to write my nursing notes without judgement .
      And to always use quotes wherever possible

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  8. Was his comment accurate? I think many or most of us were mildly depressed during lockdown. I think you could ask to see your notes?

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    1. Indeed Lizzy , I think you are so right
      It will be interesting to hear the research about mental health and lockdown ,
      There should be a great deal of it published soon

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  9. Short answer, John----lots. Do you have access to a Epic program MYCHART? If so, it'll let you read a doc's post-visit notes.

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    1. Our system is somewhat different here.
      You can see your notes if you put it in writing but it’s a right faff

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    2. Worth doing I think

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  10. Ask to see your notes. As you're in the profession you'll probably understand all the shorthand notes as well. I think most of us have been squashed by the last (almost) two years.

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  11. If he thought you were "mildly depressed" he should have asked you. Mind you, he was probably so rushed, that if you'd said "Yes, I do feel depressed." he'd have had to spend more time helping you. Not that I'm being cynical! LOL xx

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    1. I must have had a hang dog expression
      It was lockdown

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  12. Not sure to what extent we are permitted to see our own medical notes.
    I asked whether I could see my own test results online as I have regular thyroid function checks. They said there was a form I could collect and fill in, but I would only be able to see results from after the date of the form. Haven't got round to it yet.

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    1. I asked the receptionist about my blood tests
      She told me they were normal …glad she knows

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  13. My records are all online, and I have access to them all.

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  14. I’m not sure that I would like to my doctor’s notes, especially regarding my depression. I think that I am far happier in my little bubble of blissful ignorance....

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    1. Yes…..I sort of agree, though I think it’s nice to know test results as I understand what they mean

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  15. Interesting point, John.

    Doctors know things about us and keep them to themselves. How crazy is that? I once went to my GP for some test results (the tests I had paid for privately). I asked the locum, a very sweet young doctor, to show me the report and could I please have a photocopy. Apparently she got a right old bollocking afterwards for having complied with the patient's wishes.

    Having said that, doctors vary in their approach. So, only recently, I saw a consultant. I holed him with a barrage of questions. He told me that doctors "normally" don't impart detailed information as patients are either not interested in the detail, wouldn't understand or catastrophize. I was flattered he deemed me fit (!) enough to share his knowledge about me WITH me. You've got to laugh, John.

    Then there is coding in their notes. As explained to me by my GP, a wonderful man. So, rather than calling a spade a spade, spelling it out, they use funny letters only another doctor will understand.

    Anyway, before anyone, now alarmed, asks after my wellbeing: I am fine. As good as the newly driven snow.

    More to the point: How are you? And if indeed you showed signs of "mild depression" it'd hardly be surprising. At least your doctor didn't give you a prescription. Nowadays your cat can't die without someone handing you a pill.

    U

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    1. I think we all got a bit down during that first lockdown

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  16. Barbara Anne6:20 pm

    Why on earth didn't your doctor follow up when he was concerned that you were depressed. For your own information, do you blog posts from that time reflect depression?
    I agree with all who say you should have access to all of your own medical records.
    Hope you're feeling better from the UTI bother.

    Hugs!

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    1. I’m still plagued a bit with odd symptoms
      I’m going to request a bladder scan next

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  18. what happens down at the surgery these days seems to be a complete mystery to everyone even those who work there.

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    1. I’m such an advocate for my own patients but never for myself

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  19. Everyone has been 'mildly depressed' for the last three years, divorce or not.

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    1. I agree , more lockdown than anything else

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  20. Dear John,

    Maybe I am wrong, I thought everyone was entitled to see their medical records whether they be Consultant or GP. I believe you can also nominate a third person to access the records like a Solicitor say for a PI Claim. I have found this link and hope it will be helpful. https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/about-the-nhs/how-to-access-your-health-records/

    When I go to the Rheumatology Clinic (once a year at the moment as I have long term Auto immune disease, Scleroderma, Raynauds, Sjorgens Rheumatoid Arth; Oste etc. you get the gist. Within a few weeks I get a copy of a letter that is automatically sent to my GP together with a covering letter to myself. It is quite thorough and tends to record the contents of my appointments quite accurately. As a result of the latest letter the Consultant has ordered the GP to deal with my Vitamin D deficiency as apparently my levels were "inadequate". The pills arrived a couple of days letter without me seeing the GP and I believe I will have blood testing on a more regular basis to see if my system is recouping. I always understood that an individual had a right to see and access any medical records as if anything is incorrect you have a right to ask for those details to be amended. Maybe I am wrong, I am no expert. As I have indicated to you before I am not a professional, but know how things work generally in common practice. Hope it helps and I hope you are a little more comfy. Pattypanx

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    1. I’m not that worried or bothered patty ,
      It was an idle thought about something that vaguely piqued me

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    2. Okey dokey. Take care.

      xx

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    3. I need to be more assertive my friend xx

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    4. I need to, too. I think its down to how much you get peed off as to the reaction. Usually with me its something really silly that ticks me off, Well tiz with me. Its just the depth that varies. As long as you are okay - sometimes direct action is needed to stop brooding on it which then "festers" and really winds you up. If something ticks you off its much better to say otherwise you carry around the monkey on the back for ages and it only does you harm and weighs you down. Listen to the chief offender here. I must practice what I preach. Take care xx

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  21. This last year, who hasn't been a bit depressed :).

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    1. Exactly ….quite right…and I’m glad we are all recognising it

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    2. My tuppenceworth is that there is a significant difference between the meaning of "depressed" as it is (or should be) used by a clinician and depressed as it is widely used by the public at large. Clinical depression bears no relation to feeling a bit fed up about Covid and its restrictions. But your GP perhaps felt that telling someone they seem mildly depressed may not be the best idea, but that it was worth making a note of nonetheless (giving the GP the benefit of the doubt).

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    3. The words “ depression “ and “ depressed” are bandied around much too freely
      Despondency is a much better word for what most of us feel from time to time
      Depression is a serious illness

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    4. Exactly. From age 20 to 50 I used to think that I got quite severely "depressed" from time to time about things, sometimes for quite some time. Then on three distinct and long occasions between 50 and now I got clinical depression and discovered it bears no relation whatsoever to what I had called depression in my earlier life. Chalk and cheese; black and white; night and day. Fortunately I am not depressed at the moment though, even though I do sometimes get fed up, despondent, gloomy... Anyway I am happy enough now and heading for a trip to the wintry Lake District tomorrow :) Hope things resolve for you soon.

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  22. Anyone in the UK who coped with the last couple of years WITHOUT despondency must be the odd one out! You have had it really tough.

    Over here I can access all my records via “ManageMyHealth” and the letters sent by specialists and lab results all show up there. Mind you, my GP taps away at his computer as we’re talking and I suspect there’s a private file of notes I don’t get to see! “Heading to fruitcake territory. Prescribed little pink pills.”

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  23. We always try to see one of two doctors in our local practice of five. And especially not one who is patronising and offhand. Even before the pandemic.
    Now we know which days who works, to get at least a phone conversation.
    Pirate always gets a printout of his test results.
    After all it is our bodies that they are dealing with and we need to know what our bodies are up to so that we may cope best.

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  25. My doctor's notes probably say 'Drinks too much, too fat, not enough exercise, eats too much salt.

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  26. I wonder too about the doctor's notes. It's so long since I have actually seen one rather than a text or econsult phone call that I feel very differently now about my surgery.

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  27. Hope he would notice an improvement if you saw him now. So strange to discover things our doctors have written. My first doctor here in Málaga had noted on my records that I was sedentary. I have no idea who she was talking about but my next doctor (same healthcare system) showed me the notes, raised her eyebrows, and removed that.

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  28. Sounds like a reminder for the health care providers to keep observing, mindful observation. We all have off times, a lot of them the past couple of years, many of us will naturally bounce back, but a significant percentage will not, will benefit from some treatment, therapy or medication, and that is okay. Health care providers have become much more aware. Depression and all of the impacts of it, historically has been under diagnosed.

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